Latin America & the Caribbean Edging Towards Eliminating Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis, world's top infectious killer. Credit: UNBy Grace VirtueWASHINGTON DC, Mar 16 2018 (IPS)Known as El Libertador throughout the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region, Simón Bolívar was central to the battle for independence from Spanish rule in Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. A less known fact is that Bolívar, the son of a wealthy Venezuelan creole family, died from tuberculosis (TB) on December 17, 1880, at age 47. His compatriot, renowned impressionist Cristobal Rojas, painted La Miseria in 1886, depicting the social conditions of the day that gave rise to TB. He died from the disease in 1890 at age 33.Tuberculosis is an ancient disease. Results from a 2014 DNA study of remains in southern Peru suggest that human TB was present 6,000 years ago. This chronic familiarity of the disease no doubt makes it more difficult to generate the attention required to eradicate it from the human experience.Observed as World TB Day each year, March 24 is the annual opportunity for advocates and interest groups to build public awareness about the disease, which killed 1.7 million people in 2017 and sickened more than 10 million. The date marks the anniversary of the announcement in 1882 by Robert Koch, a German physician and microbiologist, that he had discovered the cause of TB: the tubercle bacillus.Koch’s work was seminal in the treatment of TB—also known as the white plague—which was devastating populations in Europe...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Development & Aid Economy & Trade Featured Headlines Health Latin America & the Caribbean Population Poverty & SDGs TerraViva United Nations Trade & Investment Source Type: news

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Bacillus Calmette Guérin (BCG) is the only currently available vaccine against tuberculosis (TB), but it confers incomplete and variable protection against pulmonary TB in humans and bovine TB (bTB) in cattle. Insights into the immune response induced by BCG offer an underexploited opportunity to gain knowledge that may inform the design of a more efficacious vaccine, which is urgently needed to control these major global epidemics. Humoral immunity in TB and bTB has been neglected, but recent studies supporting a role for antibodies in protection against TB has driven a growing interest in determining their relevan...
Source: Frontiers in Immunology - Category: Allergy & Immunology Source Type: research
CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary findings showed that MMP9 immune biomarkers separated LTBI indigenous individuals from NIC indigenous individuals, while CCR5, CCL11, CD14, and IFN- γ did not differentiate TB states from NIC. MMP9 may be useful as a potential biomarker for LTBI and new infected case detection among Warao indigenous individuals at high risk of developing the disease. It may also be used to halt the epidemic, which will require further validation in larger studies.
Source: Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical - Category: Tropical Medicine Source Type: research
The widespread availability and use of modern synthetic therapeutic agents have led to a massive decline in ethnomedical therapies. However, these synthetic agents often possess toxicity leading to various adverse effects. For instance, anti-tubercular treatment (ATT) is toxic, lengthy, and severely impairs host immunity, resulting in posttreatment vulnerability to reinfection and reactivation of tuberculosis (TB). Incomplete ATT enhances the risk for the generation of multidrug- or extensively drug-resistant (MDR or XDR, respectively) variants of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb), the TB-causing microbe. Therefore, a new...
Source: Journal of Biological Chemistry - Category: Chemistry Authors: Tags: Immunology Source Type: research
AbstractTwo global epidemics, diabetes mellitus (DM) and tuberculosis (TB), have converged making their control even more challenging. We herein have reviewed metformin ’s (MTF) effect on patients with active and latent TB, as well as discussed its newly discovered biological mechanisms in mycobacteria. Mounting evidence suggests that MTF provides better outcomes in TB patients, especially those with DM. The mechanisms by which MTF produces its benefits are multi ple. Though metformin’s potential has been proven in patients with DM, larger and more thorough clinical trials, in DM and non-DM-TB patients, need to...
Source: Infection - Category: Infectious Diseases Source Type: research
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) killed more people in 2017 than any other single infectious agent. This dangerous pathogen is able to withstand stresses imposed by the immune system and tolerate exposure to antibiotics, resulting in persistent infection. The global tuberculosis (TB) epidemic has been exacerbated by the emergence of mutant strains...
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences - Category: Science Authors: Tags: PNAS Plus Source Type: research
CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary findings showed that MMP9 immune biomarkers separated LTBI indigenous individuals from NIC indigenous individuals, while CCR5, CCL11, CD14, and IFN- γ did not differentiate TB states from NIC. MMP9 may be useful as a potential biomarker for LTBI and new infected case detection among Warao indigenous individuals at high risk of developing the disease. It may also be used to halt the epidemic, which will require further validation in larger studies.
Source: Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical - Category: Tropical Medicine Source Type: research
Modern lifestyle limits our exposure to sunlight, which photosynthesizes vitamin D in the skin, and the incidence of nutritional rickets has been resurging. Vitamin D is one of the oldest hormones; it is photosynthesized in all forms of life from the phytoplankton to mammals. A selective sweep of the promoter of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) happened as soon as Homo sapiens migrated out of Africa; it co-adapted with skin color genes to provide a fine-scale adaptation to latitudes and the levels of exposure to ultraviolet (UV)B radiation along the route out of Africa. Exposure to UVB radiation balances the need for vitamin D...
Source: Frontiers in Endocrinology - Category: Endocrinology Source Type: research
This study analyzed 71 cases of TB at autopsy notified via Taiwan Medical Examiner Surveillance for Lethal Infectious Disease (Taiwan Med-X) between 2012 and 2017 and applied immunohistochemistry to formalin-fixed lung tissue. Tuberculosis was present in 0.57% (71/12,369) forensic autopsy cases in the institute. Among the study cases, 30 (42.3%) cases were newly diagnosed with TB at autopsy, whereas 41 (57.7%) cases were notified before death and have still seen the TB pathological changes. Regarding the death investigation, cause of death was TB accounted for 46.5%, and non-TB, 53.5% (including trauma, 26.8%; other diseas...
Source: The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology - Category: Forensic Medicine Tags: Original Articles Source Type: research
Tuberculosis infects one quarter of the world’s population and is the leading cause of death by a single infectious agent, responsible for a reported 1.3 million deaths in 2017. While Mycobacterium tuberculosis is treatable with antibiotic therapy, the increased prevalence of drug resistance, coupled with the variable efficacy of the only widely approved vaccine, has highlighted the need for creative approaches to therapeutic and vaccine development. Historically, a productive immune response to M. tuberculosis has been thought to be nearly entirely cell-mediated, with humoral immunity being largely dismissed. Howeve...
Source: Frontiers in Immunology - Category: Allergy & Immunology Source Type: research
Publication date: July 2019Source: Molecular Immunology, Volume 111Author(s): Andre G. LoxtonAbstractTuberculosis (TB) is a global epidemic with devastating consequences. Emerging evidence suggests that B-cells have the ability to modulate the immune response and understanding these roles during Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) infection can help to find new strategies to treat TB. The immune system of individuals with pulmonary TB form granulomas in the lung which controls the infection by inhibiting the M.tb growth and acts as a physical barrier. Thereafter, surviving M.tb become dormant and in most cases the host&rsquo...
Source: Molecular Immunology - Category: Allergy & Immunology Source Type: research
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