by Ngay Lukusa I, Van Reet N, Dieudonné Ngoyi D, Mwamba Miaka E, Masumu J, Patient Pyana P, Mutombo W, Ngolo D, Kobo V, Akwaso F, Ilunga M, Kaninda L, Mutanda S, Mpoyi Muamba D, Valverde Mordt O, Tarral A, Rembry S, Büscher P, Lejon V. eBioMedicine 2022; 86:104376. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2022.104376
Summary: Despite improvements in treatments for human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), there is a risk of relapse. As trypanosomes are rarely detectable in the blood of patients with relapse, diagnosis is made using cerebrospinal fluid collected by lumbar puncture. A reliable, early and less invasive method is needed to assess treatment outcome. The authors of this manuscript investigated spliced leader (SL)-RNA detection in blood and cerebrospinal fluid to assess treatment outcomes in 97 patients with gambiense-HAT in collaboration with a phase II/III trial of acoziborole. The specificity of SL-RNA detection was ≥98.9% in blood and 100% in cerebrospinal fluid, meaning that future cases of relapse may potentially be detected in the blood, obviating the need for lumbar puncture.