Potential new drug for tuberculosis

Some strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB, have become resistant to most antibiotics — but researchers hope that a new synthetic molecule will be a more formidable weapon to fight them. Credit: CDC/ Dr. Ray Butler

A new drug capable of inhibiting growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is reported this week in Nature Medicine. The findings may improve therapeutic options for the treatment of drug resistant tuberculosis (TB).

One-third of the world's population is latently infected with M. tuberculosis and more than a million people die of TB each year. Multidrug- of M. tuberculosis are spreading, and therefore the need to develop new and improved drugs is urgent.

Kevin Pethe and colleagues screened a chemical library for inhibitors of M. tuberculosis growth in and identified imidazopyrimidine amides as potential candidates. The team then optimized these chemicals in order to generate the compound Q203. This compound, which showed efficacy in vitro and in a mouse model of established TB, targets part of the M. tuberculosis electron chain and therefore inhibits ATP synthesis—which is needed for cellular energy production.

The findings support the concept of targeting ATP synthesis to potentially eradicate both active and latent M. tuberculosis and provide a new candidate for clinical validation.

More information: Nature Medicine (2013) doi:10.1038/nm.3262

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

FDA approves first new tuberculosis in 40 years

Dec 31, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration says it has approved a Johnson & Johnson tuberculosis drug that is the first new medicine to fight the deadly infection in more than four decades.

Recommended for you

Ebola mistakes should serve a lesson says WHO

2 hours ago

The World Health Organization's chief admitted on Sunday that the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve as a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future.

British Ebola nurse discharged from hospital

8 hours ago

A British nurse who contracted Ebola while working as a volunteer in Sierra Leone said she was "happy to be alive" as she was discharged from hospital on Saturday having made a full recovery.

Tide turning in Ebola fight after hard lessons

Jan 24, 2015

A top U.N. official in the fight against Ebola greeted just three patients at one treatment center he visited this week in Sierra Leone. Families in Liberia are no longer required to cremate the remains of ...

Just five Ebola cases left in Liberia: UN

Jan 24, 2015

The United Nations said on Saturday Liberia was dealing with just five remaining cases of Ebola, in the clearest sign yet that the country is nearing the end of the outbreak.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.