Trypanosoma brucei gambiense Human African Trypanosomiasis
Host age and time of exposure in
Human African Trypanosomiasis is related to behavioural risk factors but complex interactions exist between (i) environmental and behavioural risk factors, (ii) vector and (iii) human host. Our aim was to investigate the interrelationships between previously analysed risk factors and the roles of age and time of exposure according to ethnic group and migration status. However, this descriptive and retrospective study is based on cases only (no controls) and our results must therefore be regarded as hypothesis-generating. Individuals originating from areas where sleeping sickness is absent and who settle in an endemic area seem to develop the disease after a shorter time of exposure than native subjects from endemic areas. Our results emphasise the complexity of vector-transmitted disease epidemiology, involving behavioural and/or environmental risk factors on the one hand, and more individual ones such as ageing, immunity and genetic background on the other hand.