Antileishmanial drug discovery: comprehensive review of the last 10 years
Leishmaniasis, a group of diseases caused by hemoflagellate obligate intracellular protozoa (trypanosomatids) from the genus Leishmania, has not received the attention it deserves and has developed into a major health problem in developing countries. No effective vaccine is available against leishmaniasis, so chemotherapy is the only effective way to treat all forms of the disease. However, the drugs currently used for treatment of human cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis are toxic, having severe adverse reactions which limit their use. Therefore, development of novel, effective, and safe antileishmanial agents, with reduced side effects, is a major priority for health researchers, and large numbers of research reports have been published on antileishmanial agents in the last 10 years. Herein, we comprehensively review the developments of the last decade, covering all aspects of leishmaniasis including clinically used drugs, various new classes of antileishmanial agents (synthetic as well as natural), patented antileishmanial agents, and possible drug targets.