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Understanding and overcoming drug resistance in tuberculosis

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Paulina Rowicka.

A third of the world population is thought to be infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB). The World Health Organization estimates, that in 2013, about 9 million people developed the disease and 1.5 million people have died from it, making TB the biggest infectious killer after HIV .Not many antibiotics are available to treat TB, but the disease’s treatment is now further impeded by the emergence of multi-drug resistant bacterial strains. Unlike other bacteria, Mtb cannot transfer resistances from one strain to another. Therefor, the rate of antibiotic resistance in Mtb is directly determined by the bacterium’s intrinsic mutation rate. In order to understand how mutations in the bacterial DNA are being generated, we have to investigate how DNA is being copied during cell division. This process called DNA replication has not been studied so far in Mtb.

In this talk, I will present new data from our lab showing that Mycobacterium tuberculosis copies its DNA differently from previously studied model organisms. Further, we have found a way to disrupt this process, which in the future could pose an attractive therapeutic option for treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

This talk is part of the Caius MCR/SCR research talks series.

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