Selenium and protozoan parasitic infections: selenocompounds and selenoproteins potential
The current drug treatments against protozoan parasitic diseases including Chagas, malaria, leishmaniasis, and toxoplasmosis represent good examples of drug resistance mechanisms and have shown diverse side effects. Therefore, the identification of novel therapeutic strategies and drug compounds against such life-threatening diseases is urgent. According to the successful usage of selenium (Se) compounds-based therapy against some diseases, this therapeutic strategy has been recently further underlined against these parasitic diseases by targeting different parasite's essential pathways. On the other hand, due to the important functions played by parasite selenoproteins in their biology (such as modulating the host immune response), they can be also considered as a novel therapeutic strategy by designing specific inhibitors against these important proteins. In addition, the immunomodulatory potentiality of these compounds to trigger T helper type 1 (Th1) cells and cytokine-mediated immune response for the substantial induction of proinflammatory cytokines, thus, Se, selenoproteins, and parasite selenoproteins could be further investigated to find possible vaccine antigens. Herein, we collect and present the results of some studies regarding Se-based therapy against protozoan parasitic diseases and highlight relevant information and some viewpoints that might be insightful to advance toward more effective studies in the future.