New Findings on Drug Tolerance in Tuberculosis Suggest Ideas for Shorter Cures

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Media Contact:Karen Kreeger | karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-5658March 7, 2011

New research on how tuberculosis (TB) bacteria develop multi-drug tolerance points to ways TB infections might be cured more quickly. The study was published online last week in Cell. The results identify both a mechanism and a potential therapy for drug tolerance that is induced in the TB bacteria by the host cells they infect. Currently, TB treatment requires a complex, long-term curative regimen of at least six months. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the University of Washington described the existence of multi-drug tolerant bacteria that form within days of infection in zebrafish, an animal model for studying TB.

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