Research Lab


Research Interests

The BacTdrugs Lab uses a combination of phenotypic, molecular, biochemical, culturomic and (meta)genomic approaches to study bacterial populations. Our research is focused on the ecology, evolution and dynamics of antimicrobial resistant bacteria through different niches and in the role of the urinary microbiota in human health and disease.

We aim at understanding key fundamental aspects related to the selection and adaptation of bacterial populations to different hosts using conventional and cutting edge methodologies. Applied research is dedicated to the design and production of quick and inexpensive tools for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases.

Research Highlights
Implementation of infrared spectroscopy to support control of infections by multidrug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae

We developed IR Bactyping, an accurate, easy to implement and low-cost tool for Klebsiella pneumoniae typing. It is based on Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy and multivariate data analysis to extract strain-specific biochemical features that comprise a proprietary spectral database of clinically relevant K. pneumoniae, reducing by >75% the time-to-response (less than 24h) and by 90% the cost of typing/capsular type determination.

IR Bactyping provides information that is crucial to support timely and effective infection control measures in healthcare settings. Transfer of the technology to healthcare institutions is being supported by HiTech 2019 and BIP Proof 2019 awards.


highlight 2020

Representative Projects

  • SAFE Superbug Awareness for Education. EIT Health. Activity number 210809. Dates: 2021. Budget: 102945€. Luísa Peixe, Filipa Grosso (collaborators).
  • Setting-up biobanks and regenerative medicine strategies to boost research in neurosciences, immunology and infection, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and oncologic diseases. Funding source: Norte Regional Operational Program. HEALTH-UNorte (NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000039). 2020 – 2022. Budget: 117616€. Luísa Peixe, Ângela Novais, Filipa Grosso (collaborators).
  • AgriFood XXI. Development and consolidation of research in the agri-food sector in Northern Portugal. NORTE- 01-0145-FEDER-000041. NORTE-45-2020-20 - Sistema de Apoio à Investigação Científica e Tecnológica - “Projetos Estruturados de I&D&I” – UNorte. Dates: 2020-2023. Luísa Peixe, Carla Novais, Patrícia Antunes (collaborators).
  • IR Bactyping – Um serviço de identificação de tipos bacterianos para um apoio à epidemiologia e controlo de infeção em tempo real. BIP Proof award funded by Fundação Amadeu Dias. Dates: 2020-2021. Budget: 10000EUR. Ângela Novais (coordinator). Luísa Peixe, Ana R. Freitas, Teresa G. Ribeiro (collaborators).
  • Enterobacteriaceae multirresistentes: avaliação de um programa de vigilância e controlo implementado num hospital terciário universitário. Financing Source: Grupo de Infeção e Sepsis 2017. Dates: 2019-2020. Budget: 10000EUR. Luísa Peixe, Ângela Novais (collaborators).

Selected Publications

Magdalena Ksiezarek; Teresa Gonçalves Ribeiro; Joana Rocha; Filipa Grosso; Svetlana Ugarcina Perovic; Luisa Peixe. 2021. Limosilactobacillus urinaemulieris sp. nov. and Limosilactobacillus portuensis sp. nov. isolated from urine of healthy women. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SYSTEMATIC AND EVOLUTIONARY MICROBIOLOGY, DOI: 10.1099/ijsem.0.004726
Magdalena Ksiezarek; Svetlana Ugarcina-Perovic; Joana Rocha; Filipa Grosso; Luísa Peixe. 2021. Long-term stability of the urogenital microbiota of asymptomatic European women. BMC MICROBIOLOGY, DOI: 10.1186/s12866-021-02123-3
Freitas, AR; Tedim, AP; Duarte, B; Elghaieb, H; Abbassi, MS; Hassen, A; Read, A; Alves, V; Novais, C; Peixe, L. 2020. Linezolid-resistant (Tn6246::fexB-poxtA) Enterococcus faecium strains colonizing humans and bovines on different continents: similarity without epidemiological link. JOURNAL OF ANTIMICROBIAL CHEMOTHERAPY, 75, DOI: 10.1093/jac/dkaa227
Mourao, J; Rebelo, A; Ribeiro, S; Peixe, L; Novais, C; Antunes, P. 2020. Tolerance to arsenic contaminant among multidrug-resistant and copper-tolerant Salmonella successful clones is associated with diverse ars operons and genetic contexts. ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.15016
Antunes, P; Novais, C; Peixe, L. 2020. Food-to-Humans Bacterial Transmission. MICROBIOLOGY SPECTRUM, 8(1), DOI: 10.1128/microbiolspec.mtbp-0019-2016