Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Department of Clinical Microbiology Research

The Department is based on a hospital campus and contiguous with the Beaumont Hospital diagnostic facility. Consequently, it is ideally placed to apply basic scientific and research findings to the care of patients.

 

The major theme of the Department is healthcare-associated infections (HCAI). These include infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus (including MRSA), Vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE), extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL) producing enterobacteriaceae and Clostridium difficile. We are interested in the surveillance, epidemiology and pathogenesis of these bacteria with a view to the prevention and treatment of the infections that they cause. Our projects are funded by awards from the Health Research Board (HRB) Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the Irish Higher Education Authority (HEA), Brazilian Federal Agency for the Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES), The Heatlhcare Infection Society (HIS) and Pfizer Ireland.

Our current research includes:

  • The application of a plasma-based device for decontamination of hospital surfaces aimed at effectively reducing the levels of bacteria such as MRSA, VRE, ESBL producing enterobacteriaceae and C. difficile spores.
  • Investigating how the virulence characteristics of S. aureus and the patient's immune response to infection may contribute to the clinical outcomes for patients with bloodstream infections.
  • Investigating genetic characteristics of Staphylococci present in the healthy human nose and in patients and their ability to transfer between species to predict the future evolution of S. aureus.
  • Investigating novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of infections in people with cystic fibrosis.
  • Eradicating MRSA using alternative de-colonising agent s based on natural honey.
  • Characterisation of vaccine and non-vaccine serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae carriage isolates and isolates causing non-invasive infection.
  • Characterisation of the staphylococcal biofilm and investigation of novel therapeutics versus the staphylococcal biofilm using an in vivo like model of infection.