My research so far has been focused on basic and applied research in the field of antimicrobial drug resistance. The specific topics addressed are the genetic basis of antimicrobial drug resistance, the mobile genetic elements encoding antimicrobial drug resistance determinants, the risk factors for infection and colonization with antimicrobial drug–resistant bacteria, as well as their the molecular epidemiology and virulence. My current research interests include the collateral sensitivity and collateral resistance of the clinically relevant species of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
After finishing my internship in the Department of Microbiology, ‘‘The Evaggelismos’’ General Hospital of Athens and my bachelor thesis in the Department of Microbiology, University Hospital of Larissa, I graduated in 2010 from the School of Health Sciences of University of Thessaly (Greece). I continued my postgraduate studies in the University of Athens (Greece), where I obtained my MSc in Microbial Biotechnology (cum laude) in 2013. My master thesis took place in collaboration with the Department of Microbiology, University Hospital of Larissa and the Laboratory of Bacteriology, Hellenic Pasteur Institute and was focused on carbapenem-resistant non-fermentative Gram-negative bacteria. In October 2013, I moved to the Netherlands and joined as a junior scientist the Department of Bacteriology and Epidemiology, Wageningen Bioveterinary Research, while I started my doctoral studies in “Infection and immunity” in the graduate School of Life Sciences, University of Utrecht. My doctoral research was focused on the molecular epidemiology of extended-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. Since July 2017, I continue my scientific career as postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Microbial biotechnology and Health, Institute of Biology, Leiden University.
Antibiotics are one of the most successful forms of therapy, enabling the control of infectious diseases and the morbidity and mortality that accompany them. As a result they rank amongst the most commonly prescribed drugs, with more than 70 billion clinical doses administered globally in 2010. However, their efficacy is gradually compromised by the emergence and dissemination of antibiotic resistance, which according to estimations will result in 10 million deaths every year by 2050, followed by a reduction in Gross Domestic Product ranging between 2% and 3.5%.
Although it has long been documented that evolution of resistance towards a given antibiotic agent usually increases resistance to several other antibiotics (collateral resistance), it is still unknown how often the evolution of resistance increases sensitivity (collateral sensitivity). Recent studies have identified evolutionary trade-offs between modes of antibiotic resistance and confirm the occurrence of collateral sensitivity, offering great promise in overcoming and preventing antibiotic resistance in bacterial populations .
As a consequence, the collateral sensitivity response could be exploited through combination therapy or by the temporal cycling of already available antibiotic agents in the clinical setting, and it could serve as a unique source in antibiotic development. My current research interests include basic and applied research in the field of the collateral sensitivity and collateral resistance of the clinically relevant species of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These bacterial species rank amongst the most problematic multidrug-resistant pathogens encountered today, requiring prompt and sustained action to contain their dissemination. Other interests also include the genetic basis of antibiotic resistance, the mobile genetic elements encoding antibiotic resistance determinants, the risk factors for infection and colonization with antibiotic–resistant bacteria, as well as their the molecular epidemiology and virulence.