Mechanisms for acquisition and transmission of successful antibiotic resistant pneumococcal clones pre- and postvaccination (PNEUMOSPREAD)




Pneumococcal infections are major contributors to morbidity and mortality world-wide, even though we have access to antibiotics and intensive care.

Completed project

Pneumococci are the major cause of common milder respiratory tract infections such as otitis and sinusitis, but also to more severe infections such as pneumonia with or without septicaemia and meningitis. Despite causing all these disease with even lethal outcome, pneumococci frequently colonize healthy children from where they may spread to susceptible individuals and cause disease. Resistance to antibiotics is emerging, threatening effective treatment.

In this project we have gained important insight into factors that affect transmission of pneumococcal strains, and into the pathogenesis of pneumococcal infections. We have unravelled factors both on the bacterial side and on the host side that are important for the spread and transmission of antimicrobial susceptible and resistant pneumococcal strains using in vitro and in vivo models. Based on this knowledge, potential novel treatment and preventive methods could be developed in the future.

Project partners

  • Birgitta Henriques Normark, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden (Coordinator)
  • Aras Kadioglu, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • Tim Sparwasser, Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hygiene (IMMH), Germany
  • Jens Lagergren, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden