New therapies in infectious pathology

Great interest has developed in the role of the human microbiome in healthy individuals and in disease, given the accessibility of high-performance sequencing methods. Some studies indicate that the human microbiome can contribute to the regulation of multiple neurochemical and neurometabolic pathways, through highly interactive and symbiotic complex signalling systems between the host and the microbiome, which mechanistically interconnect the gastrointestinal tract, skin, liver and other organs with the central nervous system. Studies suggest that the stomach contains an unexpected diversity of microorganisms, but the relationship between H. pylori and other human diseases is not well established.

Helicobacter pylori infects 50% of the global population and colonises the gastric mucosa, causing numerous gastrointestinal diseases such as severe gastritis, peptic ulcer, stomach cancer and lymphoma associated with mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT). It has been identified as a Group I carcinogen by the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer. Several treatment regimens have been used to kill this microorganism. Antibiotic resistance is considered to be the main cause of treatment failure.

This group includes members of the Department of Microbiology with an interest in the diagnosis and treatment of various infectious diseases such as fungi, Mycobacterium spp. or CMV infection, as well as infections in cystic fibrosis patients.

The main lines of research at present and for the near future are: The study of the gastric microbiome and its relationship with infection with H. pylori, but also with other human diseases with potential therapeutic applications. The role of the human microbiome in H. pylori infections and in other diseases will constitute an area of stimulating research in the coming years.

We are interested in antimicrobial resistance in H. pyloriand in molecular methods for the detection of resistance and heteroresistance to clarithromycin. We are also interested in the in vitro activity of phenolic compounds in wine against H. pylori. Finally, we are interested in the role of phages and CRISPR in H. pylori strains; their relationship to resistance gene transfer is also an area of interest.

Team members


Group leader:

Teresa Alarcón Cavero

Hospital Universitario La Princesa

  Other team members:

  • Buenaventura Buendía Moreno. Hospital Universitario La Princesa.
  • Laura María Cardeñoso Domingo.Hospital Universitario La Princesa.
  • Carmen de las Cuevas Torresano. Hospital Universitario La Princesa.
  • Diego Domingo García.Hospital Universitario La Princesa.
  • Belén Fernández Caso. Hospital Universitario La Princesa.
  • Leticia Fontán García-Rodrigo. Hospital Universitario La Princesa.
  • Arturo Manuel Fraile Torres. Hospital Universitario La Princesa.
  • Sara Gómez de Frutos. Hospital Universitario La Princesa.
  • Silvia María Granja Torrecillas.  Hospital Universitario La Princesa.
  • Laura Llorca Otero.Hospital Universitario La Princesa.
  • Elisea Lomas Lomas.  Hospital Universitario La Princesa.
  • Alejandra Martín Ramírez.  Hospital Universitario La Princesa.
  • María Josefa Martínez Gómez.Hospital Infantil Universitario Niño Jesús.
  • Ana Miqueleiz Zapatero.  Hospital Universitario La Princesa.
  • Carmen María Serrano Morago.Hospital Universitario La Princesa.
  • Tamara Soler Maniega.  Hospital Universitario La Princesa.
  • Nelly Daniela Zurita Cruz. Hospital Universitario La Princesa.

Alarcón T, José Martínez-Gómez M, Urruzuno P. Helicobacter pylori in Pediatrics. Helicobacter 2013. 18: 52-57. FI: 2.993(Q2). PMID: 24011246. DOI: 10.1111/hel.12070.

Maldonado-Contreras, Ana, Mane, Shrinivasrao P., Zhang, Xue-Song, Pericchi, Luis, Alarcon, Teresa, Contreras, Monica, Linz, Bodo, Blaser, Martin J., Dominguez-Bello, Maria Gloria. Phylogeographic evidence of cognate recognition site patterns and transformation efficiency differences in H. pylori: theory of strain dominance. BMC Microbiol. 2013. 13: 211-0. FI: 2.976(Q2). PMID: . DOI: .

Megraud F, Coenen S, Versporten A, Kist M, Lopez-Brea M, Hirschl AM, Andersen LP, Goossens H, Glupczynski Y, Study Group participants. Helicobacter pylori resistance to antibiotics in Europe and its relationship to antibiotic consumption. Gut 2013. 62: 34-42. FI: 13.319(Q1). PMID: 24050390. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2180-13-211.

Agudo S, Pérez-Pérez G, Alarcón T, López-Brea M. High Prevalence of Clarithromycin-Resistant Helicobacter pylori Strains and Risk Factors Associated with Resistance in Madrid, Spain. J Clin Microbiol 2010. 48: 3703-3707. FI: 4.220(Q1). PMID: 22580412. DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2012-302254.

Agudo S, Alarcón T, Urruzuno P, Martínez MJ, López-Brea M. Detection of Helicobacter pylon and clarithromycin resistance in gastric biopsies of pediatric patients by using a commercially available real-time polymerase chain reaction after NucliSens semiautomated DNA extraction. Diagn. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. 2010. 67: 213-219. FI: 2.426(Q2). PMID: . DOI: .