Dr. Jose Ramos Vivas (Ourense, 1973) is a young microbiologist researcher (Miguel Servet II, ISCIII) at IDIVAL Research Institute and Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital (Santander, Spain) from February 2009. Doctor in Biology from the University of León in 2003 is the head of the Cellular Microbiology Laboratory (IDIVAL Research Institute, Clinical and Molecular Microbiology Group). Member of scientific societies (SEIMC, SEM, ASM), his lab studies cellular and molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen (H-P) interactions, with particular focus on ESKAPE pathogens: Acinetobacter spp., Staphylococcus (MRSA), Enterobacter spp., Pseudomonas and Klebsiella. Research lines on H-P have been funded in competitive national calls or by pharmaceutical companies: Author of more than 60 scientific publications with an active participation in national and international congresses. He has supervised more than 20 PhD students, Master students and other trainees.
The main research of his laboratory focuses on the study of Acinetobacter. Acinetobacter spp. have become major pathogens in hospital-associated infections, especially in critical care settings such as Intensive Care Units (ICUs). They can survive in the hospital environment for long periods and have a remarkable propensity to develop resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics. This antibiotic resistance trend is of grave concern given the prospect of a further reduction in therapeutic options for infections by these multi-drug-resistant bacteria. While the epidemiology and antibiotic resistance of the species A. baumannii has been extensively studied, the molecular and genetic basis of A. baumannii, A. nosocomialis and A. pittii virulence remains poorly understood, and there is still lack of knowledge in host cell response to these bacteria. Answering the need for studies of the mechanisms involved in the antimicrobials and host-pathogen (H-P) relationship, my group seeks to develop a multi-disciplinary research on H-P interactions in these clinicaly relevant Acinetobacter species and other antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Our concrete objectives with Acinetobacter spp. are: A) To develop new tools for the study of host-pathogen interactions in Acinetobacter species; B) To study the impact of different antibiotics at subMICs on Acinetobacter species and on relevant H-P interactions; C) To perform a detailed analysis of the immune responses of human cells against Acinetobacter strains with different phenotypes; D) To isolate phages and/or their lytic enzymes as a tool to help antibiotic treatments in humans against multidrug resistant bacteria.