Special Issue "Recent Efforts in Drug Discovery and Development for the Treatment of Parasitic Infections"

A special issue of Pharmaceuticals (ISSN 1424-8247). This special issue belongs to the section "Medicinal Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2023 | Viewed by 268

Special Issue Editor

School of Health and Life Sciences, Teesside University, Middlesbrough TS1 3BX, UK
Interests: drug discovery; parasitology; infectious disease biology; biochemistry; natural products

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Diseases caused by parasitic infection currently pose an enormous health and economic burden, especially in low- and middle-income countries, where the impact accounts for 96 million disability-adjusted life years. Although the prevention of disease is a fundamental substratum of public health, state-of-the-art therapeutics are presently needed to support the existing armamentarium of interventions to ensure the achievement of efficient disease control and complement the various elimination strategies for parasitic diseases. Over recent decades, extraordinary progress in drug discovery and development technologies has been made by various researchers, and this has been accompanied by the accumulation of important scientific know-how and capability in the clinical and pharmacological sciences that are currently altering the landscape in different aspects of drug research and development across the disciplines related to drug development to treat parasitic diseases. These advancements notwithstanding, the treatment of parasitic infections is facing several major challenges: the relatively limited number of safe and highly effective antiparasitic drugs, and the emergence and rapid spread of resistant strains of parasites. Nevertheless, parasites possess interesting biology, and through evolution and adaptation have developed fascinating strategies for survival, proliferation and the establishment of infection in their hosts. Recent research efforts have revealed some key molecular and biochemical targets which can be explored in the drug discovery process via a rational approach. Drug discovery is a multidisciplinary approach that cuts across various disciplines including biology and chemistry.

The potential topics of this thematic issue can cover research papers or reviews dealing with:

  • The screening of antiparasitic activity of secondary metabolites and other specific molecules from higher plants and low organisms (fungi, lichens, marine plants, and others) on in vitro parasitic models. Rational approaches to drug discovery focus on molecules interfering with specific molecular targets in parasites (for example, inhibitors of receptors, signaling pathways, proteins of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, antioxidants or other types of enzymes, parasitic microRNAs, etc.).
  • Compounds developed by a medicinal chemistry approach, structure-based drug discovery targeting pathogens, chemically modified molecules using natural motifs, innovative drug formulations, and repurposing of drugs.
  • Validation of the in vitro-detected antiparasitic activities of selected compounds on the experimental diseases using mouse or other models. Evaluation of the immunomodulatory effects on the elevation of drug efficacy.
  • Combination therapy as a means to maintain in vivo the synergistic ratio of the drugs combination by the co-incorporation of both immunomodulatory and chemotherapeutic agents.

Dr. Godwin Unekwuojo Ebiloma
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pharmaceuticals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • drug discovery
  • parasites
  • infectious diseases
  • chemotherapy
  • biochemical targets
  • molecular targets
  • medicinal chemistry

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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