Research Focus of the Weiß Group

Our main interest is the interaction of bacterial pathogens with the immune system. In this context, we are using recombinant Salmonella to treat solid tumors and trying to understand how they act and how we can enhance their therapeutic potential but at the same time rendering them safe for applications. During these experiments, we realized that these bacteria when colonizing the tumors are forming biofilms. This provides a simple model to investigate the conditions that cause biofilm formation by these microorganisms and allows developing strategies how to treat such bacteria. Biofilm forming bacteria are a serious clinical problem. Finally, we try to understand the interaction different subspecies of Mycobacterium avium with the immune system. These bacteria are proliferating extremely slowly but the infections often become chronic. Especially Mycobacterrium paratuberculosis is causing extreme losses in cattle farming but is also thought to be a potential initiator of Crohns Disease. To learn more about these bacteria, we have established a mouse model that allows experimentation with such bacteria.