About this Research Topic
Parasitic protozoan infections represent a major health burden in the developing world, causing high rates of morbidity and mortality. Protozoan parasites cause serious human disease, including malaria, African and American trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, toxoplasmosis, amebiasis and multiple other protozoan infections. Indeed, more than three billion people worldwide are infected by protozoan’s parasites. For many parasitic diseases, available therapies are extremely limited and the development of parasites resistant to many of the available drugs is also responsible for the depressing picture of disease persistence and death. Drug resistance is spreading faster than ever, new drugs are not being developed quickly enough and potential vaccines have so far not fulfilled expectations in field trials. Therefore, identification and characterization of specific targets are urgently needed to design new therapeutics for improved treatment against parasitic diseases. In that sense, the metabolic repertoire, that are essential for survival, pathogenicity and development of parasites within different host’s environment, are source of drug targets with new mechanism of action and potential to be used for treatment, transmission blocking and prophylaxis. Recent advances in anti-parasitic drug discovery have come from three different approaches – target-based methods that build on improved understanding of parasite’s biology; phenotypic high-throughput screens that are benefitting from improved technology; and repositioning and repurposing drugs developed for other indications.
This Research Topic for Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology will explore, but not restricted to, the recent progress in drug development, current status of anti-parasitic drug resistance, advances in our understanding of mechanisms of drug resistance, antivirulence drugs and strategies for enhancing host response. We hope that this Research Topic will include a comprehensive survey of various attempts by the parasitology research community to create effective drugs for these diseases.
Keywords: Drug Development, Drug Resistance, Parasite Metabolomic, Parasitic Protozoans
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.