CV Antje Flieger


Antje Flieger studied food chemistry at the Humboldt University in Berlin. In 1999, she received her PhD in biochemistry from the University of Tübingen. During this time, she discovered phospholipase A activity in the lung pathogen Legionella pneumophila. From 2000 to 2002, Antje Flieger conducted research at the Department for Microbiology and Immunology, Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, adding molecular biological aspects of Legionella and various infection models to her profile as a scientist.

After returning to Germany, Antje Flieger headed a junior research group at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin, which focused on the pathogenesis of Legionella infection and the importance of phospholipases. In 2007, she habilitated in microbiology at the Humboldt University in Berlin. In 2008, Antje Flieger took over as head of the RKI Department of Enteropathogenic Bacteria and Legionella, localized at the site in Wernigerode. Since then, she and her team have been active in the surveillance and outbreak detection of a wide range of bacterial pathogens.She further heads the German Reference Center for Salmonella and other Enteric Pathogens as well as the Consultant Laboratory for Listeria. In the context of a research stay at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, she studied pathogenesis of EHEC infections from 2021-22.

Antje Flieger taught at the Humboldt University of Berlin and since 2009 at the Technical University (TU) of Braunschweig. In 2011, she was appointed as an apl. professor at the TU Braunschweig. From 2015-2021 she was active in the board of the DGHM specialist group Gastrointestinal Infections and since 2020 she has been active in the German Research Foundation (DFG) Review Board 204 for Microbiology, Virology, Immunology, and Parasitology. Antje Flieger's research group investigates various bacterial pathogens, e.g. Legionella, EHEC, Listeria, Salmonella, and here in particular virulence factors, which can also serve as targets for improved therapy, risk potential assessment, and detection of pathogens.

Selected publications

  1. Diwo M, Michel W, Aurass P, Kuhle-Keindorf K, Pippel J, Krausze J, Wamp S, Lang C, Blankenfeldt W*, Flieger A* (2021) NAD(H)-mediated tetramerization controls the activity of Legionella pneumophila phospholipase PlaB. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 118:e2017046118.
  2. Halbedel S, Wilking H, Holzer A, Kleta S, Fischer MA, Lüth S, Pietzka A, Huhulescu S, Lachmann R, Krings A, Ruppitsch W, Leclercq A, Kamphausen R, Meincke M, Wagner-Wiening C, Contzen M, Kraemer IB, Al Dahouk S, Allerberger F, Stark K*, Flieger A* (2020) Large Nationwide Outbreak of Invasive Listeriosis Associated with Blood Sausage, Germany, 2018-2019. Emerg Infect Dis 26:1456-1464.
  3. Lang C, Fruth A, Holland G, Laue M, Mühlen S, Dersch P, Flieger A (2018) Novel type of pilus associated with a Shiga-toxigenic E. coli hybrid pathovar conveys aggregative adherence and bacterial virulence. Emerg Microb Infect 7:203.
  4. Lang C, Hiller M, Flieger A (2017) Disulfide loop cleavage of Legionella pneumophila PlaA boosts lysophospholipase A activity. Sci Rep 7:16313.
  5. Aurass P, Gerlach T, Becher D, Voigt B, Karste S, Bernhardt J, Riedel K, Hecker M, Flieger A (2016) Life Stage-specific Proteomes of Legionella pneumophila Reveal a Highly Differential Abundance of Virulence-associated Dot/Icm effectors. Mol Cell Proteomics 15:177-200.
  6. Flores-Díaz M, Monturiol-Gross L, Naylor C, Alape-Girón A*, Flieger A* (2016) Bacterial Sphingomyelinases and Phospholipases as Virulence Factors. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 80:597-628.
  7. Kuhle K, Krausze J, Curth U, Rössle M, Heuner K, Lang C, Flieger A (2014) Oligomerization inhibits Legionella pneumophila PlaB phospholipase A activity. J Biol Chem 289:18657-18666.
  8. Aurass P, Schlegel M, Metwally O, Harding CR, Schroeder GN, Frankel G, Flieger A (2013) The Legionella pneumophila Dot/Icm-secreted effector PlcC/CegC1 together with PlcA and PlcB promotes virulence and belongs to a novel zinc metallophospholipase C family present in bacteria and fungi. J Biol Chem 288:11080-11092.
  9. Lang C, Rastew E, Hermes B, Siegbrecht E, Ahrends R, Banerji S, Flieger A (2012) Zinc metalloproteinase ProA directly activates Legionella pneumophila PlaC glycerophospholipid:cholesterol acyltransferase. J Biol Chem 287:23464-12478.
  10. Grad YH, Lipsitch M, Griggs A, Haas BJ, Shea T, Wortman JR, Krogfelt KA, Weill FX, Tietze E, Flieger A, Lander ES, Nusbaum C, Birren BW, Hung DT, Hanage WP (2012) Support for a bottleneck in the 2011 E. coli O104:H4 outbreak in Germany. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109:E3629-3630.