Healthcare-associated and Antibiotic-resistant bacterial Infections

Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, including MRSA, are one of the most common causes of healthcare-associated infections.© National Institute of Allergy and Infectious

Doctors are particularly concerned about the increase of infections with bacterial pathogens that are resistant to antibiotics. This type of infection has been increasing immensely over the last years. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains and beta-lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL) are responsible for causing the most severe bacterial hospital infections. Treatment with conventional antibiotics is failing more and more often.

The DZIF research field “Healthcare-associated and Antibiotic-resistant bacterial Infections” aims to develop new strategies against the development and spread of resistance. These include both improved control of the spread of infection and using antibiotics more responsibly, e.g. through antibiotic stewardship, in addition to developing new vaccines and drugs.

Central Themes

  • Multidrug-resistant bacteria: decolonisation
    Many pathogens that lead to problematic infections in hospitals are brought into the hospitals by humans. For example, Staphylococcus aureus frequently colonises the nose, which normally has no further effects but can, for example, have severe consequences in the event of surgery. Scientists aim to develop treatment forms that eliminate these bacteria in time, i.e. before a surgical intervention.
  • Prevention and therapy of infections with multidrug-resistant bacteria
    Containing the spread of multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria through improved hygiene management and antibiotic stewardship programmes. Personalised antibiotic treatment for septicaemia.

  • Monitoring and managing hospital outbreaks In hospitals, bacterial strains are monitored by means of genome sequencing through which dangerous outbreaks can be identified and contained in time.

Working Groups

  • Junior Professorship "Healthcare‐Associated Pathogens"
    Contact: Matthias Willmann, University of Tübingen
  • Clinical Research Unit “Healthcare-associated infections”
    Contact: Evelina Tacconelli, University of Tübingen
  • Junior Research Group "Anti-staphylococcal targets"
    Contact: Fabian Grein, University of Bonn

Participating Sites


External partners: Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene of the University Hospital Freiburg, Charité Berlin, Medical Microbiology Münster, Curetis AG (Holzgerlingen) and Hyglos GmbH (Bernried)


Interview with Andreas Peschel, TTU "Healthcare-associated and Antibiotic-resistant Bacterial Infections" [in German]

Andreas Peschel, Universität & Universitätsklinikum Tübingen

Harald Seifert, Universität & Universitätsklinikum Köln
Trinad Chakraborty, Universität Gießen
Evelina Tacconelli, Universitätsklinikum Tübingen

Project manager

Dirk Kraus

Silke Schultz