Editor-in-Chief: Francis J. Castellino Kleiderer-Pezold Professor of Biochemistry Director, W.M. Keck Center for Transgene Research Dean Emeritus, College of Science 230 Raclin-Carmichael Hall, University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN 46556 USA
Affiliation: Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, University of Zululand, Private Bag X1001 KwaDlangezwa 3668, Republic of South Africa.
Schistosomiasis sometimes referred to as bilharzia ranks high among the common neglected human tropical diseases. Parasitic trematode flatworm belonging to the genus Schistosoma is responsible for this acute and chronic disease. Its prevalence is rapidly increasing in the tropical regions worldwide; however, its economic and global health impact is grossly underestimated. There are five recognized species of schistosome parasitizing humans but the common species causing the disease are S. haematobium, S. japonicum and S. mansoni. Over the years, praziquantel, due to its advantage over other drugs employed in the treatment of schistosomiasis especially because of its effectiveness against all schistosoma species has remained the drug of choice. Unfortunately, due to drug pressure, some reports of praziquantel resistance in the treatment of some strains of S. haematobium and S. mansoni have been documented in literature. This has necessitated the search for novel anti-schistosomal agents as alternatives to praziquantel treatment. Currently, antimicrobial peptides are gaining prominence as possible sources of novel drugs in the control and treatment of schistosomiasis. A major driving force for evaluating antimicrobial peptides is their general diverse therapeutic applications, basically due to their size and properties as well as their broad spectrum of activities. Therefore, antimicrobial peptides are attractive candidates with promising results that may overcome drug resistance problems in search for novel therapeutic agents for the control and treatment of schistosomiasis.