Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) flourish mostly in impoverished
developing nations of the world. It is estimated that NTDs plague up to 1 billion
people every year thereby inducing a massive economic and health burden
worldwide. Following explosive outbreaks mostly in Asia, Latin America, Europe
and the Indian Ocean, two common NTDs namely, Chikungunya and Dengue both
transmitted by an infected mosquito vector principally Aedes aegypti have emerged
as a major public health threat. Given the limitations of conventional medicine in
specifically targeting the Chikungunya and Dengue virus (CHIKV and DENV),
natural products present an interesting avenue to explore in the quest of developing
novel anti; mosquito, CHIKV and DENV agents. In this endeavor, a number of
plant extracts, isolated phytochemicals, essential oils and seaweeds have shown promising larvicidal
and insecticidal activity against some mosquito vectors as well as anti CHIKV and DENV activity invitro.
Other natural products that have depicted good potential against these diseases include; the
symbiotic bacterial genus Wolbachia which can largely reduce the life span and infectivity of
mosquito vectors and the marine Cyanobacterium Trichodesmium erythraeum which has shown anti-
CHIKV activity at minimal cytotoxic level. The impetus of modern drug discovery approaches such
as high throughput screening, drug repositioning, synthesis and computer-aided drug design will
undeniably enhance the process of developing more stable lead molecules from natural products
which have shown promising antiviral activity in-vitro.
Keywords: Antiviral, Chikungunya, Dengue, essential oils, larvicidal, natural products.
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