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Cryptic human and animal reservoirs compromise the sustainedelimination of gambiense-human African trypanosomiasis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (CHARHAT-DRC)
In 2012, the World Health Organization set targets for elimination of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) as public health problem by 2020 and elimination of transmission of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense to humans by 2030. However, the latter goal -of sustained global elimination-is challenged by uncertainty about the role of putative T.b.gambiense reservoirs. A better understanding of the contribution of human and animal reservoirs on transmission is required. Questions to be addressed are the frequency and duration of latent infections of T.b.gambiense in human and in animals, the infectiveness of latent human infections and animal reservoirs to tsetse flies, the ability of latent infections or reservoirs to sustain transmission in inter-epidemic periods, and the possible existence of an animal transmission cycle in the absence of human transmission and its ability to seed a new transmission cycle in humans.This research project investigates the epidemiological significance of cryptic human and domestic animal T.b. gambiense reservoirs in D.R. Congo. Specific objectives are: 1° to develop and validate improved methods for T.b. gambiense detection in human and animals;2° to elucidate the potential interaction between human and domestic animal T.b. gambiense transmission cycles;3° to compare the genotype and phenotype of T.b. gambiense strains isolated from human and from domestic animals; and 4° to improve the predictions of mathematical models on HAT-elimination based on these new insights.
Date:1 Dec 2018 → Today