Experimentally promising antischistosomal drugs: a review of some drug candidates not reaching the clinical use
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- Abdul-Ghani, R.A., Loutfy, N. & Hassan, A. Parasitol Res (2009) 105: 899. doi:10.1007/s00436-009-1546-2
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Schistosomiasis is a chronic parasitic disease affecting about 207 million people in the world. It still represents a major health problem in many tropical and sub-tropical countries as well as for travelers from developed countries. Control of the disease depends mainly on chemotherapy, with praziquantel becoming the exclusive drug. Extensive use of praziquantel with concerns about the possibility of drug resistance development, unavailability of an applicable vaccine, and the absence of a reasonable alternative to praziquantel all represent a real challenge. One of the suggested solutions is to exploit the advantages of compounds that proved efficacious at the experimental level with a good safety profile. These may undergo further investigations for the sake of developing their antischistosomal properties or to incorporate them in combination therapies. Chemotherapy literature is redundant with a huge number of compounds screened for their schistosomicidal properties. However, only a few of these may act as drug leads that could be promising in the development of a therapeutic reserve for schistosomiasis. The present paper reviews previous studies carried out on some of these compounds.