Host-Pathogen Interactions

Sepsis is estimated to affect more than 30 million people worldwide every year with the mean hospital-wide cost per patient being above $30,000. The pathophysiology of sepsis is a complex and dynamic multifactorial process that results from the host's immune response to a pathogen and differs according to the host’s genotype, immune status, and comorbidities, as well as the type, site, and extent of infection. The impressive survival rates in surgical operations performed on the battlefield during the 19th century with a complete lack of aseptic techniques, blood transfusion, oxygen, or other paraphernalia of modern medicine also support the notion that a person’s genomic and metagenomic makeup may have a protective role in the prevention of infection or prove detrimental if a systemic infection occurs.

Our lab seeks to understand:

  • the mechanisms by which the gut microbiota protects its host from gastrointestinal and lung infections
  • how interactions between the microbiota, pathogens, and host drive the course of infection.


Xiuqiang (Stephen) Chen
Albert García López
Kexin Li
Mohammadhassan Mirhakkak Esfahani
Tongta Sae-Ong
Sascha Schäuble
Bastian Seelbinder
Lu Zhang


Allert S, Schulz D, Kämmer P, Großmann P, Wolf T, Schäuble S, Panagiotou G, Brunke S, Hube B (2022) From environmental adaptation to host survival: Attributes that mediate pathogenicity of Candida auris. Virulence 13(1), 191-214.
Alonso-Roman R, Last A, Mirhakkak MH, Sprague JL, Möller L, Großmann P, Graf K, Gratz R, Mogavero S, Vylkova S, Panagiotou G, Schäuble S, Hube B, Gresnigt MS (2022) Lactobacillus rhamnosus colonisation antagonizes Candida albicans by forcing metabolic adaptations that compromise pathogenicity. Nat Commun 13(1), 3192.
Zoran T, Seelbinder B, White PL, Price JS, Kraus S, Kurzai O, Linde J, Häder A, Loeffler C, Grigoleit GU, Einsele H, Panagiotou G, Loeffler J, Schäuble S (2022) Molecular profiling reveals characteristic and decisive signatures in patients after allogeneic stem cell transplantation suffering from invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. J Fungi (Basel) 8(2), 171.
Barber AE*, Sae-Ong T*, Kang K, Seelbinder S, Li J, Walther G, Panagiotou G# & Kurzai O# (2021) Aspergillus fumigatus pan-genome analysis identifies genetic variants associated with human infection. Nat Microbiol 6, 1526-1536.
Marfil-Sanchez A*, Seelbinder B *, Ni Y, Varga J, Berta J, Hollosi V, Dome B, Megyesfalvi Z, Dulka E, Galffy G, Weiss GJ, Panagiotou G#, Zoltan Lohinai Z# (2021) Gut microbiome functionality might be associated with exercise tolerance and recurrence of resected early-stage lung cancer patients. PLoS One 16(11), e0259898.
Marfil-Sánchez A*, Zhang L*, Alonso-Pernas P, Mirhakkak M, Mueller M, Seelbinder B, Ni Y, Santhanam R, Busch A, Beemelmanns C, Ermolaeva M, Bauer M#, Panagiotou G# (2021) An integrative understanding of the large metabolic shifts induced by antibiotics in critical illness. Gut Microbes 13(1), 1993598.
Mirhakkak M, Schäuble S, Klassert T, Brunke S, Brandt P, Loos D, Uribe R, de Oliveira Lino FS, Ni Y, Vylkova S, Slevogt H, Hube B, Weiss G, Sommer M, Panagiotou G# (2021) Metabolic modeling predicts specific gut bacteria as key determinants for Candida albicans colonization levels. ISME J 15(5), 1257-1270.
Blango MG, Pschibul A, Rivieccio F, Krüger T, Rafiq M, Jia L, Zheng T, Goldmann M, Voltersen V, Li J, Panagiotou G, Kniemeyer O, Brakhage AA (2020) Dynamic surface proteomes of allergenic fungal conidia. J Proteome Res 19(5), 2092-2104.
Khaliq W, Großmann P, Neugebauer S, Kleyman A, Domizi R, Calcinaro S, Brealey D, Gräler M, Kiehntopf M, Schäuble S, Singer M, Panagiotou G**, Bauer M**(corresponding authors**) (2020) Lipid metabolic signatures deviate in sepsis survivors compared to non-survivors. Comput Struct Biotechnol J 18, 3678-3691.
Machata S, Müller MM, Lehmann R, Sieber P, Panagiotou G, Carvalho A, Cunha C, Lagrou K, Maertens J, Slevogt H, Jacobsen ID (2020) Proteome analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluids reveals host and fungal proteins highly expressed during invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in mice and humans. Virulence 11(1), 1337-1351.