Interfakultäres Institut für Mikrobiologie und Infektionsmedizin

Arbeitsgruppe Kengmo Tchoupa

Dr. Arnaud Kengmo Tchoupa

Universität Tübingen
Interfakultäres Institut für Mikrobiologie und Infektionsmedizin

+49 (7071) 29-75937


Arnaud Kengmo Tchoupa studied Animal Biology (2003-2009) at the University of Yaounde I (Cameroon). For his master’s thesis, however, he secured a scholarship to be trained in Molecular Bacteriology (2008-2009) at the Pasteur Centre (Yaounde, Cameroon). Molecular Biology techniques learnt there enabled him to earn a living in viral discovery. In 2011, he left Cameroon for Germany thanks to a DAAD-funded PhD scholarship. During his PhD studies in Konstanz where he became very much interested in the crosstalk between bacteria and their human host. He investigated this further at the Warwick Medical School (UK) during his first postdoctoral training (2016-2019). An Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellowship (2019-2021) enabled Dr Kengmo Tchoupa moved to the Infection Biology Department of the University of Tübingen (Germany). Here, he investigates how a major human pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus, responds to host-specific cues, which include antimicrobial fatty acids.

Research Focus

Host-derived long-chain fatty acids are key players at the host-pathogen interface. Deficits in sapienic acid, an antimicrobial FA exclusively found on the human skin, have been linked to increased colonization with Staphylococcus aureus in patients with skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis. We are investigating the antibacterial mode of action of FAs against staphylococci. Given the ubiquitous nature of FAs in various host environments, there is a wealth of bacterial adaptation strategies to FAs. Deciphering how bacteria survive in FA-rich host environments may pave the way for a rational design of FA-based combination therapies with classical antibiotics.


Ausgewählte Publikationen

Kengmo Tchoupa A, Elsherbini AMA, Xiaoqing F, Ghaneme O, Seibert L, Böcker MA, Lebtig M, Camus J, Lambidis SP, Schittek B, Kretschmer D, Lämmerhofer M, Peschel A. (2023) Lipase-mediated detoxification of host-derived antimicrobial fatty acids by Staphylococcus aureus. bioRxiv. doi: 10.1101/2023.05.15.540481.

Kengmo Tchoupa A, Kretschmer D, Schittek B, Peschel A. (2023) The epidermal lipid barrier in microbiome-skin interaction. Trends Microbiol. 31(7):723-734. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2023.01.009.

Kengmo Tchoupa A, Eijkelkamp BA, Peschel A. (2022) Bacterial adaptation strategies to host-derived fatty acids. Trends Microbiol. 30(3):241-253. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2021.06.002.

Kengmo Tchoupa A, Peschel A. (2020) Staphylococcus aureus Releases Proinflammatory Membrane Vesicles To Resist Antimicrobial Fatty Acids. mSphere. 30;5(5):e00804-20. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00804-20.

Kengmo Tchoupa A, Watkins KE, Jones RA, Kuroki A, Alam MT, Perrier S, Chen Y, Unnikrishnan M. (2020) The type VII secretion system protects Staphylococcus aureus against antimicrobial host fatty acid toxicity. Scientific Reports 10 (1): 14838. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-71653-z.

Kuroki A, Kengmo Tchoupa A, Hartlieb M, Peltier R, Locock KES, Unnikrishnan M, Perrier S. (2019) Targeting intracellular, multi-drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus with guanidinium polymers by elucidating the structure-activity relationship. Biomaterials. 217:119249. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.

Muenzner P, Kengmo Tchoupa A, Klauser B, Brunner T, Putze J, Dobrindt U, Hauck CR. (2016) Uropathogenic E. coli Exploit CEA to Promote Colonization of the Urogenital Tract Mucosa. PLoS Pathog. 12(5):e1005608. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1005608.

Königer V, Holsten L, Harrison U, Busch B, Loell E, Zhao Q, Bonsor DA, Roth A, Kengmo Tchoupa A, Smith SI, Mueller S, Sundberg EJ, Zimmermann W, Fischer W, Hauck CR, Haas R. (2016) Helicobacter pylori exploits human CEACAMs via HopQ for adherence and translocation of CagA. Nat Microbiol. 2:16188. doi: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.188.

Kengmo Tchoupa A, Lichtenegger S, Reidl J, Hauck CR. (2015) Outer membrane protein P1 is the CEACAM-binding adhesin of Haemophilus influenzae. Mol Microbiol. 98(3):440-55. doi: 10.1111/mmi.13134.

Kengmo Tchoupa A, Schuhmacher T, Hauck CR. (2014) Signaling by epithelial members of the CEACAM family - mucosal docking sites for pathogenic bacteria. Cell Commun Signal. 12:27. doi: 10.1186/1478-811X-12-27.

Grants / Individual fellowships

DFG, Cluster of Excellence EXC214 CMFI – Collaborative research grant with Prof.Dr. Birgit Schittek: Lipid-mediated crosstalk between microbiota and host during skin immune response towards Staphylococcus aureus infection; 2021-2024

DFG, Cluster of Excellence EXC214 CMFI – Yong investigator grant: Bacterial membrane vesicles at the host - pathogen interface; 2021.

Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung – Humboldt Research fellowship for postdoctoral Researchers: Deciphering Staphylococcus aureus resistance to antimicrobial fatty acids; 2019-2021.

DFG, Research Training Group (RTG) 1331, RTG associate fellowship; 2013-2015

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), PhD scholarship; 2011-2014

The “Institut Pasteur” International Network, Master’s scholarship; 2008-2009