Triggering the downstream apoptotic signal inside human parasitic organisms demonstrates a promising approach for anti-parasitic drug development: A mechanistic perspective

Adv Protein Chem Struct Biol. 2021;125:193-213. doi: 10.1016/bs.apcsb.2020.12.002. Epub 2021 Jan 23.


Parasitic organisms of various genera have threatened humankind. Although they are not always fatal but can damage the well-being of an individual in terms of both economic and societal crisis. Marked progress has been made toward eliminating those pathogenic organisms, however, complete removal is still not possible. Several antiparasitic drug moieties have been largely commercialized and are routinely used at the same time novel drug candidates are still required. Programmed cell death (PCD) is a vital biological phenomenon inside every organism. Particularly, induction of the death signaling inside the parasitic species through selective targeting of effective drug candidates is one of the major strategies to combat these infectious organisms. In this chapter significance of apoptosis induction to eliminate the parasitic disease has been illustrated with suitable references. Moreover, we have shared our own experiences of apoptosis induction in eliminating a World Health Organization enlisted Neglected Tropical Disease, lymphatic filariasis. On the other hand, we have also tried to put some light on the mechanism of apoptosis in different parasites.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Drug development; Parasitic diseases.