A current analysis of chemotherapy strategies for the treatment of human African trypanosomiasis.

Despite the recent advances in drug research, finding a safe, effective, and easy to use chemotherapy for human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) remains a challenging task. The four current anti-trypanosomiasis drugs have major disadvantages that limit more widespread use of these drugs in the endemic regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Pentamidine and suramin are limited by their effectiveness against the only first stage of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, respectively. In addition, melarsoprol and eflornithine (two second stage drugs) each have disadvantages of their own. The former is toxic and has increasing treatment failures while the latter is expensive, laborious to administer, and lacks efficacy against T. b. rhodesiense. Furthermore, melarsoprol's toxicity and decreasing efficacy are glaring problems and phasing out the drug as a frontline treatment against T. b. gambiense is now possible with the emergence of competent, safe combination chemotherapies such as nifurtimox-eflornithine combination treatment (NECT). The future of eflornithine, on the other hand, is more promising. The drug is useful in the context of combination chemotherapy and potential orally administered analogues. Due to the limits of monotherapies, greater emphasis should be placed on the research and development of combination chemotherapies, based on the successful clinical tests with NECT and its current use as a frontline anti-trypanosomiasis treatment. This review discussed the current and future chemotherapy strategies for the treatment of HAT.
AuthorsPeter Babokhov, Adekunle O Sanyaolu, Wellington A Oyibo, Adetayo F Fagbenro-Beyioku, Nnaemeka C Iriemenam
JournalPathogens and global health (Pathog Glob Health) Vol. 107 Issue 5 Pg. 242-52 (Jul 2013) ISSN: 2047-7732 [Electronic] England
PMID23916333 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)
Chemical References
  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Africa (epidemiology)
  • Antiprotozoal Agents (adverse effects, therapeutic use)
  • Drug Resistance
  • Drug Therapy (methods)
  • Drug Therapy, Combination (methods)
  • Humans
  • Trypanosoma brucei gambiense (drug effects)
  • Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (drug effects)
  • Trypanosomiasis, African (drug therapy, epidemiology)

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