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Molecular Epidemiology of Hospital and Emerging Infections


The common goal of the activities developed by our Research Group is to have a significant impact in both patient’s health and Public Health. Regarding the patients, we aim to search microbiological and clinical factors associated with the prognosis of the infection. Their identification by means of rapid diagnostic tools may help to stratify the patient’s risk and improve his/her management. Our studies also provide a deeper insight in the nosocomial spread of multi-drug resistant microorganisms. A better understanding of the molecular, clinical and epidemiological factors associated with this phenomenon has a significant impact in Public Health policies.

Therefore, the specific aims of our Research Group are:

  1. To identify the microbiological and molecular factors associated with the pathogenicity of Staphylococcus aureus, with especial interest in infectious endocarditis and catheter-related bloodstream infection.
  2. To study the molecular epidemiology, virulence factors, mechanisms of resistance to antimicrobial agents in the setting of hospital-acquired infections caused by multi-drug resistant microorganisms.
  3. To study the evolution and modification of the gut microbiota in particular patients such as solid organ transplant recipients, and those infected by Clostridium difficile.
  4. To determine the prevalence of sub-microscopic Plasmodium parasitaemia in immigrants residing in Spain, to study all available molecular tools to diagnose them correctly and to find immunological markers that can predict clinical evolution and response to treatment in this population.
  5. Improvement in the diagnosis and treatment of Chagas disease and strongyloidiasis imported in Spain.
  6. To study the usefulness of microbiological and immunological biomarkers in the diagnosis and follow up of tuberculosis.
  7. To study the interplay of clinical and microbiological characteristics of bone and joint infections, and their influence in the clinical outcome.