Genetic and functional adaptation in chronic infection

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.

Projects in project area A

A1 – Sebastian Suerbaum

Genome and population dynamics during chronic infection with Helicobacter pylori

A2 – Burkhard Tümmler

Chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in cystic fibrosis: pathogen microevolution and host genetic predisposition

A3 – Susanne Häußler

Biofilm formation in response to fluctuating environmental conditions in Pseudomonas aeruginosa: a global genetic approach

A5 – Wedemeyer / Cornberg

Cure of chronic hepatitis C – long-term effects on HCV-specific and heterologous immune responses

A6 – Thomas Pietschmann

Interaction of hepatitis C virus with lipoproteins and its role for infection and virus persistence

A8 – Guntram Graßl

Host and bacterial factors driving chronic Salmonella infections