Aksoy Labs combats the tsetse fly to protect Africa from sleeping sickness

Yale professor and sleeping sickness researcher Serap Askoy and her team in Uganda.

Nearly everyone has been pestered by a housefly — a dilemma easily solved with the quick deployment of a flyswatter. However, not all species of flies are so harmless or so easily dispatched.

In sub-Saharan Africa there is a vastly different, much more dangerous species of fly that threatens the lives of millions of people and livestock herds across the entire continent. The tsetse fly (pronounced set see) is an insect slightly larger than the common housefly that transmits Human African Trypanosomiasis, commonly known as sleeping sickness, a parasitic disease found throughout the rural areas of 36 African countries.