Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How Tuberculosis Bacteria Hide And Multiply In The Human Body

Date:
May 15, 2008
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
Researchers have discovered how tuberculosis bacteria hide and multiply in the human body and are working toward a treatment to block this mechanism of infection. The missing link between a TB protein and its newly discovered counterpart protein in the human body’s white blood cells (macrophages) has been discovered.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute have discovered how tuberculosis (TB) bacteria hide and multiply in the human body and are working toward a treatment to block this mechanism of infection.

This discovery, published May 14 in the journal Cell Host and Microbe,describes the missing link between a TB protein and its newly discovered counterpart protein in the human body’s white blood cells (macrophages).

TB causes disease by infecting the body’s macrophages. Normally, macrophages engulf bacteria and then release powerful digestive enzymes that destroy the bacteria. The researchers found that a protein secreted by TB targets a protein in the macrophage. In doing so, TB disrupts this process, allowing it to hide and multiply within the macrophage.

The research, lead by Dr. Yossi Av-Gay, research scientist with the Immunity and Infection Research Centre at the Vancouver Coastal Research Institute and associate professor with UBC’s Faculty of Medicine, suggests that therapies that block the activity of the TB protein in macrophages would allow the body to identify TB bacteria more easily. This would prevent the establishment of active and latent tuberculosis and will lead to a new and more effective treatment for TB.

“Once inside the human macrophage, TB acts as a Trojan Horse,” says Dr. Horacio Bach, the primary author of the paper and research scientist with the Immunity and Infection Research Centre at the Vancouver Coastal Research Institute. “TB multiplies inside the macrophage and when released attack the human body. By identifying this protein we are now able to expose the hiding bacteria, which will allow the macrophages to destroy them.”

The Av-Gay lab has already taken the next step.

“Excitingly, we have also been able to engineer a specific antibody that blocks this newly discovered TB protein,” says Av-Gay. “We are now looking to collaborate with the pharmaceutical industry to come up with a therapy that can be used to block this particular mechanism, which will be an important tool in weakening TB.”

TB is called the ultimate killer. It is the leading cause of death among infectious diseases in the world today and is responsible for one in four adult preventable deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Ten million new cases of TB arise every year, killing close to two million people worldwide annually. Every 20 seconds TB kills someone and approximately 4,400 people die every day. The WHO estimates that one-third of the world’s population is infected. The current treatment regime involves taking multiple medications over an extended period of time.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, TB Veterans Charitable Foundation and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research provided funding for this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "How Tuberculosis Bacteria Hide And Multiply In The Human Body." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080514134645.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2008, May 15). How Tuberculosis Bacteria Hide And Multiply In The Human Body. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080514134645.htm
University of British Columbia. "How Tuberculosis Bacteria Hide And Multiply In The Human Body." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080514134645.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins