Aspirin to fight a global killer infection
Aspirin is one, without a doubt, the most well-known painkillers, especially when it comes to headaches. The active ingredient acetylsalicylic acid is used for over 100 years and is known for its pain-relieving, fever-lowering, anti-inflammatory and blood thinning effect. But the popular painkiller can do even more: Australian Researchers recently found that Aspirin is effective against the most dangerous infectious disease in the world: tuberculosis.
The Centenary Institute recently showed in a study that Aspirin is suitable for the treatment of tuberculosis. This is particularly interesting in the treatment of the ever-spreading drug-resistant Form of the disease, the antibiotics. The results of the study were published in the “Journal of Infectious Diseases”.
Tuberculosis the deadliest infectious disease in the world
In the year 2018, the WHO said in a report that tuberculosis is the most severe infectious disease of our time. Every year, around 10 million people suffer from severe lung disease. 1.6 million people die of it. As a special threat to the antibiotics is ill considered resistant Form, in the year 2017, around 558.000 people. The most effective TB drugs can no longer help in this type of the disease.
Who would have thought that of all the tried-and-true Aspirin can help here? The Australian research team led by Dr. Stefan Oehlers realized on an animal model, a previously unknown disease process, by the tuberculosis bacteria. Acetylsalicylic acid can assist in this process to suppress the immune system in the fight against the pathogen.
Tuberculosis bacteria hijack blood platelets
The researchers at the Centenary Institute documented fish to Zebra, such as tuberculosis bacteria, blood platelets (thrombocytes) of the blood coagulation system of the body, kidnap, and so weakening our immune system. Using fluorescence microscopy, the Team was able to the formation of blood clots and the activation of platelets to the Infection sites can be observed.
Blood thinners help to the tuberculosis control
This led to the assumption that the tuberculosis pathogen to stimulate the platelets to interfere with the body’s own immune system. In further experiments, the researchers examined how the bacteria behave when the blood is diluted with a blood agent such as Aspirin is treated. Due to the blood thinning effect of tuberculosis were no longer agents so effective in the position to affect the platelets, which ultimately led to the fact that the bacteria were able to better the immune system fights.
Aspirin as a newly discovered life-saver
“The Zebra fish gives us previously unknown insights into the disease process of tuberculosis,” says Dr Stefan Oehlers in a press release of the study results. For the first Time, the Team was able to observe the interaction of cells in real time and thus to draw conclusions on the expiry of the disease. “There is the possibility that anti-platelet drugs could be used to support the immune system to fight drug-resistant tuberculosis opens,” adds the study’s main author Dr. Elinor Hortle. The study will deliver crucial evidence that widely available Aspirin may be used for the treatment of severe tuberculosis, and thus to save lives. (vb)