Drug repurposing and human parasitic protozoan diseases
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Parasitic diseases have an enormous health, social and economic impact and are a particular problem in tropical regions of the world. Diseases caused by protozoa and helminths, such as malaria and schistosomiasis, are the cause of most parasite related morbidity and mortality, with an estimated 1.1 million combined deaths annually. The global burden of these diseases is exacerbated by the lack of licensed vaccines, making safe and effective drugs vital to their prevention and treatment. Unfortunately, where drugs are available, their usefulness is being increasingly threatened by parasite drug resistance. The need for new drugs drives antiparasitic drug discovery research globally and requires a range of innovative strategies to ensure a sustainable pipeline of lead compounds. In this review we discuss one of these approaches, drug repurposing or repositioning, with a focus on major human parasitic protozoan diseases such as malaria, trypanosomiasis, toxoplasmosis, cryptosporidiosis and leishmaniasis.
International Journal for Parasitology: Drugs and Drug Resistance
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