Air Pollution, Smoking Affect Latent Tuberculosis

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 10:21 in Health & Medicine

A toxic gas present in air pollution and tobacco smoke plays a significant role in triggering tuberculosis infection, according to a new study. The study shows for the first time how carbon monoxide triggers Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis, to shift from active infection to a drug-resistant dormant state. TB latency is a global problem that results in tuberculosis escaping detection and treatment. The CO biological trigger happens with both airborne and internal sources of the gas.

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