Escherichia coli

Escherichia coli

Leader: John McKinney

Co-leader: Christoph Dehio

E. coli is a Gram-negative bacterium commonly found in the human intestine. Most E. coli strains are harmless, but numerous pathogenic varieties cause serious extra-intestinal infections, including food poisoning, septic shock, meningitis, or urinary tract infections (UTI). Uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) account for the far majority of human UTI that require medical intervention and are the most common reason for prescription of antibiotics. Antibiotic-resistant E. coli are emerging with carbapenem-resistant strains listed at the highest priority for R&D of new antibiotics by the World Health Organization.

WP-ECO aims to accelerate discovery and development of novel antibacterial treatments by developing in-vitro models that approximate the physiological state of E. coli in urinary tract infection (UTI) patients.

The three main objectives are:

  • Objective 1: To profile uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) in clinical specimens collected from UTI patients 
  • Objective 2: To develop bladder-mimicking in-vitro models for UPEC infections by using in-patient data as guidance and benchmarks.
  • Objective 3: To identify new antibacterial strategies to interfere with UPEC infection and persistence