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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(2), 3395-3439; doi:10.3390/ijms14023395
Review

Natural Products as a Source for Treating Neglected Parasitic Diseases

1,†
,
2,†
,
2
,
3,*  and 2,*
1 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Ngaoundere, B. P. 454, Cameroon 2 Unit for Drug Discovery, Department of Parasitology, Institute of Biomedical Science, University of São Paulo, Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes 1374, 05508-000 São Paulo-SP, Brazil 3 Institute for Zoophysiology, Schlossplatz 8, D-48143 Münster, Germany These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 December 2012 / Revised: 12 January 2013 / Accepted: 16 January 2013 / Published: 6 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Derived Pharmaceuticals by Molecular Farming 2012)

Abstract

Infectious diseases caused by parasites are a major threat for the entire mankind, especially in the tropics. More than 1 billion people world-wide are directly exposed to tropical parasites such as the causative agents of trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis, which represent a major health problem, particularly in impecunious areas. Unlike most antibiotics, there is no “general” antiparasitic drug available. Here, the selection of antiparasitic drugs varies between different organisms. Some of the currently available drugs are chemically de novo synthesized, however, the majority of drugs are derived from natural sources such as plants which have subsequently been chemically modified to warrant higher potency against these human pathogens. In this review article we will provide an overview of the current status of plant derived pharmaceuticals and their chemical modifications to target parasite-specific peculiarities in order to interfere with their proliferation in the human host.
Keywords: neglected infectious diseases; natural compounds; schistosomiasis; river blindness; trypanosomatids neglected infectious diseases; natural compounds; schistosomiasis; river blindness; trypanosomatids
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.

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Ndjonka, D.; Rapado, L.N.; Silber, A.M.; Liebau, E.; Wrenger, C. Natural Products as a Source for Treating Neglected Parasitic Diseases. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 3395-3439.

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