Research Divisions

Translational Microbiology

Group LeaderPrincipal InvestigatorsLocation and ContactMembersHistory of the GroupLines of ResearchNotable PublicationsProjectsPhD ThesesClinical TrialsPatents and TrademarksNews
Dr José Antonio Boga
Dr José Antonio Boga


José Antonio Boga Riveiro studied Biology at the Universidad de Oviedo, where he obtained his PhD in 1995 in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He completed postings at the Deutsches Primaten Zentrum (German Primate Centre, Göttingen, Germany) from September 1997 to December 1999 and at the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSCSA, San Antonio, US) from June to August in 2011 and 2015.

In 2001, he took up a “Miguel Servet” research contract at the Microbiology Department of the Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias (HUCA), where he is currently an I3 National Health System (SNS) Researcher. His research focuses, among other areas, on developing methods of detecting, quantifying and genotyping clinically-relevant microorganisms for diagnostic purposes and on the role of oxidative stress in a range of biological processes, especially viral infections.

Santiago Melón García


Dolores Escudero Augusto


Javier Fernández Domínguez


Mario Margolles Martins


Gloria Blanco Blanco

  • Contact:
  • Tenured Lecturer, Department of Functional Biology, Microbiology Section, Universidad de Oviedo


Francisco Parra Fernández

  • Contact:
  • Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Universidad de Oviedo
Name Organisation Activity Euraxess classification
Abreu Salinas, Fátima SESPA Research/Clinical R1
Álvarez Argüelles, Marta Elena SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Astola Hidalgo, Iván SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Bances González, Margarita Gobierno Principado de Asturias Research R2
Blanco Blanco, María Gloria Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R3
Boga Riveiro, José Antonio FINBA Research/Clinical/Teaching R4
Calonge Sanz, Inés Universidad de Oviedo Research R1
Castello Abietar, Cristian SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Costales González, María Isabel SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Dalton , Kevin Paul Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R2
Escudero Augusto, Dolores SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Fernández Blázquez, Ana Universidad de Oviedo Research R1
Fernández Domínguez, Javier SESPA Research/Clinical R3
Fernández Suárez, Jonathan SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Fernández Verdugo, Ana María SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Forcelledo Espina, Lorena SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Huerta González, Ismael Gobierno Principado de Asturias Research/Clinical R2
Llaneza Velasco, María Eugenia SESPA Research/Clinical R2
López Amor, Lucía SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Lumbreras Iglesias, Pilar FINBA Research R1
Margolles Martins, Mario Gobierno Principado de Asturias Research/Clinical R2
Marqués Álvarez, Lara Universidad de Oviedo/SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Martín Alonso, José Manuel Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R3
Martín Iglesias, Lorena SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Martín Rodríguez, Gabriel FINBA Research R1
Melón García, Santiago SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Otero Guerra, Luis SESPA Research/Clinical/Teaching R3
Palacios Gutiérrez, Juan José SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Palacios Penedo, Sergio Universidad de Oviedo Research R1
Parra Fernández, José Francisco Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R3
Peláez García, Teresa SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Pérez Martínez, Zulema FINBA Research R2
Quindós Fernández, Brígida SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Rodicio Rodicio, María del Rosario Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R3
Rodicio Rodicio, María Rosaura Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R3
Rodríguez Guardado, Azucena SESPA Research/Clinical/Teaching R2
Rodríguez Lucas, Carlos Universidad de Oviedo Research R1
Rodríguez Pérez, Mercedes SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Rojo Alba, Susana SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Sabater Cabrera, Christian SESPA Research R1
Sandoval Torrientes, Marta SESPA Research CLASSIFICATION NOT AVAILABLE
Sarmiento Vizcaíno, Aida Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R2
Telenti Asensio, Mauricio SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Vázquez Sánchez, Xenia Universidad de Oviedo Research R1
Villa Bajo, Laura SESPA Research/Clinical R3
Viña Soria, Lucía SESPA Research/Clinical R2
del Cerro Arrieta, Ana SERIDA Research No classification
Espí Felgueroso, Alberto SERIDA Research No classification
Leoz Gordillo, Blanca SESPA Research No classification
Menéndez Fraga, María Dolores SESPA Research/Clinical No classification
Nicieza Lavilla, Inés Universidad de Oviedo Research No classification
Oleaga Ruiz de Escudero, Álvaro SERIDA Research/Clinical No classification
Renedo García, Paula Gobierno Principado de Asturias Research No classification

The Translational Microbiology research group studies the diagnosis, epidemiology and treatment of infectious diseases.

Our work focuses primarily on developing and evaluating microbiological diagnosis methods, which have expanded the range of services offered by our hospital’s Microbiology Department. Another of our objectives is to perform epidemiological surveillance of communicable diseases, especially those of greatest significance in terms of magnitude and prevalence, with a particular focus on diseases in critically-ill patients and the elderly, as well as those that are emerging, imported or caused by multidrug-resistant microorganisms. Our third objective is to treat infectious diseases, which involves: launching several clinical trials of new commercial molecules, especially in critically-ill patients, in whom multidrug-resistant infections are a particular concern; and investigating the antimicrobial potential of molecules present in unexplored terrestrial, marine and atmospheric environments, which opens the door to the discovery of new antimicrobials.

  1. Development and evaluation of diagnosis methods for infectious diseases
  2. Infectious disease epidemiology
    1. Diseases in critically-ill patients
    2. Imported and emerging infectious diseases
  3. Treatment of infectious diseases
    1. Studying infections by multidrug-resistant microorganisms
    2. Development of new molecules with antimicrobial properties
  • Rodríguez-Lucas C, Fernández J, Boga JA, López-Amor L, Forcelledo L, Lázaro-López E, Rodicio MR. Nosocomial ventriculitis caused by a meticillin- and linezolid-resistant clone of Taphylococcus epidermidis in neurosurgical patientsJ Hosp Infect. 2018 pii: S0195-6701(18)30104-X
  • Gómez-Novo M, Boga JA, Álvarez-Argüelles ME, Rojo-Alba S, Fernández A, Menéndez MJ, de Oña M, Melón S. Human respiratory syncytial virus load normalized by cell quantification as predictor of acute respiratory tract infection. J Med Virol. 2018 90:861-866 Sarmiento-Vizcaíno A, Espadas J, Martín J, Braña AF, Reyes F, García LA, Blanco G. Atmospheric Precipitations, Hailstone and Rainwater, as a Novel Source of Streptomyces Producing Bioactive Natural Products. Front Microbiol. 2018 9:773.
  • Morilla A, Melón S, Álvarez-Argüelles ME, Armesto E, Villar H, de Oña M. Utility of normalized genome quantification of Helicobacter pylori in gastric mucosa using an in-house real-time polymerase chain reaction. PLoS One. 2017 12:e0178674
  • Álvarez-Argüelles ME, Melón S, Rojo S, Fernandez-Blázquez A, Boga JA, Palacio A, Vivanco B, de Oña M. Detection and quantification of Merkel cell polyomavirus. Analysis of Merkel cell carcinoma cases from 1977 to 2015. J Med Virol. 2017 89:2224-2229
  • Sarmiento-Vizcaíno A, González V, Braña AF, Palacios JJ, Otero L, Fernández J, Molina A, Kulik A, Vázquez F, Acuña JL, García LA, Blanco G. Pharmacological potential of phylogenetically diverse actinobacteria isolated from deep-sea coral ecosystems of the submarine Avilés canyon in the cantabrian sea. Microb Ecol. 2017; 73:338-52
  • Fernández J, Poirel L, Rodicio MR, Nordmann P. Concomitant and multiclonal dissemination of OXA-48-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae in a Spanish hospital. J Antimicrob Chemother, 2016 71: 1734-36.
  • Boga JA, Rojo S, Fernández J, Rodríguez M, Iglesias C, Martínez-Camblor P, Vázquez F, Rodríguez-Guardado A. Is the treatment of Enterobius vermicularis co-infection necessary to eradicate Dientamoeba fragilis infection? Int J Infect Dis, 2016 49:59-61
  • Escudero D, Valentín M. Diagnosing brain death – a reply. Anaesthesia. 2016; 71:232-4
  • Rodriguez-Guardado A, González ML, Rodriguez M, Flores-Chavez M, Boga JA, Gascon J. Trypanosoma cruzi infection in a Spanish liver transplant recipient. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2015 21:687.e1-687.e3
  • Álvarez-Pérez S, García ME, Peláez T, Martínez-Nevado E, Blanco JL. Antifungal Susceptibility Testing of Ascomycetous Yeasts Isolated from Animals. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2016 60:5026-8.
  • Manchester LC, Coto-Montes A, Boga JA, Andersen LP, Zhou Z, Galano A, Vriend J, Tan DX, Reiter RJ. Melatonin: an ancient molecule that makes oxygen metabolically tolerable. J Pineal Res 2015, 59:403-19.
  • Fernández J, Montero I, Martínez Ó, Fleites A, Poirel L, Nordmann P, Rodicio MR. Dissemination of multiresistant Enterobacter cloacae isolates producing OXA-48 and CTX-M-15 in a Spanish hospital. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2015 46:469-474
  • Álvarez-Argüelles ME, de Oña-Navarro M, Rojo-Alba S, Torrens-Muns M, Junquera-Llaneza ML, Boga JA, Pérez-Castro S, Melón-García S. Quantification of human papilloma virus (HPV) DNA using the Cobas 4800 system in women with and without pathological alterations attributable to the virus. J Virol Methods. 2015 222:95-102
  • Escudero D, Otero J, Perez-Basterrechea M, Vega JA, Murias E, Martin L, Forcelledo L, Lopez-Amor L, Gonzalo JA, del Busto C, Vega P. Hyperthermia in brain dead patients. Anaesth Intensive Care. 2015 43:269-70.
  • Fernández-Benítez C, Mejuto-López P, Otero-Guerra L, Margolles-Martins MJ, Suárez-Leiva P, Vazquez F and Chlamydial Primary Care Group. Prevalence of genital Chlamydia trachomatis infection among young men and women in Spain. BMC Infect Dis, 2013 13:388
  • Fernández E, Toledo JR, Méndez L, González N, Parra F, Martín-Alonso JM, Limonta M, Sánchez K, Cabrales A, Estrada MP, Rodríguez-Mallón A, Farnós O.Conformational and thermal stability improvements for the large-scale production of yeast-derived rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus-like particles as multipurpose vaccine. PLoS One. 2013 8:e56417.
  • Álvarez-Argüelles ME, Melón S, Junquera ML, Boga JA, Villa L, Pérez-Castro S, de Oña M. Human papillomavirus infection in a male population attending a sexually transmitted infection service. PLoS One, 2013, 8:e54375

Enterobactericeae that are resistant to carbapenem antibiotics and/or colistin in northern Spanish coastal regions: a genomic and epidemiological study, with strategies for treatment and eradication

  • PI: Javier Fernández Domínguez
  • Funding Body: Health Research Fund-Instituto Carlos III (FIS-ISCIII: PI17/00728)
  • Duration: 01-01-2018 / 30-12-2020
  • Amount: €98,000


Nontyphoidal serotypes of Salmonella enterica with emerging drug-resistance and/or multidrug-resistance in northern Spanish coastal regions: genomic analysis and dispersal capacity of drug resistance

  • PI: María del Rosario Rodicio Rodicio
  • Funding Body: FIS-ISCIII (PI17/00474)
  • Duration: 01-01-2018 / 30-12-2020
  • Amount: €88,330


The myxoma virus: functional analysis and new marked multivalent vaccines

  • PI: Francisco Parra
  • Funding Body: MINECO (AGL2017-83395-R)
  • Duration 01-01-2018 / 30-12-2020
  • Amount: €181,500


Research into the “Q Fever” in Asturias: a study of the domestic and wild Coxiella burnetii infection cycle and its relationship to human cases

  • PI: Alberto Espi
  • Funding Body: INIA (National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology; RTA2017-00055-C02-02)
  • Duration 01-01-2018 / 30-12-2020
  • Amount: €67,320


Plan for the construction of a trivalent recombinant MV vaccine

  • PI: Francisco Parra
  • Funding Body: HIPRA Laboratories
  • Duration 01-01-2018 / 30-12-2018
  • Amount: €59,036


The study and development of new vaccines for the prevention of haemorrhagic diseases in livestock animals caused by viruses which cannot be cultivated in vitro.

  • PI: Francisco Parra
  • Funding Body: FATRO SPL
  • Duration 01-01-2018 / 30-12-2019
  • Amount: €51,506
PhD Student Supervisors Title Year
Ana Morilla Morilla ME Álvarez-Argüelles / S Melón Epidemiology and profiling of Helicobacter pylori phenotypic drug-resistance: molecular diagnosis and a genotypic study of drug-resistance 2018
Susana Martínez González JJ Palacios Atypical mycobacteria identified in Asturias (2005-2012): evaluation of the E-test antibiotic gradient method for performing susceptibility tests 2017
Luz María Alba Álvarez JJ Palacios Evaluation of the E-test antibiotic gradient method in Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains isolated in Asturias 2017
Aida Sarmiento Vizcaíno Gloria Blanco Pharmacological potential of actinobacteria isolated in terrestrial, marine and atmospheric environments of the northern Spanish coastal region 2016
Susana Rojo Alba María de Oña/ME Álvarez-Argüelles Human papillomavirus and cervical cancer: viral factors associated with progression 2016
Raquel García Fierro MR Rodicio Epidemiological surveillance and molecular typing of isolated strains of multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium and serotype Rissen 2016
Javier Fernández Domínguez MR Rodicio Resistance to extended-spectrum cephalosporins and carbapenems in enterobactericeae originating in the Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias 2016
Aurora Torreblanca Gil F Vázquez/ L Otero The epidemiology of Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections in Asturias: characterisation of strains in circulation and drug-resistance study 2015
Vanesa García Menéndez MR Rodicio/M Hensel Invasive and epidemic potential of emergent multiresistant clones of the food-borne pathogen Salmonella enterica 2015
Lucía Mojardín Menéndez MR Rodicio/F Moreno Characterisation of the signalling pathway of SNF1 kinase and its relationship to other signalling pathways of Kluyveromyces lactis yeast 2015
José Arrojo Fernández K Dalton/F Parra Identification and investigation of the virus-cell interactions of rabbit vesivirus (RAV) 2015
Ángel Luis Alvarez K Dalton/F Parra Genomic cDNA expression vectors of rabbit vesivirus (RAV) and analysis of their functionality as infectious clones 2015
Sonia Pérez Castro S Melón / María de Oña Human papillomavirus 16 and 18: prevalence in cervical lesions; viral markers of progression 2014
Patricia Mejuto López P Suarez-Leiva/ JA Boga Chlamydia trachomatis infections: an overview of the situation in Asturias 2014

ASPIRE-ICU (Advanced Understanding of Staphylococcus Aureus and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Infections in Europe – Intensive Care Units)

  • PI: Dolores Escudero
  • Sponsor: MedImmune, LLC
  • Started in: 2017


ASPIRE-SSI (Advanced Understanding of Staphylococcus Aureus Infections in Europe – Surgical Site Infections)

  • PI: Dolores Escudero
  • Sponsor: MedImmune, LLC
  • Started in: 2017


Placebo-controlled, Double-blind, Randomised Study of Aerucin® as Adjunct Therapy to Antibiotics in the Treatment of P. Aeruginosa Pneumonia

  • PI: Dolores Escudero
  • Sponsor: Aridis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Started in: 2017


EVADE (Effort to Prevent Nosocomial Pneumonia Caused by Pseudomonas Aeruginosa in Mechanically Ventilated Subjects )

  • PI: Dolores Escudero
  • Sponsor: MedImmune, LLC
  • Started in: 2016


SAATELLITE Clinical Trial (Human Monoclonal Antibody Against Staphylococcus Aureus Alpha Toxin in Mechanically Ventilated Adult Subjects)

  • PI: Dolores Escudero
  • Sponsor: MedImmune, LLC.
  • Started in: 2016.


A Phase 2 Proof-of-concept Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of MEDI3902 in Mechanically Ventilated Patients for the Prevention of Nosocomial Pneumonia Caused by Pseudomonas Aeruginosa.

  • PI: Dolores Escudero
  • Sponsor: MedImmune, LLC
  • Started in: 2016


A Phase III, Randomised, Multicentre, Parallel-group, Noninferiority Study Evaluating the Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability of Switching to Dolutegravir plus Rilpivirine from Current INI-, NNRTI-, or PI-Based Antiretroviral Regimen in HIV-1-Infected Adults who are Virologically Suppressed.

  • PI: Mauricio Telenti
  • Sponsor: ViiV Healthcare SL
  • Conducted in: 2015


A Phase II Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Single-Dose, Dose-Ranging Study of the Efficacy and Safety of MEDI4893, a Human Monoclonal Antibody Against Staphylococcus Aureus Alpha Toxin in Mechanically Ventilated Adult Subjects.

  • PI: Dolores Escudero
  • Sponsor: MedImmune, LLC
  • Started in: 2014


A Phase 3, Randomised, Double-Blind Study of the Safety and Efficacy of GSK1349572 Plus Abacavir/Lamivudine Fixed-Dose Combination Therapy Administered Once Daily Compared to Atripla Over 96 Weeks in HIV-1 Infected Antiretroviral Therapy Naive Adult Subjects.

  • PI: Mauricio Telenti
  • Sponsor: ViiV Healthcare SL
  • Period: 2010-2015

A paulomycin-producing strain ofMicromonospora matsumotoense bacteria and the paulomycin produced by it

  • Inventors: Aida Sarmiento Vizcaíno, Alfredo Javier Fernández Braña, Luis Arsenio García Díaz, José Luis Acuña Fernández, María Gloria Blanco Blanco, José Fernando Reyes Benítez, Ignacio Pérez Victoria Moreno De Barreda, Jesús Melchor Martín Serrano, María Francisca Vicente Perez, Nuria De Pedro Montejo.
  • Registration Number: ES2613746 (A1)

A branimycin-producing strain of Pseudonocardia carboxydivorans and the branimycin produced by it

  • Inventors: Fernández Braña AJ, Blanco Blanco MG, García Díaz LA, Sarmiento Vizcaíno A, Palacios Gutierrez JJ, Otero Guerra L, Fernandez Suarez J, Reyes Benitez JF, Perez-Victoria Moreno de Barreda I, Martin Serrano JM
  • Registration Number: ES2585929 (A1)

A lobophorin-producing strain of Streptomyces carnosus and the lobophorin produced by it

  • Inventors: Fernández Braña AJ, Blanco Blanco MG, García Díaz LA, Sarmiento Vizcaíno A, Osset Alvarez M, Reyes Benitez JF, Perez-Victoria Moreno de Barreda I, Martin Serrano JM, Vicente Pérez MF, de Pedro Montejo N, de la Cruz Moreno M
  • Registration Number: ES2605011 (A1)