Authors: Talaulikar Nikita.S , Dsouza Delia.B , Rodrigues Savio , Kulkarni MS
Background and Objectives: Globally, 3.5% of new cases of Tuberculosis (TB) and 20.5% of previously treated cases are estimated to have multidrug- resistant tuberculosis, the corresponding estimates for India are 2.2%, and 15% respectively. Progress has been made in research and development of new drugs for TB over the last decade, thus fuelling the need for more innovative options. Recent in-vitro studies that claim Vitamin C to have an inhibitory effect on Mycobacterium tuberculosis could possibly prove to be a major breakthrough in Medicine. Hence this experimental study was conducted on a pilot basis with the objective of studying the in -vitro effect of the active ingredient of vitamin C on the laboratory isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis that were known to be sensitive and resistant to the first line anti tubercular drugs (Isoniazid, Rifampicin, Pyrazinamide and Ethambutol) and to compare the dose related response of both sensitive and resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to varying concentrations of Vitamin C. Materials and Methods: Using a Completely Randomized Design, a total of 17 viable Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains, 10 of which were sensitive to all first line anti-TB drugs (Isoniazid, Rifampicin, Pyrazinamide and Ethambutol) and seven strains resistant to all first line Anti-TB drugs were experimented upon. Proportion method was used to determine drug susceptibility of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to Ascorbic acid. Data is presented in a summary table. Results: With 1mM (millimole) concentration of Ascorbic acid, growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis was observed on both drug containing as well as control media, but with higher concentration of Ascorbic acid (10 mM and 100mM), no growth was observed on Ascorbic acid containing Lowenstein Jenson media. Conclusion: Although the findings of this pilot study add to the supportive evidence of an in- vitro susceptibility of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to Vitamin C, the authors recommend that additional studies with larger sample size may be conducted to support the effectiveness of Ascorbic acid used alone or in combination with other anti-tubercular drugs to look for any drug interactions.
Keywords: Proportion method, Ascorbic acid, Mycobacterium tuberculosis