alexa Defining the mandate of tuberculosis research in a postgenomic era.
Bioinformatics & Systems Biology

Bioinformatics & Systems Biology

Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology

Author(s): Chakhaiyar P, Hasnain SE

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Abstract The identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by Robert Koch in 1882 as the causative agent of tuberculosis, the release of the drug rifampicin in 1970 and the sequencing of the M. tuberculosis genome in 1998 are three major events that have revolutionized tuberculosis research. In spite of these breakthroughs, the continued status of tuberculosis as the largest killer amongst infectious diseases is an issue of major concern. Although directly observed short course chemotherapy exists to treat the disease, the emergence of drug-resistant strains has severely threatened the efficacy of the treatment. The recent sequencing of the M. tuberculosis genome holds promise for the development of new vaccines and the design of new drugs. This is all the more possible when the information from the genome sequence is combined with proteomics and structural and functional genomics. Such an integrated approach has led to the birth of a new field of research christened 'postgenomics' that holds substantial promise for the identification of novel drug targets and the potential to aid the development of new chemotherapeutic compounds to treat tuberculosis. The challenge before the scientific community therefore lies in elucidation of the wealth of information provided by the genome sequence and its translation into the design of novel therapies for the disease. All the major developments in the field of tuberculosis research after the sequencing of the M. tuberculosis genome will be discussed in this review. Copyright 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel This article was published in Med Princ Pract and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology

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