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

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

Senegal closes border as UN warns on Ebola flare-up

4 hours ago

Senegal has become the latest country to seal its border with a west African neighbour to ward off the deadly Ebola virus, as the new UN pointman on the epidemic said preparations must be made for a possible flare-up of the ...

Climate change could see dengue fever come to Europe

4 hours ago

Dengue fever could make headway in popular European holiday destinations if climate change continues on its predicted trajectory, according to research published in open access journal BMC Public Health.

American Ebola doc: 'I am thrilled to be alive'

12 hours ago

Calling it a "miraculous day," an American doctor infected with Ebola left his isolation unit and warmly hugged his doctors and nurses on Thursday, showing the world that he poses no public health threat ...

User comments