The discovery could provide scientists with a new direction to try to combat drug-resistant tuberculosis and to head off the continued spread of this deadly infectious disease.
Tuberculosis claims about 2 million lives worldwide each year. With the global spread of the pathogenic bacterium that currently infects one-third of the world’s population, there are also strains that are resistant to most types of antibiotics that are used to treat this infection.
These strains cause so-called multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and extensively drug resistant tuberculosis. The limited number of drugs that are used to treat these resilient infections are our last line of defense, and some bacteria have already evolved resistance even to these antibiotics. The family of aminoglycoside antibiotics is among these drugs.
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