3rd International Electronic Conference on Medicinal Chemistry
D: Round Table on Parasitic Diseases
This round table is chaired by Dr. Conor Caffrey from the University of California at San Diego (USA).
Parasitic diseases continue to pose major public health problems, particularly in developing countries, worldwide. Moreover, the (re)appearance of these diseases in developed territories, such as schistosomiasis in Europe and Chagas disease in the southern United States, means that we must be increasingly vigilant in our preventive and response strategies as the global economy and climate change. However, the alarming ability of parasites to develop drug resistance combined with the small number of sometimes partially effective drugs available undermines our ability to manage and treat some diseases; a case in point being the emergence and establishment of drug resistance by the malaria parasite to artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) over the last decade. Thus, there is a continuing, indeed, increasing, need to explore and develop new opportunities for chemotherapies. In this arena, the contribution of academia is vital. The current selection of papers submitted to this Round Table on Parasitic Diseases regarding leishmaniasis, trichomoniasis, Chagas disease, tuberculosis and Human African Trypanosomiasis attest to the continuing hard work and ingenuity of academic scientists to develop new ideas and approaches in the chemical battle against parasites. Importantly, in addition to synthetic chemical approaches described, we see the tapping of the vast chemical space of natural products as source of new drugs. It is hoped that the science presented at this Round Table will promote new exchanges and ideas among the chemical biology, parasitology and drug discovery communities, and ultimately contribute to the identification of novel therapeutic strategies.