Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

TB bacteria evolve at alarming rate

Researchers from the Vavilov Institute of General Genetics of the Russian Academy of Sciences (VIGG) and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) have established a catalog of mutations in 319 virulence genes of mycobacteria that cause tuberculosis. These genes encode proteins that suppress human immune response. Further analysis identified a set of three mutations which may enable mycobacteria to develop rapidly in an immunocompromised environment. The emerging strains of TB pathogens require new treatment approaches including the development of new genetically engineered vaccines that take into account both the immune status of a patient and the specific virulence features of a pathogen. The article was published in Genome Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press, UK).

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Why Russian TB is the most infectious

Biologists have provided a possible explanation for the epidemiological ‘success’ of tuberculosis strains that are common in Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union

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