Healthcare-Associated and Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial Infections

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.

Infections with multi-resistant bacteria do normally not arise spontaneously, but are the result of a multi-step process. Our environment and food, and especially contact with the health care system, can lead to colonisation of human body surfaces and internal surfaces with multi-resistant bacteria.

The intestine, as the body's largest bacterial reservoir, plays a special role in this process. While multi-resistant pathogens are initially only present in low density, antibiotic therapy and the associated selection pressure can lead to a pronounced expansion of these pathogens. If the barrier function of the skin or mucous membranes is disturbed, for example by operations, foreign bodies, chemotherapy or immunosuppressants, the result can be a crossing of the barriers and subsequently an invasive infection.

Targeted therapy instead of broad spectrum

Responsible use of antibiotics is also on the agenda at the University Hospital of Cologne. In the picture: DZIF scientist Maria Vehreschild.

© DZIF/ScienceRelations

In the focus area "Prevention and therapy of infections with multidrug-resistant bacteria", we are looking at approaches to intervene preventively or therapeutically in the pathophysiological process described above. Corresponding strategies include the development of:

  1. new diagnostic tests that enable early and rational antibiotic therapy,
  2. IT- and AI-based prognostic models that allow the risk of infection and the causative pathogen to be predicted individually, and
  3. the integration of novel therapeutic approaches into clinical research.

Methodologically, we use high-resolution cohorts that allow the collection and analysis of a broad spectrum of biological samples as well as clinical data. Linked to these cohorts, the development of diagnostic tests takes place in defined sub-projects.

Research about "Prevention and therapy of infections with multidrug-resistant bacteria"


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