The project is supported by a 'Challenge' grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation (2019). The consortium will spend the next six years answering three central questions:
Why do persistent infections persist? Can we identify biomarkers for such infections? And ultimately, can we translate our insights into improved treatment options for patients suffering from such long lasting infections?
Through four branches of research, the consortium will develop miniature organs (organoid, 3D-models), Air Liquid Interface structures (ALI, 2D-models) and alginate beads as infection models for three types of persistent infections – airway infections, gastric ulcers and chronic wounds.
The models will be developed using primary cells from patient samples.
With these tissue models, the consortium will investigate host/microbe interactions using molecular methods to profile and study how bacterial infections establish and become persistent, and how antibiotics and other interfering agents affect these interactions.
This will result in a deeper understanding of persistent infections in cystic fibrosis patients, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary lung disease (COPD), and patients suffering from chronic wounds and gastric ulcers.
Read about the three branches here