Natural products are compounds that are isolated from plants, provide a variety of lead
structures for the development of new drugs by the pharmaceutical industry. The interest in these
substances increases because of their beneficial effects on human health, which include antiviral, antiallergic,
antiplatelet, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antioxidant, and antiparasitic activities.
Leishmaniasis is the infection caused by protozoa of the genus Leishmania, which affects mainly
people who live in poor countries, and can cause chronic fever, liver problems, anemia, and other blood problems. Current
chemotherapies against the disease cause side effects, and are ineffective. There are no vaccines, and new
chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of leishmaniasis are greatly needed. This work reports on some of the
enzymatic targets studied in the development of new drugs using natural products as inhibitors for the treatment of
leishmaniasis. We applied ligand-based-virtual screening using Random Forest, associated with structure-based-virtual
screening (docking), of a small dataset of 683 flavonoids and derivatives from an in-house data bank to select structures
with potential inhibitory activity against pyruvate kinase, an important enzyme in Leishmania mexicana’s energy
production chemistry. The computer-aided drug design studies revealed good results against Leishmaniasis for flavones.