Tuberculosis (TB) is a communicable disease caused by an infectious bacterial pathogen called Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), which typically replicates in the lungs (pulmonary) but can affect other areas too (extrapulmonary). According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 9 million people developed TB in 2013 with 1.5 million deaths occurring worldwide making it the leading cause of death from a curable infectious disease. TB has been recognized as one of three priority diseases for drug research and development.
With the emergence of resistant strains, co-infection with HIV, the existence of LTBI and the extensive treatment regimen; the future of drug design in the development of new anti-TB drugs should aim to:
- Shorten the duration of treatment by developing more potent drugs than existing drugs
- Target MDR and XDR strains of Mtb
- Be compatible with ART
- Simplify treatment by reducing the pill burden and dosing frequency
- Decrease drug-drug interactions with no antagonism to other TB drugs
- Kill Mtb in its different physiological states, including LTBI.