Investigating the impact of antibiotic use on human pathogens and commensals has been one of the major research focuses of LMM profs. Surbhi Malhotra-Kumar and Herman Goossens (LMM’s spokesperson and Methusalem awardee 2008-2021) (Malhotra-Kumar et al 2007 Lancet; Malhotra-Kumar & Goossens, 2013 Clin. Infect. Dis.; Versporten et al, 2018 Lancet Glob. Health). Presently, we are utilizing state-of-the-art techniques to study the impact of antibiotic use on bacterial resistance development and its dissemination and transmission in the community, hospitals and the environment (Malhotra-Kumar et al, 2016 Lancet Infect. Dis.).
Our work on colistin resistance mechanisms led to the discovery of a novel gene (Xavier et al, 2016 Eurosurveillance, highly cited paper), receiving global press coverage (Belgian researchers discover a novel plasmid-mediated colistin resistance gene, mcr-2; http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/07/germination-superbug-colistin-second-case/; https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/07/11/superbug-gene-).
We have also established a Europe-wide high-quality geographically-representative laboratory network (LAB-Net) which LMM trains and maintains to support antibacterial development (Kostyanev et al 2015, Lancet infect. Dis). Developing diagnostics for rapid infectious disease detection is also a key research focus.
Finally, our studies on clinical relevant biofilms using lab-based models and metagenomics have been highly successful both in terms of research output and in attracting industrial collaborators (De Backer et al 2018, Clin. Microb. Infect.; Hotterbeekx et al, 2016, Sci. Rep.).
LMM has been and is involved in several EU-funded (FP7, Horizon 2020, IMI), and industrial and nationally funded projects covering the entire spectrum of the group’s expertise.