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Boston University Study Identifies Molecular Circuitry That Helps Tuberculosis Survive for Decades
Original press release from: Boston Medical Center, posted on July 3, 2013. By Gina DiGravio
(Boston) – In a study from Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL), researchers have generated a map of the cellular circuitry ofMycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of human tuberculosis (TB). This information, which is being published online as an Advanced Online Publication in the journalNature, sheds new light on the bacterium’s ability to survive inactive in the human body for decades, resist treatment and cause disease.
M. tuberculosis can cause devastating infections of the lungs and other body sites. In 2011 there were 8.7 million new TB cases worldwide causing an estimated 1.4 million deaths, according to the 2012 Global Tuberculosis Report by the World Health Organization. In the United States alone, there were approximately 10,500 new cases of tuberculosis reported in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and recent TB outbreaks have been reported in Virginia, Los Angeles and South Carolina.