First Report on the Treatment of Sleeping Sickness with Puromycin

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  • Department of Hematology and Protozoology of the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Missão de Estudo e Combate à Doença do Sono na Guiné Portuguesa, Lisbon


The results of the treatment of 15 cases of sleeping sickness by Puromycin are reported. Two months after the end of treatment, only two patients had relapsed; these were severe cases and had received relatively small doses of the antibiotic. Two other cases subsequently relapsed. Patients who did not relapse are under observation and will not receive any other specific therapy unless some new relapse is discovered. These patients are periodically controlled by lymph gland puncture, blood culture and cerebrospinal fluid examination. Toxic signs of the antibiotic were unimportant, taking the form mainly of diarrhea.