PerspectiveInfectious Disease

Targeting drugs for tuberculosis

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Science  28 Jun 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6447, pp. 1234-1235
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay0211

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Summary

Tuberculosis (TB) remains a major global health issue. In 2015, TB was estimated to cause more than 1 million deaths worldwide, making TB the leading cause of death by a single infectious agent (1). The current TB treatment regimen is arduous, requiring multiple drugs for a minimum of 6 months; however, drug-resistant infections can increase this treatment duration (13). The prevalence of resistance is alarming: ∼20% of deaths from TB result from drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of TB (3). Mtb infection is particularly hard to treat because it resides in heterogeneously structured lesions, called granulomas (46), which limits direct contact with antibiotics. Therefore, a key strategy is to improve the delivery of drugs to an infection site. On page 1279 of this issue, Greenwood et al. (7) describe how drug-lipid binding is a promising mechanism for directly increasing drug access to Mtb.

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