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Transverse myelitis due to trypanosomiasis in a middle aged Tanzanian man
  1. G S Kibiki,
  2. D K Murphy
  1. Department of Internal Medicine, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Tumaini University, Moshi, Tanzania
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr D K Murphy
 Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, Ireland; kevdanmurphy{at}


We report the case of a middle aged Tanzanian man who developed a spinal cord syndrome over 6 weeks, along with a mild encephalopathy. Investigations ruled out the usual major causes of such a syndrome in our setting in northern Tanzania. Examination of his cerebrospinal fluid revealed trypanosomes, and he made a slow but dramatic improvement after a full course of suramine and melarsoprol. We postulate that he had a transverse myelitis due to African trypanosomiasis, a rare and barely recognised cause.

  • CSF, cerebrospinal fluid
  • TB, tuberculosis
  • T brucei
  • Tanzania
  • transverse myelitis
  • trypanosomiasis

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  • Competing interests: none declared

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