Drug Used in Diabetes Could Prevent Drug-Resistant TB

A new study has shown that a drug that is typically used in the treatment of diabetes could help to increase the efficacy of medication that is used to treat tuberculosis. The added benefit is that the diabetes drug will not induce drug resistance. These findings were recently discovered by scientists in Singapore.


Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of people around the world. Medications used in the treatment of diabetes typically focus on the management of blood sugar levels and the levels of insulin. Diabetes patients typically have problems with blood sugar levels that can vary significantly from higher than normal or lower than normal. This conditions can result in significant complications resulting in other illnesses or hospitalization for the patient.


The findings were discovered by looking at the diabetes drug, Metformin (MET), provided a defense against an invasion from teh bacteria that causes tuberculosis, also known as Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (Mtb). The MET is able to target the host cells in order to generate a chemical that will damage the Mtb and keep it from replicating. The researchers said that MET approach to inhibiting the growth of Mtb is a method that is indirect and targeted enough so that drug resistance is less likely to develop.


Some drugs that are commonly used for the treatment of tuberculosis are targeted directly at Mtb. This approach mens that the bacteria will be killed but has also often resulted in Mtb strains becoming drug-resistant. MET is currently being looked as a treatment for tuberculosis because it has been proven not to have any adverse effects on patients that don’t have diabetes.


In addition, the drug is very cheap. This is helpful due to the fact that tuberculosis continues to be a world-wide problem. It is estimated that there are roughly 480,000 people around the world that previously developed  multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Therefore, it is important that alternative treatments be found in order to deal with the epidemic.

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