Thinking outside the blood: Perspectives on tissue-resident Trypanosoma brucei

Nathan P. Crilly, Monica R. Mugnier

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


AU Trypanosoma: Pleaseconfirmthatallheadinglevelsarerepresentedcorrectly brucei is a protozoan parasite that causes human : and animal African trypanosomiases (HAT and AAT). In the mammalian host, the parasite lives entirely extracellularly, in both the blood and interstitial spaces in tissues. Although most T. brucei research has focused on the biology of blood- and central nervous system (CNS)-resident parasites, a number of recent studies have highlighted parasite reservoirs in the dermis and adipose tissue, leading to a renewed interest in tissue-resident parasite populations. In light of this renewed interest, work describing tissue-resident parasites can serve as a valuable resource to inform future investigations of tissue-resident T. brucei. Here, we review this body of literature, which describes infections in humans, natural hosts, and experimental animal models, providing a wealth of information on the distribution and biology of extravascular parasites, the corresponding immune response in each tissue, and resulting host pathology. We discuss the implications of these studies and future questions in the study of extravascular T. brucei.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1009866
JournalPLoS pathogens
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Virology


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