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Elisabeth Presterl
Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Presterl, MBA DTMH (London)Professor of Hygiene and Clinical Microbiology, Head of the Department of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control

Department of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control
Position: Professor

T +43 1 40400 19040

Further Information


Anti-Infective Agents; Anti-Infective Agents, Local; Bacterial Infections and Mycoses; Biofilms; Environmental Microbiology; Epidemiologic Studies; Hand Hygiene; Hygiene; Infection Control; Preventive Medicine; Surgical Wound Infection

Research group(s)

  • Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
    Head: Elisabeth Presterl
    Research Area: Infection control research focuses on epidemiology, prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections (HAI) and multi-resistant bacteria genotyping of the latter. We do studies for applied hospital hygiene and intervention studies.
  • Decontamination Science
    Research Area: Decontamination of medical devices and medical environment are indispensible basis for modern medicine and patient safety. Due the progress in the development of new clincial methods and devices systematic on decontamination and reprocessing is pivot

Research interests

Infection control research focuses on epidemiology, prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections (HAI) and multi-resistant bacteria genotyping of the latter. We do studies for applied hospital hygiene and intervention studies.  A continuous interest is in the epidemiology, clinical course, control and prevention of invasive fungal infections.

The microbiological research focuses on microbial biofilms, biofilm- and implant-associated infections (prosthetic joint infections, endocarditis) and biofilm formation factors for early diagnosis and treatment.

Techniques, methods & infrastructure

  • Infection control and epidemiology on healtcare associated infections, infection transmission and control. Intervention studies to improve processes
  • Control and characterization of multiresistant microorganisms with the help of new typing methods and technology (NGS)
  • Environmental cultures for applied hospital studies - environmental microbioma 
  • Biofilm models (static, dynamic), staining and quantifying of biofilms, fluorescent stains, confocal laser scanning microscopy (together with the imaging core unit), resistance testing of biofilms;
  • Testing, improvement and quality control of methods for disinfection and sterilization; 


  • Surveillance of HAI (2019)
    Source of Funding: Bundesministerium für Soziales, Gesundheit, Pflege und Konsumentenschutz, ARHAI
    Principal Investigator
  • Weißer Arztmantel – Infektionsvektor (2018)
    Source of Funding: Medical Scientific Fund of the Mayor of the City of Vienna, Wissenschaftlichen Fonds des Bürgermeisters der Bundeshauptstadt Wien
    Principal Investigator

Selected publications

  1. Abbas, M. et al., 2018. Impact of participation in a surgical site infection surveillance network: results from a large international cohort study. Journal of Hospital Infection. Available at:
  2. Plachouras, D. et al., 2018. Antimicrobial use in European acute care hospitals: results from the second point prevalence survey (PPS) of healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial use, 2016 to 2017. Eurosurveillance, 23(46). Available at:
  3. Zatorska, B. et al., 2018. Bacterial Extracellular DNA Production Is Associated with Outcome of Prosthetic Joint Infections. BioMed Research International, 2018, pp.1-6. Available at:
  4. Suchomel, M. et al., 2018. Chlorhexidine-coated surgical gloves influence the bacterial flora of hands over a period of 3 hours. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, 7(1). Available at:
  5. Tschelaut, L. et al., 2018. A survey on current knowledge, practice and beliefs related to preoperative antimicrobial decolonization regimens for prevention of surgical site infections among Austrian surgeons. Journal of Hospital Infection, 100(4), pp.386-392. Available at: