Current Project: FAPIC - Fast Assay for Pathogen Identification and Characterisation
Sepsis is a major public health concern, being associated with high levels of morbidity and mortality in both high and low income countries. Currently, blood culture remains the gold standard for the microbiological diagnosis and treatment of sepsis. Though cultivation-based methods are economically very attractive and well established in hospital settings, these are time-consuming and do not always provide an accurate pathogen identification. In the last 10 years or so, we have been witnessing a rapid emergence and increasing occurrence of pathogens with high levels of multidrug resistance as the result of the overuse and misuse of antimicrobial drugs during the past few decades. With the growing fear of widespread presence of untreatable bacterial pathogens, faster, more precise and accurate diagnostic methods are urgently required.
As part of this EU Horizon 2020 collaborative project, we are developing two bench-top diagnostic systems (PathoRobot and Pathodoc) for the identification and characterisation of bacterial pathogens with antibiotic resistance. These consist on a fully automated approach integrating both sample treatment and a molecular assay analysis based on an innovative nucleotide probe concept and a novel highly sensitive DNA-based assay. The approach has the potential to represent a substantial improvement in sensitivity, specificity, simplicity and time length for sepsis diagnosis in clinical and hospital settings.
BSc in Microbiology (2009), University of Lisbon, Portugal
MSc in Medical Microbiology (2011), London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK
PhD (2016), Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung, Germany