LILLE, France-Researchers in France have determined of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) spreads molecularly from the lungs to other organs. The intend on using this research to improve therapies and prophylactics for the air-borne disease.
Within a July issue of the journal Nature, Camille Locht, MD, of the Institut Pasteur de Lille, reported that a TB surface protein is critical to disease's method of spreading.
This protein, mycobacerial heparinbinding maemagglutinin adhesin (HBHA) must be able to bind to epithelial cells for TB to spread from the lungs to other areas of the body. Lockt's team found they could interrupt this cell interaction by disrupting the gene encoding of HBHA. This genetic change did not protect people from initially becoming infected, however their form of TB was interacted less with epithelial cells. The cells did not disseminate at the same rate as the unaltered form of TB.
Information from Reuter's Health