p/hop vs PhoP? 2

Today is World Tuberculosis Day. TB is one of those diseases which is generally considered a thing of the past in the UK, like small pox or the plague. Unfortunately TB is still rife in several countries claiming 1.8 million lives last year alone. One of the growing problems with treating TB is the rise is multi-drug resistant strains which are immune to antibiotic therapies therefore making it much harder to treat.

While browsing the internet I discovered there is a gene in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the TB bacteria, called PhoP. The PhoP gene plays a role in making TB more virulent. This gene could be a good target for new drugs. If the PhoP gene can be stopped from working, TB will spread less.

So as well as the knitting p/hop working to hard to stop diseases spreading through yarn swaps and generosity there’s another PhoP which could help in the fight against TB. I wonder if there are any other “p/hop”s we don’t know about?

Seeing as this is a knitting blog I won’t let my geeky scientist side get carried away. You can read more about MSF’s work with TB sufferers here

I also found some bacteria knitting patterns which make deadly diseases look cute and fuzzy. It would be fantastic if  this were the only way deadly bacteria existed, like toy dinosaurs. Maybe one day, thanks to organisations like MSF this will be the case.

Microbes by Clare Dyer-Smith

Knitted Bacteria by Beth Skwarecki

References and further reading

WHO Factsheet on TB

PhoP, a key player in Mycobacterium tuberculosis virulence

Mutation in the Transcriptional Regulator PhoP Contributes to Avirulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Ra Strain

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