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      Investigating multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in the 3-dimensional bioelectrospray cell culture model – MRC

      Science Impact, Ltd.

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          Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease that causes 10 million cases each year and is now is becoming progressively more difficult to treat. Indeed, some strains are now completely resistant to antibiotics previously used to cure tuberculosis infection. One of the difficulties in identifying new antibiotic treatments is the lack of good systems to study how antibiotics work when the bacteria are inside human cells. We have developed a new way of studying tuberculosis and human blood cells by making tiny droplets that are impregnated with both cells and tuberculosis bugs. We will use this system to study how normal tuberculosis and drug-resistant tuberculosis are killed by antibiotics when the bacteria are infected into human cells. We have experiments showing that antibiotics that work in patients with tuberculosis also kill bacteria in our system but are ineffective in standard infection systems, and so this approach provides a new way of identifying antibiotics that will not be found by more traditional approaches.Once we have developed the model further, we will investigate standard and newly discovered antibiotics in the droplets. We will then add a second level to the model, starving the cells of oxygen and nutrients to reflect conditions in patients with tuberculosis more accurately. We will study how this stress changes the behaviour of both the bacteria and the human cells. We can then integrate this system with novel microfluidic systems to screen a large array of new treatments. Furthermore, once the system has been developed, we will be able to use this to investigate other bacterial infections which are also becoming more resistant to antibiotics. Therefore, this is a system of broad potential that can be used to address one of the major medical challenges of the modern era.

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          Science Impact, Ltd.
          May 08 2017
          May 08 2017
          : 2017
          : 4
          : 20-22
          © 2017

          This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

          Earth & Environmental sciences,Medicine,Computer science,Agriculture,Engineering
          Earth & Environmental sciences, Medicine, Computer science, Agriculture, Engineering


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