Asia is a hotspot for infectious diseases, including malaria, dengue fever, tuberculosis, and the pandemic COVID-19. Emerging infectious diseases have taken a heavy toll on public health and the economy and have been recognized as a major cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly in Southeast Asia. Infectious disease control is a major challenge, but many surveillance systems and control strategies have been developed and implemented. These include vector control, combination therapies, vaccine development, and the development of new anti-infectives. Numerous newly discovered agents with pharmacological anti-infective potential are being actively and extensively studied for their bioactivity, toxicity, selectivity, and mode of action, but many molecules lose their efficacy over time due to resistance developments. These facts justify the great importance of the search for new, effective, and safe anti-infectives. Diarylpentanoids, a curcumin derivative, have been developed as an alternative with better bioavailability and metabolism as a therapeutic agent. In this review, the mechanisms of action and potential targets of antimalarial drugs as well as the classes of antimalarial drugs are presented. The bioactivity of diarylpentanoids as a potential scaffold for a new class of anti-infectives and their structure-activity relationships are also discussed in detail.© 2023 Deutsche Pharmazeutische Gesellschaft.