Bad bugs demand new drugs
The alarming rise in multidrug resistant pathogens makes infections complicated to treat. Based on The World Health Organization the globe is heading toward a “post-antibiotic era”. A review on Antimicrobial resistance commissioned by UK Prime Minister in 2016, suggests, “superbugs will kill more than cancer by 2050 unless action is taken”. The social, institutional and economic impact of this problem urgently requires alternatives for treatment.
The Research Group of Host-Microbe Interactions particular focus is to address the emerging threat of antibiotic resistance and find novel, alternative and innovative targets for intervention. We dedicate our research to three clinically relevant ESKAPE pathogens, where we do:
a) Molecular epidemiology: To identify molecular determinants associated with colonization, infection and resistance.
b) Host-Microbe Interactions studies: To get new insight on pathogen interactions with the host, we probe a variety of cellular pathways and /or ligands triggered by bacterial virulence factors, as well as pathogen-derived membrane vesicles (MVs).
As a group, we are working closely together to reach our overarching goal through diverse in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo approaches. Our lab contains state-of-the-art microbiology, cell- and molecular technology and has access to the sequencing-, proteomic-, flow- and imaging platforms, as well as animal facilities at Faculty of Health Science. Close collaborations with Department of Microbiology and Infection Control and Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Detection of Antimicrobial Resistance ensure us access to cutting edge expertise on microbial diagnostics and antibiotic resistance detection. Through advancements in bioinformatics, we have established pipelines for deep sequencing to explore core and accessory genomes for colonization, virulence and resistance determinants in multiple species. For functional studies, we master, for example methods to generate knockout mutations on the bacterial chromosome. We also have competence in using human skin explant model, and various adhesion/invasion/internalization assays for bacteria and mammalian cells, as well as immune evasion assays.