New Delhi: A team of scientists has identified a naturally occurring antibiotic that may help in the fight against drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB). Each year, approximately 10 million people fall ill with tuberculosis and around 1.7 million die from the devastating disease worldwide. One of the main antibiotics for TB is rifampicin, however, many strains of the tuberculosis-causing bacteria - Mycobacterium tuberculosis - have developed resistance to it.
Approximately 600,000 people are diagnosed with rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis every year. Now, researchers from Newcastle University and Demuris Ltd have identified that a naturally occurring antibiotic, called kanglemycin A – related to the antibiotic rifampicin – is active against rifampicin-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
It is hoped that this compound and the enhanced understanding gained from these studies may lead to effective new drug treatments in the future. The findings of the study have been published in the journal, Molecular Cell.