|Microbiology research at CNC has been dedicated to the study of microbial diversity and ecology in a wide variety of “extreme” environments, mainly characterized by high temperature, high salinity or both, extremely dry or highly alkaline, to name a few. The study of mechanisms that allow microbes to thrive under such conditions have also allowed the detection of genes involved in polysaccharide biogenesis and glycolipid assembly in medically important organisms, currently under biochemical and structural investigation as future targets for anti-mycobacterial therapies.
The ecology of Legionella spp. in natural environments, crucial to identify, track and intervene against disease outbreaks, is also an area of interest.
Another line of research deals with the interaction that yeasts and molds establish with other organisms namely their hosts or with bacteria, of great medical relevance if we consider the increasing incidence of opportunistic fungal infections in immuno-compromised patients.