Drug target identification in protozoan parasites.

Müller, Joachim; Hemphill, Andrew (2016). Drug target identification in protozoan parasites. Expert opinion on drug discovery, 11(8), pp. 815-824. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/17460441.2016.1195945

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INTRODUCTION Despite the fact that diseases caused by protozoan parasites represent serious challenges for public health, animal production and welfare, only a limited panel of drugs has been marketed for clinical applications. AREAS COVERED Herein, the authors investigate two strategies, namely whole organism screening and target-based drug design. The present pharmacopoeia has resulted from whole organism screening, and the mode of action and targets of selected drugs are discussed. However, the more recent extensive genome sequencing efforts and the development of dry and wet lab genomics and proteomics that allow high-throughput screening of interactions between micromolecules and recombinant proteins has resulted in target-based drug design as the predominant focus in anti-parasitic drug development. Selected examples of target-based drug design studies are presented, and calcium-dependent protein kinases, important drug targets in apicomplexan parasites, are discussed in more detail. EXPERT OPINION Despite the enormous efforts in target-based drug development, this approach has not yet generated market-ready antiprotozoal drugs. However, whole-organism screening approaches, comprising of both in vitro and in vivo investigations, should not be disregarded. The repurposing of already approved and marketed drugs could be a suitable strategy to avoid fastidious approval procedures, especially in the case of neglected or veterinary parasitoses.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Host-Pathogen Interaction
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Parasitology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP)

UniBE Contributor:

Müller, Joachim and Hemphill, Andrew


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




Taylor & Francis




Andrew Hemphill

Date Deposited:

24 Jul 2017 09:40

Last Modified:

16 Aug 2018 16:32

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Apicomplexa drug design kinetoplastida mode of action repurposing target



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