VSU makes strides in medicine for Tuberculosis - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

VSU makes strides in medicine for Tuberculosis

VSU students working to re-construct antibiotics for tuberculosis. (Source: WALB) VSU students working to re-construct antibiotics for tuberculosis. (Source: WALB)
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Students at Valdosta State University are making significant strides in medicine for tuberculosis.

VSU Professor Thomas Manning has been spearheading the research with the students to assist in re-purposing antibiotics.

The research being done at VSU is life changing, but the process to do so is a long and strenuous one.

“They're helping to solve a real problem, it's not just a test,” said Manning.

According to the Center for Disease Control, one-third of the world's population is infected with the bacteria that causes tuberculosis.

With doctors over-prescribing medicine for TB, there has been a rise in antibiotic-resistance against it.

TB is a disease that deteriorates the lungs into liquid, causing people to bleed internally until they die.

Manning and his students have been researching and experimenting with ways to make existing antibiotics that are no longer working, work again.

“We're taking those and basically chemically packaging them so that the immune system doesn't recognize it anymore and it works again,” said Manning.

After years of research, Manning and his students have found some success. They have a patent pending, which is an exclusive right granted for an invention, with the United States and internationally. They have also met with ambassadors from several foreign countries that suffer greatly from TB.

Manning said this research gives students real-time experience.

“They're working with drugs on real-world problems, I think it's great experience compared to textbooks, which they've been doing since they were little kids,” explained Manning.

Manning said the antibiotics have been in a clinical trial for about four years now.

Although that may seem like a long time, it has been time well spent for the students.

“It took a while to get there, but it's research, so we had to be open to what was going to work and what wasn't and follow that trail,” said Manning.  

Manning and his students have been using this same research to experiment with other antibiotics that people are known to be immune to after they are prescribed. 

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