Structures, Targets and Recent Approaches in Anti-Leishmanial Drug Discovery and Development

Karin Seifert*
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UK

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© Karin Seifert; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UK; Tel: +44 (0)207 927 2643; Fax: +44 (0)207 927 2807; E-mail:


Recent years have seen a significant improvement in available treatment options for leishmaniasis. Two new drugs, miltefosine and paromomycin, have been registered for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in India since 2002. Combination therapy is now explored in clinical trials as a new treatment approach for VL to reduce the length of treatment and potentially prevent selection of resistant parasites. However there is still a need for new drugs due to safety, resistance, stability and cost issues with existing therapies. The search for topical treatments for cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is ongoing. This review gives a brief overview of recent developments and approaches in anti-leishmanial drug discovery and development.

Keywords: Leishmaniasis, drug discovery, drug development.