New observations of the early stages of tuberculosis infection may turn scientists' understanding of the bug's pathogenesis on its head: clumps of immune cells, called granulomas, long thought to protect hosts from the disease instead appear to be launching pads for the bacteria to further invade an infected individual, according to a study published in __Cell__ this week. The insight may spawn new approaches to treating TB, which annually infects and kills millions of people worldwide and is increasingly cropping up in antibiotic-resistant forms.
"[This paper] is essentially showing that an orchestrated immune response that was apparently being found to wall off and restrict the infection is actually being enhanced by the bacteria for their own expansion and dissemination," linkurl:Lalita Ramakrishnan,; a University of Washington infectious disease researcher and the study's lead author, told __The Scientist__. Working in zebrafish embryos, whose skin is nearly transparent, Ramakrishnan and her coauthor, J....

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