• Soap slays sleeping sickness

    Helen Pearson

The cheap antibiotic triclosan could be an effective treatment for sleeping sickness, which affects up to half-a-million people in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a new study.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, United States, found that the antibiotic, which is commonly used in cleaning products, stops the parasite that causes the disease from growing under laboratory conditions.

The treatment could be an improvement on existing drugs such as arsenic derivatives, which are toxic to humans. But researchers have yet to test whether the drug actually alleviates the symptoms of sleeping sickness.

Link to Nature Science Update news story

Reference: Nature Science Update