Molecular basis of bacterial pathogenesis, virulence factors and antibiotic resistance
Aim and focus
Infections due to antibiotic resistant bacteria are increasing in importance, both in hospitals and in the community. In recent years, drug-resistant strains of the Gram-positive Clostridium difficile emerged worldwide and were identified as causative agents of enteric infections with high mortality and morbidity. Infections due to Gram-negative bacteria that are resistant to first-line therapeutic agents as well as to second-line agents are also more frequent. Early diagnosis and a better understanding of the virulence characteristics of these bacteria should result in the development of more appropriate therapeutic interventions. Additionally, prevention of spread of C. difficile and multidrug-resistant Gram-negatives are important issues in hospital infection control. A healthy and diverse intestinal microbiota is considered an important defence against colonization with C. difficile and multidrug-resistant Gram-negatives. Faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is accepted as a standard treatment for recurrent C. difficile infections and is explored for eradication of multidrug-resistant bacteria from the intestinal tract. Other diseases that involve disbalanced microbiota in the intestinal tract, e.g. inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), are also considered for FMT treatment and studies are set up to investigate the precise contents and the active constituents of the donor faeces.
The Bacteriology Research Programme of Medical Microbiology focusses on the following research lines:
- Epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of bacterial infections
- Molecular biology of Clostridium difficile
- The microbiome in health and disease
- Center for microbiome analyses and therapeutics
Internships (Molecular) Bacteriology
For information on internships at the laboratory of Experimental Bacteriology, please contact Dr. Jeroen Corver (tel +31(0)715266797).