Healthcare-Associated and Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial Infections
DZIF scientists aim to develop new strategies against the development and spread of antibiotic resistance.
The increase in complex infections and infectious diseases with antibiotic-resistant bacteria poses major challenges for healthcare professionals. Common causative agents of serious bacterial infections include methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains, extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-producers), vancomycin-resistant Enterococci and pseudomonads. Infection with one of these pathogens often occurs during hospital treatment.
In addressing this problem, two main factors come into focus:
- The mechanisms responsible for the development of resistance must be better understood and resistant pathogens detected more quickly.
- Existing therapeutic options must be preserved through the rational use of antibiotics, and new prophylactic and therapeutic strategies must be developed.
The DZIF research area "Healthcare-Associated and Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial Infections" addresses these major topics in its three central themes (see below) with a wide variety of experimental approaches and clinical-translational studies. The focus is deliberately on approaches that provide an alternative to conventional antibiotic therapy, such as vaccinations, microbiota-based therapies or the use of bacteriophages.
Prevention and therapy of infections with multidrug-resistant bacteria
Our IT-based prognosis models, high-resolution diagnostic procedures and novel therapeutic approaches aim at stopping the spread of multidrug-resistant pathogens.
Optimisation of or alternatives to antibiotic-based therapies
Many pathogens that lead to problematic infections in hospitals are brought into the hospitals by humans. DZIF researchers aim to develop intervention strategies to eliminate these bacteria in time, before a person becomes a risk patient.
Surveillance of multidrug-resistant bacteria in hospitals
Genome sequencing is used to investigate the mechanisms and spread of resistant bacterial strains in hospitals in order to prevent the development of resistance and infections with multi-resistant pathogens.