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An Indian traveler developed fever and neurological symptoms after a visit to East Africa. He was treated with suramin, melarsoprol and prednisolone for presumed East African trypanosomiasis. His condition deteriorated and cerebral lesions developed. Neurobrucellosis was diagnosed. Combination antibiotic therapy led to gradual clinical improvement and regression of the brain lesions. Misdiagnosis of East African trypanosomiasis followed by treatment with potentially lethal medication should be avoided by not relying on insufficient evidence during the diagnostic process.