From last many decades, doctors are using antibiotics to fight life-threatening tuberculosis (TB). And every time, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the microbe responsible for this disease, is seen to be fighting back. When confronted with the latest medicines such as the antibiotic rifamycin, the bacterium is often found to be mutating in ways that make it treatment resistant. Reportedly, the rifamycin resistance rates are continuously increasing. This situation is presenting a big concern to doctors engaged in treating TB patients.
However, a new research from scientists at Rockefeller highlights that nature might have a solution for rifamycin resistance. The latest research published in Nature Communications states that an antibiotic noticed in the dirt has the ability to demolish the mutant mycobacteria. Rifamycin works by aiming at the RNA polymerase (RNAP), which is an enzyme important to the survival of bacteria. The resistance is developed when the genes coding for RNAP transform. Even a minute genetic transformation can stop Rifamycin from connecting to the enzyme and hinders its function.
On a similar note, LSTM and TB Alliance recently announced their collaboration. Reportedly, this collaboration is intended to find out new drug combination therapies, which could assist the fight against multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). The latest partnership was granted with an award of £1 Million from the Medical Research Council (MRC). This novel collaboration is backed by the MRC to study drug regimens to attack drug-resistant tuberculosis.
The grant offered is a part of the £4 Million Global Challenges Research Fund intended for Antimicrobial Target Discovery and Validation. Giancarlo Biagini, Professor, Research Centre for Drugs and Diagnostics, LSTM, is supposed to lead the research team and validate novel drug combinations that would target the respiratory sequence of the bacteria causing TB. This exciting novel research partnership is supposed to have a key impact globally, principally in countries with low and middle incomes.