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DECisions in Infectious DisEases

Collaborative Research Centre

Cover DECIDE_V01_Zeichenfläche 1.jpg

About Us

The Collaborative Research Centre DECIDE (DECisions in Infectious DisEases) aims to identify molecular mechanisms within the host that control the course of infectious diseases. In particular, we analyze three key decisions, which determine the clinical outcome of human infections:

(1) the initial pathogen contact to established infection
(2) the transition to persistent infection
(3) the initiation of systemic spread
In DECIDE we focus on the critical processes that primarily determine the course & outcome (key decisions) of human infection.
Research Area A, symbolized by two icons, one representing the pathogen that enters the human cell/tissue and the other representing the pathogen that causes disease.

Research Area A: From initiation to established infection

Projects in Research Area A focus on key decision I, whether the infection will be cleared or whether the infection process will continue. Molecular events that govern this step include, for example, an initial receptor–ligand interaction, which is required to establish contact between the pathogen and the host. In many cases key decisions are determined by traits of the affected individual, including age, microbiome composition, or pathological alterations and the ability to generate an adequate local immune response.

Research Area B, symbolized by two icons, one representing the pathogen that causes a disease and the other a pathogen that persists in a host cell.

Research Area B: From active infection to persistence

Projects in Research Area B focus on the transition of a pathogen from an actively replicating to a non-replicating state (key decision II). Usually, the immediate threat to the host is averted and the infection is typically contained. However, persisting pathogens are often invisible to the immune system, survive for extended periods of time in their niche, and can be reactivated later. The latter is one of the major reasons for recurring acute infections. In addition, persisting, non-replicating microbes are frequently tolerant to antimicrobial therapy, a well-known and still unsolved problem. 

Research Area C, symbolized by two icons, one representing the pathogen that causes a disease and the other a pathogen that spreads in its host.

Research Area C: From localised infection to pathogen spreading

Projects in Research Area C focus on decision points governing the key decision III in human infection that determines whether a pathogen is able to disseminate from a localised infection and spread to secondary sites. Pathogen spreading is frequently associated with a life-threatening course of disease, often resulting in sepsis and multi-organ failure. These events typically occur if the body’s defence lines are not able to contain the infection.


Logo Universität Würzburg
Logo Universitätsklinikum Würzburg
Logo Universität Münster
Logo der TU Berlin
Logo HIRI - Helmholtz-Institut für RNA-basierte Infektionsforschung
Logo HZI - Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung


CRC 1583 Coordination Team

Chair of Microbiology

Biocenter of the University of Würzburg

Am Hubland

97074 Würzburg


Phone: +49 931-31-86451


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