Infectious diseases, AIDS and Sepsis

  • About the area
  • Groups

The Infections, AIDS and Sepsis Research Area is dedicated to translational research in both community-acquired and nosocomial infections of adult and pediatric patients, including those associated with mechanically ventilated patients. The prevention, risk factors and management of these infections are the top priorities. At this level, research focuses on studies of general and molecular epidemiology; diagnosis, prevention and treatment based on the implementation of care measures and optimization of the treatment.

In the same field, the group also includes research on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, hepatitis virus and especially zoonosis research (Rickettsia and Bartonella).

It also encompasses research into general and molecular epidemiology: diagnosis, prevention and treatment of H. pylori infection, and treatment, infection control, and survival studies for a specific population of patients with cystic fibrosis.

The group is a leader in the epidemiological studies of sepsis and in different immunomodulatory treatments.

Different research groups in this area lead and / or participate in various projects in collaboration with other national and international groups.

Area coordination
Oriol Gasch Blasi

Group A2G1 - Respiratory microbiome and community respiratory infection

Accreditation level: Group in the consolidation phase

The multidisciplinary group on respiratory microbiome is made up of specialist pneumologists, microbiologists and biologists involved in individual and collaborative projects to determine the bronchial microbiome (bacterial, viral, and fungal) using conventional and molecular culture techniques. independent (metagenomics) and associated bronchial inflammatory response. The group has developed shared research activity and is part of the Research Networks for Biomedical Research Network (CIBERes) and the Consolidated Research Group Recognized by the Government of Catalonia (20154 SGR 801).

Areas of research

  • Study of the microbiome in COPD: a) Respiratory microbiome in COPD and its association with frequent exacerbation; population dynamics and their relation to the immune response; b) COPD microbiome and its association with fragility characteristics due to frequent exacerbations, as well as identification and intervention of re-admission and mortality determinants after an episode of severe COPD exacerbation; c) Microbiome and effect of tobacco; id) Validation of the sputum sample as a pulmonary sample in COPD.
  • Cystic fibrosis: a longitudinal study of microbial population dynamics and respiratory tract topography.
  • Study of the microbiome in asthma and topography of the respiratory tract.
  • In diffuse interstitial lung disease, the role of viral infection in exacerbation is to be defined.
  • The Community Respiratory Research Group is part of the CIBER for Respiratory Diseases (Group 18 IP: J. Rello and Group 30 IP: E. Monsó). In addition, this line of research is accredited by the AGAUR. The group is actively collaborating in multicenter studies in the field of bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia (Vall d'Hebrón Hospital) and risk factors for resistant germs in community pneumonia (GLIMP Study).

Composition of the group

  • Marian García Núñez (Group leader)
  • Oscar Cuevas Lobato
  • Juli Font Rocabayera
  • Miguel Gallego Diaz

Group A2G3 - Community and health care-related infections

Accreditation level: Consolidated group

The Community and Health-Related Infections Study Group has studied the pathogenic mechanisms of some of the most prevalent infections in our environment since the 80's, through collaborative work between a multidisciplinary team, which includes nurse doctors, pharmacists, veterinarians, epidemiologists and psychologists working in Parc Taulí. Most of them also have teaching responsibilities at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Our team addresses different infections within a common framework, specifically, diseases related to medical care, zoonoses and HIV infection, from an epidemiological, clinical and therapeutic perspective. For years he has been obtaining public financial support for competitive projects, under the leadership of Dr. Ferran Segura, and since 2016, by Dr. Oriol Gasch. It is currently accredited as a Consolidated Research Group of the Generalitat de Catalunya (AGAUR; SGR, 2017-677).

Areas of research

  • Health Infections Related Infections Study (IRAS):
    • Management of infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms and difficult-to-treat infections (1.1) Infections in critically ill patients (1.2) Infectious endocarditis bacteraemia (1.3) Improvement in the diagnosis of Infectious Diseases.
    • Prevention of ARVI and antimicrobial resistance (2.1) Education of health personnel and patients (2.2) Epidemiology of ARVI (2.3) Innovative strategies to improve control of ARVI.
    • Antimicrobial activity and clinical efficacy of antibiotics (3.1) PK / PD studies (3.2) Endovenous home antibiotic treatment (TADE) (3.3) Programs for optimization in the use of antimicrobials.
  • Study of the main zoonoses with impact on health:
    • Identification of new hosts and vectors. Identification and study of emerging zoonoses (e.g. R. massiliae-Bar29, new Bartonella species and other emerging zoonotic microorganisms).
    • Clinical and epidemiological description of the main zoonoses. Determination of risk factors.
    • Optimization of molecular techniques to improve the diagnosis of major zoonoses.
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection study.
    • Study of the reconstitution of the immune system under HAART therapy and its possible differences depending on the age. It is of great importance to study the dynamics of the immune system in elderly patients. One of the translation goals of this line is to find therapeutic targets and / or biomarkers that allow more specific treatment / monitoring depending on the patient's characteristics. The interest in this subpopulation of patients is dual: from an immunological and epidemiological perspective (risk factors, adherence to treatment, comorbidities, delayed diagnosis ...).
    • Addressing comorbidities related to HIV infection.
    • Efficacy of various antiretroviral treatment guidelines. Through our involvement in clinical trials that provide new insights into treatment, and different national and international HIV cohorts, in which we take the lead in specific studies. (PISCIS, CORIS, COHERE, ART cohort collaboration).
    • Study of HCV coinfection.

Composition of the group

  • Oriol Gasch Blasi (Group leader)
  • Silvia Blonde Chapel
  • Emilio Diaz Santos
  • Matthew Sword Soley
  • Lluís Falgueras López
  • Immaculate Fernandez Moreno
  • Dionysia Fontanals Aymerich
  • Ana Granados Maturano
  • Ignacio Martín-Loeches Carrondo
  • Abel Mujal Martínez
  • Marta Píriz Marabajan
  • Jordi Vallès Daunis

Group A2G4 - Retrovirus and zoonosis

Accreditation level: Consolidated group

The study, prevention and treatment of infectious pathologies is not understood without a global approach and an interdisciplinary approach. For this reason, the research team was set up to address zoonotic diseases and HIV infection within a common framework.

Areas of research


  • Eco-epidemiological study of Bar29 infection and description of clinical cases: Establish the epidemiological role of hosts and vectors in the transmission and maintenance of the Bar29 strain. Clinical confirmation in humans previously diagnosed with R. conorii infection, clinical and epidemiological description and determination of risk factors.
  • Murphy Typhus (R typhi and R felis infection): So far the circulation of these species in a cycle close to man has been shown. The publication of a clinical case in Lleida in recent years, confirms its presence in our area and the need to influence the study in humans. In addition, in recent years it has been seen that other animals, such as the dog, may have a greater role in the epidemiology of R. felis, than the first described as reservoir, the cat. The role of the dog, studied at the serological level, was already suggested by the same group in 2009. In 2014, we published a molecular study where we corroborated the role of the cat in another 3 Rickettsiosis without any relation to R. felis. Therefore, the basic objective is to identify clinical cases of murine typhus in general and to influence the epidemiological study, especially of R. felis.
  • Slovaca R infection: To determine the complete transmission cycle and to influence the human clinic and its diagnosis.
  • Intermediate fever fever etiological agent (FDI) study: Prospective analysis of the epidemiological, clinical and etiological characteristics of IDD patients and determine the etiology of IDF.
  • Bartonella: Clinical and epidemiological study of Bartonella infections from the perspective that symptomatology does not have to be classically described, as well as the number of species to be detected and animals to study for them is much higher than described until a few years ago.
  • Rickettsia / Bartonella spp and antibiotic resistance: Design methods for the study of antibiotic sensitivity that are rapid and usable in any laboratory (thus solving the disadvantages of cell culture).
  • Diagnosis of difficult-growing microorganisms (Bartonella and Rickettsia): Design molecular methods of diagnosis, fast and usable in any laboratory.
  • One Health: Implement One Health Public Health System in Balkan countries.
  • Tension / cysticercosis: Establish a European network on diagnosis, epidemiological control, detection and description of clinical cases and therapeutic methods related to tenosis and cysticercosis.
  • Service at other centers: In the routine care Rickettsia and Bartonella infections are first diagnosed as a serological test that not all hospitals have. However, if you want to know the species and / or isolate the microorganism and / or do a molecular study, specific techniques are required that are not available to the vast majority of hospitals. It is for this reason that our team offers diagnostic and study services for these infections to other centers. For example: Hospital de Bellvitge, Hospital of Girona Josep Trueta, The Chaim Sheba Medical Center of Israel, Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, ​​Hospital Joan XXIII of Tarragona ...


  • HIV + patients over 50 years of age immunology: To study the mechanisms involved in lymphocyte dynamics in HIV patients receiving HAART treatment and to analyze differences between young and old patients.
  • HIV + patients over the age of 50 epidemiology: To study the characteristics of the elderly population considering the new observations of recent years (age cuts to define the elderly, co-infections and other characteristics described in the general HIV population).

Composition of the group

  • M. Mercè Nogueras Mas (Group leader)
  • M. José Amengual Guedan
  • Manel Cervantes García
  • Bernat Font Creus
  • Marta Navarro Vilasaró
  • Immaculate Pons Viñas
  • Montserrat Round Room
  • Isabel Sanfeliu Sala
  • Ferran Segura Port