This common painkiller may help treat deadliest infectious disease

Tuberculosis—which affects a third of the global population—currently kills two million people every year.

The spread of multi-drug resistant strains means antibiotics are becoming less effective.

In a recent study from the Centenary Institute in Sydney, researchers found that aspirin could be used to treat this deadliest infectious disease.

The lead researcher of the study is Dr. Elinor Hortle.

The team infected zebrafish with a close relative of tuberculosis to determine how the deadly bacterium survives within its host.

They found that platelets—the cells which form blood clots—interact with the bacteria, helping them evade the host’s immune system.

This means that doctors can use cheap, safe anti-platelet drugs like aspirin to block this interaction and to stop the bacteria from growing.

The result showed that zebrafish treated with aspirin or other antiplatelet drugs had half the bacterial growth of untreated fish.

This is the first time that platelets have been linked to a direct effect on bacterial growth in an animal model.

This finding has prompted other researchers to look back into hospital records of people who had TB.

They show that patients who took aspirin while they were infected had better outcomes than those who didn’t.

Further research will determine whether the same outcomes will be seen in humans.

Copyright © 2019 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.