Curcumin is the principal curcuminoid obtained from the plant Curcuma longa
and has been extensively studied for its biological and chemical properties. Curcumin displays a vast range of pharmacological properties, including antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antitumor activity. Specifically, curcumin has been linked to the improvement of the outcome of tuberculosis. There are many reviews on the pharmacological effects of curcumin; however, reviews of the antitubercular activity are comparatively scarcer. In this review, we attempt to discuss the different aspects of the research on the antitubercular activity of curcumin. These include antimycobacterial activity, modulation of the host immune response, and enhancement of BCG vaccine efficacy. Recent advances in the antimycobacterial activity of curcumin synthetic derivatives, the role of computer aided drug design in identifying curcumin targets, the hepatoprotective role of curcumin, and the dosage and toxicology of curcumin will be discussed. While growing evidence supports the use of curcumin and its derivatives for tuberculosis therapy, further preclinical and clinical investigations are of pivotal importance before recommending the use of curcumin formulations in public health.
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