Malte Hermansson

Professor Emeritus

Department of Chemistry & Molecular
Visiting address
Medicinaregatan 7 B
41390 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 462
40530 Göteborg

About Malte Hermansson


Bacterial fimbria (FIMBUG)

Anders Lundgren (Post Doc; Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Programme, EU)

Fimbriae are hair-like surface organelles found on many pathogenic bacteria. These structures are known to strongly promote formation of bacterial biofilms on tissue and biomaterials. This is an emerging problem in modern health care since biofilm implant-related infections are very difficult to eradicate and thus a main contributor to the development and spreading of antibiotic resistance. The mechanism by which fimbriae promote biofilm formation and spreading of antibiotic resistance genes are not well understood. A better understanding of these surface interaction could aid development of new antibacterial and antibiofilm strategies, for example based on material design. The FIMBUG project has provided new knowledge on the role of fimbriae in bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation. Also, new methods for investigating bacterial surface interactions, especially in realistic flow conditions, have been developed.

External funding: EU, MCSA-Individual Fellowships

Biological nitrogen removal in wastewater

Carolina Suarez (Post Doc, FORMAS) Frank Persson (Doc. Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Vatten Miljö Teknik, Chalmers tekniska högskola)

"Zero eutrophication" is one of Swedish Parliament’s 16 environmental quality objectives, demanding large reductions in emissions of nutrients, such as nitrogen from e.g. wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). However, common nitrogen removal via nitrification/ denitrification is an energy demanding process. The alternative partial nitritation-anammox (PNA) process is an efficient sustainable alternative with a smaller carbon footprint, and lower energy requirements. In fact, use of the PNA process have been calculated to change WWTPs from net energy consumers to net producers. Some WWTPs are using PNA for treatment of part of the wastewater with concentrated ammonium levels at elevated temperatures e.g. reject water from sludge digestion. However, no WWTPs are yet treating the mainstream of less concentrated and colder wastewater, which represents 80-85% of the WWTP nitrogen. More knowledge about the bacteria is needed to increase use of the process. Since the bacteria grow as biofilms on surfaces, we investigate the structure of these biofilms with advanced microscope methods in combination with methods to identify bacteria directly under the microscope. We use DNA and RNA sequencing of specific genes as well as metagenomics to understand diversity and cell activity of bacteria during different WWTP processes.

External funding:FORMAS