Bisphosphonates as chemotherapeutic agents against trypanosomatid and apicomplexan parasites

Curr Drug Targets Infect Disord. 2001 May;1(1):51-61. doi: 10.2174/1568005013343191.


Trypanosomatid and apicomplexan parasites remain an important health problem in developing countries. Advances are being made in parts of the world in blocking transmission from insect vectors, but more effective chemotherapy is urgently needed. This is especially important since development of resistance is a growing problem. The rational development of new drugs depends on the identification of differences between human metabolism and that of the parasites. Recent developments in the study of the basic biochemistry of these parasites have resulted in the discovery that bisphosphonates, drugs widely used in the treatment of benign and malignant diseases characterized by increased bone resorption, could have a role as lead antiparasitic agents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apicomplexa / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Diphosphonates / pharmacology*
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Leishmaniasis / drug therapy
  • Malaria / drug therapy
  • Toxoplasmosis / drug therapy
  • Trypanosomatina / drug effects*
  • Trypanosomiasis / drug therapy


  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Diphosphonates