Inhibition of the Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Virulence Using Ethoxzolamide


Executive Summary


To address the pitfalls of traditional antibiotic tuberculosis therapies, such as the emergence of multi-drug resistant bacterial strains, alternative treatment strategies are currently being pursued. Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) have developed a promising anti-virulence treatment strategy for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infections, involving a loss of the pathogen’s environmental adaptation. This technology has the potential to selectively inhibit growth and viability of pathogens, while allowing natural and beneficial microbiota to persist.


Description of Technology


The two-component regulatory system, PhoPR, is essential for Mtb virulence and is required for growth in macrophages and animals. MSU researchers found that the carbonic anhydrase inhibitor ethoxzolamide inhibits PhoPR signaling in Mtb. Ethoxzolamide is expected to increase Mtb vulnerability to the immune system by eliminating a critical mechanism for pH driven environmental adaptation. In an acute murine model, ethoxzolamide treatment was found to reduce Mtb growth in macrophages and overall reduce tuberculosis symptoms of infected mice. Ethoxzolamide may be used in conjunction with traditional antibiotics to enhance currently used treatments for tuberculosis.


Key Benefits

  • Novel treatment of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis
  • Greatly reduced selective pressure for the emergence of resistant Mtb strains
  • Selective for pathogens, allows natural and beneficial microbiota to persist



  • Novel and potentially more effective treatment for tuberculosis
  • Potential treatment of other bacterial infections.


Patent Status: 


Patent application published, no.WO2016179231


Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights available


Inventors: Robert Abramovitch, Benjamin Johnson, Christopher Colvin


Tech ID: TEC2015-0055



Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Anne Di Sante
Executive Director
Michigan State University