Main research topics: Antimicrobial resistance - Mobile genetic elements and horizontal gene transfer of antimicrobial resistance - Mechanisms for antimicrobial resistance - Detection of antimicrobial resistance - Novel virulence factors as targets for disarmament of pathogens - Membrane vesicles
Member of Centre for New Antibacterial Strategies (CANS)
Main research project: New strategies to combat multidrug resistant enterococci
Infections caused by multi-resistant bacteria are very difficult to treat and pose a serious threat to human health as well as medical advances. Enterococcus faecium is a leading cause of nosocomial infections, especially in severely ill and immunocompromised patients. Vancomycin resistant E. faecium is ranked as number four on the WHO’s priority pathogens list in antimicrobial research and development due to public health concerns. While in Norway only 0-10 cases of Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE) were reported annually before 2010, this number increased to 384 in 2017. Novel therapeutic approaches and alternatives for infection control are desperately needed to combat VRE.
1. The Norwegian VRE study. The aims of this study are to gain new insights in to the spread of antimicrobial resistance in enterococci, identify new targets for antimicrobial treatment and containment of infections caused by multidrug resistant enterococci, and define novel infection control interventions for VRE. The study takes advantage of an on-going national epidemiological study of VRE in Norway and will use collections of non-VRE isolates from the Norsk Overvåkningssystem for antibiotikaResistens hos Mikrober (NORM) registry and from a general population sample (Tromsø 7). Combining clinical epidemiological information about the VREs and genomic data from the different strain collections we can identify determinants best suited for anti-virulence targeting of E. faecium, reveal unknown transmission patterns and de novo generation of VRE as well as relate the Norwegian epidemiology to the global epidemiology of VRE.
2. Alternative Strategies to Combat VRE. With this project we aim to find treatment alternatives in the fight against E. faecium infections, to lead way for novel therapy and eventually slow down the increase of VRE incidences in Norway. First, immunization with MVs derived from E. faecium is a promising alternative for prevention and/ or treatment of enterococcal infections. Second, by exploring mobile genetic elements as putative modes of dissemination of resistance gene, we will gain knowledge, which will help to find target points to interfere with the spread of resistance genes. Third, investigating the interactions of commensal and nosocomial E. faecium will help our understanding of VRE and their contribution to dysbiosis. Overall, this project provides knowledge to develop novel drugs against VRE, which are urgently needed to shorten hospital stay, infection associated costs and discomforts.
- 2000 : PhD degree in Medical Microbiology – University of Tromsø
- 1995 : Master degree in Marine biotechnology/microbiology – Norwegian Fishery College
- Since 2004: Research Scientist, Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Detection of Antimicrobial Resistance, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø
- Since 2017: Professor II, Research group of Host Microbe Interaction, Dept. of Medical Biology, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø
- 2008-2010 + 2015-2017: Section manager, Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Detection of Antimicrobial Resistance, Dept. of Microbiology and Infection Control, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø.
- 2006 - 2016: Associate Professor II, Dept. of Medical Biology, University of Tromsø
- 2001 - 2004: Post-doctoral position, Dept. of Medical Biology, University of Tromsø
- May 2001 - May 2002: Post-doctoral position/visiting Research Fellow, Patrice Courvalin lab, Unité des Agents Antibactériens, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.