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Nanostructured delivery systems with improved leishmanicidal activity: a critical review

Authors Bruni N, Stella B, Giraudo L, Della Pepa C, Gastaldi D, Dosio F

Received 24 April 2017

Accepted for publication 12 June 2017

Published 26 July 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 5289—5311

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S140363

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Webster


Natascia Bruni,1 Barbara Stella,2 Leonardo Giraudo,1 Carlo Della Pepa,2 Daniela Gastaldi,3 Franco Dosio2

1Candioli Pharmaceutical Institute Srl, Beinasco, Italy; 2Department of Drug Science and Technology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 3Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences, University of Turin, Turin, Italy

Abstract: Leishmaniasis is a vector-borne zoonotic disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania, which are responsible for numerous clinical manifestations, such as cutaneous, visceral, and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis, depending on the site of infection for particular species. These complexities threaten 350 million people in 98 countries worldwide. Amastigotes living within macrophage phagolysosomes are the principal target of antileishmanial treatment, but these are not an easy target as drugs must overcome major structural barriers. Furthermore, limitations on current therapy are related to efficacy, toxicity, and cost, as well as the length of treatment, which can increase parasitic resistance. Nanotechnology has emerged as an attractive alternative as conventional drugs delivered by nanosized carriers have improved bioavailability and reduced toxicity, together with other characteristics that help to relieve the burden of this disease. The significance of using colloidal carriers loaded with active agents derives from the physiological uptake route of intravenous administered nanosystems (the phagocyte system). Nanosystems are thus able to promote a high drug concentration in intracellular mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS)-infected cells. Moreover, the versatility of nanometric drug delivery systems for the deliberate transport of a range of molecules plays a pivotal role in the design of therapeutic strategies against leishmaniasis. This review discusses studies on nanocarriers that have greatly contributed to improving the efficacy of antileishmaniasis drugs, presenting a critical review and some suggestions for improving drug delivery.

Keywords: amphotericin B, drug delivery systems, drug targeting, human leishmaniasis, polymeric nanoparticle

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