Navigation Links
Source of drug-tolerant tuberculosis possibly behind TB relapses, intensity of treatment
Date:6/11/2008

PITTSBURGHUniversity of Pittsburgh-led researchers discovered that the primary bacteria behind tuberculosis can grow on surfaces and that drug-tolerant strains flourish in these bacterial communities, the research team recently reported in Molecular Microbiology. The findings suggest a possible reason why human tuberculosis (TB) requires months of intensive antibiotic treatment and indicate a potential cause of the relapses that can nonetheless occur.

The researchers are the first to show that Mycobacterium tuberculosis can grow in surface-level bacteria clusters known as biofilms that are common in nature but never before shown for TB bacteria, explained the paper's senior author Graham Hatfull, chair and Eberly Family Professor of Biological Sciences in Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences. Hatfull collaborated and coauthored the paper with Professor William Jacobs Jr. of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

Hatfull, Jacobs, and their colleagues found that the biofilm bacteria are physiologically and genetically different from TB bacteria harvested in a labthe type used in developing antibiotics. These variations result in a population of the bacteria that are "drug-tolerant and harbor persistent cells that survive high concentrations of anti-tuberculosis antibiotics," the team reports.

People with TB typically undergo six to nine months of treatment with multiple antibiotics and most of the bacteria generally die within the first two weeks. Yet the disease can recur, presumably because of drug-tolerant bacteria that have escaped the antibiotic. The source and location of these persistent cells are unknown, but Hatfull and Jacobs' research reveals a possible biofilm origin, Jacobs said.

"The nature of persisting M. tuberculosis cells has been an enigma for the entire field," Jacobs said. "Clearly M. tuberculosis cells in biofilms represent at least one class of persistent cells, and we are testing their biological relevance."

It is not yet known whether the biofilm actually factors into human TB infections, Hatfull said. He added that the only similar research regarding biofilm in living creatures showed the presence of biofilm-like or biofilm-related bacteria in guinea pigs.

"While our data does not show conclusively that biofilm formation in people gives rise to a drug-tolerant population, the fact that biofilms do so in the lab makes this an interesting and testable hypothesis," Hatfull said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Morgan Kelly
mekelly@pitt.edu
412-624-4356
University of Pittsburgh
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Pittsburgh scientists identify human source of stem cells with potential to repair muscle
2. UNH becomes first university in nation to use landfill gas as primary energy source
3. New partnership offers outsourced R&D in membrane biology
4. HortTalks, a valuable scientific resource
5. Reversing cognitive deficits: Injectable antibody may attack source of problem
6. The race for biofuels driving alternative sources of biomass
7. Space technology put into service for global water resources observations
8. Local sources major cause of US near-ground aerosol pollution
9. The power of multiples: Connecting wind farms can make a more reliable - and cheaper - power source
10. GBIF making the search for biodiversity research resources easier
11. Food source threatened by carbon dioxide
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/20/2016)... -- VoiceIt is excited to announce its new marketing ... working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will offer an ... slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, collaboration between ... Both companies ... "This marketing and technology partnership allows VoiceIt ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a ... the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) ... large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple ... using any combination of fingerprint, face or iris ... MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator , ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ...  report to their offering.  , ,     (Logo: ... forecast the global multimodal biometrics market to grow ... 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is being implemented ... healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government for controlling ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Epic Sciences ... detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting ... cells (CTCs). The new test has already been ... in multiple cancer types. Over 230 ... damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering ... retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" ... commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors ... such as WDR5 represent an exciting class of ... precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Lawrence, MA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 ... ... the Peel Plate® YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research ... test platform of microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President ...
Breaking Biology Technology: