Treatment options for second-stage gambiense human African trypanosomiasis

by Eperon G, Balasegaram M, Potet J, Mowbray C, Valverde O, Chappuis F. Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy 2014, doi:10.1586/14787210.2014.959496.

Summary: Treatment of second-stage gambiense human African trypanosomiasis relied on toxic arsenic-based derivatives for over 50 years. The availability and subsequent use of eflornithine, initially in monotherapy and more recently in combination with nifurtimox (NECT), has drastically improved the prognosis of treated patients. However, NECT logistic and nursing requirements remain obstacles to its deployment and use in peripheral health structures in rural sub-Saharan Africa. Two oral compounds, fexinidazole and SCYX-7158, are currently in clinical development. The article discusses the potential impact of new oral therapies to improve diagnosis-treatment algorithms and patients’ access to treatment, and to contribute to reach the objectives of the recently launched gambiense human African trypanosomiasis elimination program.

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