Connect with us

News Pick

Leishmaniasis: What you need to know about drug development for the disease

A review article highlights the medicinal perspective of anti-Leishmanial agents



Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease found in parts of the tropics, subtropics, and southern Europe. Caused by Leishmania parasites spread by infected female phlebotomus sandflies, it is classified as a neglected tropical disease (NTD) which affects nearly 12 million people every year.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), 10 countries accounted for more than 90 per cent of new cases of Leishmaniasis in 2020: Brazil, China, Ethiopia, Eritrea, India, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Yemen. Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), its most common form, can cause skin ulcers that do not heal automatically. Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis, on the other hand, can lead to the partial or total destruction of mucous membranes of the nose, mouth, and throat. The most fatal form of the disease, visceral leishmaniasis, which remains untreated in most cases, begins with skin ulcers and can go on to affect internal organs. However, there is no specific treatment available for the disease at present.

Exploring effective therapies and drugs for the disease, Dr Kapil Kumar, associate professor, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Apeejay Stya University (ASU), has published a review article: “Synthetic and Medicinal Perspective of Anti-Leishmanial Agents: An Overview”. The article has been published in the “Journal of Molecular Structure”.

Sharing details about the article, Dr Kumar said, “The current review provides an update for the synthesis of various heterocyclic molecules, Schiff bases, and amide linkages which showed excellent potential against leishmaniasis and its various causative species. Various heterocycles species like triazole, pyrazole, hydantoin, chroman, pyridine, thiazole, and their derivatives having antileishmanial potential were included in this article.”

The subject of the article has a crucial role in leishmania drug discovery and development, the professor emphasised. “I hope that this review article will provide an idea to a medicinal chemist for new drug development to eradicate leishmaniasis.”

The article has been co-authored by Swati Pawar and Monika Kundu from Department of Chemistry, Maharishi Markandeshwar University, and Dr Mukesh Kumar Kumawat, assistant professor, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, ASU.

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

The Musical Interview with Anamika Jha