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Here you will find information about Research groups in the PathoGenoMics fields from the ERA-NET partner countries (Austria, Finland, France, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain).
This information is supposed to support cooperation between researchers from different European countries
and thus enhance the development of a European Research Area for PathoGenoMics .


The following information is available and can be searched for:

  • researcher names
  • Institution of the respective researcher, city and country of his/her institution
  • Contact data of the researcher (address, phone, email)
  • Research topics and studied microorganisms of the researcher
  • Special techniques applied by the researcher
  • Potential cooperation topics suggested by the researcher

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Name: Prof. Dr. Penades Casanova, Jose Rafael
Address: Avda. Seminarion S/N
Institution: Facultad Ciencias experimentales y de Salud, Dundacion Universitaria San Pablo CEU
City: Valencia Zip: ES-46113
Country: Spain Phone: 964.71.21.15
    Fax: 964.71.02.18


Research Topics:
Staphylococcus aureus, a major nosocomial pathogen, causes a wide variety of infections, from simple abscesses to fatal sepsis, plus toxinoses, such as food poisoning and toxic shock syndrome. S. aureus produces and secretes thirty or more specific pathogenicity factors, including superantigen toxins, hemolytic cytotoxins, tissue-component-degrading enzymes, and surface proteins, that interfere with host defenses. Its pathogenic versatility is compounded by its ability to form biofilms and develop resistance to new antibiotics almost as fast as they are introduced. 

Research in my lab centres on 2 main themes: 

 1. Staphylococcal biofilm formation. Biofilms are communities of microorganisms, which develop on surfaces in natural and artificial environments. In medical settings, biofilms are found in association with catheters and prosthetic devices and may constitute an important source of nosocomial infections. Bacterial biofilms display specific biological properties that distinguish them from their planktonic counterparts. Our work focuses on the genetic identification of the bacterial factors necessary for the formation and the maintenance of mature S. aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilms. These approaches may lead to a better understanding of the biofilm lifestyle as well as to strategies to control pathogenic biofilms.
 2. SOS response and horizontal gene transfer. Although mobile genetic elements have a crucial role in spreading pathogenicity-determining genes among bacterial populations, environmental and genetic factors involved in the horizontal transfer of these genes are largely unknown. In bovine Staphylococcus aureus strains, two related pathogenicity islands (PIs) have been described (SaPIbov1 and SaPIbov2), that belong to the growing family of these elements that are found in many strains. These PIs encode virulence factors, and also encode Sip, a functional staphylococcal integrase protein that catalyzes their excision and insertion/integration. Our studies have demonstrated that one of these two bovine PIs, SaPIbov1, is induced to excise and replicate following SOS induction of at least 3 different temperate phages, 80a, f11 and f147, and is then packaged into phage-like particles and transferred at high frequency. SOS induction by commonly used -lactam or fluoroquinolone antibiotics, also results in replication and high-frequency transfer of this element, suggesting that such antibiotics may have the unintended consequence of promoting the spread of bacterial virulence factors. Research Information
Research Interests: Molecular Basis of Virulence in Staphylococcus aureus Research Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus, pathogenicity islands, biofilm, SOS response, horizontal transfer, phage.


Organisms studied:
  • Staphylococcus
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis


Special methods / technologies:
Classical microbiology and molecular biology techniques


Suggestions for potential research cooperations:
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