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EPI-Net’s Evelina Tacconelli

I always wanted to be an infectious diseases physician because nothing in medicine is so “unique”, “attractive”, and “emotionally rewarding” as ID. The first time I entered an ID ward in Rome during my medical school in the eighties the HIV infection was having such an impact on young adults´ life that I thought immediately that was the right place to be and give contribution.

After the availability of new antiretroviral therapies I moved, while I was in Boston, to focus antimicrobial resistance focusing on VRE and MRSA. Since then I kept working on the prevention and treatment of antibiotic resistant infections. I do believe that the emergence and rapid spreading of resistance is an enormous silent epidemic with underestimated burden and mortality that requires everyone contribution.

Working in this field it is “obvious” that sooner or later to get involved with Marc Bonten´s researches. When he called to ask me to lead EPI-Net (the new epidemiological pillar of the COMBACTE-MAGNET consortium) I was enthusiastic about the project. Our dream is to substantially contribute, at the end of these 7 years, in defining a new model of resistance surveillance that could include in the same platform academic and company data. This system would have double benefits: detailed information on local epidemiology to increase appropriateness of empiric antibiotic therapy and clearer definition of case settings where testing new drugs would bring more benefit for the patients. We are trying to involve many different international stakeholders as possible, although, to be honest, sometimes, administrative issues, seem to build an insurmountable wall…but I´m an optimistic person and select only optimistic researchers for my groups…and when I cannot handle bureaucracy anymore I always have my esaceo… action painting while listening to hard rock…


Evelina Tacconelli is Professor of Infectious Diseases, Head of the Division of Infectious Disease and Medical Director of the Comprehensive Infectious Diseases Center (CIDiC) at the University Hospital of Tübingen, Germany. Lecturer on Medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.

Recipient of award from the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) for research excellence and current ESCMID Education Officer. Main areas of scientific interest are epidemiology, clinical and therapeutic aspects of healthcare-associated infections and preventive measures aimed to reduce the spreading of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.


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