University of Georgia researchers are going to be working to develop drugs to fight a sickness transmitted to humans by the bite of the tsetse fly.
According to a report by Alan Flurry on the school’s website, the National Institutes of Health has awarded $2.6 million to researchers to find a way to treat human African trypanosomiasis which is also known as African sleeping sickness.
The report says the disease is caused by a single-cell parasite called trypanosome brucei, which infects the central nervous system causing changes in behavior, confusion, poor coordination and sleep disturbances. Without adequate treatment, the infection is almost always fatal.
According to the World Health Organization, most at risk are rural populations in sub-Saharan Africa that depend on agriculture, fishing, hunting, and animal husbandry and are exposed to tsetse fly bites.
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Leader of the research team is Kojo Mensa-Wilmot, UGA professor in the department of cellular biology.
Collaborators in the UGA-led consortium are Andrei Purmal of Cleveland BioLabs Inc. and Michael Pollastri of Northeastern University.
For more information, visit http://www.uga.edu/.