Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) causes tuberculosis (TB), a debilitating disease that causes over 1.5 million deaths each year, more than any other infectious disease such as HIV, malaria, or cholera. The currently available antibiotics against Mtb require a lengthy treatment time of up to nine months and frequently the pathogen develops resistance against the antibiotic. Drug resistant TB requires an even longer treatment of up to 1.5 years with a toxic mix of antibiotics. Therefore, there is an urgent need for novel antibiotics with a shorter treatment time that are less prone to resistance. The RespiriTB projects aims to develop novel antibiotics that target the Mtb respiratory pathway, the energy centre of the bacterium. Treatment will be combined with the recently developed antibiotic bedaquiline that also targets the Mtb respiratory pathway, thus creating a double blow to the bacterium. RespiriTB will also cast a wider net in search for novel antibiotics, by targeting other essential Mtb proteins. In addition, the project will target human factors that are needed for Mtb to survive in the infected host. Our development of novel antibiotics with shorter treatment time and that are less prone to drug resistance will be an essential factor in the fight against TB, the deadliest infectious disease world-wide.
Mycobacterium avium (Mav) and Mycobacterium abscessus (Mab) cause millions of infections worldwide each year. Unlike the well know related species M. tuberculosis, there are currently no effective antibiotics against these pathogens and mortality rates can be as high as 30%. Therefore, there is an urgent need for antibiotics that can treat the debilitating diseases that are caused by the Non-Tubercule Mycobacteria (NTM) M. avium and M. abscessus. The RespiriNTM projects aims to develop novel antibiotics that target the NTM respiratory pathway, the energy centre of the bacteria. Treatment will be combined with the recently developed antibiotic bedaquiline that also targets the respiratory pathway, thus creating a double blow to the bacterium. RespiriNTM will also cast a wider net in its search for novel antibiotics, by targeting human factors that are needed for NTM to survive in the infected host. Through this work we aim to develop desperately need antibiotics that work against M. avium and M. abscessus that form an increasing threat to global health.