Drugs in development for toxoplasmosis: Advances, challenges, and current status

P. Holland Alday, Joseph Stone Doggett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii causes fatal and debilitating brain and eye diseases. Medicines that are currently used to treat toxoplasmosis commonly have toxic side effects and require prolonged courses that range from weeks to more than a year. The need for long treatment durations and the risk of relapsing disease are in part due to the lack of efficacy against T. gondii tissue cysts. The challenges for developing a more effective treatment for toxoplasmosis include decreasing toxicity, achieving therapeutic concentrations in the brain and eye, shortening duration, eliminating tissue cysts from the host, safety in pregnancy, and creating a formulation that is inexpensive and practical for use in resource-poor areas of the world. Over the last decade, significant progress has been made in identifying and developing new compounds for the treatment of toxoplasmosis. Unlike clinically used medicines that were repurposed for toxoplasmosis, these compounds have been optimized for efficacy against toxoplasmosis during preclinical development. Medicines with enhanced efficacy as well as features that address the unique aspects of toxoplasmosis have the potential to greatly improve toxoplasmosis therapy. This review discusses the facets of toxoplasmosis that are pertinent to drug design and the advances, challenges, and current status of preclinical drug research for toxoplasmosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-293
Number of pages21
JournalDrug Design, Development and Therapy
Volume11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 25 2017

Keywords

  • Apicomplexa
  • Experimental medicine
  • Mechanism of action
  • Preclinical medicine
  • Therapeutics
  • Toxoplasma gondii

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery

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