Wednesday March 20, 2019

Researchers Find Molecule Effective Against Tuberculosis

In addition, they also found that administering the molecule to Mtb mouse models killed some of the bacteria they carried without harming them

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Tuberculosis
Novel drug may offer treatment for TB. Pixabay

Researchers have found a molecule that is effective against tuberculosis, says a new study on mice.

In the study, the group describes how it worked when tested in vitro and in a mouse model.

Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). This airborne pathogen tends to infect the lungs and is passed from person to person.

Back in the 1950s, researchers developed drugs to treat the disease.However, since that time, the bacteria has become resistance today, and almost one-third of all new cases are caused by antimicrobial-resistant strains.

Tuberculosis
Researchers identify molecule 8918 effective in killing TB bacteria. (Representational image). IANS

In this new effort, published in the journal Science, the researchers from University of Cape Town in South Africa, found that introducing the 8918 molecule to Mtb in a petri dish resulted in its death.

In addition, they also found that administering the molecule to Mtb mouse models killed some of the bacteria they carried without harming them.

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However, before 8918 can be considered a candidate for clinical trials, researchers must overcome one obstacle — it has a short half-life, which results in rapid microsomal metabolism indicating that it does not hang around long enough to kill many Mtb before the body flushes it away, the study noted. (IANS)

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Vitamin D May Help to Combat Multi-drug Resistant Tuberculosis

For the study, researchers included 1,850 patients who received antibiotic treatment

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Tuberculosis
Representational image. IANS

Vitamin D, commonly known as the “sunshine vitamin”, can combat tuberculosis (TB) bacteria found in the lungs of people with multi-drug resistant TB, according to latest research.

The study showed that when added to antibiotic treatment, vitamin D was found to treat TB specifically in patients with multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB.

The vitamin D supplementation was also found to be safe at the doses administered, with no links to serious adverse events, findings further revealed in the European Respiratory Journal.

“Multi-drug resistant TB is on the rise globally. It’s notoriously difficult to treat, and it carries a much worse prognosis than standard TB,” said Lead Researcher Adrian Martineau, Professor from Queen Mary University of London.

“Our study raises the possibility that vitamin D — which is very safe and inexpensive — could benefit this hard-to-treat group of patients by taking a novel approach to their treatment,” said Martineau.

Rats can play a role in containing Tuberculosis
Dr. Simon Angelo (L) examines Iman Steven suffering from tuberculosis, held by her mother (R) at the hospital of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), June 15, 2016, at the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Malakal, South Sudan. VOA

The immune system could be given a boost by adding vitamin D to antibiotic treatment to help the body clear TB bugs, rather than relying on antibiotics on their own to kill the bacteria directly, the study suggested.

While vitamin D is best known for its effects on bone health, previous studies have shown its role in protecting against colds, flu, asthma attacks, and that it can also protect chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients from deadly lung attacks.

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MDR TB is caused by bacteria that are resistant to treatment with at least two of the most powerful first-line anti-TB drugs, causing around 500,000 cases and 150,000 deaths per year worldwide, the study noted.

For the study, researchers included 1,850 patients who received antibiotic treatment. (IANS)