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Maria Miragaia Lab

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The Laboratory of Bacterial Evolution and Molecular Epidemiology aims to understand the molecular basis of bacterial evolution with focus on the pathogenicity and evolution of antimicrobial resistance determinants and antimicrobial resistant clones in opportunistic bacteria.  

Maria Miragaia
Auxiliary Researcher
PhD in 2006 in Biology, ITQB NOVA

Phone (+351) 211157790 | Extension 1790
miragaia@itqb.unl.pt

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Research Interests

Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) have a central role in the human skin flora, constituting one of the first barriers against pathogenic bacteria, such as S. aureus. Also, they are reservoirs of virulence and antibiotic resistance genes for other bacteria, and can cause disease, when the host is immunocompromized. Hence, the study of CoNS and its interactions with other bacteria are unique opportunities to understand the factors that are in the frontier between health and disease. The research interests of the Laboratory of Bacterial Evolution and Molecular Epidemiology are centered on these three aspects of CoNS epidemiology: their role as comensals and modulators of colonization with pathogenic bacteria; their role as human pathogens, and as reservoirs and players in the evolution of antibiotic resistance.

In particular, we are devoted to comprehend the nature of bacterial interactions which contribute to homeostasis in CoNS ecological niches; to explore the clinically relevant staphylococci and to identify genetic factors important for their pathogenicity; to understand the origin and development of antibiotic resistance in staphylococci.

 

 

Group Members

  • Ons Bouchami, Post-doc
  • Nuno Faria, Post-doc

  • Vanessa Magalhães, Post-doc

  • Diana Espadinha, PhD student

  • Opeyemi Lawal, PhD student

 

Selected Publications

 

  1. Bouchami O, H. de Lencastre H, and M. Miragaia. Impact of insertion sequences and recombination on the population structure of Staphylococcus haemolyticus. PLoS One. 2016 Jun 1;11(6):e0156653. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156653.
  2. Méric G, M. Miragaia, M. de Been, K. Yahara, B. Pascoe, L. Mageiros, J. Mikhail, L. G. Harris, T. S. Wilkinson, J. Rolo, S. Lamble, J. E. Bray, K. A. Jolley, W. P. Hanage, R. Bowden, M. C. Maiden, D. Mack, H. de Lencastre, E. J. Feil, J. Corander, S. K. Sheppard. 2015. Ecological Overlap and Horizontal Gene Transfer in Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Genome Biol Evol. 2015 Apr 16;7(5):1313-28.

  3. Rolo, J., H. de Lencastre, and M. Miragaia. 2012. Strategies of adaptation of Staphylococcus epidermidis to hospital and community: amplification and diversification of SCCmec. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 67:1333-41.


Laboratory's Webpage

For further information visit the laboratory's website

 

Evolução Bacteriana e Epidemologia Molecular (PT)

Os estafilococos coagulase-negativos fazem parte da flora natural da pele, constituindo uma das primeiras barreiras contra agentes patogénicos, como Staphylococcus aureus. Adicionalmente, eles são reservatórios importantes de genes de virulência e resistência a antibióticos e podem causar doença, quando o hospedeiro se encontra imunocomprometido. O estudo deste tipo de bactérias, denominadas de oportunistas, constitui por estas razões, uma ocasão única para compreender os factores que estão na fronteira entre a saúde e a doença. O Laboratorio de Evolução Bacteriana e Epidemiologia Molecular tem como principais interesses de investigação estes três aspectos da epidemiologia dos estafilococos coagulase-negativos: o seu papel como comensais e moduladores da colonização por agentes patogénicos; como agentes infecciosos; e como reservatórios de genes de resistências e virulência.

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