XML Feed for RxPG News   Add RxPG News Headlines to My Yahoo!   Javascript Syndication for RxPG News

Research Health World General
 Latest Research
 Infectious Diseases
  Prion Diseases
  Small Pox
 Respiratory Medicine
 Public Health
 Clinical Trials
 Medical News
 Awards & Prizes
 Special Topics
 Odd Medical News
 World News

Last Updated: Aug 19th, 2006 - 22:18:38

Tuberculosis Channel
subscribe to Tuberculosis newsletter

Latest Research : Infectious Diseases : Tuberculosis

   DISCUSS   |   EMAIL   |   PRINT
Ancient origins of tuberculosis-causing bacteria
Aug 19, 2005, 13:35, Reviewed by: Dr.

"Our results change the current paradigm of the recent origin of tuberculosis"

Researchers have long considered tuberculosis, a bacterial respiratory disease that kills 3 million people each year, a relatively recent human affliction. But a new study in PLoS Pathogens suggests that the disease and the pathogens responsible are much older than previously thought.

"Our results change the current paradigm of the recent origin of tuberculosis," says Veronique Vincent, senior author of the study and researcher at Institut Pasteur, Paris, France. These results may have important future implications for improving diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Most tuberculosis cases are caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and its close relatives. However, some tuberculosis patients from East Africa are infected with unusual bacterial strains that form colonies that appear physically different from M. tuberculosis. Using genetic data from the different strains, Vincent and her colleagues discovered that the ancestors of these bacterial strains were also the progenitors of M. tuberculosis.

These results suggest that M. tuberculosis and related strains recently emerged from a much more ancient bacterial species than previously thought, possibly as old as 3 million years, Vincent says. "Tuberculosis could thus be much older than the plague, typhoid fever, or malaria, and might have affected early hominids," and its expansion to the rest of the world may have coincided with the waves of human migration out of Africa.

- Gutierrez MC, Brisse S, Brosch R, Fabre M, Omaŭs B, et al. (2005) Ancient origin and gene mosaicism of the progenitor of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. PLoS Pathog 1(1): e5.

PLoS Pathogens

Subscribe to Tuberculosis Newsletter
E-mail Address:


All works published in PLoS Pathogens are open access. Everything is immediately available without cost to anyone, anywhere--to read, download, redistribute, include in databases, and otherwise use--subject only to the condition that the original authorship is properly attributed. Copyright is retained by the authors. The Public Library of Science uses the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Related Tuberculosis News

Emergence of highly drug-resistant tuberculosis strains requires urgent action
Treating populations infected with HIV and latent TB could speed the emergence of drug-resistant TB
Solution to TB epidemic may lie in protective Heme oxygenase 1 protein
Explaining Why People of African Descent Are More Vulnerable to TB
Indian Scientists Identify Key Genes in Tuberculosis Infection
PA-824 holds promise for shortening the TB treatment regimen
DC-SIGN expressing alveolar macrophages are preferentially targeted by M. tuberculosis
Tuberculosis Still a Risk for Patients on Anti-retrovirals
Evolutionary history of tuberculosis is shaped by human migration patterns
TB vaccines will fail in developing countries

For any corrections of factual information, to contact the editors or to send any medical news or health news press releases, use feedback form

Top of Page


© Copyright 2004 onwards by RxPG Medical Solutions Private Limited
Contact Us