Although COVID-19 commands the headlines today, tuberculosis (TB) remains the biggest infection killer in the world and multiple drug resistant TB, which does not respond to regular antibiotics, continues to be a major threat to global health.
TB is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs. Tuberculosis kills over 4,000 individuals daily throughout the world; while here in Ireland resistant and highly complex cases of TB continue to rise year after year, with cases numbering over 300 annually
Now, scientists at Trinity College Dublin and St James’s Hospital, Dublin have discovered how the iron chelator, DFX, which functions by attaching to iron, drives the immune system to deal with tuberculosis (TB).
Iron is crucial for daily human function but is also an essential element for the survival of viruses and bacteria. For some time, scientists have known that depriving infections of iron can limit bacterial burden and help improve patient outcomes.