Molecular basis of bacterial pathogenesis, virulence factors and antibiotic resistance

Infections due to antibiotic resistant bacteria are increasing in importance, both in hospitals and in the community. In addition, treatment with antibiotics can have unwanted side effects, as they do not exclusively target pathogenic bacteria but also other organisms of the microbiota of the host. All these aspects come together in our research on  the Gram-positive bacterium Clostridioides difficile.

This organism emerged worldwide as causative agents of enteric infections with high mortality and morbidity, is resistant to multiple antibiotics and primarily affects patients with a disturbed microbiome. C. difficile infections can be treated by fecal microbiota transplantation, which is also explored for other diseases.

A better understanding of the virulence characteristics of C. difficile and other pathogenic bacteria, as well the relation between the microbiota and health or disease, should result in the development of better diagnostics and therapeutic interventions, including new antiobiotics and the application of live biotherapeutic products is considered key for human and animal health.

Principal investigators

Principal investigators:

Dr. J. Corver, Em. Prof. Dr. E.J. Kuijper, Dr. W.K. Smits

The microbiome in health and disease (Center for microbiome analyses and therapeutics; CMAT)

Principal investigators:

Em. Prof. Dr. E.J. Kuijper, Dr. W.K. Smits, Dr. E.M. Terveer