The scientific journal Nature Genetics pubksihed the largest study regarding the genetic determinants of drug resistance in M. tuberculosis. The study confirms data that wqas already known but it also describes new genetic mutations associated with important second-line drugs for multidrug resistant tuberculosis treatment regimens.
The research, led by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, had the participation of several portuguese researchers, including Professor Miguel Viveiros, from Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical. The Professor coordinated the research in Portugal along with Isabel Portugal and João Perdigão, professor and researcher at Instituto de Investigação do Medicamento da Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade de Lisboa; in collaboration with Instituto Nacional de Saúde Dr. Ricardo Jorge and Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência.
Beyond the more comprehensive and deeper knowledge on M. tuberculosis resistance mechanisms conveyed by this new data, it will enable the inclusion of specific markers for drug resistance in new rapid molecular diagnosis tests, envisioning an increase in sensitivity and specificity, but foremost, enabling an early tuberculosis diagnosis that allows therapeutical adjustments in way that it becomes more effective against resistant bacilli, increasing the cure rates of multidrug and extensively drug resistant tuberculosis infected patients and therefore also halting its transmission and dissemination presently happening.
This new data assumes special relevance in the current context of the WHO’s initiative End TB Strategy, with a main goal of achieving TB elimination by 2035, that is supported, among other pillars, in an intensified research and innovation.
Source/ Image: IHMT