Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New avenues for overcoming tuberculosis drug resistance

Date:
April 27, 2010
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Researchers are working to eliminate inherent drug resistance to tuberculosis, which may help in the battle against the emerging extensively drug-resistant TB strains.

Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be a global health problem, in part due to the exceptional drug resistance displayed by the TB-causing agent, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Beyond even acquired drug resistance, these bacteria are also inherently resistant to many other common antibiotics, which limits the available options in finding alternative treatments to resistant TB strains.

However, in a presentation at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's annual meeting, titled "Drug resistance in tuberculosis," John Blanchard of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine discussed his group's work at eliminating this inherent drug resistance, which may help in the battle against the emerging extensively-drug resistant TB strains.

"These XDR strains are even more resilient than multi-drug resistant (MDR) strains," notes Blanchard. They are resistant to almost everything we currently have in the kitchen."

Blanchard, a professor at Albert Einstein's department of biochemistry, and his team have specifically targeted an enzyme called beta-lactamase, which can break down and disable beta-lactams, a large family of antibiotics that includes penicillin and its relatives.

"When the M. tuberculosis genome was sequenced a few years ago, the presence of this beta-lactamase enzyme was discovered," Blanchard says, "which was surprising since beta-lactams have never been systematically used to treat TB."

Perhaps just as surprising was that most scientists didn't pay much attention to the M. tuberculosis beta-lactamase discovery, but Blanchard thought it would be an attractive therapeutic target, considering several beta-lactamase inhibitors had been developed for other bacteria.

"If we could inactivate this inactivator enzyme, it would expose TB bacteria to a whole new range of antibiotics," he says.

While M. tuberculosis was resistant to most beta-lactamase inhibitors, Blanchard's group found that the drug clavulanate was effective in shutting down the TB enzyme. The combination of clavulanate with the beta-lactam meropenem could effectively sterilize laboratory cultures of TB within two weeks, including several XDR-strains.

Blanchard notes this finding was exciting since, despite such high rates of drug resistance, research into new TB drugs is not a high priority in industrialized countries (for socio-economic reasons), and thus the best short-term approach might be identifying other already FDA approved antibiotics that are effective against TB -like meropenem and clavulanate.

Blanchard is currently progressing with the next steps of the therapeutic process, which includes both detailed animal studies and setting up some small-scale trials with XDR-TB patients in developing nations.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "New avenues for overcoming tuberculosis drug resistance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427131357.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2010, April 27). New avenues for overcoming tuberculosis drug resistance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427131357.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "New avenues for overcoming tuberculosis drug resistance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427131357.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is ordering U.S. military personnel to West Africa to deal with the Ebola outbreak, which is he calls a potential threat to global security. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
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