Leishmaniasis is a parasitic morbid/fatal disease caused by Leishmania
protozoa. Twelve million people worldwide are appraised to be currently infected, including ca.
two million infections each year, and 350 million people in 88 countries are at risk of becoming infected. In Colombia, cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is a public health problem in some tropical areas. Therapeutics is based on traditional antileishmanial drugs, but this practice has several drawbacks for patients. Thus, the search for new antileishmanial agents is a serious need, but the lack of adequately funded research programs on drug discovery has hampered its progress. Some Colombian researchers have conducted different research projects focused on the assessment of the antileishmanial activity of naturally occurring and synthetic compounds against promastigotes and/or amastigotes. Results of such studies have separately demonstrated important hits and reasonable potential, but a holistic view of them is lacking. Hence, we present the outcome from a systematic review of the literature (under PRISMA guidelines) on those Colombian studies investigating antileishmanials during the last thirty-two years. In order to combine the general efforts aiming at finding a lead against Leishmania panamensis
(one of the most studied and incident parasites in Colombia causing CL) and to recognize structural features of representative compounds, fingerprint-based analyses using conventional machine learning algorithms and clustering methods are shown. Abstraction from such a meta-description led to describe some function-determining molecular features and simplify the clustering of plausible isofunctional hits. This systematic review indicated that the Colombian efforts for the antileishmanials discovery are increasingly intensified, though improvements in the followed pathways must be definitively pursued. In this context, a brief discussion about scope, strengths and limitations of such advances and relationships is addressed.
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