Scientists discover new mechanism to kill TB bacteria

Researchers discovered an enzyme structure in Mycobacterium tuberculosis — the bacteria responsible for tuberculosis — that could aid in the development of new TB drugs, according to a study published in Journal of Biological Chemistry.

In 2016, TB sickened 10.4 million people globally, resulting in 1.7 million deaths, according to data from the World Health Organization. 2016 also marked an increase in cases where TB gained resistance to current therapies.

For the study, researchers used X-ray to examine the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria and discovered a specific type of enzyme that, when attacked, creates a pathway to kill the TB cell.

"Tuberculosis is a major global health problem and the current drugs that we use today are over 40 years old. It is therefore vital that we discover new therapeutic agents to combat TB,"says Elizabeth Fullam, PhD, a fellow at the University of Warwick’s School of Life Sciences in England, told Futurity.

This new knowledge of the enzyme's function will help , scientist, researchers and drugmakers alike develop new drugs for TB.

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