22 Mar 2010

Possible breakthrough in fighting TB

9:58 pm on 22 March 2010

Scientists have reported what they believe could be a significant new line of research into ways of combating tuberculosis.

They have identified an enzyme that can trigger a reaction in tuberculosis bacteria, thereby causing a toxic and ultimately lethal build-up of a sugar called maltose 1-phosphate within the cells.

The BBC reports that the team behind the research, from the John Innes Centre in Norwich and Albert Einstein University in New York, are now working on a drug that can trigger this chemical reaction in humans.

They warn however that they are only at the early stage of developing a drug to hit this newly identified target and that it could be years before it's available for use in humans.

Their research has been published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.