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New Drugs for Human African Trypanosomiasis: A Twenty First Century Success Story

1
Wellcome Centre for Integrative Parasitology, Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8TA, UK
2
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Socinstrasse 57, 4002 Basel, Switzerland
3
University of Basel, Petersplatz 1, 4000 Basel, Switzerland
4
York Biomedical Research Institute, Department of Biology, University of York, Wentworth Way, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK
5
Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases, 5300 Chiron Way, Emeryville, CA 94608, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5010029
Received: 16 January 2020 / Revised: 12 February 2020 / Accepted: 14 February 2020 / Published: 19 February 2020
The twentieth century ended with human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) epidemics raging across many parts of Africa. Resistance to existing drugs was emerging, and many programs aiming to contain the disease had ground to a halt, given previous success against HAT and the competing priorities associated with other medical crises ravaging the continent. A series of dedicated interventions and the introduction of innovative routes to develop drugs, involving Product Development Partnerships, has led to a dramatic turnaround in the fight against HAT caused by Trypanosoma brucei gambiense. The World Health Organization have been able to optimize the use of existing tools to monitor and intervene in the disease. A promising new oral medication for stage 1 HAT, pafuramidine maleate, ultimately failed due to unforeseen toxicity issues. However, the clinical trials for this compound demonstrated the possibility of conducting such trials in the resource-poor settings of rural Africa. The Drugs for Neglected Disease initiative (DNDi), founded in 2003, has developed the first all oral therapy for both stage 1 and stage 2 HAT in fexinidazole. DNDi has also brought forward another oral therapy, acoziborole, potentially capable of curing both stage 1 and stage 2 disease in a single dosing. In this review article, we describe the remarkable successes in combating HAT through the twenty first century, bringing the prospect of the elimination of this disease into sight. View Full-Text
Keywords: human African trypanosomiasis; sleeping sickness; elimination; chemotherapy; fexinidazole; pafuramidine; acoziborole human African trypanosomiasis; sleeping sickness; elimination; chemotherapy; fexinidazole; pafuramidine; acoziborole
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dickie, E.A.; Giordani, F.; Gould, M.K.; Mäser, P.; Burri, C.; Mottram, J.C.; Rao, S.P.S.; Barrett, M.P. New Drugs for Human African Trypanosomiasis: A Twenty First Century Success Story. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5, 29. https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5010029

AMA Style

Dickie EA, Giordani F, Gould MK, Mäser P, Burri C, Mottram JC, Rao SPS, Barrett MP. New Drugs for Human African Trypanosomiasis: A Twenty First Century Success Story. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease. 2020; 5(1):29. https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5010029

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dickie, Emily A.; Giordani, Federica; Gould, Matthew K.; Mäser, Pascal; Burri, Christian; Mottram, Jeremy C.; Rao, Srinivasa P.S.; Barrett, Michael P. 2020. "New Drugs for Human African Trypanosomiasis: A Twenty First Century Success Story" Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 5, no. 1: 29. https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5010029

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