26 February, 2015, India, USA NEWS CORPSaif Hameed and Zeeshan Fatima receive Robert Koch Research Award-2015 in Tuberculosis. The research findings were published on world's prestigious most read journal: The Journal of Chest Disease and Tuberculosis. One-third of the world's population is thought to have been infected with M. tuberculosis, with new infections occurring in about 1% of the population each year. In 2007, an estimated 13.7 million chronic cases were active globally, while in 2013, an estimated 9 million new cases occurred. In 2013 there was between 1.3 and 1.5 million associated deaths, most of which occurred indeveloping countries. The total number of tuberculosis cases has been decreasing since 2006, and new cases have decreased since 2002. The rate of tuberculosis in different areas varies across the globe; about 80% of the population in many Asian and African countries tests positive in tuberculin tests, while only 5–10% of the United States population tests positive. More people in the developing world contract tuberculosis because of a poor immune system, largely due to high rates of HIV infection and the corresponding development of AIDS. Tuberculosis (TB) is among the leading causes of mortality throughout the world. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) is the causative agent of TB, infecting more than 1/3 of the world's human population. MTB has adopted numerous features which contribute to its survival within the hostile environment. MTB has unique cell wall with high lipid content and displays a wide array of complex lipids and lipoglycans on its cell surface. Its cell wall is composed of 60% lipids, mainly mycolic acid (MA) which is responsible for low permeability of their cells to various antibiotics rendering drug resistance as well as the characteristic differential acid fast staining. Mycobacterial lipids which play an imperative role during the infection of MTB have been known to be involved in its pathogenicity. Certainly, closer view is required to further elucidate the role of lipids and many other lipid derivatives in establishment of MTB infection. Taken together, this review focuses on the significance of lipid molecule in MTB far from being just a building block of cell membrane and an energy reservoir to meet the energy expenses of the cell. TB remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide. 11 new grants from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will speed development of TB vaccines, diagnostic tests, and drugs in support of the Global Plan to Stop TB . Financial assistance in the form of Young Scientist awards (2013/37B/45/BRNS/1903) to Z.F and S.H. from Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences (BRNS), Mumbai and (SR/FT/LS-173/2010) to Z.F from Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), New Delhi is deeply acknowledged. We thank Prof. S. M. Paul Khurana, Dean, Faculty of Science, Engineering & Technology for encouragement.
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