Staphylococcus aureus is an extremely versatile pathogen causing a wide spectrum of diseases ranging from mild superficial skin infections to life threatening septicaemia, endocarditis, and pneumonia. Currently, S. aureus is one of the leading nosocomial pathogens in hospitals around the globe. Especially the extraordinary capacity to acquire antibiotic resistance determinants is regarded as a major reason for the recent increase of nosocomial infections caused by S. aureus. The pathogen expresses a great deal of virulence factors many of which are expressed in a regulated manner controlled by a complex regulatory network. Although most commonly the infection is restricted to a distinct area, the bacteria can also spread into deeper tissues, and importantly, are able to cause chronic diseases. Our aim is to understand the factors and mechanisms which are responsible for the pathogenic potential of S. aureus. Furthermore, we are developing strategies against this pathogen including antibody-based therapy approaches and the search for new targets and drugs.
- Analysis of regulation of gene expression in S. aureus using reporter gene technology and DNA microarray technology
- Identification and functional characterization of new targets for antimicrobial therapy
- Development of animal models for in vivo studies of S. aureus infections
- Molecular analysis of factors involved in invasion of eukaryotic cells by S. aureus
- Characterization of the adaptive immune response in systemic infections caused by S. aureus.