Definition of trypanosome in US English:



Medicine Zoology
  • A single-celled parasitic protozoan with a trailing flagellum, infesting the blood.

    Genus Trypanosoma, phylum Kinetoplastida, kingdom Protista

    • ‘Tsetse flies are carriers of trypanosomes - the parasites transmitted by their bites, which cause sleeping sickness in men and cattle.’
    • ‘However, the initial, acute phase of infection is usually asymptomatic and unrecognised, although trypanosomes may be detectable in blood by microscopy and concentration methods.’
    • ‘Extensive literature exists on human African trypanosomiasis and trypanosomes, but it is mostly confined to basic sciences and neglects clinical research and the impact of the disease on large parts of the population in rural Africa.’
    • ‘Transmitted by tsetse flies, in which the trypanosomes of African sleeping sickness develop, they enter their human host by the bite of the fly.’
    • ‘In the blood the organisms take on the form of trypanosomes, whereas in tissue Leishmania forms are found.’


Early 20th century: from Greek trupanon ‘borer’ + -some.