Tuesday October 23, 2018
Home Science & Technology Ancient Chine...

Ancient Chinese Medicines have the Power to fight Tuberculosis (TB): New Study

0
//
162
Medicines (representational image). Pixabay
Republish
Reprint

December 24, 2016: Researchers have found that centuries-old herbal medicine, discovered by Chinese scientists to treat malaria, can aid in tuberculosis (TB) treatment and even slow drug resistance.

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world

One-third of the world’s population is infected with TB, which killed 1.8 million people in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) — the TB-causing bacteria — needs oxygen to thrive in the body and the immune system starves this bacterium of oxygen to control the infection.

The study found that artemisinin — the ancient remedy — stopped the ability Mtb to become dormant — a stage of the disease that often makes the use of antibiotics ineffective.

“When TB bacteria are dormant, they become highly tolerant to antibiotics. Blocking dormancy makes the TB bacteria more sensitive to these drugs and could shorten treatment times,” said Robert Abramovitch, Assistant Professor at Michigan State University in the US.

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today

Artemisinin attacks a molecule called heme, which is found in the Mtb oxygen sensor.

By disrupting this sensor and essentially turning it off, the medicine stopped the disease’s ability to sense how much oxygen it was getting, the researchers said.

“When the Mtb is starved of oxygen, it goes into a dormant state, which protects it from the stress of low-oxygen environments. If Mtb can’t sense low oxygen, then it can’t become dormant and will die,” Abramovitch said.

TB takes up to six months to treat and is one of the main reasons the disease is so difficult to control, the researchers said.

Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates

They also said that the finding could be key to shortening the course of therapy because it can clear out the dormant, hard-to-kill bacteria.

The paper was published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology. (IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 NewsGram

Next Story

Tuberculosis A Vicious Epidemic: Deputy UN Chief

The WHO released its annual TB report. It found cases in all countries and among all age groups.

0
A relative adjusts the oxygen mask of a tuberculosis patient at a TB hospital on World Tuberculosis Day in Hyderabad, India. VOA

Tuberculosis (TB) is a vicious epidemic that is drastically underfunded. That was the takeaway message from the first high-level meeting focused on the infectious disease at the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Amina Mohammad, U.N. deputy secretary-general, said the disease is fueled by poverty, inequality, migration and conflict, and that an additional $13 billion per year is needed to get the disease under control.

Last year, tuberculosis killed more people than any other communicable disease — more than 1.3 million men, women and children.

The World Health Organization estimates that the 10 million people who become newly infected each year live mostly in poor countries with limited access to health care.

TB
The Bacteria that causes Tuberculosis

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the WHO, told the assembly that partnership is vital to end the disease. He said the WHO is committed to working with every country, partner and community to get the job done.

The WHO plans to lead U.N. efforts to support governments and other partners in order to drive a faster response to TB.

Most people can be cured with a six-month treatment program. But as world leaders told the assembly, medication is expensive, and the stigma associated with TB interferes with getting people screened and treated.

Nandita Venkatesan, a young woman from India, told the assembly about the toll the disease has taken on her life. She got TB more than once, including a drug-resistant variety. She said it robbed her of eight years of her life while she was being treated. One of the medications she took to help cure TB robbed her of her hearing.

TB
Amina Mohammad, U.N. deputy secretary-general, said the disease is fueled by poverty, inequality, migration and conflict, Pixabay

Venkatesan said getting cured involved hospital stays, six surgeries and negative reactions to at least one drug used to cure her.

Also Read: Statistics of Babies Born With Syphilis Dobles Since 2013

Just days before the high-level meeting, the WHO released its annual TB report. It found cases in all countries and among all age groups. It also found that two-thirds of the cases were in eight countries — India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Africa and Nigeria.

The meeting ended with the adoption of a declaration intended to strengthen action and investments for ending TB and saving millions of lives. (VOA)