Hydrogen sulfide heightens disease in tuberculosis, suggesting a new therapeutic target

A new culprit -- hydrogen sulfide -- has been found for the deadly infectious disease tuberculosis. When tuberculosis bacteria invade the lung, the amounts of hydrogen sulfide in the lung microenvironment greatly increase, and this makes the microbe more virulent and better able to block the body's protective immune response. The source of this hydrogen sulfide? Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, or Mtb, are able to induce human macrophage immune cells to produce more hydrogen sulfide.