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
HUCAMicrobiology DepartmentJosé Antonio BogaI3-SNS Researcher
Juan José Palacios GutiérrezSection Head
Ana María Fernández VerdugoConsultant
María Eugenia Llaneza VelascoConsultant
Santiago Melón GarcíaConsultant
Teresa Peláez GarcíaConsultant
Mercedes Rodríguez PérezConsultant
Mauricio Telenti AsensioConsultant
Marta Elena Álvarez ArgüellesInterim Consultant
Javier Fernández DomínguezInterim Consultant
Jonathan Fernández SuarezInterim Consultant
Susana Rojo AlbaInterim Consultant
Laura Villa BajoInterim Consultant
Álvaro Leal Negredo4th Year Resident
Fatima Abreu Salinas3rd Year Resident
Cristian Castelló Abietar3rd Year Resident
María Isabel Costales González2nd Year Resident
Marta Sandoval TorrientesResident
Ana Fernández BlázquezPhD Student
Zulema Pérez MartínezPhD Student
Christian Sabater CabreraPhD Student
Sergio Palacios PenedoPhD Student
Gabriel Martín Rodríguez
Intensive Care: Multi-functional ICUDolores Escudero AugustoDepartment Head
Lara Marqués ÁlvarezConsultant
Begoña Menéndez de LeónConsultant
Iván Astola HidalgoInterim Consultant
Clementina Calleja RodríguezInterim Consultant
Elizabeth Fernández ReyInterim Consultant
Lorena Forcelledo EspinaInterim Consultant
Oihana Leizaola IrigoyenInterim Consultant
Lucia López AmorInterim Consultant
Lorena Martín IglesiasInterim Consultant
Brígida Quindós FernándezInterim Consultant
Lucia Viña SoriaInterim Consultant
Laura Álvarez García5th Year Resident
Carmen Díaz Gómez4th Year Resident
Salvador Balboa Palomino3rd Year Resident
Blanca Leoz Gordillo3rd Year Resident
Salvador Villalgordo García2nd Year Resident
Silvia Viñas Domínguez2nd Year Resident
Brígida Quirós Fernández
Hospital Universitario de CabueñesLuis Otero GuerraSection Head
Azucena Rodríguez-GuardadoConsultant
Hospital Monte Naranco (STI)María Dolores Menéndez FragaNurse
Consejería de SanidadMario Margolles MartínsHealth District Coordinator
Epidemiological Surveillance SystemIsmael Huerta GonzálezDepartment Head
Universidad de OviedoFrancisco Parra FernándezProfessor
María Rosario Rodicio RodicioProfessor
María Rosaura Rodicio RodicioProfessor
Maria Gloria Blanco BlancoTenured Lecturer
José Manuel Martín AlonsoTenured Lecturer
Kevin Paul DaltonPostdoctoral Researcher
Aida Sarmiento VizcainoPostdoctoral Researcher
Paula Renedo GarcíaPublic Health Laboratory Technical Manager
Ana María Podadera GonzálezPhD Student with a Research Staff Training (FPI) Grant
Inés Nicieza LavillaTechnician (Fundación Universidad de Oviedo, FUO)
María Margarita Bances GonzálezSenior Technician
Daniel de Llano TeixeiraSenior Technician
Xenia Vázquez SánchezPhD Student
Carlos Rodríguez LucasPhD Student
Inés Calonge SanzPhD Student
Pilar Lumbreras IglesiasPhD Student
SERIDA (Regional Agri-food Research and Development Service of Asturias)Alberto Espí FelguerosoResearcher
José Miguel Prieto MartínHead of the Animal Health Division
Ana del Cerro ArrietaResearcher
Álvaro Oleaga Ruiz de EscuderoResearcher

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 StudentSupervisorsTitleYear
Ana Morilla MorillaME Álvarez-Argüelles / S MelónEpidemiology and profiling of Helicobacter pylori phenotypic drug-resistance: molecular diagnosis and a genotypic study of drug-resistance2018
Susana Martínez GonzálezJJ PalaciosAtypical mycobacteria identified in Asturias (2005-2012): evaluation of the E-test antibiotic gradient method for performing susceptibility tests2017
Luz María Alba ÁlvarezJJ PalaciosEvaluation of the E-test antibiotic gradient method in Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains isolated in Asturias2017
Aida Sarmiento VizcaínoGloria BlancoPharmacological potential of actinobacteria isolated in terrestrial, marine and atmospheric environments of the northern Spanish coastal region2016
Susana Rojo AlbaMaría de Oña/ME Álvarez-ArgüellesHuman papillomavirus and cervical cancer: viral factors associated with progression2016
Raquel García FierroMR RodicioEpidemiological surveillance and molecular typing of isolated strains of multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium and serotype Rissen2016
Javier Fernández DomínguezMR RodicioResistance to extended-spectrum cephalosporins and carbapenems in enterobactericeae originating in the Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias2016
Aurora Torreblanca GilF Vázquez/ L OteroThe epidemiology of Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections in Asturias: characterisation of strains in circulation and drug-resistance study2015
Vanesa García MenéndezMR Rodicio/M HenselInvasive and epidemic potential of emergent multiresistant clones of the food-borne pathogen Salmonella enterica2015
Lucía Mojardín MenéndezMR Rodicio/F MorenoCharacterisation of the signalling pathway of SNF1 kinase and its relationship to other signalling pathways of Kluyveromyces lactis yeast2015
José Arrojo FernándezK Dalton/F ParraIdentification and investigation of the virus-cell interactions of rabbit vesivirus (RAV)2015
Ángel Luis AlvarezK Dalton/F ParraGenomic cDNA expression vectors of rabbit vesivirus (RAV) and analysis of their functionality as infectious clones2015
Sonia Pérez CastroS Melón / María de OñaHuman papillomavirus 16 and 18: prevalence in cervical lesions; viral markers of progression2014
Patricia Mejuto LópezP Suarez-Leiva/ JA BogaChlamydia trachomatis infections: an overview of the situation in Asturias2014

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)