A large number of innovative methods are available today to specifically target bacterial pathogens: DZIF scientists in the "TARGET" project use modern sequencing technologies to classify and characterize multi-resistant gram negative pathogens on a genome-by-genome basis. Conceptually, they are pursuing a "one-health-one-world strategy", since antibiotic resistance is not restricted to a single population or region. Intervention measures are being developed at the local level to respond to the spread of resistance in specific cases. These include diagnostic tests, targeted and responsible use of antibiotics (antimicrobial stewardship measures) and tests that predict the success of treatment for infected patients. At the global level, studies such as TARGET are expected to contribute to the development of new antibiotics, vaccines and potentiators.
One of the most pressing questions in connection with multi-resistant bacteria is the evaluation of their pathogenic potential: how harmful, ill-inducing or even fatal is a certain pathogen? In some cases, this assessment can be made relatively easily: for example, pathogenic E. coli bacteria can be differentiated within the gut on the basis of specific virulence genes.
However, there is no comparable suitable classification system for extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli. These E. coli. bacteria that cause disease outside the intestine represent the largest class of multi-resistant bacteria. TARGET is therefore dedicated to the development of a new classification scheme and diagnostic algorithms for extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli. For this purpose, the information from genome data and clinical data from the R-NET project, among others, will be combined and functional pathogenicity analyses will be performed in addition.