Strategic Research Centre: Pseudomonas

Pseudomonal infection in CF: better detection, better understanding, better treatment.

Led by Professor Jane Davies of Imperial College London, this Strategic Research Centre (SRC) seeks to address three major challenges posed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa:

  • Finding new, non-invasive ways to detect Pseudomonal infection by harnessing advances in technology;
  • Understanding how Pseudomonas adapts to the lungs and becomes chronic, which will mean that we can identify high-risk patients and, eventually, develop novel treatments to counteract these adaptations; and
  • Testing new, non-antibiotic forms of therapy: chronic Pseudomonas protects itself by forming 'biofilm' structures and this SRC will investigate molecules known to breakdown these biofilms.

The limited life-expectancy in cystic fibrosis relates to devastating lung disease: early/recurrent bacterial infections, inflammation and irreversible fibrosis lead to respiratory failure. Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) is the bacterium linked most closely with this, infecting almost two in three people with cystic fibrosis by young adulthood.

The importance of this research is illustrated by the high numbers of infected people, the treatment burden posed and the resultant poor prognosis.

So far...

Read an update on this SRC from Issac Martin who is working on bacteriophages, a new, non-antibiotic form of therapy that could help to treat Pseudomonas more efficiently.

Who's involved?

Lead Principal Investigator (PI): Prof Jane Davies (Imperial College London)

  • Dr Peter Sterk (University of Amsterdam)
  • Prof Paolo Montuschi (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome)
  • Prof Paul Freemont (Imperial College London)
  • Dr Zoltan Takats (Imperial College London)
  • Professor Alain Filloux (Imperial College London)
  • Dr Huw Williams (Imperial College London)
  • Dr Jake Bundy (Imperial College London)
  • Sandra Morales (Special Phage Services, Australia)
  • Gary Connett (University of Southampton)

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Cystic fibrosis, or CF, affects the lungs, digestive system and other organs, and there are over 10,600 people living with it in the UK.

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