The cure for the world’s deadliest disease Tuberculosis (TB) has become essential for its eradication as this infectious disease put million of life at risk every year.
Scientists have now taken an important step forward to develop an effective vaccine against Tuberculosis. In India, nearly half a million deaths happen due to this infectious disease on an annual basis. Across the world, it is one of the top ten causes of death.
According to the PTI reports, the researchers said that with an estimated 1.7 million people worldwide die due to Tuberculosis (TB).It is an airborne disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and it mainly affects the lungs.
They also said that despite 20 years of intense global efforts no effective vaccine has been developed yet but the disease is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics.
Now, researchers from the universities of Southampton and Bangor in the UK, have shown that certain lipids – fatty substances essential to cell structure that is found in abundance in Mtb – could trigger an immune response from other, ‘unconventional’ types of T cells.
According to the study published in the journal PNAS, the team showed that a group of lipids called mycolic acids could be a key source to determine an immune response and it is a major component of the Mtb cellular envelope.
The study showed that chemical make-up, geometry and movement of the mycolic acids’ long lipid ‘tails’ are embedded in a type of human protein known as CD1b. It determines the response of the body’s rare T cells.
“This is an exciting discovery with potential therapeutic implications for TB patients. We have shown that synthetic lipids related to those in the cell wall of Mtb are selectively targeted by T-cells,” said Salah Mansour, from the University of Southampton.
“Our findings could help drive advances in vaccine development through the intelligent design of the lipid components of future TB vaccines,” said Mansour.
“This is a very exciting result of a collaboration between organic chemists and immunologists which could provide a real opportunity for improved protection against TB,” Juma’a Al Dulayymi, from Bangor University added.