In spite of effective antibiotics to treat TB (tuberculosis) since the early 1960s, we enter the new millennium with TB currently the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent, killing more than 3 million people worldwide each year. Thus an understanding of drug-resistance mechanisms, the immunobiology of cell wall components to elucidate host–pathogen interactions and the discovery of new drug targets are now required for the treatment of TB. Above the plasma membrane is a classical chemotype IV peptidoglycan to which is attached the macromolecular structure, mycolyl-arabinogalactan via a unique diglycosylphosphoryl bridge. The present review discusses the assembly of the mAGP (mycolyl-arabinogalactan–peptidoglycan) complex and the site of action of EMB (ethambutol), bringing forward a new era in TB research and focus for new drugs to combat multidrug-resistant TB.

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