Fighting antimicrobial resistant infections by high-throughput discovery of biofilm-disrupting agents and mechanisms (DISRUPT)

Many bacterial infections are associated with biofilms. Biofilm-related infections, particularly those caused by drug resistant bacteria, are difficult to handle with current antibiotic strategies. These includes wound-infections (e.g. caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Staphylococcus aureus), urinary tract infections (e.g. Escherichia coli), chronic airway infections (e.g. P. aeruginosa) and preinfection colonisation by Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Ongoing project

New strategies and compounds to fight such resilient infections are imperative; however, the full repertoire of genes and processes that are essential for biofilm formation in different microbes is unknown. In this project, we aim to provide new tools, targets and agents for understanding and treating biofilm-associated infections in four major AMR pathogens (P. aeruginosa, UPEC, S. aureus and S. pneumoniae). To achieve this, we have assembled an interdisciplinary team with diverse expertise in microbial genetics and genomics, highthroughput screening and antibiotics/antibody research.

Our project involves a combination of stateof-the-art genetic approaches to construct genome-wide tools with automated biofilm-phenotyping and high-throughput screening for anti-biofilm antibodies and chemicals. Finally, we will characterise the mechanism of action of novel anti-biofilm agents.


Project partners

  • Morten Kjos, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway (Coordinator)
  • Jan-Willem Veening, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Athanasios Typas, European Molecular Biology Laboratory , Germany
  • Christoph Merten, European Molecular Biology Laboratory , Germany


Project resources

DISRUPT project website