Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria can maintain long-term viability inside bone marrow stem cells grown in vitro, hidden from the immune system, according to findings of an international team studying a mouse model of dormant tuberculosis (TB) infection (Das B et al. Sci Transl Med. 2013;5:170ra13).
The investigators also detected viable M tuberculosis in a mesenchymal subpopulation of bone marrow stem cells isolated from individuals who had successfully completed months of TB drug treatment.
Hampton T. How TB Bacteria Hide Out. JAMA. 2013;309(9):865-865. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.1314