Scientists from IIT Bombay have proved how utilizing drugs in combination can cure tuberculosis caused by drug-resistant bacteria. The causative agent of Tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis is resistant to most antibiotics today is a known fact. Many bacteria are developing resistance to common antibiotics faster than the number of effective drugs being discovered to fight them.
Hence, not only a new drug but a new method of treatment for fight resistant bacteria is required. Now, a study by Prof. Sarika Mehra and her team from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) has uncovered a mechanism to increase the efficacy of the commonly used antibiotic rifampicin.
But, how did these bacteria become resistant to the drug that killed them? The irregular and improper use of antibiotics is to be blamed. Now, these bacteria have turned fatal; multi-drug resistant tuberculosis was responsible for 2, 50,000 deaths worldwide and 4,80,00 new cases of tuberculosis in 2015 alone!
In this study, published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, the scientists have improved the efficacy of rifampicin by delivering it with another active compound called cumene hydroperoxide (CHP). “The current regime against tuberculosis involves combination therapy of drugs, which works fine in eradicating drug-sensitive Mycobacteria. However, many of the existing drugs are ineffective against the widespread drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium”, says Prof. Mehra, who headed the study.