Physicians repeatedly discover active ingredients in nature that can be used to treat illnesses. Researchers have now found that artemisinin can be helpful in the treatment of tuberculosis. This natural compound comes from the so-called annual mugwort( Artemisia annua).The plant has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Michigan State University researchers found that a natural compound from annual mugwort can be effective in tuberculosis. The physicians published the results of their study in the journal "Nature Chemical Biology".
Artemisinin prevents resting state of Mtb pathogens
The compound artemisinin is derived from the plant's annual mugwort( Artemisia annua) and is, for example, highly effective against drug-resistant malaria. The plant is usually used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. A recent study has now shown that artemisinin can prevent a specific ability of Mycobacterium tuberculosis( Mtb).Due to the drug, the pathogen of tuberculosis is no longer able to pass into a so-called resting state. This phase of the disease often makes the use of antibiotics ineffective, explain the experts.
artemisinin can lead to a significantly reduced treatment duration
When Mtb rest, they become very tolerant to antibiotics, say the medical profession. Blocking this effect makes the bacteria more sensitive to this type of medication. As a result, the treatment times could be significantly reduced, explains the author. Abramovitch.
Effects Of Artemisinin On Mtb
Mtb needs oxygen to thrive in the human body. The immune system smothered by the artemisinin quasi this bacterium. So the infection can be better controlled. The scientists also found that artemisinin attacks on a molecule called heme, which is a kind of oxygen sensor for Mtb.
Artemisinin Blocks the Mtb
Oxygen Sensor By interrupting or turning off this sensor, artemisinin, so to speak, stops the ability of the disease to determine how much oxygen was accurately absorbed, the researchers explain. If Mtb has not got enough oxygen, it goes into a dormant state. This effect protects against the burden of low oxygen content. If Mtb can not detect that it is getting too little oxygen, it can not go to sleep and die, says author Dr. Abramovitch.
Mtb is hard to control
Dormant Mtb can remain inactive and last for decades in the body. Then, when the immune system is weakened enough, Mtb can become active again and spread, explain the researchers. Whether it is active or asleep, treatment can last up to six months. This is one of the main reasons why the disease is so difficult to control.
Another five potentially useful inhibitors discovered
Following the screening of 540,000 different compounds, the authors also found five other possible chemical inhibitors that could address the so-called Mtb oxygen sensor in a variety of ways and also be effective in the treatment.
Results May Shorten Therapy Course of Tuberculosis
Current research could be the key to shortening the course of tuberculosis therapy. For this reason, the treatment can also reach the dormant, difficult-to-kill bacteria. This will benefit patients and slow down or possibly prevent the development of drug-resistant Mtb.(as)