The thread of bacterial infections, correlating epidemics and antibiotic resistances is currently a hot-topic. That is, why many laboratories elaborate with high intensities on the elucidation of molecular mechanisms and lifestyle characteristics of microbial infectious agents. As a result of such characterizations, specific targets were identified, which are suitable for further development of novel antibacterial treatment and prevention strategies. We are also engaged in the characterization of detailed molecular mechanisms, e.g. of bacterial adaptation on host and environmental conditions. We particularly address the function of specialized physiology, regulatory-systems and membrane associated structures, which are necessary for adaptation, colonization, persistence and optimized growth. As working horses we use relevant human pathogens, such as Vibrio cholerae, Haemophilus influenzae, Escherichia coli and others.
Further interest is focussing on the biology of the outer membrane and the associated structures of Gram-negative bacteria, including their roles on virulence and development of vaccines. For such analysis, we use the above mentioned pathogens. For example, we use the facultative human pathogen V. cholerae, which is the causative agent of the life threatening secretory bowl disease Cholera. This organism is used to study vaccination, colonisation and gene regulation pattern. For the latter we use state of the art reporter systems to unravel spatial and temporal gene expression, relevant for different life-cycles of V. cholerae. By doing that, relevant regulation pathways could be identified and assigned (e.g. biofilm, metabolism, virulence and colonisation).
The knowledge of outer membrane physiology and host colonisation enabled us to develop an vaccine project based on vesicles of the outer membrane. Recently, we have successfully demonstrated that the approach of vesicle based immunization procedure seems also applicable for other bacteria (family members of Pasteurellaceae), for which vaccinations are highly recommended. So far we hold two patents for that purpose.
We are collaborating with several national and international scientific working groups to share know-how on biofilm and animal models, and also to develop in vivo studies for other human relevant bacterial agents.
ContactOffice Infection biology