The Tuberculosis Resurgence

Dr Graham Phillips Introduction: In the global fight against infectious disease there’s no greater adversary than Tuberculosis. Indeed TB is the most common cause of death from bacterial infection, it has already infected a large proportion of the world’s population, and the fastest growing numbers are on Australia’s doorstep. Australian scientists are at the forefront of developing new drugs to treat the difficult cases and a vaccine canada goose clothing uk is not far behind. Maryanne Demasi investigates.

Narration: Australians are dealing with two new deadly strains of a bacterial killer. A killer that knows no boarders, needs no passport and travels undetected.

Professor Warwick Britton: One third of the human population is infected with this organism and every second a new person is infected throughout the world.

Dr Richard Payne: About 1 person every 10 seconds will die from TB around the world.

Maryanne Demasi: Tuberculosis has been present within the human population since antiquity. Egyptian mummies, as early as 2400 BC show definite signs of tubercular decay.

canada goose uk shop Narration: It wasn’t until the 1940’s that scientists got the jump on TB; When they discovered an antibiotic called Streptomycin. Since then many drugs like Isoniazid and Rifampicin have been developed and make up part of the cocktail of drugs used to treat the disease. canada goose uk shop

uk canada goose In Australia by the 70’s, it was thought that large scale vaccination, X ray screening and drugs could virtually eradicate the chances of contracting TB. But the menace hasn’t gone yet. TB is rapidly spread through aerosols. A single cough can expel up to 40,000 droplets. Once inhaled, the bacteria are normally barricaded in the lung without causing respiratory symptoms. But the organism is cunning. canada goose outlet mississauga It escapes attack from the immune system by hiding in the very cells that are meant to destroy it cells called macrophages. Live TB bacteria can lay dormant in macrophages for decades before it causes trouble. It’s only when the immune system weakens that the organisms awaken and begin to replicate. They punch holes in the air sacs of the lung and can infect other organs. uk canada goose

Dr Simpson: Classic symptoms of tuberculosis are respiratory systems so chronic cough, weight loss, night sweats, production of sputum and coughing up blood.

Maryanne: That sounds like a flu.

Dr Simpson: It’s a flu that goes on.

Narration: Alarmingly, a new multi drug canada goose parka uk resistant strain of TB is on Australia’s doorstep. It’s already a big problem in East Timor, PNG and now Torres Strait islands. There’s new strains are emerging because patients have failed to properly take their medication.

canada goose store Dr. Graham Simpson is a Cairn’s based respiratory specialist who has spent years understanding the complex nature of TB. His intimate knowledge has seen him treat TB sufferers from PNG who travel by motorboat to his clinic on Australia’s Torres Strait Islands. canada goose store

Maryanne: Some may ask why you’re putting Australians canada goose outlet eu at risk by bringing infectious people over to Australia.

Dr Simpson: You can’t expect the doctors over there just let them die But also it’s the correct public health response. Ah if we don’t identify them and treat them then they’re still going to come over and that’s when they’re going to infect Australians. Over the last cheap canada goose twenty years of so we’ve run into big problems with what’s called multi drug resistant TB which is defined as TB that’s resistant to the two best drugs that we’ve got canada goose parka outlet available.

uk canada goose outlet Narration: That’s why doctors require canada goose outlet black friday a powerful combination of 4 drugs to combat the multi resistant TB. To make matters worse, a deadlier strain known as extensively drug resistant TB won’t respond to treatment and death is almost certain. One case of extensively drug resistant TB has already been reported on mainland Australia. uk canada goose outlet

Maryanne: The World Health Organisation estimates that between 2002 and 2020, 36 million people will die from tuberculosis if it is not controlled.

Narration: Fortunately, scientists in Australia are doing their best to find answers.

Dr Payne: There are two solutions. The first is of course is canada goose outlet official to develop a prophylaxis, a vaccine for tuberculosis and the second solution is to develop new drugs for tuberculosis. The last tuberculosis drug to reach market was over 40 years ago.

canada goose uk black friday Narration: Thankfully, the genome of TB was mapped about 10 years ago. This gave scientist insight into what makes TB so resilient. canada goose uk black friday

Dr Payne: Tuberculosis needs iron to survive. It can’t really produce it itself it needs to be able to get it from its environment and steals it from our body and so we’re trying to block a pathway which will prevent the mycobacterium tuberculosis from stealing our iron and if canada goose vest outlet it can no longer do this we can actually kill the bacteria and we have a potential new drug for tuberculosis.

canada goose clearance Narration: While Richard works on a treatment, Professor Warwick Britton is working on prevention. Beyond these doors lies the bacterial killer. canada goose clearance

Canada Goose Online Maryanne: I have a date with the enemy! Canada Goose Online

Narration: Prof Britton is trying to improve the existing BCG vaccine which has been in use since the 1920’s.

Canada Goose Jackets Prof Britton: We need a vaccine that is stronger than BCG, and that lasts longer than BCG. So this is where we test the effects of the vaccine. We grind up the tissues and we do a quantitative counts. Canada Goose Jackets

cheap Canada Goose Maryanne: So you actually take tissue from the lung and bring it here? cheap Canada Goose

Prof Britton: And we do two things, we count the number of bacteria, and here are the individual bacterial colonies and then we measure the immune response because we want vaccines canada goose factory outlet that stimulate a stronger immune response and we want reduced bacteria.