New compound for treatment of TB developed

Chennai: Researchers at the Tuberculosis Research Centre here claimed to have developed a new compound which can be used for treating tuberculosis and HIV patients.

"We have developed a compound named Transitmycin for the treatment of TB. It was obtained from coastal area thus the immunity developed by tuberculosis bacteria to counter this compound will be less," Vanaja Kumar, Head, Department of Bacteriology at the Centre said here today.

"Transitmycin was also tested against HIV virus in the institute`s lab and found to be active against it," he said.

Rifampicin compound is used to effectively treat tuberculosis across the world but Transitmycin is the first brominated compound that has been obtained from a coastal area.

"If everything goes well then in another 10 years the compound will be available in a tablet form in the market," Kumar said.

"The compound is active against HIV clade C and we are in the process of testing it against other clades," said Luke Elizabeth Hannah, who is presently testing the compound`s action on HIV virus at the TB Research Centre (TRC).

Over 55 per cent of the total HIV patients across the world are infected by clade C, one of genetic subtypes of the virus and in India this number is 98 per cent.

"Transitmycin is a yellow pigment compound, which itself is an indication for a strong anti-bacterial activity," Hannah said.

A team of TRC scientists collaborated with IIT, Madras and Periyar University, Salem to collect compound samples from Andaman Islands and the coasts of Bay of Bengal.


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