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Chagas Disease Chemotherapy: What Do We Know So Far?

Chagas disease is a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD), and although endemic in Latin America, affects around 6-7 million people infected worldwide. The treatment of Chagas disease is based on benznidazole and nifurtimox, which are the only available drugs. However, they are not effective during the chronic phase and cause several side effects. Furthermore, BZ promotes cure in 80% of the patients in the acute phase, but the cure rate drops to 20% in adults in the chronic phase of the disease. In this review, we present several studies published in the last six years, which describes the antiparasitic potential of distinct drugs, from the synthesis of new compounds aiming to target the parasite, as well as the repositioning and the combination of drugs. We highlight several compounds for having shown results that are equivalent or superior to BZ, which means that they should be further studied, either in vitro or in vivo. Furthermore, we stand out the differences in the effects of BZ on the same strain of T. cruzi, which might be related to methodological differences such as parasite and cell ratios, host cell type and the time of adding the drug. In addition, we discuss the wide variety of strains and also the cell types used as a host cell, which makes it difficult to compare the trypanocidal effect of the compounds.

Journal Title: Current Pharmaceutical Design

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