Staff | Collaborators Profile – Professor Marco Rinaldo Oggioni
Professor Oggioni has two main areas of research interest which are the discovery of specific details in the interaction of pathogenic bacteria with the host that could lead to new treatment options and the analysis of antimicrobial resistance determinants. MRO addresses the study of bacterial virulence mechanisms, by use of genomic tools, the exploration of microbial physiology, and the detailed analysis of events occurring in experimental infection models. The main scope of this work is the recognition of specific phases characterising microbial physiology during infection with the aim of identification of novel drug targets. In this context, MRO has focused in the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae on carbon metabolism, discovered a novel phase variable methylation mechanism with an epigenetic impact on bacterial phenotypes and most recently the ability of bacteria to replicate within a subset of host cells early in disease before the onset of bacteraemia leading to sepsis.
In association with his diagnostic background, MRO has been over the years involved in the development and validation of molecular detection protocols and the monitoring and characterisation of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms in many bacterial genera.
At present two main projects of MRO are the study of phase variable epigenetic mechanisms in bacteria and the exploration of the surprisingly efficient replication of extracellular bacteria within host cells prior to bacteraemia and sepsis; a fact potentially having wide reaching impact on treatment and prevention of invasive bacterial infection.