The research projects in section A focus on the roles played by genomic variation of pathogens during persistence. Do changes in their genomes during infection affect host and pathogen functions, and if yes, how?
Genomic variation during chronic infection is being characterised using the examples of two bacteria and a virus and the functional effects are being investigated. Unique strain collections and patient cohorts are available for these studies. These form an important feature of this CRC.
As an example of physiological intestinal flora, symbiotically persistent bacterial populations are also being investigated. These bacteria are in direct contact with the intestinal mucous membranes and therefore play an important role in the homeostasis of the intestinal epithelial barriers. The general focus in this section on bacterial and viral populations and their evolution during persistence promotes synergy between bacteriologists and virologists.