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:5/29/2017)... , ... May 29, 2017 , ... ... a new training program for Recovery Coaches who are seeking opportunities to provide ... court systems, treatment centers, and others. Recovery Coaching and Professionalism© was created in ...
(Date:5/29/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Commercial door hardware needs to be safer, ... need to protect the lives of people such as employees, customers and clients ... assets and company records too. Further, businesses aren’t just protecting against strangers wishing ...
(Date:5/29/2017)... , ... May 29, 2017 , ... A New York ... a 6 month test of the effectiveness of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in helping nudge ... bad health game,’ said Wayne Hartrick, President of the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF), ...
(Date:5/28/2017)... ... May 28, 2017 , ... Starting in May, patients at ... latest Heart Rate Variability (HRV) diagnostic test. , Nerve-Express, originally designed for the Navy ... indicating the state of a patient’s autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS controls ...
(Date:5/28/2017)... ... May 28, 2017 , ... Florida Pain Relief Group, ... Jorge Fernandez-Silva, M.D., has joined its new Melbourne pain clinic. , Dr. ... minimally invasive techniques to treat and manage many types of pain. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2017)... May 25, 2017  In response to the opioid ... Direct Relief is working with Pfizer to make up ... no cost to community health centers, free and charitable ... "Pfizer has a long-standing commitment to ... ensuring patient safety through educational activities," said Caroline ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... May 18, 2017  Two Bayer U.S. Pharmaceutical leaders ... during its recent 28 th Woman of ... event showcases HBA,s longstanding mission of furthering the advancement ... Cindy Powell-Steffen , senior director of ... division, and Libby Howe , a regional business ...
(Date:5/11/2017)... 2017  Thornhill Research Inc. ( Toronto, ... $8,049,024 USD five-year, firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-quantity/indefinite-delivery contract by the ... Corporation (CCC) ( Ottawa, Ontario, Canada ... general anesthesia to patients requiring emergency medical procedures ... Marine Corps have been a longtime partner with ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: