Tuberculosis is a major disease causing every year 1.8 million deaths worldwide and represents the leading cause of mortality resulting from a bacterial infection. Introduction in the 60's of first-line drug regimen resulted in the control of the disease and TB was perceived as defeating. However, since the progression of HIV leading to co-infection with AIDS and the emergence of drug resistant strains, the need of new anti-tuberculosis drugs was not overstated. However in the past 40 years any new molecule did succeed in reaching the market. Today, the pipeline of potential new treatments has been fulfilled with several compounds in clinical trials or preclinical development with promising activities against sensitive and resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains. Compounds as gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin, metronidazole or linezolid already used against other bacterial infections are currently evaluated in clinical phases 2 or 3 for treating tuberculosis. In addition, analogues of known TB drugs (PA-824, OPC-67683, PNU-100480, AZD5847, SQ609, SQ109, DC-159a) and new chemical entities (TMC207, BTZ043, DNB1, BDM31343) are under development. In this review, we report the chemical synthesis, mode of action when known, in vitro and in vivo activities and clinical data of all current small molecules targeting tuberculosis.
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