Researchers validate preclinical effectiveness of TB drug target

In research at SRI International, scientists evaluating new drug targets against tuberculosis (TB) recently validated the preclinical effectiveness of a target that could rapidly eliminate infections and potentially shorten treatment time. The new drug target is a protein called DNA gyrase B, found in bacteria that cause TB infections.

DNA gyrase is an enzyme consisting of two subunits: gyrase A and gyrase B. Although gyrase A is often the target of antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin, there currently is no antibiotic on the market that targets gyrase B. In laboratory experiments, SRI researchers found that by targeting gyrase B, are killed whether they are replicating or dormant. Further studies will be conducted toward the development of a TB drug against gyrase B.

"One of the greatest needs in infectious disease treatment is a drug that allows a shorter length of treatment," said Peter Madrid, Ph.D., program director in the Center for Infectious Disease and Biodefense Research, SRI Biosciences Division. "Though our program is still in the preclinical phase of research, with a number of years of required testing ahead, our goal is to develop a drug that will improve the treatment process for TB patients."

currently undergo treatment for six months and take a combination of at least four different drugs. There are often challenges to treatment effectiveness because of the long treatment time, including low patient treatment compliance and high rates of . Tuberculosis that is resistant to multiple drugs takes even longer to treat, usually 18 to 24 months.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Energy-saving bacteria resist antibiotics

Sep 03, 2008

Bacteria save energy by producing proteins that moonlight, having different roles at different times, which may also protect the microbes from being killed. The moonlighting activity of one enzyme from the tuberculosis bacterium ...

More molecules for tuberculosis

Mar 11, 2011

Scientists are collaborating on a new international research project to identify antibiotics that can kill tuberculosis and fight resistant strains.

Recommended for you

Ebola death toll passes 3,300: WHO

53 minutes ago

The death toll in the world's worst-ever Ebola epidemic has now soared past 3,300, with the virus killing almost half of the more than 7,000 people it has infected, according to World Health Organization figures released ...

Dallas ER sent Ebola-infected patient home

1 hour ago

A Dallas emergency room sent a man with Ebola home last week, even though he told a nurse that he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa, and officials at the hospital are considering if they would have ...

US hunts contacts of seriously ill Ebola patient

2 hours ago

US health officials scoured the Dallas area Wednesday for people—including schoolchildren—who came in contact with a Liberian man who was diagnosed with Ebola, as it emerged a hospital mix-up saw him initially turned ...

User comments