HCR.20.082 – Identification, prioritization and testing of promising plant extracts for the treatment of infections with innovative lab techniques

Route: Health care research, sickness prevention and treatment

Cluster question: 097 How can we control micro-organisms in health care, livestock farming, and the environment?

Resistance to antibiotics is a complex and growing international public health problem with important consequences such as increased mortality and economic impact. In most (global, regional and national) policies on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), among others, two strategies are used to reduce AMR: appropriate use of antibiotics (e.g. not for viral infections), and less antibiotic use (e.g. delayed prescription and alternatives). Worldwide, both in human and veterinary healthcare, plant substances are used for treatment of infections as alternative treatments and as part of delayed prescription strategies. However, most plant substances have hardly or never been studied in (pre)clinical studies. In order to be able to identify and prioritize promising plant substances for further preclinical and/ or clinical studies, this project develops, validates and applies laboratory analysis techniques for (1) the identification and extraction of promising plant substances for respiratory tract, urinary tract and skin infections, and (2) the study of safety, effectiveness and working mechanisms of these substances in vitro. In addition new biomarkers for assessing effectiveness of these substances will be developed and tested in clinical studies on the safety and effectiveness of selected, prioritized, most promising plant substances. Selection of a first group of promising plant extracts that will be used for the development, validation and application of these laboratory analysis techniques will be based on (1) systematic reviews of in vitro studies and clinical studies demonstrating evidence on safety and effectiveness of plant substances for respiratory tract, urinary tract and skin infections, and (2) due to lack of empirical evidence from (pre)clinical studies for several plant substances, expert knowledge of experts that prescribe plant substances for infections. Laboratory analysis techniques that will be used (separately and/ or in combination) and further developed in these studies are, among others, metabolomics, in vitro studies, HPLC /LC-MS testing, and biophotons assessment.


antimicrobial resistance, infections, lab techniques, Metabolomics, pattern identification, plant substances, validation

Other organisations

De Ruiter Innovations B.V., Erasmus MC: departments Medical Microbiology & Infectious diseases and dpt. Clinical Chemistry, Erasmus Medical Center (EMC), Leiden University: department Molecular Biotechnology and Health, living-labs-field-labs, Louis Bolk Institute: department Nutrition & Health care, medical-delta-living-lab-integrative-medicine-technology): University of Applied Sciences (UAS) Rotterdam, Organisations below are all part of the new Medical Delta Living Lab Integrative Medicine Technology (https:, Thermo Fisher BV, UAS InHolland, Weleda Benelux, www.medicaldelta.nl


Organisation University of Applied Sciences Leiden, Faculty of Health
Name Dr. E.W. (Erik) Baars
E-mail baars.e@hsleiden.nl
Website www.hsleiden.nl