Trypanosomatids continue to cause suffering among human and wide range of animal
population and have enormous health, social and economic impact. The present constraints in control
of trypanosomosis are availability of limited number of effective drugs with narrow safety index, nonavailability
of vaccines due to immune evasion mechanisms developed by the parasite and drug
resistance problem. The kinetoplastids/ trypanosomatids possess unique kinetoplast DNA structure
and express hundreds of membrane transport proteins that allow them to take up nutrients, establish
ion gradients, efflux metabolites, translocate compounds from one intracellular compartment to another,
and take up or export drugs. In this context, there is urgent need of application of innovative
strategies for identification of novel therapeutic drug targets affecting metabolic pathways essential for survival of the
parasites using modern molecular approaches (functional/genomics/ proteomics/bioinformatics). In this review we have
discussed existing drugs in use for treatment and outline of emerging approaches in identification and evaluation of potential
novel therapeutic targets against trypanosomatids.
Keywords: Chemotherapy, Drug target, Kinetoplastid, Therapeutic target, Trypanosoma, Trypanosomatid, Trypanosomosis.
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