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Stopping a deadly killer
Date:3/19/2008

nt 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.


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

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