ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - 22th july, 2016): Researchers have identified a new way that tuberculosis bacteria get into the body, revealing a novel potential therapeutic angle to explore. The bacterium that causes tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, or Mtb, previously was thought to infect the body only through inhalation and subsequent infection of cells in the lungs. The new research found that microfold cell (M-cell) translocation is a new and previously unknown mechanism by which Mtb enters the body, Medical Xpress reported.
"The current model of disease is that when Mtb bacteria are inhaled, they reach the end of the lung - the alveolus - and then are ingested by a macrophage, a type of white blood cell that swallows and kills invading bacteria," Michael Shiloh, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology at UT Southwestern said. "Our study shows that once Mtb bacteria are inhaled, they also can enter the body directly through M-cells that line the airway tissue, and then travel to the lymph nodes and beyond," Shiloh explained. One of the world's most deadly diseases, tuberculosis - primarily a lung disease - infects more than eight million people and is responsible for 1.5 million deaths each year. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one-third of the world's population is infected with tuberculosis.