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05. Dezember 2016

Successful application NRP72: Antibiotic resistance

Infections due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria have increased significantly in the past few years. Antibiotic resistance has made it more difficult to treat these infections. Infections that were once easily treatable are turning into fatal diseases. The SNSF aims to counter this development and has with its National Research Programme "Antimicrobial Resistance" (NRP72) provided 21 projects with a budget of 20 million Swiss francs.

Intestinal bacterium Escherichia coli (Foto: Biozentrum/SNI)

Six of these SNSF supported research projects are being carried out at the University of Basel and the University Hospital Basel and are being funded with 2.79 million Swiss francs.

At the Biozentrum, the two research groups led by Sebastian Hiller and Urs Jenal are each carrying out a project in this program. Sebastian Hiller’s team is investigating the functional mechanism employed by many pathogenic bacteria to protect themselves with an external membrane. The aim is to understand the mechanism leading to the formation of the membrane proteins in order to be able to block it and to apply this knowledge to develop new antibiotics.

Urs Jenal and his group are investigating the basics of antibiotic tolerance and its role in the development of resistant pathogens. The background for this study is the increasing number of pathogens that survive antibiotic therapy even without developing resistance. The goal is to investigate the molecular and metabolic mechanisms of antibiotic tolerance. This will enable the development of new diagnostic tools to help monitor and control the occurrence of antibiotic tolerance in the clinical setting.