Vietnamese infected with rare blood parasite mostly found in cattle: report

Thanh Nien News

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Trypanosoma evansi under the microscope. File photo Trypanosoma evansi under the microscope. File photo


A Ho Chi Minh City hospital has successfully treated a woman who is the first Vietnamese infected by blood parasite Trypanosoma evansi, which is mostly found in cattle.
Doctors at the Tropical Diseases Hospital are cooperating with experts from Oxford University to study the rare case of the 38-year-old patient, news website VnExpress reported.
Blood smears and bone marrow smears at the hospital found the single-cell parasitic organism, which causes surra and other infections on animals such as camels and horses. It is rarely seen on people.
The patient had fevers for 18 days, with headache and joint pain before being taken to hospital. 
Dr. Le Buu Chau said the Tropical Diseases Hospital said the patient had liver and kidney damage, and sharp drops in both red blood cells and white blood cells.
She has recovered and was discharged, but will need regular follow-up examinations, Chau said.
Doctors said other kinds of trypanosomes have been recorded on humans, such as Trypanosoma brucei, which causes the sleeping sickness is Africa, and Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes the deadly Chagas disease in South America.
In Vietnam, Trypanosoma evansi was once found in animals many years ago.

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