Improved and More Effective Cure for Tuberculosis Likely
Latest findings suggest there is possibility of coming up with a more improved and effective cure for tuberculosis, a disease that is among the leading causes of death.
Researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center are currently working on a cure which they believe to be more effective than the drugs currently being used in the market. The team of researchers is working on slightly changing the composition of the enzymes that are found in antibacterial drugs hoping to make them more effective.
According the World Health Organization (WHO), Tuberculosis or TB is among the most deadly diseases in the world with about one-third of the population currently living with it, and an estimated 1.5 million people having died from it in 2014.
In a report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from Vanderbilt University are said to have discovered a more effective and affordable cure that will have a positive impact in eradicating TB. By slightly changing the chemical composition in TB drugs, the new drug will be more efficient in tracking down and eliminating the bacteria that causes the disease.
Although Tuberculosis can be cured by the existing drugs, the process of administering medication is quite long and complex, and most people never complete the whole cycle which can last for as many as six months. Due to this many drugs have became ineffective since the bacteria has become more tolerant against the cures.
Treating TB is further complicated by the fact that the drugs don’t come cheap and considering that it also affects people in the low-income bracket especially in third world countries, many victims can’t simply afford the treatment. This is why the TB bacteria are becoming more resistant against first-line treatments such as fluoroquinolones, which is also used in other bacterial infections.
The new cure is a derivative of the fluoroquinolones moxifloxacin, a popular antibacterial, and John Coniglio Professor of Biochemistry and Neil Osheroff, Ph.D. are convinced that this new discovery will help bring down TB cases globally. Apart from getting rid of the wild-type enzyme it also maintains the activity level in the long-term.
Osheraff and his research team are focusing more in understanding how the cure interacts with the TB bacteria for instance type II topoisomerase and why it develops resistance over time. Similar thoughts have also been expressed by Katie Aldred, Ph.D. Graduate student and member of the faculty of University of Evansville.
Besides the tests being carried out on fluoroquinolone antibacterial, Osheroff and Coniglio are also testing second-line treatments such as moxifloxacin and levofloxacin. Though in its early stages, the researchers are optimistic about the new possible tuberculosis cure.