The Potential Use of Peptides in the Fight against Chagas Disease and Leishmaniasis

Hayelom Berhe, Mahesh Kumar Cinthakunta Sridhar, Mulate Zerihun, Nir Qvit

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Chagas disease and leishmaniasis are both neglected tropical diseases that affect millions of people around the world. Leishmaniasis is currently the second most widespread vector-borne parasitic disease after malaria. The World Health Organization records approximately 0.7–1 million newly diagnosed leishmaniasis cases each year, resulting in approximately 20,000–30,000 deaths. Also, 25 million people worldwide are at risk of Chagas disease and an estimated 6 million people are infected with Trypanosoma cruzi. Pentavalent antimonials, amphotericin B, miltefosine, paromomycin, and pentamidine are currently used to treat leishmaniasis. Also, nifurtimox and benznidazole are two drugs currently used to treat Chagas disease. These drugs are associated with toxicity problems such as nephrotoxicity and cardiotoxicity, in addition to resistance problems. As a result, the discovery of novel therapeutic agents has emerged as a top priority and a promising alternative. Overall, there is a need for new and effective treatments for Chagas disease and leishmaniasis, as the current drugs have significant limitations. Peptide-based drugs are attractive due to their high selectiveness, effectiveness, low toxicity, and ease of production. This paper reviews the potential use of peptides in the treatment of Chagas disease and leishmaniasis. Several studies have demonstrated that peptides are effective against Chagas disease and leishmaniasis, suggesting their use in drug therapy for these diseases. Overall, peptides have the potential to be effective therapeutic agents against Chagas disease and leishmaniasis, but more research is needed to fully investigate their potential.

Original languageEnglish
Article number227
JournalPharmaceutics
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 by the authors.

Keywords

  • Chagas disease
  • biochemical mechanisms
  • drug target
  • leishmaniasis
  • life cycle
  • neglected tropical diseases
  • parasites
  • peptides
  • pharmacological therapeutics

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