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Leibniz Research Alliance
INFECTIONS in an Urbanizing World - Humans, Animals, Environments

Improved hygiene and better prevention and treatment have diminished the incidence of infectious diseases particularly in industrialised countries. However, increasing antibiotic resistance, emergence of new pathogens, together with changes in pathogen distribution due to altered climate and mobility are global challenges for humankind. The Leibniz Research Alliance (LRA) INFECTIONS aims to establish an interdisciplinary research agenda and opens up new avenues of communication across disciplines. New strategies and methods for early warning and outbreak management systems will be developed to control spread of pathogens.


  • Introduction of the current PhD students of the LRA INFECTIONS

    New PhD student in the associated project "Economic inequality and corruption: access to antibiotics and utilization incentives": Sahar Saeedi Moghaddam, Biostatistician from Iran.

    Within the framework of her project "Economic inequality and corruption: access to antibiotics and utilization incentives", Sahar uses biostatistical methods to see whether there is a significant relationship between the occurrence of corruption and the spread of AMR in  low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). She also plans to develop novel strategies that can be used to curb the AMR spread in countries with endemic corruption in their healthcare delivery systems – without restricting essential access to antibiotics among the poor.

  • EU-finanziertes Projekt „PANDASIA“ verringert Pandemierisiken und verbessert Gesundheitskompetenz in Thailand und Europa

    Press release of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research from February, 20, 2023

    Das PANDASIA-Projekt untersucht, wie Infektionskrankheiten zwischen Tieren, Menschen und der Umwelt übertragen werden und wie potenzielle Pandemien entstehen. Die Ergebnisse werden genutzt, um die Gesundheitskompetenz verschiedener Zielgruppen in Thailand und Europa zu verbessern.

    Neu auftretende Infektionskrankheiten, die durch Erreger wie Viren und Bakterien verursacht und zwischen Tier und Mensch übertragen werden, stellen eine zunehmende Bedrohung für die globale Gesundheit dar. Diese sogenannten Zoonosen treten vor allem dort auf, wo Wildtiere und Menschen regelmäßig in Kontakt kommen. Aufgrund hoher Artenvielfalt, Bevölkerungsdichte und Mobilität der Menschen gilt Südostasien als Hotspot für das Auftreten neuer Zoonosen und Pandemien. Der Klimawandel und der Biodiversitätsverlust erhöhen das Risiko neuer Pandemien. Das von der EU finanzierte, transdisziplinäre wissenschaftliche Projekt „PANDASIA“ untersucht potenzielle Risiken für neue Pandemien in Thailand und entwickelt Präventivmaßnahmen. Die Ergebnisse werden genutzt, um die Gesundheitskompetenz verschiedener Zielgruppen und Gemeinschaften zu verbessern.

  • Houseflies spread drug-resistant gut bacteria from a pig farm to urban habitation areas.

    By using bacterial whole genome sequencing, scientists from the Leibniz Research Alliance INFECTIONS showed that contaminated houseflies (Musca domestica) carried antimicrobial-resistant bacteria from agriculture farms into urban habitation areas.

    As part of their research, the team examined a pig farm in Brandenburg, Germany, and its surrounding area for the presence of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria of the genus Escherischia coli (E. coli). This enterobacterium can cause severe urinary tract and intestinal infections in humans that can lead to death.

    The results of bacterial genomic analysis could show that a large number of E. coli bacteria showed resistance in the samples and that contaminated houseflies carried these bacteria from the farm over distances of at least 2 km to urban residential areas. The observed proximity of contaminated flies to human households poses a risk of transmission of antimicrobial-resistant enteric pathogens from livestock to humans.

    Scientists from the DSMZ - German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures-, the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) e. V and the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomics (ATB) were involved in this work. The results have now been published in the current issue of the journal Environmental Microbiology.


    Behrens W.*, Kolte B.*, Junker V.*, Frentrup M., Dolsdorf C., Börger M., Jaleta M., Kabelitz T., Amon T., Werner D., Nübel U. (2023) Bacterial genome sequencing tracks the housefly-associated dispersal of fluoroquinolone- and cephalosporin-resistant Escherichia coli from a pig farm. Environmental Microbiology. In press. *equal contribution. PMID: 36772962.   


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Prof. Dr. Ulrich E. Schaible
Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center (FZB)
T +49 4537 188 6000
Dr. Susanne Pätzold
Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center (FZB)
T 04537 188 5840
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Britta Weller
Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center (FZB)
T 04537 188 2870

Dr. Anna Holst
Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center (FZB)
T 04537 188 2690