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Review Article

Heterocycles in the Treatment of Neglected Tropical Diseases

[ Vol. 28 , Issue. 3 ]


Kush K. Maheshwari and Debasish Bandyopadhyay*   Pages 472 - 495 ( 24 )


Background: Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) affect a huge population of the world and the majority of the victims belong to the poor community of the developing countries. Until now, the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified 20 tropical diseases as NTDs that must be addressed with high priority. However, many heterocyclic scaffolds have demonstrated potent therapeutic activity against several NTDs.

Objective: There are three major objectives: (1) To discuss the causes, symptoms, and current status of all the 20 NTDs; (2) To explore the available heterocyclic drugs, as well as their mechanisms of action (if known), that are being used to treat NTDs; (3) To develop general awareness on NTDs among the medicinal/health research community and beyond.

Methods: The 20 NTDs have been discussed according to their alphabetic orders along with the possible heterocyclic remedies. The current status of treatment with an emphasis on the heterocyclic drugs (commercially available and investigational) has been outlined. In addition, a brief discussion of the impacts of NTDs on socio-economic conditions is included.

Results: NTDs are often difficult to diagnose and the problem is worsened by the unhealthy hygiene, improper awareness, and inadequate healthcare in the developing countries where these diseases primarily affect poor people. The statistics include the duration of suffering, the number of individuals affected, and access to healthcare and medication. The mechanisms of action of various heterocyclic drugs, if reported, have been briefly summarized.

Conclusion: Scientists and pharmaceutical corporations should allocate more resources to reveal the in-depth mechanism of action of many heterocyclic drugs that are currently being used for the treatment of NTDs. Analysis of current heterocyclic compounds and the development of new medications can help in the fight to reduce/remove the devastating effects of NTDs. An opinion-based concise review has been presented. Based on the available literature, this is the first attempt to present all the 20 NTDs and related heterocyclic compounds under the same umbrella.


Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), bacterial, viral, heterocycles, heterocyclic drug, parasite, infection,infestation.


Department of Chemistry, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, 1201 West University Drive, Edinburg, Texas 78539, Department of Chemistry, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, 1201 West University Drive, Edinburg, Texas 78539

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