Hospital-acquired infections caused by antibiotic-resistant opportunistic pathogens are on the increase world-wide and pose one of the greatest challenges to modern medicine. Multi-drug resistance dramatically impacts on human health, public health and the principles and practice of clinical medicine. Management of nosocomial infections, especially those caused by multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria, requires a multipronged strategy that includes not only the development of new antimicrobial compounds and a rational use of antimicrobial agents, but also the implementation of effective infection control principles.
Furthermore, despite improvements in technology and healthcare services, morbidity and mortality due to chronic infections have remained unchanged over the past few decades. The emergence of a chronic infection disease burden calls for the development of modern diagnostics for biofilm resistance profiling and radically new therapeutic strategies to eradicate biofilm-associated infections.
The Molecular Bacteriology Institute at the TWINCORE is one of two locations of the Molecular Bacteriology department headed by Susanne Häussler. The second location is at the HZI in Braunschweig. Thus, there are two teams of researchers, two locations, two different compositions of expertise and technical infrastructure - but one project and one overarching aim: applying research to fight multi-drug resistant and chronic persistent P. aeruginosa infections. Whereas the main focus of the TWINCORE group is on imaging and monitoring of P. aeruginosa biofilm growth, the research focus in Braunschweig is on DNA- and RNA sequencing - with the HZI being perfectly suited for this kind of technology application. The team at the HZI also provides bioinformatics expertise to the whole Molecular Bacteriology research group.