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Biology Seminar - Drug discovery and characterization in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

  • Friday, April 8, 2016
  • 1:30 PM–2:30 PM
  • Science Building 010

Ben Johnson, graduate student, Michigan State University Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) infections remain a global threat to public health. It is estimated that approximately two billion people are infected with TB, however only 10% will develop symptoms of active disease. Our current treatment regimen is long (6-9 months) and if not taken for the full course, may lead to disease relapse and drug resistance. Treating drug-resistant TB requires a multi-drug regimen to be taken for more than two years. Thus, we need faster acting antibiotics. We have taken a high throughput screening approach to identify potential new treatments by targeting environmental sensing pathways in TB. Specifically, we have shown that inhibiting TB’s ability to sense and respond to acidic environments, such as those found within the macrophage phagosome, leads to an impaired ability to adapt to the intracellular environment and increased sensitivity to antibiotics.

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