DZIF´s associated partners

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

The Charité’s Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine is one of six partners in the DZIF network “Multidrug-resistant Bacteria” (MDRO Network: R-Net). This network is focusing on investigating the epidemiology of multidrug-resistant bacteria, bloodstream infections and Clostridium-difficile infections over a period of four years. An integral part of R-Net is to investigate the annual prevalence of multidrug-resistant bacteria (3GCREB and VRE) on admission to the university medical centre. The aim is to reduce hospital-associated infections.

German Liver Foundation/HepNet Study House, Hannover

The HepNet Study House networks trial centres for hepatitis research and provides a platform for conducting clinical trials. The DZIF can use the infrastructures and cohorts for its projects. Current research activities focus on hepatitis B, C, D and E. The German Liver Foundation has established a global registry of patients with chronic hepatitis D (www.hepatitis-delta.org), which is being continuously expanded. Currently the registry includes data from over 1,000 patients from 15 different countries. In 2016, a study on the cure of acute hepatitis C, amongst other things, was funded which showed that the chronic hepatitis C drugs developed over the past few years can also cure acute hepatits C—even more rapidly than chronic hepatitis C.

Goethe University Frankfurt am Main

A project focussing on hepatitis, in which clinical cohorts are being established and viral resistance analyses conducted , is currently ongoing at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. Blood samples taken from patients with chronic hepatitis C before therapy or after therapy failure are available to all collaborating partners. The central focus is treatment with novel agents (Directly Acting Antivirals DAA) that have been approved for hepatitis C since 2014. The clinical data, along with viral and host gene analysis and phenotypic results, are being analysed and also recorded in an online-based tool. This tool aims to improve evaluations of courses of disease and treatment responses, and to tailor individual treatment (see MPI for informatics).

Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg

In a clinical trial at the DZIF, leukaemia patients are administered specially purified immune cells, so-called memory T cells, for the first time after a bone marrow transplant. These special immune cells are to protect patients from infection until their own immune systems function. Some of the trial patients are being treated in Würzburg and others at the DZIF partner sites Munich (coordination), Tübingen and Hannover.

Hans Knöll Institute, Jena

The Hans Knöll Institute (HKI) is a leading institute for natural compound research. As an associated partner, it provides the DZIF with natural compounds, particularly fungi. In a joint project, the DZIF will be further developing a new promising tuberculosis drug from the HKI which has already undergone preclinical testing.

Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Saarbrücken

At the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken, data on hepatitis C patients who are undergoing treatment with new antiviral agents is being collected as part of a DZIF project. Sequencing, analysis and interpretation of both patient and viral genes, along with other parameters, will be used to evaluate the course of treatment. In Saarbrücken, the analysis results are being used to continuously further develop an online-based tool, the so-called Geno2pheno[HCV]. The analysis results are freely accessible online, and can be used to support decisions for personalised treatment.

University of Bayreuth

The University of Bayreuth is participating in a screening project for new drugs to treat Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infections. The project will develop an extensive drug identification and efficacy testing platform while simultaneously identifying agents that can be tested at a later point in time. Different drug combinations are tested on a mouse model, which has similar pathology to that of humans, and validated with available human data. In 2016, an imaging laboratory was set up in Bayreuth with which the tissue concentrations of active agents can be made visible. It is part of the new Bioanalytical Sciences and Food Analysis faculty.

University Medical Center Freiburg

The University Medical Center Freiburg is a partner of several DZF projects. In a project on infections of the immunocompromised host, scientists are looking to find genetic factors associated with increased susceptibility to infection. They intend to identify biomarkers that permit better infection control. Further projects are investigating more targeted use of antibiotics (also see Charité). The University Medical Center Freiburg records the patients colonised with certain multidrug-resistant pathogens. All cases of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea are also invesitgated. The University Medical Center Freiburg is involved in the development of new antiviral substances in the research field “Infections of the immunocommpromised Host”.

Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

The University of Münster is partner in a project aimed at developing new treatment strategies for gastrointestinal infections. In many cases, the commonly used antibiotics harm the normal gut flora and can lead to complications. A second project is working on hospital pathogens, specifically methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria in the nasal region. Here, new lytic phage proteins for targeted treatment are being investigated. Their efficiency and specificity is being analysed in Münster.