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Laboratory of Medical Microbiology (LMM)

Research Group

Lifecycle:1 Jan 2019 →  Today
Organisation profile:The Laboratory of Medical Microbiology (LMM) has a world reputation in studying antibiotic use and resistance, and improving diagnostic tests. The LMM is the coordinator of several European projects, such as European Surveillance for Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC), Genomics to Combat Resistance against Antibiotics in Community-acquired LRTI in Europe (GRACE), Translational Research on Antimicrobial resistance and Community-acquired infections in Europe (TRACE), Platform for European Preparedness Against (Re-) emerging Epidemics (PREPARE), and New Diagnostics for Infectious Diseases (ND4ID). The LMM is also the central coordinating laboratory for LAB-Net, the laboratory network within COMBACTE-Net (Combatting Bacterial Resistance in Europe), that is composed of several hundred diagnostic microbiology laboratories in more than 40 European countries, and many specialized research microbiology laboratories. Investigating the impact of antibiotic use on human pathogens and commensal flora of humans and animals has been one of the major research focuses of LMM. Presently we are utilizing state-of-the-art genetic, genomic and microbiomic approaches to study antibiotic impact (I). Our other major lines of research focus on (II) Biofilms: as an increasing number of critical infections and their persistence are being linked to biofilm formation on biomaterials, we investigate microbial interaction in biofilms, both in vitro and in vivo, in device-related infections, such as ventilator-associated pneumonia and catheter infections. (III) Mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria: The main focus is on investigating 'old' antibiotics that have been reintroduced into clinical practice and whose resistance mechanisms are not yet known such as colistin, nitrofurantoin and fosfomycin. Both clinical as well as in vitro passaged strains undergo whole genome sequencing, resistance stability studies and fitness cost assessments to understand emergence of the resistance mechanisms as well as their fate in the community. (IV) Another main focus of LMM is improving microbiological diagnosis of infectious diseases through development, evaluation, validation, and optimization of diagnostic tests. LMM is responsible for establishing, training, and maintaining a high-quality geographically-representative European network of diagnostic microbiology laboratories to support clinical trials on antibacterial drug development. (V) LMM is also coordinating a global network of hospitals to study antimicrobial prescribing. These data serve to improve quality of antibiotic prescribing, particularly in Low-Middle-Income-Countries. (VI) Finally, LMM coordinates clinical research initiatives to rapidly respond to threatening pandemics or emerging epidemics in Europe, through novel trial designs such as Adaptive Platform Trials.
Disciplines:Laboratory medicine, Microbiology