The research Unit of Clinical Microbiology has at its disposal a number of in vitro and animal models which are used to study typical hospital-acquired infections. Among these, we work with flow models that simulate infections related to the use of urinary and intravenous catheters. By co-culturing human cells and bacteria, we investigate host-pathogen interactions and seek to elucidate why certain bacterial pathogens cause problematic and hard-to-treat infections.
Co-culture infections are conducted in microtiter wells as well as in flow chambers. The latter allow simulation of infections for prolonged periods of time over several days. Here, the progression of infection can be monitored directly in chambers via time-lapse fluorescence microscopy. To assess the expression of virulence genes, bacteria are harvested at certain time points and exposed to molecular biological analyses such as qPCR or RNAseq.
In addition to in vitro models we work with animal models of infections in mice and pigs. These models allow us to verify results obtained in vitro and to conduct pre-clinical testing of novel treatment regimens and devices.
Lately, we have established one of DK’s only experimental SARS-CoV-2 laboratories where we perform standard viral culturing techniques such as plaque assay and viral neutralization assay.