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Development of diagnostic fluorescence and ultrasound probes for S. aureus

72 months
Approved budget:
Dr Matthias Fellner
Professor Matthew Bogyo
Dr Daniel Pletzer
Health issue:
Infectious disease
Proposal type:
Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship
Lay summary
Staphylococcus aureus is a human pathogen that is a major cause of chronic infections in New Zealand and around the globe. Due to the presence of its unique biomolecular matrix (a biofilm), infections like bacteraemia, pneumonia, or endocarditis are difficult to treat. A specific diagnostic probe for any infected tissue would enable imaging of the location and the extent of active infection. Such a diagnosis would greatly improve the management of the most life-threatening complications of S. aureus internal infections and aid treatments for those infections requiring immediate surgery. This research will enable the development of such imaging agents by targeting biofilm-associated proteins, providing more effective diagnostic options for S. aureus chronic biofilm-based infections. The long-term benefits are significant improvements of health and wellbeing of individuals and populations in New Zealand and world-wide.