Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine

Research team Dr. Kretschmer

Research focus

Certain structurally conserved bacterial molecules, (Pathogen-Associated Molecular Patterns, PAMPs) are directly recognized by dedicated host receptors to activate defense mechanisms. However, most of the known PAMPs are shared by commensals and pathogens and do not allow a discrimination between innocuous and aggressive bacteria. Using defined bacterial mutants we could demonstrate that staphylococcal PSM peptide leukocidins are chemoattractive to human phagocytes and are sensed by the human FPR2 receptor, which has hardly been implicated in innate immunity before. Hence, PSMs represent true pathogen-associated signals that attract leukocytes in relation to staphylococcal virulence. The role of FPR2 and of FPR2 agonists or antagonistes in innate immunity are currently analyzed.

Career

Dorothee Kretschmer studied Biology and obtained her Diploma (2006) and PhD degree (2010) in Microbiology in Tübingen. During this time her son and daughter were born. After holding a postdoctoral position in the lab of Andreas Peschel in Tübingen she establishes her junior group since 2011 focusing on Staphylococcus aureus host/pathogen interaction with emphasis on the role of pathogen recognition receptors in Gram-positive infections.

Group members

Name/Email Function
Dorothee Kretschmer Postdoc
Christian Beck Ph.D. student
Katja Schlatterer Ph.D. student
Cordula Gekeler Technician
   

Selected publications

Funding

DFG - Transregional Collaborative Research Center TR-SFB 34 -Pathophysiology of Staphylococci