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National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre
Our Research: Respiratory

Infection

Antimicrobial resistance is a huge issue facing the world today. How will we revolutionise the way we diagnose and treat patients with respiratory disease?

Our research is split into non-fungal and fungal infection. It focused on providing more accurate, rapid diagnosis for patients with severe respiratory infections and better management of fungal infections – the areas where we believe our work can have the greatest impact.

We know that there is a link between respiratory disease and an imbalance of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi and viruses) in the lung.

We are:

  • Analysing the microbiome (genetic material of these microorganisms) to help deliver more accurate diagnosis and identify novel targets/more effective treatments for patients with respiratory conditions.
  • In collaboration with The Health eResearch Centre we are developing and evaluating software algorithms to process information about the patient’s condition, to help clinicians make timely, efficient and effective decisions on the antibiotics they use to treat patients in hospitals with serious infections. . This will optimise antibiotic treatments going forward and ultimately improve patient safety for future generations.

Fungal diseases are among the more difficult to treat, particularly in patients with complex medical needs. With over 30 new multi-azole resistant strains of Aspergillus each year, there is huge demand for more targeted and alternative therapies.

We are:

  • Evaluating the ability to detect Azole resistance using molecular methods that can be applied as part of routine clinical care.
  • Establishing whether tools, based on a small number of genetic markers identified through previous research, can accurately distinguish aspergillosis (disease caused by infection of Aspergillus fungi) from underlying lung diseases, in a way that can help match an individual to the treatment that is most likely to work in their subtype of disease.