World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day 2021

Expert-driven In Silico Drug Discovery Solutions
28 January 2021
Svitlana Kondovych
Senior Researcher

As a matter of fact, “neglected” does not mean “rare.” Estimations [1] suggest that at least 10 % of the global population suffer from one or more of 20 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) identified by the WHO [2]. These tropical infections affect mainly the low-income population of developing regions, where prophylaxis and treatment are barely possible.

The NTDs form several main groups according to the causative factors, including protozoan, helminth, viral, bacterial, fungal, ectoparasitic infections, and non-infectious diseases or conditions (Fig.1). While the WHO currently puts 20 NTDs on the list (shown in Fig.1), various experts recognize more diseases as NTDs. For instance, the list of PLOS major NTDs [3] includes a total of 40 illnesses.

 List of neglected tropical diseases according to the WHO classification

Figure 1. List of neglected tropical diseases according to the WHO classification

Why are these diseases called “neglected”? Compared to well-funded and publicized programs against HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and other “big” infectious diseases, the NTDs hold an unfortunate low status in global health priorities [4]. Even though many NTDs can be easily prevented, treated, or even eradicated, they lack public initiatives and investments needed to apply the infection-fighting measures. Other NTDs, such as protozoan parasitic diseases [5-9], require the continuous development of effective medication due to  a  great variety of infection-causing species, as well as fast-developing drug resistance against existing antiprotozoal agents and their toxicity [6,9]. 

To bring the NTDs out of the shadows and advocate against unfair negligibility, a dedicated awareness day was launched in 2020. World NTD Day [1,10] takes place on January 30th, aiming to mobilize the global efforts for addressing NTDs and related issues. In the context of NTD-targeted research and drug development, this day represents an occasion to honor the achieved results and recognize the remaining challenges. 

Striving to support the progress in the treatment of NTDs, and in particular, protozoan infections, Life Chemicals has prepared the Antiprotozoal Screening Library. It comprises over 8,200 small-molecule compounds, potentially active against major protozoan NTDs: giardiasis, leishmaniasis, trichomoniasis, trypanosomiasis, etc. The targeted protozoa families and species are listed in Fig.2:

Targeted protozoa families and species used to design the LC Antiprotozoal Library

Figure 2. Targeted protozoa families and species used to design the LC Antiprotozoal Library

It should be pointed out that the following LC products can also expand your R & D space as far as other infectious diseases are concerned:

Please, contact us at for any details and quotations.

Please, visit our Website for more information and download SD files with compound structures in the Downloads section. Custom compound selection based on specific parameters can be performed on request, with competitive pricing and the most convenient terms provided.


  1. Hotez, P. J., Aksoy, S., Brindley, P. J., & Kamhawi, S. (2020). World neglected tropical diseases day. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 14(1), e0007999. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0007999
  3. Hotez, P. J., Aksoy, S., Brindley, P. J., & Kamhawi, S. (2020). What constitutes a neglected tropical disease? PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 14(1), e0008001. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0008001
  4. Engels, D., Zhou, X.N. (2020). Neglected tropical diseases: an effective global response to local poverty-related disease priorities. Infect Dis Poverty 9, 10. doi:10.1186/s40249-020-0630-9
  5. Fletcher, S. M., Stark, D., Harkness, J., & Ellis, J. (2012). Enteric protozoa in the developed world: a public health perspective. Clinical microbiology reviews, 25(3), 420–449. doi:10.1128/CMR.05038-11
  6. Andrews, K. T., Fisher, G., & Skinner-Adams, T. S. (2014). Drug repurposing and human parasitic protozoan diseases. International journal for parasitology. Drugs and drug resistance, 4(2), 95–111. doi:10.1016/j.ijpddr.2014.02.002
  7. Thurston, S., Hite, G. L., Petry, A. N., & Ray, S. D. (2015). Antiprotozoal Drugs. Side Effects of Drugs Annual, 37, 321–327. doi:10.1016/bs.seda.2015.08.008
  8. Müller, J., & Hemphill, A. (2016). Drug target identification in protozoan parasites. Expert opinion on drug discovery, 11(8), 815–824. doi:10.1080/17460441.2016.1195945
  9. Lee, S.-M.; Kim, M.-S.; Hayat, F.; Shin, D. (2019) Recent Advances in the Discovery of Novel Antiprotozoal Agents. Molecules, 24, 3886. doi:10.3390/molecules24213886
28 January 2021, 17:53 Svitlana Kondovych Computational Chemistry

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