Mayo Clinic's Infectious Diseases Lab, led by Robin Patel, M.D. focuses on microbial biofilms and antibacterial resistance. Biofilms are a unique state of existence preferentially assumed by microorganisms in most environments; they are estimated to be involved in two-thirds of human infections, making them enormously relevant to public health. Biofilms protect microorganisms from environmental stresses, most currently available antibiotics and host immune defenses.
The lab's team is working to understand mechanisms of biofilm formation, and devise and evaluate new diagnostics and therapeutics for biofilm-associated infections, including device-related infections (for example, prosthetic joint infection, endocarditis and catheter-associated infection) and wound infections.
The lab also focuses on studies addressing the crisis in antibacterial resistance, including evaluation of new antibacterial agents in vitro and in vivo, and evaluation of diagnostics and diagnostic approaches that address antibacterial resistance.