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Molecules 2017, 22(1), 58; doi:10.3390/molecules22010058

The Role of Natural Products in Drug Discovery and Development against Neglected Tropical Diseases

1
Department of Chemistry, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
2
Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 19676, 00202 KNH Nairobi, Kenya
3
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
4
South African Medical Research Council Drug Discovery and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Derek J. McPhee
Received: 7 December 2016 / Revised: 23 December 2016 / Accepted: 27 December 2016 / Published: 31 December 2016

Abstract

Endemic in 149 tropical and subtropical countries, neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect more than 1 billion people annually, including 875 million children in developing economies. These diseases are also responsible for over 500,000 deaths per year and are characterized by long-term disability and severe pain. The impact of the combined NTDs closely rivals that of malaria and tuberculosis. Current treatment options are associated with various limitations including widespread drug resistance, severe adverse effects, lengthy treatment duration, unfavorable toxicity profiles, and complicated drug administration procedures. Natural products have been a valuable source of drug regimens that form the cornerstone of modern pharmaceutical care. In this review, we highlight the potential that remains untapped in natural products as drug leads for NTDs. We cover natural products from plant, marine, and microbial sources including natural-product-inspired semi-synthetic derivatives which have been evaluated against the various causative agents of NTDs. Our coverage is limited to four major NTDs which include human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis and lymphatic filariasis. View Full-Text
Keywords: human African trypanosomiasis; leishmaniasis; schistosomiasis; lymphatic filariasis; natural products; antiprotozoal agents; phytotherapy human African trypanosomiasis; leishmaniasis; schistosomiasis; lymphatic filariasis; natural products; antiprotozoal agents; phytotherapy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cheuka, P.M.; Mayoka, G.; Mutai, P.; Chibale, K. The Role of Natural Products in Drug Discovery and Development against Neglected Tropical Diseases. Molecules 2017, 22, 58.

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