Researchers find potential way to tweak immune system to help it fight tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is old—ancient even. The infectious bacterial disease that plagued Old Testament Israelites and took down pharaohs was eventually stunted by vaccinations, antibiotics, and public health measures like isolation, but it hasn’t been cured yet. More than a million people around the world still die from TB every year.

Alcohol Use, Even at Low Levels, Increases Risk of Developing Disease

Even low levels of alcohol use can increase the likelihood of developing diseases like cancer and heart disease. A systematic review of studies of the relationship between alcohol use and risk of disease published in Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research found that disease risk increases as alcohol use increases and high levels of alcohol use have clear detrimental health effects. While lower-level alcohol use can be protective against certain diseases, it can have significant adverse health effects for many other diseases. The authors urge greater awareness that any level of alcohol use can increase a person’s risk of developing serious, even fatal, diseases.

Tuberculosis Therapy: Smallest Particles Will Deliver the Drug to the Lungs in Future

Therapy of the dangerous infectious disease of tuberculosis faces the challenge of pathogens frequently being resistant to several common antibiotics. Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now developed nanoparticles to deliver new antibiotics directly to the lungs in future. Surfactants ensure that the highly fat-soluble antibiotics disperse very finely in water and can be inhaled. First tests at the Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center, reveal a high effectiveness and good compatibility of the nanocarriers of antibiotics. The researchers report in ACS Nano. (DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.3c01664)

Painful, swirling skin lesions a rare symptom of undiagnosed pulmonary tuberculosis

A patient presenting with painful, swirling skin lesions, chills, and weight loss was found to be suffering from erythema gyratum repens (EGR), a rare and striking skin condition that is associated with underlying malignancy in most cases, but in some cases can stem from an autoimmune disease, messenger RNA-based vaccines against COVID-19, or in rare cases, tuberculosis (TB). The case report from authors at Stanford University is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

With short course of TB prevention for people living with HIV, completion soars

People who are HIV positive and living in high tuberculosis-transmission regions of the world are much more likely to finish a TB-prevention regimen lasting just three months – half as long as the standard treatment, a large clinical trial in Africa has found.

Medicina de precisión y tecnología digital como instrumentos poderosos contra la tuberculosis

La lucha mundial contra la tuberculosis ahora cuenta con algunos instrumentos poderosos. La medicina de precisión que ya se aplica para personalizar el diagnóstico y el tratamiento de enfermedades no contagiosas, como el cáncer, junto a las tecnologías para la atención de la salud, como la telemedicina, tienen la capacidad de avanzar la prevención y el tratamiento de la tuberculosis, dice el Dr. Zelalem Temesgen, experto en enfermedades infecciosas y director médico del Centro para Tuberculosis en Mayo Clinic.

Precision medicine, digital technology hold potential as powerful tools against tuberculosis

The global fight against tuberculosis is gaining some powerful tools. Precision medicine — already used to personalize diagnosis and treatment of noncommunicable diseases such as cancer — and health care technologies such as telemedicine have the potential to advance the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis, says Zelalem Temesgen, M.D., an infectious diseases expert and medical director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Tuberculosis.

To Meet HIV World Health Goals, TB Treatment Must be Maintained During COVID-19 Response

This World AIDS Day, the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), of which the ATS is a founding member, is calling on governments, health advocates and non-government organizations to strengthen their response to AIDS and tuberculosis, and to ensure that TB services are maintained throughout their response to COVID-19.

NIH Re-Funds ACTG for the Next Seven Years

The AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG), the largest global HIV research network, has been re-funded for the next seven years by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and collaborating NIH Institutes.

Tuberculosis Screening Needed for Methotrexate Users in At-Risk Locales

New research presented at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, shows that tuberculosis (TB) screening and ongoing clinical care is needed for people on methotrexate who live in areas where the highly infectious illness is common. Methotrexate users who also take corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant therapies are at particular risk and need adequate TB screening.

New generation of drugs show early efficacy against drug-resistant TB

• New drug regimen for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis shows early effectiveness in 85 percent of patients in a cohort including many with serious comorbidities.
• The results suggest a global need for expanded access to two recently developed medicines, bedaquiline and delamanid.
• Study cohort included many people who would have been excluded from trials because of comorbidities, severity of disease or extent of drug resistance.
• Findings highlight the importance of innovative regimens to improve outcomes for patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

Research News Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins Medicine

Within a month following a heart attack, people are at increased risk for a second one. As a result, physicians treat these patients with medications to rapidly reduce cardiovascular risk factors for another event. Although statins are designed to reduce the risk from one underlying problem, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol, they often aren’t able drop it to recommended levels within 30 days. Now, testing a next-generation cholesterol-lowering drug known as a PCSK9 inhibitor, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers showed they could lower blood cholesterol to safer levels faster when it is added to traditional therapies.

Rutgers Expert Can Discuss Global Climate Change Mortality Study

New Brunswick, N.J. (Aug. 3, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Robert E. Kopp is available to discuss a major study released today on the global consequences of climate change on death rates. The study by the Climate Impact Lab,…

New Tool for an Old Disease: Use of PET and CT Scans May Help Develop Shorter TB Treatment

Experts believe that tuberculosis, or TB, has been a scourge for humans for some 15,000 years, with the first medical documentation of the disease coming out of India around 1000 B.C.E. Today, the World Health Organization reports that TB is still the leading cause of death worldwide from a single infectious agent, responsible for some 1.5 million fatalities annually. Primary treatment for TB for the past 50 years has remained unchanged and still requires patients to take multiple drugs daily for at least six months. Successful treatment with these anti-TB drugs — taken orally or injected into the bloodstream — depends on the medications “finding their way” into pockets of TB bacteria buried deep within the lungs.

Immune responses to tuberculosis mapped across 3 species

A new study led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis offers a genetic road map detailing the similarities and differences in immune responses to TB across three species — mice, macaques and humans. According to the researchers, the insight into the immune pathways that are activated in diverse models of TB infection will serve as a valuable tool for scientists studying and working to eradicate the disease.

Delivering TB Vaccine Intravenously Dramatically Improves Potency, Study Shows

Worldwide, more people die from tuberculosis than any other infectious disease, even though the vast majority were vaccinated. The vaccine just isn’t that reliable. But a new Nature study finds that simply changing the way the vaccine is administered could dramatically boost its protective power.

Collaboration with Texas Biomed, SwRI and UT Health San Antonio targets Bladder Cancer

The San Antonio Medical Foundation (SAMF) has awarded Texas Biomedical Research Institute Professor Jordi B. Torrelles, Ph.D., with a $173,000 grant to study a modified Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette et Guérin (BCG) vaccine shown to have promise for treating bladder cancer. BCG is a weakened strain of Mycobacterium bovis, a vaccine for tuberculosis.

Lung Lining Fluid Key to Elderly Susceptibility to Tuberculosis Disease

– Old lungs are not as capable as young lungs of fighting off an infection of the bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB), placing seniors at a greater risk of developing TB. The microbe that causes this infectious disease, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), currently kills more people in the world than any other pathogen. Texas Biomed researchers published an article in the Journal of Infectious Diseases in July 2019. The study details an experiment that took place in vitro (in the lab) and in vivo (in animals) that showed fluid in the lining of the lungs plays a big role in the elderly’s susceptibility to infection with the bacterium Mtb.