Chagas disease remains an important health problem in the Americas. Advances are being made in parts of South America in blocking transmission from insect vectors or blood transfusion, but more effective chemotherapy is needed for the millions who are already infected. This is especially important since recent results have indicated that treatment is beneficial for the elimination of the chronic course of the disease. The rational development of new drugs depends on the identification of differences between human metabolism and that of the causative parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi. Recent developments in the study of the basic biochemistry of the parasite have allowed the identification of novel targets for chemotherapy, such as sterol metabolism, protein prenylation, proteases, and phospholipid metabolism, and these are the subject of this review.
Keywords: Chemotherapy, Chagas Disease, Trypanosoma cruzi, sterol metabolism, protein prenylation, proteases, phospholipid metabolism, isoprenoid biosynthesis
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