Considering the limitations of the current leishmaniases chemotherapy and the lack of effective vaccines, the identification of novel drugs and/or vaccine approaches for the leishmaniases treatment and control is urgently required. In fact, a rational strategy for the parasite control can be based on the identification of essential metabolic pathways of the parasite. One of the most important pathways is the polyamine biosynthesis. Leishmania is auxotrophic for many amino acids, such as l-arginine, a precursor of ornithine, putrescine, and spermidine. These metabolites are essential for parasite replication and establishment of infection in the mammalian host. In addition, Leishmania has a specific and complex machinery to uptake and metabolize exogenous sources of those molecules. In this chapter, we will focus on the main aspects of the polyamine pathway as a potential target for infection control aiming for new targets for Leishmania chemotherapy.
Part of the book: Leishmaniases as Re-emerging Diseases