Abbreviation for human African trypanosomiasis. The agents of disease (Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and T. b. rhodesiense are transmitted by bites of infected Glossina flies. Recently there are five medicaments registered that are used to treat this disease. However, all are imperfect and may initiate considerable side effects due to their toxicity.
Suramin (Germanin, B-205) is the oldest anti-HAT drug currently still in use which was developed by Bayer AG (Germany) basing on naphthalene urea and on early works of Paul Ehrlich, the founder of “chimiotherapy” around 1900. The most “modern” anti-HAT medicaments were detected in the 1980s, when the compound eflornithine was introduced, that is today used in combination with nifurtimox. However, although some promising orally administrable new compounds are now (2014) in the early clinical testing phase, treatment of HAT is far from being solved.