The diseases caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae are a major public health problem all over the world. Children, elderly people and immuno-compromised individuals are the high-risk targets for pneumococcal diseases. In spite of the availability of a large number of antibiotics the mortality and morbidity due to S. pneumoniae infections remain very high.
There are two reasons for this: Firstly, the increasing antibiotic resistance among pneumococcal strains, and secondly, a current vaccine, though effective for certain serotypes, leads to serotype replacement. For the development of combat strategies it is essential to identify new intervention strategies, for which an understanding of host-pathogen interaction is a prerequisite. This proposal would apply a multi-disciplinary approach that includes epidemiology, host-pathogen interactions, infection models and intervention strategies to combat antibiotic resistant S. pneumoniae. The consortium brings together 12 research organizations and 1 SME with expertise in the above-mentioned areas.
The major objectives of this consortium will be
monitoring of prevalent S. pneumoniae serotypes and their resistance profiles in different countries,
analysis of host-pathogen interactions and identification of potential therapeutic targets and vaccine candidates,
providing a basis for the development of improved vaccine and intervention strategies.
This joint international effort would contribute towards novel control strategies, especially of antibiotic resistant S. pneumoniae strains.