Search for a rare disease

* (*) mandatory field

Other search option(s)

Suggest an update

(*) Required fields.


Only comments seeking to improve the quality and accuracy of information on the Orphanet website are accepted. For all other comments, please send your remarks via contact us. Only comments written in English can be processed.

Captcha image

African trypanosomiasis

Disease definition

Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), also called sleeping sickness, is a vector-borne parasitic disease caused by a protozoa of the Trypanosoma genus transmitted by the bite of a tsetse fly (genus Glossina), that is found under its chronic form (average duration of 3 years) in western and central Africa (in case of the T. brucei gambiense sub-species), and under its acute form (lasting from few weeks to 6 months) in eastern and southern Africa (in case of the T. brucei rhodesiense sub-species). HAT comprises an initial hemo-lymphatic stage characterized by fever, weakness, musculoskeletal pain, anemia, and lymphadenopathy, along with dermatologic, cardiac and endocrine complications or hepatosplenomegaly, followed by a meningo-encephalitic stage characterized by neurologic involvement (sleep disturbances, psychiatric disorders, seizures) that progresses, in the absence of treatment, towards a fatal meningoencephalitis.


Classification level: Disorder
  • Synonym(s):
    • Sleeping sickness
  • Prevalence: Unknown
  • Inheritance: Not applicable 
  • Age of onset: All ages
  • ICD-10: B56.0  B56.1  B56.9
  • OMIM: -
  • UMLS: C0041228
  • MeSH: D014353
  • GARD: 7826
  • MedDRA: 10001461

Additional information

Further information on this disease

Specialised Social Services

The documents contained in this web site are presented for information purposes only. The material is in no way intended to replace professional medical care by a qualified specialist and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or treatment.