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Lars Jelsbak

Professor MSO, Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine at DTU Bioengineering

Presentation title: Identification of anti-virulence compounds against Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from host-adapted bacterial pathogens

Lars Jelsbak heads the Infection Microbiology research group at the Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Technical University of Denmark. 

Lars Jelsbak studies interactions among microbial species, pathogen evolution during adaptation to host/microbiome environments, and how these processes modify diversity, behaviour and antibiotic resistance development of bacterial pathogens. In addition, his research group also explores the use of microbes and their metabolites to limit pathogen colonization. The aim of his research is to better predict antibiotic resistance evolution in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and identification of alternative therapies against multidrug resistant bacteria. 

Abstract

Human-associated bacteria (both commensals and pathogens) represent an underexplored niche for the identification of microbe-microbe interactions and bacterial metabolites that may act to limit pathogen colonization. Here, we explore the relationship between genetic diversity and interactions among clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus with the aim to identify anti-staphylococcal activities. We uncover specific molecular interactions that function to inhibit the disease-causing ability (virulence) of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Our studies show that the genetic diversity among pathogen populations can uncover new types of microbe-microbe interactions, and that these interactions/metabolites can potentially be utilized as novel “anti-virulence” strategies against otherwise antibiotic-resistant pathogens.