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Metabolic Inhibitors as Antiparasitic Drugs: Pharmacological, Biochemical and Molecular Perspectives

[ Vol. 17 , Issue. 10 ]


Suprabhat Mukherjee, Niladri Mukherjee, Prajna Gayen, Priya Roy and Santi P. Sinha Babu   Pages 937 - 970 ( 34 )


Background: Human diseases caused by the infectious parasites have been one of the major problems throughout the evolutionary journey. Protozoan and metazoan parasitic infections result in a large number of deaths, disabilities and socio-economic loss worldwide to date. Despite the best efforts for developing suitable antiparasitics, these infections take a massive toll on human health. The prevalence of emerging resistance to the existing drugs, lack of efficacy and toxic side effects are as added complications. Being enlisted under ‘neglected’ category, serious diseases like leishmaniasis, filariasis, trypanosomiasis etc. have failed to draw attention of the governments as well as the pharmaceutical companies. Thus, target specific as well as cost-convenient therapy needs to be employed for the treatment of these diseases and selective targeting of metabolic pathways appears to be the most promising mean.

Methods: In this context, quality works have been explored for screening either anti-metabolic drugs or selective targets in different groups of parasites. Moreover, complete genome sequencing and metabolomic profiling have provided the initiatives to search for new lethal targets in parasites.

Results: New metabolic targets are being reported from different organelles and other sub-cellular compartments of parasites such as mitochondrion, kinetoplast, apicoplast, glycosome, hydrogenosome, acidocalcisome, plasma membrane, cytoskeleton, etc. Herein, unique findings achieved in identifying new antimetabolic drugs or targets and studying their molecular mode of actions have been reviewed by incorporating existing and upcoming approaches.

Conclusion: Considering the alarming scenario of diseases caused by parasites globally, this paper provides a comprehensive review to the scientific community on the development of novel interventions based on metabolic targets to combat the challenges posed by parasites.


Antimetabolic drugs, antiparasitics, cost-convenient therapy, metabolic pathways, metabolic targeting, parasitic diseases.


Department of Zoology, Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan-731 235, West Bengal, India.

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