A centuries-old herbal medicine, discovered by Chinese scientists and used to effectively treat malaria, has been found to potentially aid in the treatment of tuberculosis and may slow the evolution of drug resistance.
In a promising study led by Robert Abramovitch, a Michigan State University microbiologist and TB expert, the ancient remedy artemisinin stopped the ability of TB-causing bacteria, known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, to become dormant. This stage of the disease often makes the use of antibiotics ineffective.
The study is published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.
“When TB bacteria are dormant, they become highly tolerant to antibiotics,” Abramovitch said, an assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine. “Blocking dormancy makes the TB bacteria more sensitive to these drugs and could shorten treatment times.”
One-third of the world’s population is infected with TB and the disease killed 1.8 million people in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis, or Mtb, needs oxygen to thrive in the body. The immune system starves this bacterium of oxygen to control the infection. Abramovitch and his team found that artemisinin attacks a molecule called heme, which is found in the Mtb oxygen sensor. By disrupting this sensor and essentially turning it off, the artemisinin stopped the disease’s ability to sense how much oxygen it was getting.
“When the Mtb is starved of oxygen, it goes into a dormant state, which protects it from the stress of low-oxygen environments,” Abramovitch said. “If Mtb can’t sense low oxygen, then it can’t become dormant and will die.”
Abramovitch indicated that dormant TB can remain inactive for decades in the body. But if the immune system weakens at some point, it can wake back up and spread. Whether it wakes up or stays ‘asleep’ though, he said TB can take up to six months to treat and is one of the main reasons the disease is so difficult to control.
“Patients often don’t stick to the treatment regimen because of the length of time it takes to cure the disease,” he said. “Incomplete therapy plays an important role in the evolution and spread of multi-drug resistant TB strains.”
He said the research could be key to shortening the course of therapy because it can clear out the dormant, hard-to-kill bacteria. This could lead to improving patient outcomes and slowing the evolution of drug-resistant TB.
After screening 540,000 different compounds, Abramovitch also found five other possible chemical inhibitors that target the Mtb oxygen sensor in various ways and could be effective in treatment as well.
“Two billion people worldwide are infected with Mtb,” Abramovitch said. “TB is a global problem that requires new tools to slow its spread and overcome drug resistance. This new method of targeting dormant bacteria is exciting because it shows us a new way to kill it. ”
Learn more: ANCIENT CHINESE MALARIA REMEDY FIGHTS TB
[osd_subscribe categories=’tuberculosis’ placeholder=’Email Address’ button_text=’Subscribe Now for any new posts on the topic “TUBERCULOSIS”‘]
Receive an email update when we add a new TUBERCULOSIS article.
The Latest on: Tuberculosis
[google_news title=”” keyword=”tuberculosis” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Tuberculosis
- A new hope for Tuberculosis patientson November 28, 2023 at 11:15 am
It is fast and accurate and will help in early detection and treatment The latest country report on Tuberculosis (TB) indicates that in India, women account for 39.1% of the total cases notified. But ...
- San Diego County reports tuberculosis exposure at Golden Hall shelteron November 28, 2023 at 9:21 am
The county's Health and Human Services Agency is working with Father Joe's Villages and the San Diego Housing Commission to notify residents, employees, contractors, and volunteers potentially exposed ...
- WHO raises alarm over escalating tuberculosis infections in Bornoon November 28, 2023 at 6:05 am
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has sounded an alarm regarding the increasing rate of Tuberculosis (TB) infections in Borno State.
- County reports tuberculosis exposure at Golden Hall shelteron November 28, 2023 at 2:28 am
Officials are working to notify residents, employees, contractors and volunteers potentially exposed between Sept. 5-28 ...
- Promising steps towards improving tuberculosis diagnostics and treatmenton November 28, 2023 at 2:08 am
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. For decades, it has been among the top 10 reasons of death globally, and the number one ...
- Tuberculosis: It’s a good idea to mask up in public placeson November 27, 2023 at 10:04 pm
People who are malnourished, immunocompromised, prolonged steroids use, diabetes, cardiac ailments, those who have occupational exposure like silicosis and people under dialysis are prone to TB.
- Tuberculosis Exposure Reported at Golden Hall Shelteron November 27, 2023 at 4:06 pm
The Tuberculosis Program in the Public Health Services (PHS) department of the Health and Human Services Agency, is working in close collaboration with Father Joe’s Villages, and the San Diego Housing ...
- This tuberculosis treatment works as prevention tooon November 27, 2023 at 1:32 am
Popping this antibiotic pill helps protect children living in households with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
- Tuberculosis Newson November 25, 2023 at 4:00 pm
Nov. 8, 2023 — Medical researchers are striving to fast-track the development of innovative Tuberculosis (TB) treatments. They have announced the start of a phase 2B/C clinical trial program.
via Bing News