Researchers have identified that ethoxzolamide, a common substance found in many medicines prescribed for the therapy of glaucoma may also be effective against tuberculosis (TB).
Tuberculosis, a common infectious medical condition most commonly affects the lungs with Mycobacterium tuberculosis being the main cause.
The World Health Organization (WHO) approximate that about 2 billion individuals all over the world are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, but in most situations the immune system helps to keep it under control.
If the immune system gets compromised, then the bacterium gets the upper hand, evades the immune system and manifests the disease.
The research team explains how ethoxzolamide turns off the bacterium’s capability to evade the immune system. They also found out that the compound decreases disease symptoms in mice. This new study was recently published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
Compound ‘shuts down TB’s potential to develop in immune cells’
Senior author Robert Abramovitch, states they identified that ethoxzolamide prevents the TB bacterium from implementing its immune-evasion approach, successfully “turning down its capability to develop inside specific white blood cells in the immune system.”
TB bacteria are quite good at sensing specific cues and adjusting to their surroundings. One particular cue is any increase or decrease in acidity level that could indicate an attack on the immune system.
Explaining about the study, senior author Robert Abramovitch said the substance we identified inhibits TB’s capability to identify acidic environment leading to properly blindfolding the bacterium so it can’t resist the immune system’s attack.
For the research, he and his colleagues tested 273,000 substances for any that might be successful against the TB bacterium.
In previously research, Prof. Abramovitch had developed a fluorescent biosensor that shines green under situations that mimic TB infection. They used this to monitor the compounds.
They performed various tests and demonstrated that ethoxzolamide decrease M. tuberculosis development in both infected mice and macrophages. Macrophages are a type of immune cell that the TB bacterium invades and replicates in.
The team is very happy by their findings because not only may the substance be capable to prevent the propagation of TB, it may also reduce the period of treatment, and thus deal with the issue of drug resistance.
Adding to above statement Senior Author Robert Abramovitch said:
Resistance to common anti-TB drugs is wide-spread. The main cause for this is because the therapy takes a long time.
It is challenging for a people with TB to get through the whole antibiotic course needed to kill all of the bacteria. Reducing the duration will help to keep in check the progression of these resistant strains.”
He also notices that it is not essential to kill the bacterium to halt TB. Medicines that give the immune system a boost by preventing the pathogen’s capability to sense and evade the immune system should also be effective.