Humans have innate immunity against Trypanosoma brucei brucei that is known to involve apolipoprotein L-I (APOL1). Recently, a case of T. evansi infection in a human was identified in India. We investigated whether the APOL1 pathway was involved in this occurrence. The serum of the infected patient was found to have no trypanolytic activity, and the finding was linked to the lack of APOL1, which was due to frameshift mutations in both APOL1 alleles. Trypanolytic activity was restored by the addition of recombinant APOL1. The lack of APOL1 explained the patient's infection with T. evansi.
Copyright 2006 Massachusetts Medical Society.