People Heiman Wertheim Bacteriology

Diagnostics of bacterial infections and antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance has emerged in the last decade. This is mainly caused by global misuse and overuse of antibiotics and by transmission of resistance genes between bacteria. Our bacterial research is primarily focused on the diagnostics of bacterial infections and antibiotic resistance.

Research group leader

Heiman Wertheim PhD
full professor

+31 (0)24 361 90 41
contact

Aims

Our bacteriology research group aims to optimize and advance the diagnosis of bacterial infections and antibiotic resistance.

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Aims

Our bacteriology research group aims to optimize and advance the diagnosis of bacterial infections and antibiotic resistance. As a result, an antibiotic treatment can be stopped quickly or can be correctly directed to the bacterium responsible for the infection. This will ultimately lead to better treatment of the patient, reduction of broad-spectrum antibiotic use and reduction of antibiotic resistance.
 

Whole genome sequencing

By using new technologies, antibiotic resistance in patients can be detected more quickly and efficiently. In recent years, whole genome sequencing has taken a prominent role in our research on bacterial resistance mechanisms. By studying the complete genome of a bacterium, we are able to discover new resistance mechanisms and are able to investigate outbreaks of resistant bacteria. It is possible to perform bacterial typing and discover transmission routes of resistant bacteria in any setting. Our goal is to implement this technique as a routine diagnostic tool in clinical practice.
 

Tailor-made antibiotic prophylaxis

An important factor contributing to the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in hospitals is the antibiotic prophylaxis used in surgery. Antibiotic prophylaxis is frequently continued for days after surgery and often does not adequately cover the unique bacterial flora of the patient. Due to the emergence of antibiotic resistance, standard prophylaxis regimens increasingly fail to prevent infections. In collaboration with the urology department, we will roll out a directed prophylaxis strategy based on resistance data of individual patients, thereby aiming to reduce infectious complications after surgery. This is a unique strategy that is not yet been applied in the Netherlands.

Coordinated action

In hospitals, resistant bacteria are especially found in patients admitted to departments with high consumption of antibiotics, such as the ICU and the urology wards. Antimicrobial resistance increases the cost of health care with lengthier stays in hospitals and more intensive care required.

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Coordinated action

In hospitals, resistant bacteria are especially found in patients admitted to departments with high consumption of antibiotics, such as the ICU and the urology wards. Antimicrobial resistance increases the cost of health care with lengthier stays in hospitals and more intensive care required.
 
Antibiotic resistance is emerging and spreading globally. Antimicrobial resistance is a complex problem that affects all of society and is driven by many interconnected factors. Coordinated action is required to minimize the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance.
 
Radboudumc researchers have been active in Vietnam, Tanzania, South Africa, Haiti, Mozambique, Ghana, Thailand and Bangladesh. We are involved in optimizing large-scale consumption of antibiotics and hospital infection control in these countries. An example is directed diagnostics using MALDI-TOF or the C-reactive protein (CRP) as a point-of-care marker for starting antibiotics in developing countries. Our research group collaborates with these countries to strengthen the evidence base and develop new responses to this global threat.
 

Interesting links

Team

Radboud Institute for Health Sciences

Ideally, every procedure in clinical practice and public health should take place based on proof, instead of intuition or 'experience'. Our aim is to innovate and personalize healthcare and public health. read more