, Volume 160, Issue 8, pp 2208-2218
Date: 08 Sep 2009

Rational Approaches for Drug Designing Against Leishmaniasis

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Abstract

Leishmaniasis has been ignored for many years mainly because it plagues remote and poor areas. However, recently, it has drawn attention of several investigators, and active research is going on for antileishmanial drug discovery. The current available drugs have high failure rates and significant side effects. Recently, liposomal preparations of amphotericin B are available and have proved to be a better drug, but they are very expensive. Miltefosine is one of the few orally administered drugs that are effective against Leishmania. However, it has exhibited teratogenicity, hence, should not be administered to pregnant women. Thus, the search for novel and improved antileishmanial drugs continue. A rational approach to design and develop new antileishmanials can be to identify several metabolic and biochemical differences between host and parasite that can be exploited as drug target. Moreover, many natural products also have significant antileishmanial activity and are yet to be exploited. In the current review, we aim to bring together various drug targets of Leishmania, recent development in the field, future prospects, and hope in the area.