Keynote Speaker For Infectious Diseases Conference 2020 - Katja Fischer
Katja Fischer
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Australia
Title : Global exploration of scabies-associated microbiota: a multi-country, observational cross-sectional analysis to understand the pathobiology of impetigo linked to scabies


Globally, scabies causes substantial morbidity and mortality. In the tropics, scabies frequently promotes opportunistic bacterial infections, leading to cellulitis/necrotizing fasciitis, bacteraemia, kidney disease and/or rheumatic heart disease. With no vaccine, diagnostic tools and limited treatment options, scabies is considered neglected by WHO. Pathobiology is poorly understood, due to an absence of molecular information on mite infestation, bacterial co-infection and the interactions thereof. We undertake a unique ‘microbiome’ research program, applying meta-omics to a global set of samples, providing fundamental insights into the interaction of scabies and bacterial pathogens to enable the discovery of new and effective diagnostic and/or therapeutic tools.


Dr Katja Fischer (ARC Future Fellow 2013, NHMRC SRF 2019) is a Group Leader at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane, Australia. She completed her undergraduate training as a molecular Parasitologist at the University of Freiburg, Germany, followed by a PhD in molecular biology of malaria parasites at the University of Würzburg, Germany. She moved to QIMR Berghofer MRI in 1999, became Laboratory Head in 2007 and Group Leader in 2013. Her laboratory at the QIMR Berghofer MRI is one of very few groups worldwide providing crucial biomedical research towards reducing scabies and associated secondary infections.