New drugs for neglected infectious diseases: Chagas' disease

Fabiana S. MacHado, Herbert B. Tanowitz, Mauro M. Teixeira

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Chagas' disease (CD) is caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi (Tc) and remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality. Most researchers in the field now agree that chronic low grade parasite persistence in tissue drives tissue damage and the autoimmune component of CD. Current therapy relies on two compounds: benznidazole and nifurtimox. Despite their long history in the treatment of CD, both compounds induce significant side-effects. In the current issue of the BJP, two contributions demonstrate that NO-donors are active, especially in combination with benznidazole, against Tc in vitro and in experimental models in vivo. The basic concept used by the authors to develop novel anti-Tc compounds relied on the demonstrated ability of nitric oxide to kill the parasite. There are several issues still to be resolved but the reported studies are a clear advance to the field and should be considered for further pre-clinical development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-259
Number of pages2
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-microbial
  • Chagas disease
  • Neglected diseases
  • Nitric oxide
  • Trypanosoma cruzi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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