South African toothbrush tree yields antibiotic to treat tuberculosis in a new way

From an article in ScienceDaily, a compound from the South African toothbrush tree inactivates a drug target for tuberculosis in a previously unseen way.

Toothbrushtree

The South African "toothbrush tree" is defined as a glabrous or pubescent evergreen shrub or tree of the genus Salvadora; twigs are fibrous and in some parts of the world are bound together in clusters and used as a toothbrush.

Toothbrushtree
Salvadora persica (toothbrush tree). Source: J.M. Garg/Wikipedia

In traditional medicine, the tree's antibacterial properties are used for oral health and to treat a variety of medical issues such as bronchitis, pleurisy, and venereal disease. Now, researchers are focusing on a particular compound from the toothbrush tree, called diospyrin, that inactivates a drug target for tuberculosis in a previously unseen way.

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Studies on diospyrin and related naphthoquinone compounds are being conducted as part of the efforts of a consortium of European researchers, More Medicines For Tuberculosis (MM4TB), throughout Europe who are dedicated to the development of new drugs for tuberculosis.

Read the original article from ScienceDaily.


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