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Infection, body response widely varies in TB depending on strains

Two strains of the bacterium causing tuberculosis, though have only minor genetic differences, attack the lungs in completely different fashion, reveals the latest study by a team of researchers at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. The study led by Padmini Salgame, associate director of the Public Health Research Institute at Rutgers, and published in the journal Nature Communications, could help break the cycle of rapid transmission of TB. The disease mechanisms uncovered in the study could also provide answers about why treatments work in some patients but not others. The findings showed that the strain differences have an important effect on the response of lung alveolar macrophages and how tuberculosis manifests itself in the body and how it is transmitted. The new findings are also expected to support drug makers hoping to devise more effective treatments by better understanding the transmission and how it relates to treatment outcomes.

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