Special Issue "COST CM1307: Targeted Chemotherapy towards Diseases Caused by Endoparasites—Proceedings in Medicinal and Natural Product Chemistry"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2018)
Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Schmidt
Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Phytochemistry, University of Münster, Corrensstrasse 48, D-48149 Münster, Germany
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Interests: natural products; anti-parasitic activity; anti-cancer activity; structure elucidation; spectroscopy; computer-aided structure-activity relationship studies
More than a billion people world-wide suffer from diseases caused by endoparasites. Many of them are currently classified by the WHO as Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). These diseases represent a major cause of morbidity, disability and mortality in tropical regions of the world. They are termed “neglected” due to lack of financial investment into research and development of new drugs and almost non-existent public awareness in high-income countries. Being associated with poor socioeconomic and hygienic circumstances, they could also be termed diseases of neglected populations. NTDs comprise, besides some infections with bacterial (e.g., Leprosy, Trachoma) and viral (Dengue fever) pathogens, other infections that are caused by endoparasites such as Helminths (e.g., Schistosomiasis, Filariasis), as well as Protozoa (African sleeping sickness, Chagas’ disease, Leishmaniasis). In environments where NTDs prevail, Malaria, the most widespread disease caused by a “protozoan” endoparasite—although not currently treated as such by the WHO—can also be considered as a neglected disease. Notwithstanding recent partial successes in the struggle to eliminate or even eradicate some of these diseases, which have been achieved by the WHO’s consequent strategies of disease monitoring, vector control, preventive chemotherapy and others, the development of new, safe and affordable drugs remains an urgent need. Existing pharmacotherapies, especially in the case of “protozoan” parasitoses, suffer from various shortcomings, namely, a high degree of toxicity and side effects, lack of availability and/or problematic application under the life conditions of affected populations, as well as emergence of resistant pathogens, so that the search for new chemical entities showing activity against the pathogens under study is a very important field of research. Needless to say that these diseases, for a long time restricted mostly to poor, underdeveloped parts of the world, are now—in these times of climate change and unhindered migration—spreading to all parts of the planet and thus may shortly become a truly global problem.
It is a great pleasure and an important political sign that the European Union has decided to dedicate one of its actions for European Cooperation in Science and Technology, COST action CM1307, to “Targeted chemotherapy towards diseases caused by endoparasites” and allows researchers from all relevant fields to participate in this quest of global importance!
The present Special Issue, meant as a joint publication platform for Medicinal and Natural Product Chemists and researchers from related fields as members of the COST Action CM1307 Working Groups 2 and 3, dedicated to Medicinal Chemistry and Natural products, respectively, focuses on chemical entities that show a promising potential to act against the pathogens responsible for the diseases under study. All aspects related to the discovery and further development of synthetic and natural products against such endoparasitoses will be covered by the issue. It is therefore a pleasure to invite high quality studies, as well as timely review papers, on in vitro and in vivo biological activity, isolation and structure elucidation of natural and synthetic molecules, hit-to-lead development, lead optimization, investigations of the pharmacodynamics and -kinetics, as well as structure–activity relationships against diseases caused by endoparasites.
As the editor, I cordially invite all participating scientists to publish their work related to the COST Action CM1307 in this Special Issue. It is of particular importance, especially in a field such as neglected diseases, to disseminate such work supported by the European public in a manner that the results become accessible to any interested reader world-wide, i.e., in a reputed open-access journal such as Molecules. I am therefore convinced that this Special Issue will become a success for those who publish and those who may benefit from the scientific results of this initiative.
Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Schmidt
Manuscript Submission Information
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- drug research
- drug design
- medicinal chemistry
- natural products
- antiparasitic chemotherapy
- structure–activity relationships
- bioactivity testing/screening
- mechanism of action
- chagas disease
- human African trypanosomiasis (Sleeping sickness)
- dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease)
- foodborne trematodiases
- lymphatic filariasis
- onchocerciasis (river blindness)
- soil transmitted helminthiases
- veterinary parasitoses