Optimisation of bi-therapy inhibition of Staphylococcus aureus in persistent and bacteremic infections (StopStaphGrowth)


Staphylococcus aureus is a common commensal bacterium with reservoirs in healthy individuals. However, infections due to S. aureus are notoriously difficult to treat in health-compromised individuals, especially if bacteria are antibiotic-resistant, and/or if antibiotics fail to reach the infected area.

Much current research aims at finding new antibiotics, repurposing old drugs, and developing combination therapies. However, drugs that work in the lab may not work in real infection situations, and efforts need to address drug functionality in the host, and its access to infected areas.

The current project combines these two objectives. It relies first on the development of a bi-therapy approach in which one antibiotic reaches its target and lowers virulence factor production, and another reinforces killing of the weakened bacteria. The most potent pre-selected bi-therapy couples will be enveloped in nanoliposomes, which are potent carriers already proven effective in various clinical treatments, including vaccines (like Covid), and for antibiotic delivery. Efficacy testing of bi-therapy, freely administered or encapsulated inside nanoliposome carriers, will be done in chronic and fulminant infection conditions. This study is unique in that it provides unique bi-therapy couples and confronts the difficulties of antibiotic access in both types of potential S. aureus infections. The use of known drugs will accelerate applications of our findings.

Project partners

  • Alexandra Gruss, Micalis Institute University Paris-Saclay, National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food & Environment, France (Coordinator)
  • Patrick Trieu-Cuot, Institut Pasteur, France
  • Lorena Tuchscherr, Jena University Hospital, Germany
  • Asmaa Tazi, Institut Cochin, France
  • Pablo Taboada, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain