On Nov. 13, an international consortium on combating tuberculosis in the BRICS countries and the Eurasian Economic Community convened. The consortium includes MIPT and other leading higher education institutions in Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, India, and China. The organising committee of the convention was chaired by Valery Danilenko, professor of bioinformatics at MIPT’s Department of Molecular and Chemical Physics and head of Genetic Foundations of Biotechnology at the Vavilov Institute of General Genetics of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The session featured a discussion of the TB epidemic, which is one of the major global health care challenges. The incidence of TB strains with multiple resistance to conventional antibiotics is currently on the rise. A further problem is TB in HIV-infected patients. To combat these issues, it would be helpful to know what mutations are associated with multidrug resistance in TB pathogens, so that appropriate therapies could be developed.
Alexander Melerzanov, the dean of the Department of Biological and Medical Physics, told us about the ways in which MIPT contributes to the fight against the disease: “MIPT has considerable expertise in the field of bioinformatics. We are capable of training highly qualified staff under the TB program of the World Health Organization. These people will conduct research into bacteria, including sequencing their genome and identifying multiresistant strains. Medical chemists can then join in the effort to develop efficient drugs against the disease. Tuberculosis is among 10 most common causes of death worldwide. It is a major challenge that calls for immediate attention.”