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Current drug strategies for the treatment and control of schistosomiasis.


Introduction: Schistosomiasis, one of the current Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) affects over 230 million people globally, with nearly 700 million at risk in more than 74 countries. Praziquantel (PZQ) has served as the primary treatment for the past four decades; however, its effectiveness is limited as it solely eliminates adult worms. In regions where infections are frequent, PZQ exhibits only temporary efficacy and has restricted potential to disrupt the prolonged transmission of the disease.

Areas Covered: A comprehensive exploration using the PubMed database was conducted to review current pharmacotherapy approaches for schistosomiasis. This review also encompasses recent research findings related to potential novel therapeutics and the repurposing of existing drugs.

Expert Opinion: Current schistosoma treatment strategies, primarily relying on PZQ, face challenges like temporary effectiveness and limited impact on disease transmission. Drug repurposing, due to economic constraints, is decisive for NTDs. Despite PZQ's efficacy, its failure to prevent reinfection highlights the need for complementary strategies, especially in regions with persistent environmental foci. Integrating therapies against diverse schistosome stages boosts efficacy and impedes resistance. Uncovering novel agents is essential to address resistance concerns in tackling this neglected tropical disease. Integrated strategies present a comprehensive approach to navigate the complex challenges.

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Journal Article
Villamizar-Monsalve M
López-Abán J
Vicente B
Peláez R
Muro A

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