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Translational Lung Research Center Heidelberg

CFMATTERS: Cystic Fibrosis Microbiome-determined Antibiotic Therapy Trial in Exacerbations: Results Stratified

Opens external link in new windowCFMATTERS is a project funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Program for Research and Technology Development. The overall aim of the project is to tailor antibiotic therapy of pulmonary exacerbations in patients with cystic fibrosis to the acutal individual patient needs by developing a microbiome determined antibiotic therapy approach.

Antimicrobial resistance is arguably the most significant challenge facing the EU health care system. The unnecessary use of antibiotics is a key driver in the development of antibiotic resistance. Cystic fibrosis represents a unique disease model to study bacterial resistance and to explore therapeutic strategies for same, as chronic lung infection overlaps with acute lung exacerbations caused by a multitude of organisms that traditionally evolve various mechanisms of resistance. With time, chronic polymicrobial infection develops, with the most dominant infecting organism being Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is also important in other infections including wounds, burns and patients with medical devices, making it an important clinical target for the EU.

CFMATTERS will provide a randomized multi-centre controlled trial of microbiome-derived antimicrobial treatments versus current empirical therapy. Simultaneously parallel human host-pathogen interaction studies in sputa, human gut microflora analysis and evaluation of murine exacerbation models will be performed with the aim to improve antibiotic therapy and decrease antimicrobial usage and resistance.

CFMATTERS is coordinated by Opens external link in new windowProf. Barry Plant, Consultant Respiratory Physician and Director of the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre, Cork University Hospital and Clinical Senior Lecturer at University College, Ireland.  The Heidelberg Cystic Fibrosis Center, led by Opens internal link in current windowProf. Marcus Mall, is one of seven centers (University College Cork, Ireland; Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland; University of Washington, USA; University Hospital Heidelberg, Germany; University of Dundee, UK; Papworth Hospital Cambridge, UK; University Hospital Leuven, Belgium; Assistance Publique- Hôspiteaux de Paris, France) recruiting patients for this European study. The Mall lab is also known for its expertise in mouse models of CF lung disease including the development of the βENaC-overexpressing mouse. This murine model develops key features of CF lung disease including spontaneous mucus plugging, chronic airway inflammation and delayed clearance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other CF pathogens and will therefore be instrumental to the preclinical studies conducted by CFMATTERS.

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