Small molecules containing chalcogen elements (S, Se, Te) as new warhead to fight neglected tropical diseases
Neglected tropical diseases
Chalcogen compounds
Drug design
Trypanosomatid parasites
Chagas disease
Sleeping sickness
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Henriquez-Figuereo, A. (Andreina); Morán-Serradilla, C. (Cristina); Angulo-Elizari, E. (Eduardo); et al. "Small molecules containing chalcogen elements (S, Se, Te) as new warhead to fight neglected tropical diseases". European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 246, 2023, 115002
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) encompass a group of infectious diseases with a protozoan etiology, high incidence, and prevalence in developing countries. As a result, economic factors constitute one of the main obstacles to their management. Endemic countries have high levels of poverty, deprivation and marginalization which affect patients and limit their access to proper medical care. As a matter of fact, statistics remain un- collected in some affected areas due to non-reporting cases. World Health Organization and other organizations proposed a plan for the eradication and control of the vector, although many of these plans were halted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite of the available drugs to treat these pathologies, it exists a lack of effectiveness against several parasite strains. Treatment protocols for diseases such as American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), leishmaniasis, and human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) have not achieved the desired results. Un- fortunately, these drugs present limitations such as side effects, toxicity, teratogenicity, renal, and hepatic impairment, as well as high costs that have hindered the control and eradication of these diseases. This review focuses on the analysis of a collection of scientific shreds of evidence with the aim of identifying novel chalcogen- derived molecules with biological activity against Chagas disease, leishmaniasis and HAT. Compounds illustrated in each figure share the distinction of containing at least one chalcogen element. Sulfur (S), selenium (Se), and tellurium (Te) have been grouped and analyzed in accordance with their design strategy, chemical synthesis process and biological activity. After an exhaustive revision of the related literature on S, Se, and Te compounds, 183 compounds presenting excellent biological performance were gathered against the different causative agents of CD, leishmaniasis and HAT.

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