About this research groupThis research group aims to improve the outcomes of antibiotic treatment of nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) disease. Owing to natural resistance to most classes of antibiotics, treatment of NTM diseases is very complicated and outcomes of treatment are often poor.
Tuberculosis en leprosy are well-known infectious diseases, but opportunistic infections by so-called nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are now also emerging, particularly in the Netherlands. The NTM species most notorious for causing disease in humans are Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium abscessus. Pulmonary NTM disease makes up for 90% of all cases of NTM disease in the Netherlands. This pulmonary disease resembles pulmonary tuberculosis, though it usually affects patients with pre-existing lung damage by diseases such as COPD/emphysema or Cystic Fibrosis. The NTM also cause severe, disseminated diseases in the severely immunocompromised.
Our research group aims to improve the outcomes of antibiotic treatment of NTM disease. To achieve this, we pursue two lines of research.
- One is aimed at optimizing antimicrobial susceptibility testing, so its results better predict outcomes of treatment in affected patients.
- The other focuses on rational regimen design. Applying pharmacodynamic models, including the hollow fiber model, we design new, smarter and more effective antibiotic treatment regimens for NTM disease.
Available techniques and platforms
- Molecular identification of nontuberculous mycobacteria by line probe assays and gene sequencing
- Broth microdilution susceptibility testing for nontuberculous mycobacteria, Nocardiae and aerobic actinomycetes
- Whole genome sequencing for mycobacteria (Illumina and Oxford Nanopore platforms)
- Time-kill kinetic assays
- Hollow fiber model
- Full BioSafetyLevel 3 facility