Anti-parasitic activity of polyether ionophores

Michał Antoszczak, Dietmar Steverding, Adam Huczyński

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40 Citations (Scopus)
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Despite some progress in recent years, the fight against parasitic diseases still remains a great challenge. Parasitic diseases affect primarily (but not exclusively) the poorest people living in underdeveloped regions of the world. The distribution of parasitoses are linked to tropical and subtropical climate conditions, to population growth and to impoverishment. If not treated, parasitic diseases may lead to serious health problems, and even death. Particularly vulnerable groups include infants and young children, pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals. Polyether ionophore antibiotics (ionophores), traditionally used in veterinary medicine as anti-coccidial feed additives and non-hormonal growth promoters, are of considerable interest, as they have been found to be highly effective agents against various parasites, both in vitro and in vivo. This review summarizes the anti-parasitic effects of the most important polyether ionophores against parasites that are responsible for a number of animal and human parasitic diseases. Recent findings and advances that support the potential of polyether ionophore antibiotics as novel anti-parasitic drug candidates are also presented and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-47
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Early online date17 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019


  • Ionophores
  • lasalocid acid
  • monensin
  • salinomycin
  • parasites
  • parasitic diseases

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