Indian Scientists Are One Step Closer Toward Finding A Cure For Tuberculosis
Chitanis - Jul 27, 2019
A team of Indian researchers is now one step closer to completely cure tuberculosis – a deadly disease, and save 3 million people each year.
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Tuberculosis is a fatal disease, which infects nearly 9 million people all around the world every year, 32 percent of them are in India. As a result, billions of dollars have been spent on the healthcare system.
But the problem is not many people know that they may have the disease. The reason is tuberculosis bacteria can lie dormant in humans’ body for decades before they become infectious.
Similar to other infections, Tuberculosis bacterium is hunted by macrophages - humans’ white blood cells. However, the macrophages form a sac-like body around the bacterium instead of killing it, keeping it dormant.
When the immunity of humans is lowered because of HIV and other illnesses or physical weakness, that sac is able to rupture. That is when the disease becomes infectious, causing great harm to the body.
How will scientists cure Tuberculosis?
From the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Bose Institute in Kolkata and Jadavpur University, a research team has found out how the deadly disease is released from the granulomas or macrophage-formed sacs in human’s body. Researchers all over the world have been working on this for several years but found nothing.
According to the discovery of the research team, the bacteria produce MPT63 – a protein which may lead to its jailbreak. Protein structures like MPT63 change their formation at specific acidity levels and suddenly turn out to be toxic to macrophage or other host cells. As a result, the cells are killed and the bacteria is released.
Head of Structural Biology and Bioinformatics Division at Indian Institute of Chemical Biology and also the leader of the research team – Dr. Krishnananda Chattopadhy said: “Our team would now try to validate these findings in field strains of TB bacillus and see whether they can be used to develop new therapeutic interventions.”
Now researchers can start looking into different methods for negating MPT63 protein’s effect thanks to this discovery. These methods will lock tuberculosis permanently and save millions of patients suffering from this disease.
Apart from Dr. Krishnananda Chattopadhy, the team includes other scientists: Sanat Karmakar, Subrata Majumdar, Animesh Halder, Junaid Jibran Jawed, Sayantani Chall, Indrani Nandi, and Achinta Sannigrah. The results are going under the verification process and will be published in ACS Chemical Biology journal.