A HAMPSHIRE university has been awarded £833,260 to develop new treatments to fight tuberculosis.
The University of Southampton tuberculosis research group will use the funding from the US National Institutes of Health to develop new treatments for the disease. Researchers will investigate preventing enzymes from causing lung damage, thereby boosting the body’s ability to control infection and stop ongoing illness and death. The research continues an established collaboration between the university, Public Health England, Government’s military science facility Porton Down and Columbia University, New York.
Dr Paul Elkington, who leads tuberculosis research at the university, said: “Tuberculosis remains a globally important disease and continues to kill over 3,000 people every day, but standard treatment has remained unchanged for over 30 years. “This award will be critical to taking our basic research findings towards new treatments that will limit the lung destruction in tuberculosis, thereby reducing mortality and improving outcomes.”
Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection spread through inhaling tiny droplets generated from the coughing of an infected person.
In 2012, it claimed 1.3 million lives, the vast majority of them in developing nations.
Patients with lung cavities are at much greater risk of developing drug-resistance disease, which is a worsening global phenomenon and has resulted in the emergence of untreatable totally drug-resistant strains.