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Assamese scientist's milestone in TB treatment

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Jan 31 � In a significant breakthrough in the field of Tuberculosis treatment, a team of researchers, under the guidance of Dr Bikul Das, an Assamese scientist at Stanford University, California, has found out the bone marrow stem cells, where the dormant TB Bacteria hide in human body, causing recurrence of the disease, despite proper treatment.

The research conducted on the people of Idu-Mishmi community of Arunachal Pradesh with the help of RIWATCH, a socio-cultural NGO of Arunachal found out that TB Bacteria escapes the body�s immune system and drug treatment because it hijacks a stem cell type known as Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and hide in CD 271+ stem cells, the form of undifferentiated stem cells.

In a video conferencing with the media here, Dr Das shared about his findings. �The study is to find out why TB bacteria escape drug treatment, causing recurrence of the disease. Earlier, nobody studied about the link of stem cells and TB bacteria. Since the infected MSCs reside in the bone marrow niche, drug and immune cells cannot reach the niche, making it very difficult to eradicate TB from human host,� he said.

�Though the research work is in its initial stage, we are looking forward to expand the scope of the study in future,� he said revealing his future plan to set-up medicinal plant gardens in tribal areas of the region to promote both entrepreneurship and healthcare in Northeast.

The study has been duly acknowledged in a research paper published in a reputed journal Science Translation Medicine on January 30, 2013. The paper has been co-authored by Vijay Swami, director of RIWATCH, Dr Ista Pulu, a doctor belonging to Idu Mishmi community associated with RIWATCH and Dr Deepjyoti Kalita, a doctor from GMCH, who participated in the research work at Roing.

�TB is a huge problem in North East India with high incidence in Arunachal Pradesh. The research will help our efforts to develop better therapy to target the dormant TB bacteria,� said Dr Ista Pulu.

A local NGO founded by Dr Das, the Kavikrishna Foundation provided the funding for the research materials. Dr Das hails from Sualkuchi in Assam and has been engaged in dong research work on stem cells in Stanford University of USA.

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Assamese scientist

GUWAHATI, Jan 31 � In a significant breakthrough in the field of Tuberculosis treatment, a team of researchers, under the guidance of Dr Bikul Das, an Assamese scientist at Stanford University, California, has found out the bone marrow stem cells, where the dormant TB Bacteria hide in human body, causing recurrence of the disease, despite proper treatment.

The research conducted on the people of Idu-Mishmi community of Arunachal Pradesh with the help of RIWATCH, a socio-cultural NGO of Arunachal found out that TB Bacteria escapes the body�s immune system and drug treatment because it hijacks a stem cell type known as Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and hide in CD 271+ stem cells, the form of undifferentiated stem cells.

In a video conferencing with the media here, Dr Das shared about his findings. �The study is to find out why TB bacteria escape drug treatment, causing recurrence of the disease. Earlier, nobody studied about the link of stem cells and TB bacteria. Since the infected MSCs reside in the bone marrow niche, drug and immune cells cannot reach the niche, making it very difficult to eradicate TB from human host,� he said.

�Though the research work is in its initial stage, we are looking forward to expand the scope of the study in future,� he said revealing his future plan to set-up medicinal plant gardens in tribal areas of the region to promote both entrepreneurship and healthcare in Northeast.

The study has been duly acknowledged in a research paper published in a reputed journal Science Translation Medicine on January 30, 2013. The paper has been co-authored by Vijay Swami, director of RIWATCH, Dr Ista Pulu, a doctor belonging to Idu Mishmi community associated with RIWATCH and Dr Deepjyoti Kalita, a doctor from GMCH, who participated in the research work at Roing.

�TB is a huge problem in North East India with high incidence in Arunachal Pradesh. The research will help our efforts to develop better therapy to target the dormant TB bacteria,� said Dr Ista Pulu.

A local NGO founded by Dr Das, the Kavikrishna Foundation provided the funding for the research materials. Dr Das hails from Sualkuchi in Assam and has been engaged in dong research work on stem cells in Stanford University of USA.

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