Resumen: According to World Health Organization, neglected tropical diseases encompass all diseases that occur solely, or principally, in the tropics. In practice, the term is often taken to refer to infectious diseases that thrive in hot, humid conditions. Clinical and epidemiological studies suggest that selenium (Se) play an important role in tropical diseases, such as tuberculosis, leishmaniasis, filariasis and chagas, acting as preventive agent or in diagnosis and prognosis. Recent studies have evinced the importance of selenium in oxidative status and antioxidant defense capabilities during the course of infection and progression of the illness in human patients and experimental models. For this reason, one of the most relevant mechanism of action proposed involve selenoproteins, i.e. glutathione peroxidase (GPx), an enzyme that protects against oxidative stress and modulates the redox processes. In addition, it was observed that low Se levels were positively correlated with an increased susceptibility to infections. Besides, Se supplementation is proposed as an adjuvant therapy for treatment of these chronic diseases. However, there is a lack in the literature references related to synthesis and biological evaluation of novel derivatives containing selenium moiety against these diseases. During the last years our research group is interested in the design and synthesis of organoselenium compounds as new class of agents for treatment of neglected tropical diseases. In the present year we have reported two general structures with leishmanicidal activity, corresponding both of them to symmetrical compounds. The firsts are alkyl imidoselenocarbamates (alkyl isoselenourea) which possessed a moderate effect in vitro and the second ones are selenocyanates and diselenides. It is remarkable that some of them showed stronger in vitro antileishmanial activity than edelfosine and miltefosine, used as reference drugs, and combined high potency and low cytotoxicity against Jurkat and THP-1 cells.
Selenium and Tropical Diseases (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235745925_Selenium_and_Tropical_Diseases [accessed Jun 21, 2017].