Background: Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect a huge population of the world and 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, and their mechanism of actions (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. Current status of treatment with an emphasis on the heterocyclic drugs (commercially available and investigational) has been outlined. In addition, brief discussion of the impacts of NTDs on socio-economic condition 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 duration of suffering, numbers affected, and access to healthcare and medication. The mechanism of actions 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 actions of many heterocyclic drugs that are currently being used for the treatment of NTDs. Analysis of current heterocyclic compounds and 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 available literature, this is the first effect to present all the 20 NTDs and related heterocyclic compounds under the same umbrella.