Antacid helps tuberculosis persist in macrophages

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New research has uncovered that Mycobacterium tuberculosis releases an antacid that remodels phagosomes, helping tuberculosis persist in macrophages

Invading bacteria are usually taken up by macrophages, which encapsulate the bacteria in phagosomes that then fuse with lysosomes, breaking down bateria. However, it has been demonstrated that in tuberculosis infection the invading bacteria can survive inside macrophages, as author Jeffrey Buter (University of Groningen, the Netherlands) explained: “They can survive for years inside a macrophage, where antibiotics can barely reach them.”

A previous study, in 2014, identified an unusual terpene nucleoside termed 1-tuberculosinyladenosine (1-TbAd) that was discovered to play an important role in virulence, but the mechanism by which this molecule aided virulence was unknown.

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