Anti-trypanosomatid drug discovery: progress and challenges

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Leishmaniasis (visceral and cutaneous), Chagas disease and human African trypanosomiasis cause substantial death and morbidity, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Although the situation has improved for human African trypanosomiasis, there remains an urgent need for new medicines to treat leishmaniasis and Chagas disease; the clinical development pipeline is particularly sparse for Chagas disease. In this Review, we describe recent advances in our understanding of the biology of the causative pathogens, particularly from the drug discovery perspective, and we explore the progress that has been made in the development of new drug candidates and the identification of promising molecular targets. We also explore the challenges in developing new clinical candidates and discuss potential solutions to overcome such hurdles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-50
Number of pages16
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Early online date22 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023


  • Drug discovery
  • Parasitic infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Microbiology


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