Navigation Links
Stopping a deadly killer
Date:3/19/2008

PITTSBURGH, March 19 To develop new strategies to control tuberculosis (TB), a contagious disease that infects one-third of the worlds population and kills almost two million people every year, the University of Pittsburgh Center for Vaccine Research has received an $11.4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will enable Pitt researchers to use new imaging technologies to study TB to shorten and simplify its course of treatment, potentially improving survival and curtailing the global TB epidemic.

One of the most challenging issues in treating TB and stopping its spread is the length of time it takes to adequately stem the infection, said JoAnne Flynn, Ph.D., principal investigator of the grant and professor of microbiology and molecular genetics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Current drugs are available, but we dont fully understand how or why they work. TB treatment must be continued for at least six months to be effective, placing an undue burden on those who are infected often from the poorest and most disadvantaged countries.

According to Dr. Flynn, TB is difficult to control because the germs that cause the infection hide from the immune system in small tissue nodules called granulomas, enabling the infection to reactivate years, and even decades, later. Although for the most part TB is a curable disease, patients must adhere to treatment long after symptoms have faded. This proves challenging in many regions of the world where medication is not readily accessible. Indeed, an inadequate or incomplete course of treatment is the major factor that causes drug-resistant TB strains to develop. These strains are alarmingly high in many countries around the world.

Current medications for TB were developed more than three decades ago, said Dr. Flynn. To create significantly shorter and simplified approaches to treatment, we must improve our understanding of this disease and how current drugs are localized at the site of infection.

To understand more about the basic biology of TB, Dr. Flynn and colleagues are using the grant to develop positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) imaging studies in non-human primates. By using combined PET/CT, the researchers will be able to follow the progression of the disease in animals over time and analyze changes in tissue and responses to particular drugs. They will be using three imaging technologies radionuclides, fluorescence and mass spectrometry in combination to develop imaging probes and techniques to precisely locate bacteria associated with TB and to explore the underlying factors responsible for slow drug metabolism.

By applying the tools of modern medicine to TB, we hope to lay the groundwork for real-time measurements of TB drug efficacy in clinical trials and develop new targeted therapies that will considerably shorten the length of treatment, said Dr. Flynn.

Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease usually affecting the lungs. Called pulmonary TB, the disease is characterized by a persistent cough, shortness of breath, weight loss and chest pain. Left untreated, one person with active pulmonary TB will infect on average between 10 and 15 other people every year. The bacteria associated with the disease also can infect nearly any part of the body, such as the lymph nodes, the spine or bones. TB is deadly if left untreated.


'/>"/>

Contact: Clare Collins
CollCX@upmc.edu
412-647-3555
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Stopping Statins After Stroke Doubles Death Risk
2. Stopping Tysabri May Worsen MS
3. On 30th Anniversary, Angioplasty Celebrated as Modern Medical Breakthrough in Stopping Heart Attack
4. Hands2GO(R) Hand Sanitizer Offers Alcohol-Free Alternative to Stopping the Spread of Flu at School and Work
5. Common drug for stopping preterm labor may be harmful for babies
6. New Sedona Stopping Diabetes Program
7. New Booklet Reveals 12 Proven Methods for Stopping MRSA from Infecting Your Feet and Your Familys Feet
8. First 90 Days After Stopping Plavix Most Dangerous
9. Physicians focus on stopping pain epidemic
10. Fugitive cancer cells can be blocked by stopping blood cells that aid them
11. Stopping a receptor called nogo boosts the synapses
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from ... at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center ... care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible ... often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human ... but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding emergency ... its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. Ogunleye ... M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. Ogunleye ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as ... City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s ... setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those ... goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, ... design, development and manufacturing of collagen and mineral ... announced today that Bill Messer has ... Marketing to further leverage the growing portfolio of ... devices. Bill joins the Collagen Matrix ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dublin - ... " Global Markets for Spectroscopy Equipment" report ... This report focuses on the global market of ... applications in various applications. The report deals with spectroscopy ... industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and beverage, and environmental ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... BEIJING , June 24, 2016 Dehaier ... or the "Company"), which develops, markets and sells medical ... China , signed a strategic cooperation agreement with ... as "Hongyuan Supply Chain") on June 20, 2016, to ... Under the strategic cooperation agreement, Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: