Volume 60, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Light subunit neurofilament (NFL) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) concentrations were determined in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 34 patients with human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), five serologically positive but parasitologically unconfirmed individuals, and four healthy controls without evidence of HAT. In patients with second stage HAT (n = 30), NFL levels were abnormally elevated in 10 cases and GFAP levels in five. The astrogliosis observed in HAT and experimental models of HAT is confirmed in our study by the presence of increased GFAP levels in the CSE The abnormal NFL CSF levels reflect structural damage of nerve cells in 33 % of the second-stage patients studied. To our knowledge, this is the first time neuronal damage in HAT patients is demonstrated by using biochemical markers of brain damage in the CSF.


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