Researchers at the Michigan State University, led by doctor Robert Abramovitch discovered that glaucoma drugs could be efficient against tuberculosis.
The compounds in the glaucoma drugs have been proven to tackle tuberculosis and shorten the treatment time for the lung-affecting disease, as well as addressing the problem of tuberculosis drug resistance.
According to World Health Organization estimates, 2 billion people globally are affected by tuberculosis, although in some cases it is kept in check by the immune system. However, for those with a weakened immune system, the tuberculosis strain evades it and spreads rapidly, leading typically to lung disease.
The findings of the study conducted on mice were published in the Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy journal.
According to the researchers, the compound found in glaucoma drugs, known as ethoxzolamide is most effective in hampering tuberculosis from evading the immune system and blocking the spread.
According to lead author Robert Abramovitch, the glaucoma drug compound is effective in:
“shutting down its ability to grow inside certain white blood cells in the immune system. The compound we found inhibits TB’s ability to detect acidic environments, effectively blindfolding the bacterium so it can’t resist the immune system’s assault”,
referring to the ability of tuberculosis to rapidly adapt to changing environments.
A total of 273, 000 compounds were screened during the study. A previously developed biosensor was used to detect which compounds work under tuberculosis invaded organism conditions.
The process was under scrutiny both in macrophages – immune cells infected by tuberculosis and the growth place of the bacteria and in mice.
In both environments, the compound was successful in blocking tuberculosis from growth, it hampered the strain’s ability to adapt to conditions that would attack it, and thus shortened the treatment period for tuberculosis.
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