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Pummeling Persisters

Killing Tuberculosis Bacteria in Their Sleep

By Anette Breindl
Science Editor

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Scientists have identified an enzyme whose function is important for the survival of tuberculosis bacteria regardless of whether they are currently dividing or not. The finding could ultimately lead to a new therapy against tuberculosis, which infects a staggering one-third of the global population and causes more deaths than any other bacterium, and any virus besides HIV. The World Health Organization estimated that Mycobacterium tuberculosis caused more than a million deaths in 2012. One of the reasons tuberculosis is such a formidable opponent is that treatment takes several months.

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