Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis on Human African Trypanocide Resistance

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Background Human African trypanocide resistance (HATr) is a challenge for the eradica- tion of Human African Trypansomiaisis (HAT) following the widespread emergence of increased monotherapy drug treatment failures against Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and T. b. rhodesiense that are associated with changes in pathogen receptors. Methods: Electronic searches of 12 databases and 3 Google search websites for human African trypanocide resistance were performed using a keyword search criterion applied to both laboratory and clinical studies. Fifty-one publications were identified and included in this study using the PRISMA checklist. Data were analyzed using RevMan and random effect sizes were computed for the statistics at the 95% confidence interval. Results: Pentamidine/melarsoprol/nifurtimox cross-resistance is associated with loss of the T. brucei adenosine transporter 1/purine 2 gene (TbAT1/P2), aquaglyceroporins (TbAQP) 2 and 3, followed by the high affinity pentamidine melarsoprol transporter (HAPT) 1. In addition, the loss of the amino acid transporter (AAT) 6 is associated with eflornithine resistance. Nifurtimox/eflornithine combination therapy resistance is associated with AAT6 and nitroreductase loss, and high resistance and parasite regrowth is responsible for treatment relapse. In clinical studies, the TbAT1 proportion of total random effects was 68% (95% CI: 38.0–91.6); I2 = 96.99% (95% CI: 94.6–98.3). Treatment failure rates were highest with melarsoprol followed by eflornithine at 41.49% (95% CI: 24.94–59.09) and 6.56% (3.06–11.25) respectively. HATr-resistant phenotypes used in most laboratory experiments demonstrated significantly higher pentamidine resistance than other trypanocides. Conclusion: The emergence of drug resistance across the spectrum of trypanocidal agents that are used to treat HAT is a major threat to the global WHO target to eliminate HAT by 2030. T. brucei strains were largely resistant to diamidines and the use of high trypanocide concentrations in clinical studies have proved fatal in humans. Studies to develop novel chemotherapeutical agents and identify alternative protein targets could help to reduce the emergence and spread of HATr.



Human African trypanosomiasis, Trypanosomes, Drug resistance, Pentamidines, Nifurtimox/eflornithine combination therapy;, Exinidazole;, NECT, TbAT, Amino-aquapurine trans- porters, Amino acid transporters, Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, Trypanosoma brucei gambiense, Neglected tropical diseases


Kasozi, K.I.; MacLeod, E.T.; Welburn, S.C. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis on Human African Trypanocide Resistance. Pathogens 2022, 11, 1100. 10.3390/pathogens11101100