Wally Gobetz/Flickr

Сиквенирование вампира

НЬЮ-ХЕЙВЕН – Африканский трипаносомоз человека (АТЧ) – также известный как сонная болезнь – с давних пор терзает сельское население в районах Африки южнее Сахары. Будучи паразитарной инфекцией, она без надлежащего лечения зачастую приводит к смерти. И ее лечение является сложным и требует высококвалифицированного медицинского персонала, который трудно найти в пострадавших районах. Паразиты, переносящие инфекцию – Trypanosoma brucei gambiense в центральной и западной Африке и T. b. rhodesiense в восточной Африке – передаются через укус инфицированной мухи цеце (Glossina morsitans morsitan).

В начале ХХ века эпидемии АТЧ привели к сокращению населения во многих частях Африки. Хотя систематические обследования и лечение миллионов людей резко сократили передачу заболевания в 1930-х, ослабление этих усилий позволило АТЧ вновь разбушеваться в 1950-х и 1960-х годах, достигнув уровня эпидемии в начале 1990-х. Кампания, проводимая Всемирной организацией здравоохранения в конце концов позволила взять болезнь под контроль к 2008 году, снизив уровень заразившихся всего до 10 000 человек в год. Однако миллионы людей остаются в опасности.

Очевидно, что мухи цеце представляют серьезную опасность в тех областях, которые обладают значительно меньшими средствами и возможностью доступа к лечению. И угроза распространяется не только на человека. Африканский трипаносомоз животных или болезнь «нагана» (что на языке зулу означает «быть в депрессии») вызывают паразиты Trypanosoma congolense, T. vivax и T. brucei – каждый из которых переносится мухой цеце.

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