At the turn of the last century, Africa faced an epidemic of sleeping sickness. For a while in the 70's, with the advent and targeted use of insecticides like DDT, it seemed the disease would be eradicated. Today, Africa faces another sleeping sickness epidemic, which it seems little better equipped to respond to than it was a century ago and sleeping sickness looks to be a disease which may be with us for a long time to come. For this reason, the Third Internet Conference on Salivarian Trypanosomes and Trypanosomatids
was designed as a virtual world meeting specifically targeted at providing a real world focus for basic scientists working with trypanosomes. The conference was free, spread over a two-week period and consisted of six sessions, a focused debate and a poster session. The full proceedings are published in the International Journal for Parasitology 31
(5-6), May, 2001 (http://www.elsevier.nl/locate/ijpara).
In statesman-like keynote addresses to conference, two of the most senior figures in the field, George Cross and J Richard Seed reviewed the key advances and failures of the last century. Their presentations tackled the potential impact of current new technologies and the political, social and economic realities in which the pipeline from science to public health must operate in order to tackle sleeping sickness. They also went on to address the future of trypanosome research and integrated control approaches in public health.