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Antibiotic from coral reef may fight TB and HIV

By Shane Graber - Posted Jun 22, 2011 09:00 AM
Coral reefs are a treasure trove of chemicals - chemicals that hold the potential to treat and cure diseases. Scientists have recently isolated a new antibiotic from the coral reef off Rameswaram (India) that shows good promise of combating tuberculosis and HIV.
Antibiotic from coral reef may fight TB and HIV

Photo courtesy of USFWS Pacific

After three years of combing through soil samples collected from the tropical reefs throughout India's southern coast, researchers have isolated a new antibiotic called transitmycin.  This potent antibiotic may lead to superior treatments for tuberculosis and HIV.

R Balagurunathan, head of microbiology at Periyar University, states: "We put [transitmycin] to further tests and found that it actively fought all forms of TB, fungus and some forms of HIV with dosages that were of much lesser strength when compared to existing drugs."

Further research is underway to develop a drug for animal and human trials.  Researchers anticipate it will take many years (possibly over a decade) before a drug will reach the pharmaceutical market.  Based on the current data, they have high hopes this is the "holy grail" discovery they have been searching for.  We can all share in this hope.

via The Times of India

Author: Shane Graber
Location: Indiana

Shane has kept saltwater tanks for the last 12 years, is a research scientist, lives in northern Indiana, and is a proud Advanced Aquarist staffer.


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