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Ramirez, Mário
Lab

Molecular Microbiology & Infection

The main objective of the Molecular Microbiology and Infection Unit is to understand the dynamics of populations of bacterial pathogens and how they respond to selective forces. Current work focuses on characterizing the effect of antimicrobial use and human vaccination on the bacterial population. Investigations are also exploring the relationships between commensal and disease causing populations of the same bacterial pathogen with the aim of identifying particularly successful clones at causing disease as well as successful colonizers for further characterization.

A strong bioinformatics effort in the area of data warehousing, the development of user interfaces, data analysis and visualization tools is ongoing. The development of novel laboratory methodologies for the diagnosis of infectious diseases is also an active area of research.

  • Research Areas

    • Population biology and epidemiology
    • Bacteriophage genomics
    • Antimicrobial resistance mechanisms
    • Novel diagnostic tools
    • Bioinformatics
  • Research Team

    • Ongoing Research Projects

      • 2009/2012 CAREPNEUMO – Combating antibiotic resistance pneumococci by novel strategies based on in vivo and in vitro host-pathogen interactions (FP7-HEALTH-2007-223111)
      • 2009/2012 Implications for therapy and disease presentation of the changes triggered by the use of the pneumococcal 7-valent conjugate vaccine (PIC/IC/83065/2007)
      • 2008/2011 Streptococcus pyogenes invasive disease and antimicrobial resistance - two faces of a changing pathogen (PTDC/SAU-ESA/72321/2006)
      • 2008/2011 Population and genomic consequences of vaccination against Streptococcus pneumoniae (PTDC/SAU-ESA/64888/2006)
      • 2008/2011 A computational biology approach using Streptococcus pneumoniae as a model towards an integrative view of bacteria/host interactions and evolution (PTDC/SAU-ESA/71499/2006)
      • 2007/2010 Caracterização microbiológica e molecular de Streptococcus spp. patogénicos e sua importância na profilaxia e terapêutica das infecções humanas em Portugal. Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
      • 2006/2009 Population based identification of pneumococcal virulence and colonization factors. National Institutes of Health – National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAD). Pathogen Functional Genomics Resource Center (PFGRC) Program.
    • Prizes

    • Selected Publications

      • Hänscheid, T., Egan, T.J., Grobusch, M.P. 2007. Haemozoin: from melatonin pigment to drug target, diagnostic tool, and immune modulator. Lancet Infect. Dis. 7:675-685.
      • Carriço, J.A., C. Silva-Costa, J. Melo-Cristino, F. R. Pinto, H. de Lencastre, J.S. Almeida, M.Ramirez. 2006. Illustration of a common framework for relating multiple typing methods by application to macrolide- resistant Streptococcus pyogenes. J. Clin. Microbiol. 44:2524-2532.
      • Pinho, M. D., J. Melo-Cristino, M. Ramirez, and the Portuguese group for the study of streptococcal infections. 2006. Clonal relationships between invasive and noninvasive lancefield group C and G Streptococci and emm-specific differences in invasiveness. J. Clin. Microbiol. 44:841-846.
      • Silva-Costa, C., M. Ramirez, and J. Melo-Cristino. 2005. Rapid inversion of the prevalences of macrolide resistance phenotypes paralleled by a diversification of T and emm types among Streptococcus pyogenes in Portugal. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 49:2109-2111.
      • Serrano, I., J. Melo-Cristino, J. A. Carriço, and M. Ramirez. 2005. Characterization of the genetic lineages responsible for pneumococcal invasive disease in Portugal. J. Clin. Microbiol. 43:1706-1715.
      • Hänscheid T, Melo Cristino J, Salgado MJ. Screening of auramine stained smears of all fecal samples is a rapid and inexpensive way to increase the detection of coccidial infections. 2008. Int J Infect Dis; 12(1):47-50.
      • Hänscheid T. The future looks bright: low-cost fluorescent microscopes for detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Coccidiae. 2008. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg; 102:520-1.
      • Shapiro HM, Hänscheid T. Fuchsin fluorescence in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: The Ziehl-Neelsen stain in a new light. 2008. J Microbiol Methods; 74: 119-120. [IF=2.153]
      • Vicente A, Barros R, Florinda A, Silva A, Hänscheid T. 2008. High rates of fluoroquinolone-resistant Campylobacter in Portugal--need for surveillance. Euro Surveill; 13. pii: 8031.
      • Hänscheid T, Längin M, Lell B, Pötschke M, Oyakhirome S, Kremsner PG, Grobusch MP. 2008. Full blood count and haemozoin-containing leukocytes in children with malaria: diagnostic value and association with disease severity. Malar J 12; 7:109.
      • Pinto, F. R., J. Melo-Cristino, and M. Ramirez. 2008. A confidence interval for the Wallace coefficient of concordance and its application to microbial typing methods. PLoS ONE 3:e3696.
      • Aguiar, S. I., I. Serrano, F. R. Pinto, J. Melo-Cristino, M. Ramirez, and the Portuguese Surveillance Group for the Study of Respiratory Pathogens. 2008. Changes in pneumococcal invasive disease with non-universal vaccination coverage of the seven-valent conjugate vaccine. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. 14:835-843.
      • Silva-Costa, C., F. R. Pinto, M. Ramirez, J. Melo-Cristino, and the Portuguese Surveillance Group for the Study of Respiratory Pathogens. 2008. Decrease in macrolide resistance and clonal instability among Streptococcus pyogenes in Portugal. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. 14:1152-1159.
      • Pinto, F. R., S. I. Aguiar, J. Melo-Cristino, and M. Ramirez. 2008. Optimal control and analysis of two-color genomotyping experiments using bacterial multistrain arrays. BMC Genomics 9:230.
      • Aguiar, S. I., I. Serrano, F. R. Pinto, J. Melo-Cristino, and M. Ramirez. 2008. The presence of the pilus locus is a clonal property among pneumococcal invasive isolates. BMC Microbiol 8:41.

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