Sunday September 15, 2019

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)

Next Story

New Vaccine for Tuberculosis Shows Promise

Two peptides (small proteins), which are normally found in tuberculosis bacteria, were synthesised and then bound extremely tightly to an adjuvant (a stimulant) that was able to kick-start the immune response in the lungs

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World, Population, Tuberculosis
The study, published in European Respiratory Journal, shows that one in four people in the world carries tuberculosis bacterium in the body. Pixabay

Researchers have successfully developed and tested a new type of vaccine targeting tuberculosis (TB).

Published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, the early-stage vaccine was shown to provide substantial protection against TB in a pre-clinical laboratory setting.

“Tuberculosis is a huge world-wide health problem. It’s caused by a bacteria that infects the lungs after it’s inhaled, is contagious and results in approximately 1.6 million deaths per year globally,” said study co-author Anneliese Ashhurst, who is affiliated with both the Centenary Institute and the University of Sydney.

The research programme targeting the deadly disease took over five years of effort to be implemented.

FILE – A tuberculosis patient receives treatment at a clinic in Jakarta, Indonesia. VOA

A team of scientists created the advanced synthetic TB vaccine and have now demonstrated its effectiveness using mouse models.

Two peptides (small proteins), which are normally found in tuberculosis bacteria, were synthesised and then bound extremely tightly to an adjuvant (a stimulant) that was able to kick-start the immune response in the lungs.

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“We were then able to show that when this vaccine was inhaled into the lungs, it stimulated the type of T cells known to protect against TB. Importantly, we then demonstrated that this type of vaccine could successfully protect against experimental airborne TB infection,” Ashhurst said.

“The important thing is that the vaccine actually gets to the lungs because that’s where you first see TB. Ultimately, we would love to see a form of this vaccine available for use in an easily inhaled nasal spray which would provide life-long TB protections,” said researcher Warwick Britton. (IANS)