New Delhi: For the first time ever, the TB genome has been mapped comprehensively by Indian scientists. The breakthrough could lead to a much more accurate and cost effective treatment.
Scientists at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have put together a visual map of the tuberculosis genome and for the first time, the genome has been comprehensively mapped.
"They have annotated the bacteria. It is big leap ahead to understand the disease," says Union Science and Technology Minister Prithviraj Chauhan.
A group of 300 researchers including scientists and university students worked on the project for over three months. What makes it special is the use of the 'open source drug discovery' or OSDD, which makes the genome data publicly available.
"OSDD is a new formula across the world. Here we are making all our progress available to public. Anyone can take advantage and develop a drug based on our research," says OSDD project director Dr Zakir Thomas.
What makes the research important for the common man is the hope of discovering better TB drugs. With TB killing over 3 lakh Indians annually, the breakthrough can lead to a more accurate treatment.
"The research will lead to better and cheaper drugs. It will also aim to shorten TB therapy," says CSIR chief Samir Bramhachari.
Researchers now hope to take one molecule to the clinical trial stage in the next two years.