Dr. David Leitsch, PhD
Molecular biology of anaerobic parasites, drug resistance, mode of action of and resistance to metronidazole and other nitro drugs
Drug resistance poses a serious problem in the treatment of many infectious agents, including anaerobic parasites (Trichomonas vaginalis, Giardia lamblia) and anaerobic bacteria (Helicobacter pylori, Clostridium spp., Bacteroides spp.). The main focus of our research lies on the molecular mechanisms causing resistance to metronidazole and other nitroheterocycle drugs which are prescribed against anaerobic infections. The redox system of anaerobic microorganisms seems to have a critical role as a target but also of an enhancer of nitroheterocycle toxicity. We study this dual role in several anaerobic microbes in order to discover a common theme and, eventually, remedies against nitroheterocycle resistance.