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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Drug may get new TB role

Monday February 20th, 2012

A 45-year-old antibiotic may have a new role in helping treat TB, according to British researchers.

The drug, doxycycline, can help stop the infection from growing - and also prevent damage to the lungs, according to researchers at Imperial College London.

The findings come from laboratory studies, which the scientists say point to wide-ranging benefits from using the drug.

The researchers say the drug blocks an enzyme called MMP-1, which is responsible for the destruction of lung tissue during TB.

A second piece of research, involving guinea pigs, demonstrated how it stopped the growth of the bacteria.

The findings have been reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Researcher Dr Paul Elkington said: "TB treatment has remained unchanged for over 30 years, and totally drug-resistant strains are emerging, so there's a real need for new drugs.

"Because doxycycline is cheap, safe and widely available throughout the developing world, it may be a useful new treatment for TB that can be used in resource-poor settings. Our results so far are promising but we have only looked at human cells and animal models.

"We hope to carry out a clinical trial soon to test whether doxycycline is effective at combating TB in patients."

Doxycycline and HIV infection suppress tuberculosis-induced matrix metalloproteinases. NF Walker et al. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine February 16 2012; doi:10.1164/rccm.201110-1769OC

Tags: Pharmaceuticals | Respiratory | UK News

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