Fatty acid biosynthesis pathways in protozoan parasites are reviewed with a view to targeting this metabolism for drug therapy. The type II fatty acid biosynthesis pathways derived from bacteria in protozoan relict plastids and mitochondria are examined in different groups with emphasis on apicomplexa. The suitability of different enzymes from the type II fatty acid biosynthesis pathway for drug intervention, and the state-of-play with known and potential inhibitors is explored. The type I acid biosynthesis pathways that occur in select protozoan parasites and their potential for inhibition using anti-tumour and obesity management compounds currently in development are also examined. Pathways used by parasites to scavenge and modify host lipids are also described briefly and their potential for therapeutics discussed.