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The Fight Against Drug-Resistant Malaria: Novel Plasmodial Targets and Antimalarial Drugs

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Malaria, one of the major reemerging parasitic diseases, is caused by protozoal parasites belonging to the genus plasmodia. Antimalarial drugs have played a mainstream role in controlling the spread of malaria through the treatment of patients infected with the plasmodial parasites and controlling its transmissibility. The current line of therapy against malaria is faced with the hurdles of a low or total lack of efficacy due to the evolution of drug-resistant strains of the malarial parasites. Preventive vaccination against malaria is an ideal solution to this problem but is not expected to arrive for at least a decade. Development of antimalarial drugs involving novel mechanisms of action is therefore of imminent importance. Several novel drug candidates of synthetic and natural products origin as well as their combination therapies are currently being evaluated for their efficacy against the drug-resistant strains of the parasites. Various plasmodial targets/pathways, such as the Purine salvage pathway, Pyrimidine biosynthesis pathway as well as the processes in the apicoplast, have been identified and are being utilized for the discovery and development of novel antimalarial therapies. This review provides an overview of the latest developments in terms of drugs, combination therapies and novel plasmodial targets being carried out to counter the menace of drug-resistant malaria.
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Keywords: Antimalarial drugs; Apicoplast; Combination drugs; Malaria; Multi-drug resistance; Plasmodial targets; Plasmodium falciparum; Vaccination

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Chemistry, University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677, USA.

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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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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