Research Group Que

Main Areas of Work

  • Failure of antibiotic therapies
  • Combating antibiotic resistance
  • Bacteriophage therapies

Brief description

This research laboratory concentrates on developing innovative strategies to combat the growing threat of antibioticresistance. We concentrate on alternatives to antibiotic therapy, such as phage therapy or antivirulence approaches.

Bacteriophages are viruses that lyse and kill bacteria at the end of their life cycles. Their therapeutic potential wasrecognised even before the universal use of antibiotics and is now seen as a possible solution to the problem ofmultiresistant bacteria.

Our research laboratory investigate the efficacy of phage therapy in the treatment of common nosocomial infections, e. g.from Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas auruginosa, using innovative animal models that map real infections. Weemploy these preclinical studies to investigate the efficiency and safety of this therapy, together with the pharmacokineticsand pharmacodynamics.

We have recently developed a rodent model for the pulmonary inflammation associated with respiration – a frequentcomplication of artificial respiration in the clinic. Our results with this model showed that phage therapy was just aseffective as standard antibiotic therapy in controlling the infection (see Prazak et al. 2019 AJRCCM).

Associated staff

Dr. Elena Baumgartner, PhD

Dr. Bülent Gözel, PhD - Postdoc

PD Dr. med. Josef Prazak, PhD

  • Our projects are regularly supported by doctoral, MD-PHD students and master students in medicine.

Current projects

  • Swiss National Science Foundation: Prophylaxis and Treatment of Staphylococcus spp. Intravascular and Extravascular Infections with Phages
  • Swiss National Science Foundation: Refining phage and antibiotic dosing for effective treatment of multidrug resistant bacterial infections

Important publications


Inselspital, Bern University Hospital and University of Bern

  • Department of Infectious Diseases, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital (Prof. H. Furrer, MD)
  • Institute for Infectious Diseases (IFIK), University of Bern (Prof. S. Leib, MD, Dr. Alban Ramette)
  • Department of Cardiology, Bern University Hospital  (Prof Lukas Hunziker, Dr. Bruno Schnegg, Dr. Monika Fürholz)

National Collaborations

  • Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne (Dr. G. Resch, PhD)
  • CHUV, University Hospital of Lausanne (Dr. P. Eggimann, Dr. J.-L. Pagani)
  • SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Yverdon (C. Peña-Reyes)

International Collaborations

  • Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, USA (Dr. L. G. Rahme, MD, PhD, MSc, Professor of Surgery)