Background: Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) affect a huge population of
the world and the majority of the victims belong to the poor community of the developing
countries. Until now, the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified 20 tropical diseases
as NTDs that must be addressed with high priority. However, many heterocyclic scaffolds
have demonstrated potent therapeutic activity against several NTDs.
Objective: There are three major objectives: (1) To discuss the causes, symptoms, and current
status of all the 20 NTDs; (2) To explore the available heterocyclic drugs, as well as
their mechanisms of action (if known), that are being used to treat NTDs; (3) To develop
general awareness on NTDs among the medicinal/health research community and beyond.
Methods: The 20 NTDs have been discussed according to their alphabetic orders along with
the possible heterocyclic remedies. The current status of treatment with an emphasis on the
heterocyclic drugs (commercially available and investigational) has been outlined. In addition,
a brief discussion of the impacts of NTDs on socio-economic conditions is included.
Results: NTDs are often difficult to diagnose and the problem is worsened by the unhealthy
hygiene, improper awareness, and inadequate healthcare in the developing countries where
these diseases primarily affect poor people. The statistics include the duration of suffering,
the number of individuals affected, and access to healthcare and medication. The mechanisms
of action of various heterocyclic drugs, if reported, have been briefly summarized.
Conclusion: Scientists and pharmaceutical corporations should allocate more resources to
reveal the in-depth mechanism of action of many heterocyclic drugs that are currently being
used for the treatment of NTDs. Analysis of current heterocyclic compounds and the development
of new medications can help in the fight to reduce/remove the devastating effects of
NTDs. An opinion-based concise review has been presented. Based on the available literature,
this is the first attempt to present all the 20 NTDs and related heterocyclic compounds
under the same umbrella.