Nature is a skilled factory that produces a wide variety of secondary metabolites known as natural products. Those compounds synthesized by living organisms are usually related to their vital processes. Many drugs used nowadays, had its origins in medicinal plants and other organisms such as herbs, fungi and sponges. Hence, those sources constitute a viable alternative to conventional medicine in many developing countries. In other hand, protozoan diseases like Chagas, represent a health threat causing mortality to populations around the world. The classic treatment for Chagas’ disease is chemotherapic and includes benznidazole and nifurtimox, although, the search for new drugs still remains. Triatomines that may spread Chagas can also be controlled making use of the insecticide property of certain plants. After literature survey it was found, classes of natural products, plant extracts, essential oils, and other natural sources that have shown activity against T. cruzi. In this context, many substances were tested in vitro and in vivo assays to verify trypanocidal efficacy. Promising results were published regarding to compounds arising from plants and sponges that showed high toxicity on different forms of the parasite with low toxicity on mammalian cells, although few were clinically tested on Chagas’ disease.
Part of the book: Natural Remedies in the Fight Against Parasites
Mosquitoes are serious vectors of diseases threading millions of humans and animals worldwide, as malaria, filariasis, and important arboviruses like dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, West Nile virus, and Zika viruses. The swift spread of arboviruses, parasites, and bacteria in conjunction with the development of resistance in the pathogens, parasites, and vectors represents a great challenge in modern parasitology and tropical medicine. Unfortunately, synthetic insecticides had led to some serious health and risk concerns. There are no vaccines or other specific treatments for arboviruses transmitted by mosquitoes. Accordingly, avoidance of mosquito bites remains the first line of defense. Insect repellents usually work by providing a vapor barrier deterring mosquitoes from coming into contact with the skin surface, and this chapter focused on assets and liabilities, mechanism of action, improving efficacy, safety, and future perspective of synthetic and natural repellents that could potentially prevent mosquito-host interactions, thereby playing an important role in reducing mosquito-borne diseases when used correctly and consistently.
Part of the book: Malaria