Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Main lines of research

 Clinical microbiology

  • Study of resistance mechanisms.
  • Tuberculosis, epidemiology and antituberculosis resistance mechanisms.
  • Molecular biology applications in infectious disease detection, taxonomy and epidemiology.
  • Medical care projects.

Kidney transplantation

  • Vaccines in patients at high risk of CMV infection post- transplantation.
  • Detection of patients IgG positive for CMV but with posttransplantation risk of CMV infection.
  • Biomarkers for BKV in urine samples.
  • Medical care projects.

Infectious diseases

  • Restricted-use policies for antibiotic and antimicrobial agents and suitable use of antimicrobial agents.
  • Study of infections associated with foreign bodies (joint prostheses, catheters, cardiac prostheses and pacemakers).
  • Study of infections due to multiresistant microorganisms or requiring isolation.
  • Tuberculosis.


Clinical Microbiology Resistance Mechanisms

  • Study of increased resistance as a result of gene carrier-vector spread.
  • Continuity of work in the context of the Spanish Network for Research into Infectious Pathologies (REIPI), heading certain projects (e.g., epidemiology of class C beta-lactamases in Spain) and cooperating with a project on the epidemiology of resistance to amoxicillin-clavulanic acid among others.
  • Advancement of other research lines, both in-house and in cooperation with other centres, leading to two doctoral theses.

Tuberculosis, Epidemiology and Resistance Mechanisms

  • Prospective monitoring of primary and acquired Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance to first-second-line drugs.
  • Molecular detection of resistance using a molecular antibiogram.
  • Study of the epidemiology and spread of resistant strains and assessment of the impact of immigration and the contribution of new Mycobacterium tuberculosis families (Beijing, EAI, CAS).

Molecular Biology Applications to Infectious Disease Detection, Taxonomy and Epidemiology

  • Study of the usefulness of the 16S RNA gene for microbiological diagnosis and molecular identification.
  • Genotype characterization of Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts from stool samples collected by Sant Pau’s Microbiology Unit.

Medical care

  • Government health department agreement (ongoing) regarding the development of epidemiological surveillance support functions for nosocomial infections and flaccid paralysis.
  • Study of mycoses in depth, especially invasive fusariosis and aspergillosis and respiratory tract viral infections in patients with onco-haematological diseases.
  • Multicentre studies of HIV (ongoing).
  • Monitoring of congenital infection in prenant women with Chagas disease.

Kidney surgery

  • Vaccine in patients with high risk of CMV infection post- transplantation: Phase 2 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of MCMV5322A/MCMV3068A for the prevention of cytomegalovirus disease in high-risk kidney allograft recipients. Clinical trial sponsored by Genetech.
  • Detection of patients IgG positive for CMV with high or low risk of CMV infection post- transplantation: Translational study to assess the clinical utility of determination pre-transplant of IFN-γ secreted by CD8 + T-cell-specific guide for the prevention of CMV infection in patients of low risk of CMV infection. Clinical trial sponsored by Consejería de Sanidad y Bienestar Social de Andalucía, Spain.
  • Biomarkers for BKV in urine sample: Determination of a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in urine by proteomics of nephropathy by BK virus in renal transplant receptors, sponsored by the Infectious Diseases Department, Vall ’Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain.

Restricted-use Antibiotic and Antimicrobial Policies

  • To minimize resistance, reduce cost and improve compliance with surgical prophylaxis (at the time of administration) through suitable use of antimicrobial agents.

Epidemic Outbreaks and Infections Caused by Multiresistant Microorganisms and Microorganisms Requiring Isolation

  • To study epidemiology for our hospital.
  • To reduce incidence.
  • To prevent/contain epidemic outbreaks and work with the Microbiology Unit in epidemiology and molecular studies.

Infections Associated with Foreign Bodies (Joint Prostheses, Catheters, Cardiac Prostheses, Pacemakers)

  • To reduce incidence.
  • To develop effective conservative treatment regimes.

Infections in Transplant Patients (Heart, Haemopoietic Progenitors)

  • To study current epidemiology.
  • To assess the efficacy of prophylaxis and other preventive measures.


  • To cooperate with studies of resistance and with new treatment regimes for tuberculosis.

Other projects

To continue with the government health department agreement regarding the development of support functions as follows:

  • Epidemiological surveillance of nosocomial infections (VINCat).
  • Tuberculosis control: Barcelona-Dreta Tuberculosis Operations Committee (coordinator: Dr Sambeat).
  • New influenza control: Barcelona-Dreta Epidemiological Surveillance Operations Committee (coordinator: Dr López-Contreras).
  • Database for monitoring CMV infections after renal transplantation.
  • Database for monitoring BK virus infections after renal transplantation.
  • Observational and multicentre case-controlled (1:2) study to compare the evolution of renal transplantation in patients with HIV infection (Dr Canal, Dr Facundo and Dr Serra), sponsored by the Andalusian Organ and Tissue Transplantation Society.
  • Observational, epidemiological and retrospective study of management of CMV infection in a cohort of patients receiving
    solid organ transplantation in Catalonia (Dr Canal, Dr Facundo and Dr Serra), sponsored by the Catalan Transplantation Society.
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