COST Action – BM1003 Microbial cell surface determinants of virulence as targets for new therapeutics in Cystic Fibrosis
The main aim of BM1003 action is to create an integrated network of excellence involving collaboration between experts in the multi-disciplinary fields of science required for understanding microbial cell surface determinants of virulence, antibiotic resistance and inflammation.
Cystic fibrosis disease
Cystic fibrosis (CF) causes constitutive inflammation in many organs and it particularly affects the lung. Chronic airway inflammation with chronic bacterial infections becomes established in most patients and it may lead to lung damage, destruction and eventually death. The bacterial factors and the molecular mechanisms which provoke inflammation in the respiratory epithelium of cystic fibrosis patients remain unclear. This topic is tackled using a coordinated and interdisciplinary approach by joining efforts by 16 European Countries, being Universidad CEU San Pablo member of the Management Committee. Competencies range from chemistry to microbiology and medicine. This multi- and inter-disciplinary approach is aimed at enabling the development of novel antibacterial inhibitors for anti-inflammatory therapy in cystic fibrosis patients.
Reasons for the Action
The major reasons for launching this Action are to rapidly develop novel therapies for CF and non-CF patient groups at risk for lung infections with opportunistic Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial pathogens. This aim will be achieved by the coordination of researchers into a European network of the already funded national research. Networking will also avoid repetition or duplication of scientific work and thus spare valuable resources of prior isolated research groups in Europe. We will create a defined panel of clinically relevant bacterial pathogens as an open user resource. This COST Action will enable researchers to develop novel inhibitors of bacterial cell wall synthesis with the aim to reduce lung inflammation in CF airways and to eradicate the pathogens with novel treatment strategies. This will increase the life expectancy of the CF patients. The pathogens that will be studied are also known to affect other patient groups including patients with immunodeficiencies such as burns patients and ventilated patients in critical care units. Also in these large patient groups, mortality due to respiratory infections is high. Improvement in knowledge of bacterial pathogenesis would have important implications for these patient groups, the quality of life of affected individual, and with the potential to reduce the inappropriate use of currently administered antibiotics, which increase the number of resistant pathogens in the European community.