University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla

Research Lines

Our group is a multi-disciplinary team including clinical and basic microbiologists and infectious diseases practitioners belonging to the “Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla-Instituto de Formación e Investigación Marqués de Valdecilla ” and the “Universidad de Cantabria”.
Our main research lines are: i) to characterize biochemical mechanisms of resistance to the main groups of antimicrobial agents ii) to characterize genetic elements involved in antimicrobial resistance by studying resistance genes, mobile elements and genetic mobilization mechanisms, particularly bacterial conjugaiton; iii) to study the relationship between antimicrobial resistance and virulence; iv) to study the molecular epidemiology of resistant bacteria, in particular the problem of multidrug resistance in bacteria of nosocomial importance; v) to study the in vitro activity of new antimicrobial compounds and to support the development of Clinical Trials on Infectious Diseases; vi) to develop and evaluate new molecular methods for diagnosis and epidemiological study of infectious diseases; viii) to improve the diagnosis and management of infectious diseases in transplant patients; x) to evaluate and improve antibiotic use.
The main contributions are relate to: description and relevance of new resistance mechanism in Enterobacteriaceae, non-fermenting gramnegative bacteria and Enterococcus; contribution to understanding low-level resistance to antibiotics; role of resistome on the expression and dispersion of antimicrobial resistance, development of a method for plasmid typing based on relaxase proteins and analysis of antimicrobial use in hospitalized patients.
Overall, the group has 231 publications in peer-review journals in the last five years. Our research projects are supported by the European Union, Spanish research agencies, scientific societies and private funders.

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Group Coordinator

Dr. Luis Martínez