The antiprotozoal activity of phospholipid analogues, originally developed as anti-cancer drugs, has been determined in the past decade. The most susceptible parasites are Leishmania spp. and Trypanosoma cruzi with activity also shown against Trypanosoma brucei spp., Entamoeba histolytica and Acanthamoeba spp. Miltefosine, an alkylphosphocholine, was registered for the oral treatment of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in India in March 2002. This review will focus on the biological activities of phospholipid analogues. Biochemical and molecular targets and mechanism(s) of action have been studied extensively in tumor cells but have not been determined in protozoa.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.