Combating antibiotics resistant pneumococci by novel strategies based on in vivo and in vitro host pathogen interactions

Activity Code: HEALTH-2007-2.3.1-2
Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Singh Chhatwal, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research



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.


Project Details:

Start Date: 01.03.2009
End Date: 29.02.2012
EU Contribution: 3 Mio. Euro
Total Costs: 3.97 Mio. Euro
Funding Scheme: Small or medium-scale focused research project
Administrative Contact Person: Michael Strätz,
Scientific Coordinator:
Prof. Dr. Singh Chhatwal, gsc(at)
Project Website:



  • Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany
  • Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, India
  • Hospital de Pediatria Samic Prof. Dr Juan P. Garrahan, Argentina
  • Protea Vaccine Technologies Ltd., Israel
  • Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Spain
  • Narodowy Instytut Lekow, Poland
  • Ernst-Moritz Arndt University of Greifswald, Germany
  • Universitätsspital Basel, Switzerland
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
  • Universitätsklinikum Aachen, Germany
  • University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Portugal
  • Universidad Miguel Hernandez de Elche, Spain
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