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Protective Protein Could Hold The Key In Fight Against Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis remains one of the public health challenges of the 21st century in developing countries. Although most Americans feel that TB is a disease of the past, TB claims a valuable human life, every six seconds//, worldwide. Nearly one-third of the population is infected with mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative organism. India deserves the credit of housing the maximum number of TB patients and has the highest record of TB-related deaths.

Although we now know the cause of the disease, what drugs to give, which is the best drug regimen, the emergence of drug resistant strains of the bacteria and co infection with HIV/AIDS pose a significant problem in combating the AIDS epidemic, particularly in India and Africa.

Indian scientists and researchers from university of Florida have joined hands in unraveling the mystery the associated with a protective protein, which they believe would boost the immune system to fight against the bacteria. Furthermore, it could enable easy and quick recovery of infected patients in addition to protecting individuals against TB.

The normal physiological levels of the protective protein called heme oxygenase 1 could be reduced by alcohol consumption, according to Veena Antony, one of the researchers involved in the study. The study focuses on the link between TB and alcoholism and is being funded by the National Institutes of Health. TB and HIV infected individuals in India would be extensively studied.

Although developed countries have a relatively lower incidence of tuberculosis, increased tendency for individuals in developing countries to migrate to developed countries, more specifically United States, could spread the problem across the American soil, if unattended to.

One of the main challenges in successful treatment of TB is encouraging patients to strictly adhere to the complete course of treatment, without interruption. When the patients do not stick to their
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