Review Article: Cerebrospinal fluid in human African trypanosomiasis: a key to diagnosis, therapeutic decision and post-treatment follow-up


  • This paper was presented at the colloquium ‘Cerebrospinal Fluid Analysis in Tropical Neurology’ at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerpen, Belgium in November 2003.

Veerle Lejon (corresponding author) and P. Büscher, Department of Parasitology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium. Fax: +32 (0)3 247 63 73; E-mail


Human African trypanosomiasis is a lethal parasitic infection with neurological involvement. Examination of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) plays an essential role in diagnosis, selection of treatment and post-treatment follow-up. This paper reviews clinical presentation, diagnosis and treatment of the disease, with emphasis on CSF characteristics and interpretation of the CSF results for therapeutic decision and post-treatment follow-up.