Friday, 20 March 2020

Harnessing RNA sensors inhibits growth of tuberculosis bacterium

New research indicates enhancing human body cells so that they are more attuned to killing invasive Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an effective means for controlling the spread of the disease. The approach involves harnessing RNA sensors, which detect the RNA of invading pathogens. The research is also of wider pathology interest since RNA sensor molecules were previously thought to be involved in fighting viruses and not bacteria; the new study shows their role in combating invasive bacteria.

Tim Sandle has written an article for Infectious Disease Hub.

Here is an extract:

The new research strand aims to trigger human cells to become effective at killing M. tuberculosis cells by harnessing RNA sensors. The aim is to enhance the detection of invading pathogens and to increase the possibility of the body’s immune system in killing the invaders before they can secrete effector proteins. RNA sensors are part of the innate immune system and they are initiated by recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns. Such recognition initiates signalling cascades that culminate in a coordinated intracellular innate immune response designed to control infection.

The reference is:

Sandle, T. (2019) Harnessing RNA sensors inhibits growth of tuberculosis bacterium, Infectious Disease Hub, November 2019. At:

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (

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