TB-studie werp lig op siekte ontwikkeling

02 November 2020 | Health

’n Studie deur navorsers aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch (US) het gewys dat sekere mense se immuunstelsel anders as die norm reageer wanneer hulle blootgestel word aan die bakterie wat tuberkulose (Mycobacterium tuberculosis of Mtb) veroorsaak.
Dié navorsing is onlangs in The Lancet se EBioMedicine vakjoernaal gepubliseer. Dit bring navorsers nog ’n stappie nader daaraan om maniere te vind om mense teen TB te beskerm. Mense wat met MIV leef, het ’n verhoogde risiko om TB te ontwikkel, en dit is veral belangrik dat die navorsers hierdie immuunreaksie ook by sommige mense wat met MIV leef, gevind het.
Die studie daag tradisionele sienswyses uit oor wat met mense gebeur na infeksie met Mtb, sê prof Marlo Möller van die Afdeling Molekulêre Biologie en Menslike Genetika van die US se Fakulteit Geneeskunde en Gesondheidswetenskappe.
“In die verlede het ons ’n meer eenvoudige idee gehad van wat na infeksie met Mtb gebeur, maar hierdie studie het dit verander,” sê Möller, die senior outeur van die artikel. Die kliniese werk is deur haar kollega, dr Elouise Kroon gedoen, en prof Eileen Hoal was die plaaslike hoofnavorser.
Die studie wys dat nie alle mense positief toets vir Mtb-infeksie met die toetse wat tans gebruik word nie. “Nie almal toets positief nie, al was hulle in kontak met die bakterie. Ons studie wys dat sommige mense negatief toets, maar tog teenliggame het teen die bakterie. Dit wys hulle was in kontak met die bakterie en dat hulle immuunsisteem dit moontlik anders hanteer,” sê Möller.
Oor die waarde van die artikel, sê sy: “Die navorsing help ons om te verstaan hoekom sommige mense, ten spyte van die feit dat hulle blootgestel is aan Mtb, nie aktiewe tuberkulose ontwikkel nie. Indien ons hierdie proses beter kan verstaan, mag ons dalk kan voorkom dat mense met Mtb-infeksie tuberkulose ontwikkel.
Volgens Möller is dit beduidend dat die studie twee toetse gebruik het wat gereeld dien om Mtb-infeksie vas te stel. “Hierdie toetse is nie ’n direkte toets wat kan bewys dat jy verseker die bakterie in jou het nie. In teendeel, dit wys slegs of jou immuunstelsel die bakterie herken, wat aandui dat jy voorheen blootgestel was aan die bakterie.
“Dit is interessant omdat hierdie mense moontlik alternatiewe wyses het waarop hulle immuunstelsel van infeksie ontslae raak en sodoende TB voorkom.”
Dit is baie bevredigend om jou en jou kollegas se harde werk in ’n joernaal van hoogstaande gehalte te sien, het Möller gereageer op die aanvaarding van die artikel. “Dit is altyd ’n hoogtepunt wanneer ’n artikel aanvaar word. Dit is waarheen ons werk, om tot die wetenskap te kan bydra en om die gesondheid van mense te verbeter. Dit is die kroon op jou harde werk, die lang ure wat jy ingesit het asook die uitdagings wat oorkom is.”

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