Antiprotozoal Drug Discovery: A Challenge That Remains

Protozoan infections that are endemic in countries with limited economic resources pose a significant public health challenge to affected communities and some of these diseases are categorized as ...
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Metals as an Option for Protozoa Treatment

Pp. 156-179 (24)

Norma Rivera, Marcela Rojas-Lemus, Gumaro Cano-Gutierrez, Luis F. Montaño and Teresa I. Fortoul

Abstract

Protozoa infections are a worldwide health problem that preferentially affects populations in underdeveloped countries. Plasmodium, Leishmania, Trypanosoma, Toxoplasma, Neospora, Entamoeba and Trichomonas are some of the most important genuses of protozoan parasites that infect and invade cells, tissues and organs. These parasites proliferate, migrate and mutate to evade the chemotherapeutic effects of drugs that were previously effective for their treatment. The use of metals and metals complexes to control and treat these parasites, seems a very prominent alternative. Palladium, platinum, ruthenium, antimonium, gold, iron and vanadium are some of the metals that have been evaluated as antiprotozoal treatments with favorable results. A review of the experimental effects of metal complexes on these parasites follows, along with commentary.

Keywords:

Antimonium, Gold, Leishmania, Metal treatments, Plasmodium, Platinum, Palladium, Ruthenium, Toxoplasma gondii, Trypanosoma, Vanadium.

Affiliation:

Department of Cellular and Tissular Biology, School of Medicine, UNAM, Mexico City 04510, Mexico.