Pathogenomics: An updated European Research Agenda

Andreas Demuth, Yair Aharonowitz, Till T. Bachmann, Gabriele Blum-Oehler, Carmen Buchrieser, Antonello Covacci, Ulrich Dobrindt, Levente Emödy, Arie van der Ende, Jonathan Ewbank, Luis Ángel Fernández, Matthias Frosch, Francisco García del Portillo, Michael S. Gilmore, Philippe Glaser, Werner Goebel, Seyed E. Hasnain, Jürgen Heesemann, Khalid Islam, Timo KorhonenMartin Maiden, Thomas F. Meyer, Cesare Montecucco, Eric Oswald, Julian Parkhill, M. Graciela Pucciarelli, Eliora Ron, Catharina Svanborg, Bernt Eric Uhlin, Sun Nyunt Wai, Jürgen Wehland, Jörg Hacker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


The emerging genomic technologies and bioinformatics provide novel opportunities for studying life-threatening human pathogens and to develop new applications for the improvement of human and animal health and the prevention, treatment, and diagnosis of infections. Based on the ecology and population biology of pathogens and related organisms and their connection to epidemiology, more accurate typing technologies and approaches will lead to better means of disease control. The analysis of the genome plasticity and gene pools of pathogenic bacteria including antigenic diversity and antigenic variation results in more effective vaccines and vaccine implementation programs. The study of newly identified and uncultivated microorganisms enables the identification of new threats. The scrutiny of the metabolism of the pathogen in the host allows the identification of new targets for anti-infectives and therapeutic approaches. The development of modulators of host responses and mediators of host damage will be facilitated by the research on interactions of microbes and hosts, including mechanisms of host damage, acute and chronic relationships as well as commensalisms. The study of multiple pathogenic and non-pathogenic microbes interacting in the host will improve the management of multiple infections and will allow probiotic and prebiotic interventions. Needless to iterate, the application of the results of improved prevention and treatment of infections into clinical tests will have a positive impact on the management of human and animal disease. The Pathogenomics Research Agenda draws on discussions with experts of the Network of Excellence "EuroPathoGenomics" at the management board meeting of the project held during 18-21 April 2007, in the Villa Vigoni, Menaggio, Italy. Based on a proposed European Research Agenda in the field of pathogenomics by the ERA-NET PathoGenoMics the meeting's participants updated the established list of topics as the research agenda for the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-393
Number of pages8
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Antibiotic resistances
  • Bacterial pathogens
  • Comparative genomics
  • Host-microbe interactions
  • Microbe-microbe interactions


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