Scientists say they have managed to kill lab-grown tuberculosis (TB) bacteria with good old Vitamin C – an “unexpected” discovery they hope will lead to better, cheaper drugs.
A team from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York made the accidental find while researching how TB bacteria become resistant to the TB drug isoniazid.
The researchers added isoniazid and a “reducing agent” known as cysteine to the TB in a test tube, expecting the bacteria to develop drug resistance.
Instead, the team “ended up killing off the culture”, according to the study’s senior author William Jacobs, who said the result was “totally unexpected”.
Reducing agents chemically reduce other substances.