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Open AccessReview

Marine Algae as Source of Novel Antileishmanial Drugs: A Review

Institute for Medical Research and Medicinal Plants Studies, Yaoundé 13033, Cameroon
Department of Parasitology, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), College of Health Sciences (CHS), University of Ghana, Legon LG 581, Ghana
Antimicrobial and Biocontrol Agents Unit, University of Yaoundé 1, Yaoundé 812, Cameroon
Department of Clinical Pathology, NMIMR, CHS, University of Ghana, Legon LG 581, Ghana
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, CHS, University of Ghana, Legon LG 43, Ghana
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(11), 323;
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 9 October 2017 / Accepted: 17 October 2017 / Published: 29 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antiprotozoal Marine Natural Products)
PDF [820 KB, uploaded 29 October 2017]


Leishmaniasis is a vector-borne neglected tropical disease caused by protozoan parasites of the Leishmania genus and transmitted by the female Phlebotomus and Lutzomyia sand flies. The currently prescribed therapies still rely on pentavalent antimonials, pentamidine, paromomycin, liposomal amphotericin B, and miltefosine. However, their low efficacy, long-course treatment regimen, high toxicity, adverse side effects, induction of parasite resistance and high cost require the need for better drugs given that antileishmanial vaccines may not be available in the near future. Although most drugs are still derived from terrestrial sources, the interest in marine organisms as a potential source of promising novel bioactive natural agents has increased in recent years. About 28,000 compounds of marine origin have been isolated with hundreds of new chemical entities. Recent trends in drug research from natural resources indicated the high interest of aquatic eukaryotic photosynthetic organisms, marine algae in the search for new chemical entities given their broad spectrum and high bioactivities including antileishmanial potential. This current review describes prepared extracts and compounds from marine macroalgae along with their antileishmanial activity and provides prospective insights for antileishmanial drug discovery. View Full-Text
Keywords: leishmaniasis; marine organisms; marine algae; macroalgae; antileishmanial activity leishmaniasis; marine organisms; marine algae; macroalgae; antileishmanial activity

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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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Tchokouaha Yamthe, L.R.; Appiah-Opong, R.; Tsouh Fokou, P.V.; Tsabang, N.; Fekam Boyom, F.; Nyarko, A.K.; Wilson, M.D. Marine Algae as Source of Novel Antileishmanial Drugs: A Review. Mar. Drugs 2017, 15, 323.

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