The leishmaniases are a group of diseases caused by protozoan parasites—Leishmania sp. Leishmaniasis is classified among the 20 neglected diseases by WHO. Although the disease has been known for more than 120 years, the number of drugs used for the treatment is still limited to 5–6. The first-line drugs against leishmaniasis are pentavalent antimonials, which were introduced to the treatment 70 years ago—despite all their side effects. Molecular targets are becoming increasingly important for efficacy and selectivity in postgenomic drug research studies. In this chapter, we have discussed potential therapeutic targets of antileishmanial drug discovery such as pteridine reductase (PTR1), trypanothione reductase (TR), N-myristoyltransferase (NMT), trypanothione synthetase (TryS), IU-nucleoside hydrolase, and topoisomerases, enzymes and their inhibitors reported in the literature.
Part of the book: Leishmaniasis