Study: tuberculosis drug from African medicinal plant

Study: tuberculosis drug from African medicinal plant

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New active ingredient in tuberculosis from an African medicinal plant
Endophytic fungi appear to be a promising source of new drugs. Düsseldorf researchers have identified and found the new active ingredient chlorflavonine, which has a new mode of action against tuberculosis.

Endophytic fungi live within plants and supply them with their nutrients, but also protect their hosts, for example by forming antibacterial or other protective substances. These mushrooms have therefore increasingly become the focus of drug discovery in recent years.

Düsseldorf scientists extracted from the medicinal plant Moringa stenopetala used in the traditional medicine of Cameroon the endophytic fungus Mucor irregularis and from it in turn an effective substance: the so-called chlorflavonin. Its antimicrobial activity was tested with regard to the spectrum of activity. It was shown that chlorflavonin has a specific antibacterial effect against the tuberculosis pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

The location and mechanism of action against the tuberculosis pathogen could also be determined: the production of important amino acids in the pathogen is inhibited, which hinders its metabolism and reproduction.

It is particularly important that chlorflavonin also acts against multi- and extremely resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis - so-called XDR isolates. These are becoming more and more of a problem, not least because the last new drugs for tuberculosis were developed in the 1970s. Today, therapy is very complex, time-consuming and has many side effects: four different medications have to be taken over at least six months. In poorer countries in particular, this costly treatment is often not maintained, but is often discontinued when the symptoms go away. Chlorflavonine may help reduce therapy time significantly. You can find the study here.

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