Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to human health; the yearly death toll due to multidrug resistant infections is high, ca. 25,000 people in Europe, 23,000 in the US, and 700,000 around the world. Predictions suggest that without intervention this number may rise to 10 million by 2050.
The overarching goal of the current research in the laboratory is to conceive, elaborate and test innovative strategies to combat the big threat of antibiotic resistance. Over the last decade, we developed a comprehensive translational research pipeline to improve the management of critically ill patients with complex and/or hard to treat bacterial infections within the Intensive Care Unit, with the goal to better prevent, understand, diagnose, and treat them while predicting their outcome. Therefore, our main goal emphasizes on developing efficient alternatives to antibiotic therapy, such as phage therapy or antivirulence approaches.
Bacteriophages are viruses that lyse and kill bacteria at the end of their life cycles. Their therapeutic potential was recognised even before the universal use of antibiotics and is now seen as a possible solution to the problem of multi drug resistant bacteria.
Our research laboratory investigate the efficacy of phage therapy in the treatment of common nosocomial infections using innovative in vitro pharmacological models combined with animal models that map real infections. We employ these studies to investigate the efficiency and safety of this therapy, together with the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
Keywords: failure of antibiotic therapies; combating antibiotic resistance; bacteriophage therapies; in vivo animal models; in vitro pharmacological model.