How Do Host-Directed Therapies Target Drug-Resistant Strains of TB?

How Do Host-Directed Therapies Target Drug-Resistant Strains of TB?

Experts Developing Innovative Immune-Enhancing Therapies for TB Treatment

As the world battles the ongoing tuberculosis (TB) pandemic, a team of researchers is pioneering groundbreaking immune-enhancing treatments, known as host-directed therapies, to combat this infectious disease, including drug-resistant strains.

Harnessing the Body’s Defense

Host-directed therapies aim to bolster immune pathways within infected cells, enhancing antimicrobial functions and mitigating excessive inflammation or immunosuppression. By leveraging the body’s natural defenses, these innovative treatments offer a promising approach to tackle the growing challenge of drug-resistant TB.

Molecules to the Rescue

Associate Professor Susanna Brighenti from the Centre for Infectious Medicine at ANA Futura, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, is leading the research on small molecule compounds, like histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, which can enhance antibacterial defense mechanisms.

These compounds have shown remarkable efficacy in reducing M. tuberculosis (Mtb) growth by up to 75%. By complementing standard antibiotic therapy, they could potentially reduce treatment duration and improve patient outcomes, particularly for severe cases like MDR-TB.

Immunotherapy in Action

The development of host-directed therapies mirrors advancements witnessed in treating cancer and autoimmune diseases, where immunotherapy has revolutionized treatment paradigms.

Professor Brighenti envisions a future where short-term use of existing therapeutics and long-term development of tailored interventions, such as local administration of specific HDAC inhibitors, will pave the way for more effective TB treatment.

Personalized Approach

Personalized medicine will also play a crucial role in optimizing TB treatment, considering the diverse nature of the disease and individual patient needs.

By tailoring treatments to specific patient characteristics and disease profiles, host-directed therapies hold the promise of improving patient outcomes and reducing the burden of TB worldwide.

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