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Natural Products from Plants as Drug Candidates and Lead Compounds Against Leishmaniasis and Trypanosomiasis

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Abstract:

Millions of people in the developing world are affected by diseases caused by the kinetoplastid parasites: the leishmaniases, African trypanosomiasis, and Chagas disease. In many cases the drugs employed for treatment are toxic, marginally effective, given by injection, and/or compromised by the development of resistance. Since safe, effective, and affordable chemotherapeutic agents for leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis are clearly needed, the identification of new antikinetoplastid drug candidates should be an urgent priority. Numerous plant-derived natural products from different structural classes have been investigated as antileishmanial and antitrypanosomal candidates, including various alkaloids, terpenoids, flavonoids, and quinonoids. This review outlines the antikinetoplastid activities of plant-derived natural products reported in the literature and also provides an overview of mechanistic studies that have been conducted with these compounds. Given the activities of these agents and their diverse range of effects on parasite biology, natural products are a potentially rich source of drug candidates and leads against leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis.

Keywords: Leishmaniasis; antiprotozoal agents; natural products; phytotherapy; plant extracts; trypanosomiasis

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2174/092986706778201611

Affiliations: Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1291, USA.

Publication date: 2006-09-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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