Infection Immunology

An infection can be seen as a fight between a microbe and our body’s defence mechanisms. The microbe is trying to multiply and disseminate, while the different components of our immune system will work together trying to stop this process. This is not an easy mission for our body because microbes have learned how to hide, evade or even destroy some of the components of the immune system as well as how to resist antibiotic treatment. The focus of our research is to understand the battle between microbes and our immune defences. If we know the different tricks and mechanisms employed by the microbes to breach our defences we will be able to design new strategies to counteract and disarm the attacking microorganisms.


Our Research

The scientists of the “Infection Immunology Research Group” are particularly interested in Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus. These microorganisms are important human pathogens capable of causing very severe infections, which are sometimes difficult to treat. In particular, the emergence of S. aureus strains resistant to multiple antibiotics, the so-called MRSA, is one of the most significant threats to global public health today. Therefore, we are confronted with the colossal challenge of finding alternative treatments for combating these broad-spectrum resistant microbes. One such strategy is to deactivate the pathogen by inhibiting the production of virulence factors without affecting the bacterial viability. These anti-infective compounds should be less likely to generate resistance than traditional antibiotics, since they do not disrupt bacterial viability or growth but rather facilitate the elimination of the bacteria by the immune system. Therefore, an important goal of the research group is to discover potential “S. aureus Achilles heels” that can be targeted by specific inhibitors to treat infections caused by multidrug resistant staphylococcal strains.

Bachelor & Master
Are you interested in a bachelor or master thesis? We are looking forward to your request!

Audio Podcast

  • Dem alternden Immunsystem auf die Sprünge helfen Wir werden älter und mit dem Alter wird unser Immunsystem schwächer. Infektionskrankheiten haben ein leichtes Spiel in einem gealterten Körper – vor allem schwere Infektionen mit Bakterien häufen sich jenseits der 60 und können leicht lebensbedrohlich werden. Nur woran liegt das? Und lässt sich wirklich nichts dagegen unternehmen? Eva Medina und Oliver Goldmann hatten eine Idee. Wie sie dem Immunsystem auf die Sprünge helfen wollen, hören Sie hier...
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