According to new research, a cheap and safe antibiotic that is widely available in developing countries, could have a new use for the treatment of tuberculosis. Tuberculosis kills nearly 2 million people a year worldwide, and has become increasingly resistant to antibiotics used to treat it, but a few new drugs are in development.
Doxycycline (antibiotic) was introduced in 1967 and is used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections, but still has not been recognized as effective against tuberculosis. A new study published in the American Journal American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, expressed the view that doxycycline might stop the growth of bacteria, and also prevent the disease damages the lungs.
In the past, researchers at Imperial College London found that tuberculosis increases the production of an enzyme called MMP-1 and that this enzyme is responsible for the destruction of lung tissue. Now they have found that doxycycline inhibits the production of tissue-degrading enzyme in cells infected with tuberculosis. They also found that doxycycline inhibits the growth of bacteria directly in the body of guinea pigs. This is a surprising result, given the fact that the drug is widely used as an antibiotic for more than 40 years, but was not considered effective against tuberculosis. "Treatment of tuberculosis remained unchanged for more than 30 years and have strains resistant to drugs completely, so there is a real need for new drugs." Said Dr Paul Elkington (Dr. Paul Elkington) of the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London, who led the study.
"Because doxycycline is cheap, safe and widely available in developing countries, it can be a useful new tool for the treatment of tuberculosis that can be used in resource-poor ucherezhdenijah. Our results so far are promising, as we watched the human cells and animals. But soon we hope to test to see whether doxycycline is effective in the control of tuberculosis in patients. "
Researchers have found further evidence of the effect of the antibiotic doxycycline in TB bacteria grown in liquid broth. The higher the concentration of doxycycline, the lower the rate of bacterial growth. They also studied HIV-infected patients, tubercular in South Africa to seek further confirmation that MMP-1 is responsible for the destruction of lung tissue. They found that the concentration of the enzyme was inhibited in individuals with advanced HIV infection first explaining why such patients not suffering from such extensive destruction of lung when they get TB. The Imperial team worked with staff at the University of Cape Town and the Health Protection Agency (HPA) at Porton Down.
The study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the organization Wellcome Trust, Imperial Biomedical Research Centre and the Health Protection Agency (HPA).