Vitamin C Can Kill Drug-resistant TB Bacteria
A team of US researchers have discovered that Vitamin C can kill resistant TB bacteria.
Led Dr. William Jacobs Jr., a professor of microbiology, immunology and of genetics at the university’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine,the team was trying to determine how TB bacteria become resistant to anti-TB drug isoniazid in a laboratory experiment.
When the researchers added isoniazid and the amino acid cysteine to isoniazid-sensitive M. tuberculosis in culture, they expected the bacteria to develop resistance to the drug. However, the isoniazid and cysteine killed the bacteria culture.
The researchers suspected that cysteine, as a reducing agent, triggered the production of reactive oxygen species or so- called free radicals, which can damage DNA. They tested the hypothesis by using another reducing agent, Vitamin C, which sterilized drug-resistant TB bacteria.
Jacobs said they still need to test the method on human to see if Vitamin C will really work in treating drug-resistant TB.
TB is caused by infection with the bacterium M. tuberculosis.Increasingly, doctors are discovering that the drugs they normally use to treat the infection no longer work because TB has developed resistance.
Drug resistance arises due to improper use of antibiotics – for example, when patients do not finish the full course of their medicine.