Tuesday November 12, 2019

Researchers Identify Master Cell Playing Key Role in Fighting TB

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1.5 million people died of TB in 2017, making it the most lethal infectious disease worldwide

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WHO will start working towards ending 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

Researchers have identified a master cell that coordinates the body’s immune response in the early days of TB infection.

According to the study published in the journal Nature, the researchers found that boosting the activity of such cells could help reduce the millions of new infections that occur worldwide every year.

For the study, the researchers from Washington University School of Medicine and Africa Health Research Institute carried out research on animals and people to identify the immune cells that defend the body against the TB bacteria in the first days after infection.

“The immune response to the TB bacteria hinges on the early response of this cell, and that opens up a whole new avenue for TB control,” said the study’s co-senior author Shabaana Abdul Khader, Professor at Washington University School of Medicine, US.

Experiments showed that within five days after infection, ILC3 cells show up in the lungs, where they release chemical compounds that activate and attract other immune cells. The arriving cells include other innate immune cells – which come loaded with bacteria-killing weapons – as well as adaptive immune cells that direct and enhance the innate immune cells’ killing potential. Together, the immune cells surround the bacteria and destroy them.

“These innate lymphoid cells seem to orchestrate all the early downstream immune responses, both innate and adaptive, that you need to control infection,” noted Khader.

TB
A tuberculosis patient holds medicines at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Government Hospital at Ram Nagar in Varanasi, India, March 13, 2018. VOA

The researchers have begun screening a set of chemical compounds, looking for ones that enhance ILC3 activity and drive a stronger immune response in the first day after infection.

“The more we can understand about the interaction between the bacteria that cause TB and people, the more chance we have of building on these gains and defeating this deadly epidemic,” said the study’s co-senior author Alasdair Leslie, a faculty member from Africa Health Research Institute, South Africa.

The researchers maintained that they wouldn’t want to replace the BCG vaccine.

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“We may be able to find a compound that we can use to boost immunity in vaccinated children when the effects of the BCG start to wear off,” Khader said.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1.5 million people died of TB in 2017, making it the most lethal infectious disease worldwide. (IANS)

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WHO Report Says, 3 mn TB Cases Do Not Get Proper Care

According to report, the highest burden of TB in 2018 was in eight countries: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and South Africa

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According to Report, Globally, seven million people were diagnosed and treated for TB -- up from 6.4 million in 2017 -- enabling the world to meet one of the milestones towards the UN political declaration targets on TB. Pixabay

More people received life-saving treatment for tuberculosis (TB) in 2018 than ever before, largely due to improved detection and diagnosis, however, severe under-funding and lack of access to care is still jeopardising around three million of those suffering with TB, a World Health Organization (WHO) report said.

According to report, the highest burden of TB in 2018 was in eight countries: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and South Africa.

Released on Thursday the report said, globally, seven million people were diagnosed and treated for TB — up from 6.4 million in 2017 — enabling the world to meet one of the milestones towards the UN political declaration targets on TB.

Also, 2018 saw a reduction in the number of TB deaths: 1.5 million people died from TB in 2018, down from 1.6 million in 2017. However, the burden remains high among low-income and marginalised populations: around 10 million people developed TB in 2018.

“Today we mark the passing of the first milestone in the effort to reach people who’ve been missing out on services to prevent and treat TB,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said in a statement.

“Sustained progress on TB will require strong health systems and better access to services. That means a renewed investment in primary health care and a commitment to universal health coverage,” Tedros added.

TB
Report says, More people received life-saving treatment for tuberculosis (TB) in 2018 than ever before, largely due to improved detection and diagnosis, however, severe under-funding and lack of access to care is still jeopardising around three million of those suffering with TB. Pixabay

Brazil, China, the Russian Federation and Zimbabwe, which all have high TB burdens, achieved treatment coverage levels of more than 80 per cent.

New WHO guidance aims to improve treatment of multidrug resistant TB, by shifting to fully oral regimens that are safer and more effective.

“WHO is working closely with countries, partners and civil society to accelerate the TB response,” said Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO’s Global TB Programme.

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“Working across different sectors is key if we are to finally get the better of this terrible disease and save lives,” Kasaeva added. (IANS)