Medical Xpress (08.09.2013)
Aids Weekly Plus
Researchers at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom investigated proteins released by lung breakdown in TB patients. According to Dr. Paul Elkington, lead researcher of the study, products resulting from lung breakdown had not been identified before and could be useful as new markers to identify TB patients and monitor the effects of new treatments on lung damage.
The researchers found that TB patients’ sputum contained an increased presence of the fragments released during breakdown of the lung’s collagen and elastin. One specific collagen fragment called PIIINP was even higher in TB patients’ blood samples. Elkington contended that these markers might provide a method of screening to find and treat individuals with active TB, thus preventing further transmission of the disease, particularly in areas with high TB prevalence.
The Southampton researchers conducted the study in collaboration with Imperial College London and South Africa’s University of Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV in Durban. The team was investigating all fragments released during lung breakdown to create new test kits that would enable testing at a patient’s bedside.
The full report, “Procollagen III N-terminal Propeptide and Desmosine are Released by Matrix Destruction in Pulmonary Tuberculosis,” was published online in the Journal of Infectious Diseases (2013; doi: 10.1093/infdis/jit343).