In 2014, the global emergence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis had made the treatment of tuberculosis much more challenging. But this study increases hope of developing new therapies for the treatment of this contagious disease.
‘Curcumin found in the spice turmeric has the potential to fight strains of tuberculosis that have developed resistance to antibiotics.’
Researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in the US examined whether curcumin compound in turmeric that is hailed to be anti-cancerous and anti-inflammatory can have a potential effect against TB strains that have turned resistant to common antibiotics.
TB is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis and the most commonly used antibiotics for its treatment are isoniazid and rifampicin.
Curcumin in turmeric has shown to act against the causative TB strain by stimulating macrophages, immune cells of the body. This inhibited the activation of a cellular molecule called nuclear factor-kappa B.
"Our study has provided basic evidence that curcumin protects against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in human cells. The protective role of curcumin to fight drug-resistant tuberculosis still needs confirmation, but if validated, curcumin may become a novel treatment to modulate the host immune response to overcome drug-resistant tuberculosis," said Dr Xiyuan Bai, lead author of the study published in the journal Respirology