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Research Profile Prof. Dr. med Michael Weig

  • Deputy director
  • Senior Physician of the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Virology
  • Ring test leader Candida serology(Instand e.V.)

The focus of my laboratory research is to elucidate the structure and function of fungal cell walls in human pathogenic yeasts in the genus Candida. In addition to my passion for questions on clinical mycology, I accompany clinical studies on microbiological-diagnostic and infectiological questions in my function as senior physician[complete list of publications].

Clinically oriented research

Global threats to humanity, such as the increased emergence of multidrug-resistant and difficult-to-treat infectious agents or the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection wave declared a pandemic by the WHO in March 2020, lead to severe courses of disease and cause increased deaths. Overcoming such infectious disease challenges is only possible through very close interdisciplinary scientific collaboration between bedside colleagues, the diagnostic laboratory and basic researchers. In our clinical research activities, we therefore work, for example, on the development and improvement of diagnostic tools and try to elucidate the causes of deteriorated efficacy of antibiotics and antifungals in order to enable improved therapeutic strategies.

Genomics enables the development of innovative diagnostics and antifungals [Source: M Weig and A Brown, Trends in Microbiology].

Selected Publications:

Bender JK, Baufeld E, Becker K, Claus H, Dudakova A, Dörre A, Fila N, Fleige C, Hamprecht A, Hoffmann A, Hogardt M, Kaasch AJ, Kola A, Kriebel N, Layer-Nicolaou F, Marschal M, Molitor E, Mutters NT, Liese J, Nelkenbrecher C, Neumann B, Rohde H, Steinmann J, Sörensen M, Thelen P, Weig M, Zautner AE, Werner G. (2023) CHROMAgar™ LIN-R as an efficient screening tool to assess the prevalence of linezolid-resistant enterococci in German hospital patients-a multicentre study approach, 2021-2022. J Antimicrob Chemother 78(9):2185-2191. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkad218.[Pubmed]

S Dierks, K Thiele, W Bohne, R Lugert, M Weig, U Groß, N von Ahsen, J Schanz, A Fischer, and M Schnelle (2022) Comparison and Harmonization of Different Semi-Automated and Automated qRT-PCR Assays in the Assessment of SARS-CoV-2. Viruses 14(10):2239. doi: 10.3390/v14102239.[Pubmed]

CF Schuster, Weber, M Weig, G Werner, and Y Pfeifer (2022) Ultra-deep long-read sequencing detects IS-mediated gene duplications as a potential trigger to generate arrays of resistance genes and a mechanism to induce novel gene variants such as blaCTX-M-243. J Antimicrob Chemother 77(2):381-390. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkab407.[Pubmed]

G Haase, A Hamprecht, J Held, O. Kurzai, P.-M. Rath, R Schwarz, J Steinmann, O Bader, W Behrens-Baumann, Y Gräser, A Groll, U. Groß, R. Höhl, G. Just-Nübling, C. Lass-Flörl, W Mendling, V Rickerts, H Riechelmann, B Risslegger, M Schaller, E Schmutzhard, K Schröppel, D Theegarten, K Tintelnot, M von Lilienfeld-Toal, J Wagener, G Walther, M Weig (2021) MIQ fungal infections parts I and II,[online version of DGHM].

P Lauermann, M Storch, M Weig, B Tampe, M Winkler, H Hoerauf, N Feltgen, and S Hakroush (2020) There is no intraocular affection on a SARS-CoV-2 -infected ocular surface. Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep. 20:100884. doi: 10.1016/j.ajoc.2020.100884.[Pubmed]

M Kuhns, A Rosenberger, O Bader, U Reichard, U Gross, and M Weig (2015) Incidence of Candidaemia Following Abdominal Surgery in German Hospitals. Zentralbl Chir. 2140(6):617-23. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1350814.[Pubmed]

M Weig, U Groß, and O Bader (2015) Epidemiology of azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus in Germany. The Microbiologist 25

Work on the cell surface of Candida

The human pathogenic yeasts Candida albicans and Candida glabrata are the most frequent causative agents of systemic fungal infections in the western world. C. glabrata in particular is characterized by a high rate of resistance to common antifungal agents and a pronounced biofilm formation on a wide variety of substrates, and is thus strongly in the clinical focus.

The ability to form biofilms is directly dependent on the composition of the cell surface, which in the Candida genus essentially consists of a cell wall made of glucan and chitin and proteins (effectors) anchored on it. Together with my team and international cooperation partners (especially Prof. PW deGroot), we were able to dissect the composition of the cell wall in detail and, for the first time, describe an essential part of the cell wall proteome by mass spectrometry. This showed that C. glabrata has an unusually large repertoire of adhesins which are mainly encoded in the telomeric regions of the fungal genome.

Beyond functionality during colonization and infection, the cell wall represents an important diagnostic target. In addition to polysaccharides, which can be recognized by innate immunity, proteins anchored or secreted on the cell surface represent diagnostic markers. Together with Instand e.V., we conduct the biannual round robin test on Candida serology on this complex of topics.


Electron micrograph of the cell wall of Candida glabrata.

Selected Publications:

C Vaz, A Pitarch, E Gómez-Molero, A Amador-García, M Weig, O Bader, L Monteoliva, and C Gil (2021) Mass Spectrometry-Based Proteomic and Immunoproteomic Analyses of the Candida albicans Hyphal Secretome Reveal Diagnostic Biomarker Candidates for Invasive Candidiasis. J Fungi 7 ( 7):501. doi: 10.3390/jof7070501.[Pubmed]

E Gómez-Molero, AD de Boer, HL Dekker, A Moreno-Martínez, EA Kraneveld, Ichsan, N Chauhan, M Weig, JJ de Soet, CG de Koster, O Bader, and PW de Groot (2015). Proteomic analysis of hyperadhesive Candida glabrata clinical isolates reveals a core wall proteome and differential incorporation of adhesins. FEMS Yeast Res 15(8). doi: 10.1093/femsyr/fov098.[Pubmed]

PW de Groot, O Bader, AD de Boer, M Weig, and N Chauhan (2013). Adhesins in human fungal pathogens: glue with plenty of stick. Eukaryote Cell 12(4):470-81. doi: 10.1128/EC.00364-12.[Pubmed.]

CM Hull, O Bader, JE Parker, M Weig, U Gross, AG Warrilow, DE Kelly, and SL Kelly (2012). Two clinical isolates of Candida glabrata exhibiting reduced sensitivity to amphotericin B both harbor mutations in ERG2. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 56(12):6417-21.[Pubmed.]

O Bader, A Schwarz, EA Kraneveld, M Tangwattanchuleeporn, P Schmidt, MD Jacobsen, U Groß, PWJ de Groot, and M Weig (2012). Gross karyotypic and phenotypic alterations among different progenies of the Candida glabrata CBS138/ATCC2001 reference strain. PLoS One 7(12):e52218.[Pubmed]

AD de Boer, PW de Groot, G Weindl, M Schaller, D Riedel, R Diez-Orejas, FM Klis, CG de Koster, HL Dekker, U Groß, O Bader, and M Weig (2010). The Candida albicans cell wall protein Rhd3/Pga29 is abundant in the yeast form and contributes to virulence. Yeast 27:611-24.[Pubmed.]

PW deGroot, EA Kraneveld, QY Yin, HL Dekker, U Gross, W Crielaard, CG de Koster, O Bader, FM Klis and M Weig (2008). The cell wall of the human pathogen Candida glabrata: differential incorporation of novel adhesin-like wall proteins. Eukaryote Cell 7:1951-64. [Pubmed.]

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