Pharmacological Potential of Natural Compounds in the Control of Selected Protozoan Diseases

  • Gabriela HrckovaEmail author
  • Samuel Velebny
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Pharmaceutical Science & Drug Development book series (BRIEFSPSDD)


Malaria, trypanosomiasis, and leishmaniasis (neglected tropical diseases), belong to the most devastating diseases affecting humans and animals in developing regions of Asia, Africa, and South America. The drugs, currently used for the treatment of these diseases, are mostly effective; however, some of them have limitations, such as toxic side effects and high cost. Moreover, Plasmodium, Trypanosoma, and Leishmania have developed resistance to many of these drugs. In the first part of this chapter, problems of pathology, therapy, and drug resistance are reviewed. The following part focuses on plants, bacteria, fungi, and marine organisms, which provide invaluable sources of compounds with antiparasitic potential. The compounds isolated from nature are classified according to their chemical structure, and methods for evaluation of their antiparasitic activity are also discussed. The review of promising results, obtained by many investigators from the year 2000 by screening of natural compounds evaluating their antiplasmodial, trypanocidal, and leishmanicidal activity, are presented in the last three parts of this chapter.


Malaria Trypanosomiasis Leishmaniasis Pathology Current drugs Drug resistance Drug discovery Higher plants Marine organisms Secondary metabolites Screening of natural compounds 


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© The Author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Slovak Academy of SciencesInsitute of ParasitologyKosiceSlovakia

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