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New antiparasitic drugs are urgently required for treating parasitic infections. The marine environment has proven to be a valuable source of compounds with therapeutic properties against many diseases, including parasitic diseases. Cnidarian venoms are known for their toxicological properties and are candidates for developing medications. In this review, the antiparasitic properties of cnidarian toxins, discovered over the last two decades, were examined. A total of 61 cnidarian compounds from 18 different genera of cnidaria were studied for their antiparasitic activities. The assessed genera belonged mainly to three geographical areas: South America, North America, and Southeast Asia. The in vitro activities of crude extracts and compounds against a range of parasites including Plasmodium falciparum, Trypanosoma brucei gambiense, T. cruzi, T. congolense, Leishmania donovani, L. chagasi, L. braziliensis, and Giardia duodenalis are reviewed. The challenges involved in developing these compounds into effective drugs are discussed. © 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


Osama Mostafa, Mohammed Al-Shehri, Mahmoud Moustafa, Ahmed Al-Emam. Cnidarians as a potential source of antiparasitic drugs. Parasitology research. 2022 Jan;121(1):35-48

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PMID: 34842987

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