A team of researchers found a molecule that can fight tuberculosis. Tuberculosis kills more than any other infectious agent, killing about 1.5 million people every year. Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is airborne and infects a person’s lungs. The molecule they used to weaken the bacterium is called 8918. 8918 seems to stop the bacteria from producing an enzyme called Phosphopantetheinyl Transferase. They found that introducing 8918 to the bacteria killed the 8918, but when they introduced it to some mouse models, it managed to kill some of the bacteria without harming the host.
Before it can be used to treat patients, scientists must learn how to increase the 8918’s lifespan. When the 8918 is introduced to the bacteria, it does not live long enough to kill all of the bacteria.