Shoddy work by a DNA-repair enzyme allows tuberculosis-causing bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance, scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have discovered. Reported in the current issue of the Journal Cell, the finding by Clifton E. Barry, III, Ph.D., and his colleagues in South Africa, could lead to new ways to treat TB without risking the development of drug resistance.
"Tuberculosis takes the lives of almost two million people each year, and eight million people develop active TB annually," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "Especially alarming is the upsurge in cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. A clearer understanding of how TB bacteria acquire drug resistance is essential if we are to control this disease," he adds.
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Anne A. Oplinger
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