The Development of Novel Drug to Treat Tuberculosis Disease

Lalu Rudyat Telly Savalas


One important agenda in the sustainable development goals is the eradication of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. Targeting tuberculosis is not as easy as it is said, because the bacterium that causes this disease, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, seems to have its own agenda to become an eternal enemy of civilization. Prevention of TB disease established by BCG vaccination is only effective in preventing TB for children. At the later stage, these bacteria can still infect humans in adulthood. Treatment strategy for TB patients has been implemented with DOTS, but the success of this strategy requires carefulness and discipline of medical staff and patients. This curative strategy also continues to experience problems with the emergence of Mtb strains that are resistant to multiple antibiotics (MDR) and extremely resistant drug resistant (XDR). In addition to these problems, attention also needs to be focused on latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). The current estimation by WHO suggests that a quarter of the human population may be latently infected with Mtb, and about ten percent of this number will develop active TB. The present understanding of the mechanism by which Mtb is capable of infecting humans in latent fashion provides strategy to deal with Mtb, i.e. by blocking Mtb's proteins that contribute to latent tuberculosis infection. In this minireview, Mtb proteins involved in latent tuberculosis infection and the opportunity to develop TB novel drugs based on the inhibition of these proteins are presented.

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