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Protective Protein Could Hold The Key In Fight Against Tuberculosis

drug regime, the TB bacterium learns to outwit the TB antibiotics, making the drugs ineffective, eventually leading to resistant TB infection. When the bacterium becomes resistant to two or more drugs and is called multidrug-resistant TB or MDR-TB. The development of drug resistant strains of the bacterium and MDR-TB adds concern about effective treatment as this form of TB is much more difficult to cure.

The management of co-infection of TB and HIV/AIDS poses yet another challenge. TB is an HIV related opportunistic infection. One in three HIV-infected people worldwide are co-infected with the TB bacterium. HIV/AIDS and TB form a lethal combination and is called as the devastating pair. In today’s scenario with nearly 3 million co-infected with HIV and TB, TB is the leading cause of mortality among those with HIV infection. HIV infection converts latent TB into active transmissible TB and TB bacteria accelerate the progression of AIDS in the patient. Therefore, everyone diagnosed with TB should be tested for HIV and vice-versa.

Although tuberculosis can affect any region of the body, the lungs are most commonly affected, leading to painful coughing and other respiratory problems. One single patient with active TB infection can infect hundred others. Highway truck drivers in India are particularly at increased risk of contracting HIV and TB due to irresponsible sexual behavior. This is one of the main reasons for collaboration between the University of Florida and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in India.

The researchers also intend to initiate an international training program that would enable researchers in India to gain knowledge about sophisticated techniques used in combating the TB epidemic, over there. Let us hope that this collaborative research would help in laying the TB monster to rest, at least in India.


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