Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), a neglected disease endemic in Sub-
Saharan Africa, is usually fatal if left untreated. It is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma
brucei, and is spread by the tsetse fly. The drugs currently available to treat HAT are few,
and limited in efficacy. Furthermore, resistance towards these drugs is beginning to grow.
In the last 25 years, only one advance has been made into HAT treatment and consequently,
there is an increasing need for new drugs to be sought that are able to effectively treat this
disease. This review provides a brief overview of drug discovery research for HAT, focusing
on research published in the last four years, identifying new molecules with the potential
to be developed into anti-HAT agents. The methods of drug discovery have been
grouped into three key areas; new molecules inspired by known antitrypanosomal agents,
target-based screening, and phenotypic screening.
Keywords: Human African Trypanosomiasis, Trypanosoma brucei, antitrypanosomal, drug discovery, phenotypic
screening, target-based screening.
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