Arunachal Pradesh tribe helps in TB research breakthrough
Studies carried on the people of Arunachal's Idu-Mishmis tribe, suffering from this dreaded disease, have discovered a possible reason for the resistance of tuberculosis, said the scientists from the Stanford University and Forsyth Institute.
According to results of the study published in the prestigious "Science Translational Medicine" journal, this is because of the ability of the tuberculosis bacteria to infiltrate and settle down in a particular class of stem cell in the bone marrow.
By doing so, the bacteria take advantage of the body's own mechanisms of self-renewal.
"Cancer scientists have noted that self-renewing stem cells like these in the bone marrow have properties - such as natural drug resistance, infrequent division and a privileged immune status - that make them resistant to many types of treatment," said Dean Felsher, MD, PhD, professor of oncology and of pathology.
Not only did the scientists find genetic material from the bacteria inside the stem cells, they were also able to isolate active bacteria from the cells of human patients with tuberculosis who had undergone extensive treatment for the disease.
"We now need to learn how the bacteria find and infect this tiny population of stem cells, and what triggers it to reactivate years or decades after successful treatment of the disease," said postdoctoral scholar Bikul Das, from the Stanford University,
Be the first to comment.