MHF TOP PICKS FOR JANUARY
Every month, we at the Mueller Health Foundation like to showcase interesting news and updates in the field of tuberculosis. Below are our top 3 picks for January:
- Antibiotic Pre-Resistance Spotted in TB Bacteria for the First Time
In order to develop a better understanding of, and ultimately better
treatments for, tuberculosis, this new research has identified how to
pre-empt drug-resistant mutations before they occur. The researchers
have termed this concept ‘pre-resistance’: when a disease-causing
pathogen has a greater inherent risk of developing resistance to drugs in
the future.To find out which strains of tuberculosis bacteria showed preresistance to antibiotics, the researchers, in collaboration with the
Peruvian Tuberculosis Programme, sequenced the genomes of 3,135
tuberculosis samples taken from the suburbs of Lima, Peru, over a 17-
year period. They then compared these samples to create a tuberculosis
family tree to identify key changes in the genetic codes of the bacteria
that went on to develop drug resistance. They described how variations
in the tuberculosis genome predicted that a particular branch of the
family tree would likely become drug resistant, and then validated their
findings in an independent global tuberculosis data set.
To learn more, you can access the full journal article at:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-27616-7?utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=commission_junction& utm_campaign=3_nsn6445_deeplink_PID100090912& utm_content=deeplink
- .The Relationship between Mental Health and Risk of Active TB: A Systematic Review
Tuberculosis (TB) and mental illnesses are highly prevalent globally and often coexist. While poor mental health is known to modulate immune function, whether mental disorders play a causal role in TB incidence is unknown. This systematic review examines the association between mental health and TB disease risk. Individuals with mental illnesses including depression and schizophrenia experience increased TB incidence and represent a high-risk population to target for screening and treatment.
DID YOU KNOW?
This month, we would like to highlight some surprising inventions that came out of the TB epidemic in the US in the early 1900s:
- Ice Cream Cones: A “penny lick” was a tiny portion of ice cream in a small glass container that vendors sold for only one penny. Customers licked the glasses clean and returned them; the vendor would then reuse the container for the next customer. Once word spread about the highly contagious nature of tuberculosis and several other diseases, vendors needed to find a different way of serving their ice cream to customers. An ice cream vendor in New York City named Italo Marchiony therefore developed a edible pastry cup to hold ice cream.
- Shorter Dresses: Around the turn of the century, most American women wore long dresses and skirts that reached the ground. But those skirts could be major carriers of germs found out in the streets. Once it became widely known that the TB bacteria from someone’s saliva could survive for an entire day, women abandoned their long dresses and skirts in favor of shorter hemlines.
- Reclining Chairs: Sanatoriums often used various forms of reclining chairs or “cure chairs” to help treat patients with TB. Placed outside on porches, the chair backs could be adjusted to tilt at varying degrees, making it possible for patients to get fresh air while resting in comfortable semireclined positions. In the early 20th century, wealthier individuals began purchasing stylish versions of these reclining chairs so they could take advantage of the health benefits of sunbathing outside their private homes. Americans still use contemporary versions of the original reclining cure chairs in their living rooms today.