A new approach to tuberculosis treatment


Chemists from Saint Petersburg State University and Saint Petersburg State Research Institute of Phthisiopulmonology (http://www.spbniif.ru/) found a substance that destroys mycobacteria resistant to other medicines. This statement that was based on the report of Mikhail Krasavin, the head of the Laboratory of Chemical Pharmacology (Saint Petersburg State University), was made on July 14, 2017 by Izvestia Newspaper. The scientists suggest that the investigation will allow developing a new method of tuberculosis treatment.

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by different mycobacteria strains of group Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. Usually this disease affects patient’s lungs. According to the scientists, every third human in the world has a latent form of tuberculosis.

When treating tuberculosis, the mycobacteria mutate and become resistant to antibacterial preparations, especially if the patient does not take the medicine as prescribed.

'The tuberculosis with a multiple resistance develops. And the treatment, besides being very unpleasant for patient, has no effect. Thus there are no more possibilities to treat the disease,' said Mikhail Krasavin.

The new treatment method is based on a substance of the nitrofuran class. Such substances (i.e. furacin) have an antituberculous effect; however, they are toxic to humans.

The scientists changed the structure of the compounds and obtained new less toxic substances with antituberculous effect. At the same time the new substances lost their broad-spectrum antibacterial action. The first fifteen obtained compounds showed their effectiveness against mycobacteria with multiple resistance. According to the scientists, it could take approximately ten years to test these new substances clinically.

The researches, which began two years ago, are carried out on the base of Saint Petersburg State Research Institute of Phthisiopulmonology. This Institute has its own hospital and a unique collection of tuberculosis strains.

'Physicians have now only few antituberculous preparations, and patients already are resistant to most of them. The class of nitrofurans was almost not used as an antituberculous preparation, and mycobacteria are not resistant to them. That is why a medication based on these substances could be very effective,' said Professor Tatiana Vinogradova (Saint Petersburg State Research Institute of Phthisiopulmonology).


Last Modified: 2017/09/05