Although the treatments for human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), leishmaniasis and Chagas disease (CD) still rely on drugs developed several decades ago, there has been significant progress in the identification, development and use of novel drugs and formulations. Notably, there are now two drugs in clinical trial for HAT, fexinidazole and acoziborole; the liposomal amphotericin B formulation AmBisome has become an essential tool for both treatment and control of visceral leishmaniasis; and antifungal triazoles, posoconazole and ravuconazole, together with fexinidazole, have reached clinical trials for CD. Several other novel and diverse candidates are moving through the pipeline; sustained funding for their clinical development will now be the key to bring new safe, oral, shorter-course treatments to the clinic.
Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of African sleeping sickness. Among the parasitology topics covered in this issue are perspectives on various aspects of trypanosome biology: Kemmerling et al. (pages 573–577) look at the immune response against Trypanosoma cruzi in the human placenta, while Maya et al. (pages 579–584) discuss therapeutic strategies in chronic Chagas cardiomyopathy, which is caused by T. cruzi. In addition, McCulloch et al. (pages 585–592) and Ooi and Rudenko (pages 593–600) explore antigenic variation in trypanosomes. Image credit: Kateryna Kon (Shutterstock ID: 520410646).
Antileishmanial and antitrypanosomal drug identification
Roberto Docampo, Simon L. Croft, Eric Chatelain, Michael P. Barrett; Antileishmanial and antitrypanosomal drug identification. Emerg Top Life Sci 22 December 2017; 1 (6): 613–620. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/ETLS20170103
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