Tuberculosis is one of the most devastating bacterial diseases, with increasing rates of morbidity and mortality, despite the presence of effective chemotherapy and Bacillus-Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine. The success of Mycobacterium tuberculosis lies in its ability to spread by aerosol droplets, evade the host immune system and to persist in pulmonary granulomas. The advancement in the field of molecular and cellular microbiology and the availability of transcriptome and proteome data of M. tuberculosis have aided in understanding the pathogenesis of this organism for developing more effective drugs. The current strategy of drug design is to identify gene products, which are essential for survival and virulence. To date, several gene products of mycobacteria, ranging from proteins involved in cell wall synthesis to energy generation and from entry into host to persistence, have been shown to be essential for the survival or virulence of M. tuberculosis. These proteins and their associated pathways are considered as promising drug targets against M. tuberculosis and several of these have been patent protected. Herein, we enlist drug targets against M. tuberculosis for which patents have been filed and issued during the last ten years. The significance of these drug targets in the development of drug is also discussed. This review presents a comprehensive account of the pivotal information for drug discovery and drug design to all researchers involved in tuberculosis research.
Keywords: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, tuberculosis, drugs, cell envelope, MabA, sigma factor, RNA polymerase, signal transduction, serine/threonine kinases, metabolism, virulence, isocitrate lyase, dormancy
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