Moter Lab


Our main research interest is to develop novel tools for detection and therapy of biofilm-associated microbial infections, in particular for the in situ analysis of biofilm growth and bacteria-host interactions. These tools will aid to identify bacterial species or structures as targets for innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, as well as to determine the efficacy of antimicrobial agents on biofilm microbes. Currently, we focus on the spatial organization of the oral and gut microbiome and the interaction with the host. Further projects deal with understanding of infections due to fastidious or yet uncultured microorganisms.

PD Dr. Annette Moter, MD PhD
PD Dr. Annette Moter, MD PhD
PI Biofilmcenter


+49 (0)30 450 524 226



1. Microbial biofilms

– Analysis of composition and activity of microbial biofilms in the clinical setting

– Diagnostics in biofilm-associated infections such as Infective Endocarditis, cardiovascular devices, oral biofilms in periodontitis and peri-implantitis, wounds and others


2. Testing of antimicrobial surfaces and antifouling materials against microbial biofilms in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo

– Measuring the efficacy of antimicrobial surfaces and antimicrobial materials against biofilms by FISH


3. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and molecular analysis tools

– Combining FISH and nucleic acid amplification techniques (PCR, real-time PCR, NGS) for

  • Quantity and distribution of the microorganisms
  • Identification of key players and key pathogens
  • Study the mucosal interfaces
  • Development of FISH for the diagnostic setting


4. Whipple’s Disease and Tropheryma whipplei

– Consultant Laboratory for Tropheryma whipplei appointed by Robert Koch-Institute (RKI) 

For more information, see


5. Culture negative infections and fastidious organisms

– Human Intestinal Spirochetosis

– Chorioamnionitis




Dr. Judith Kikhney
Dr. Judith Kikhney


+49 (0)30 450 524 524

+49 (0)30 450 524 006

Gitina Fiedler
Gitina Fiedler


Laura Kursawe
Laura Kursawe
Research Assistant


Julia Schmidt
Julia Schmidt
Research Assistant


+49 (0)30 450 524 524 (office)

+49 (0)30 450 524 015 (lab)

Alexandra Wießner
Alexandra Wießner
Research Assistant


+49 (0)30 450 524 524

+49 (0)30 450 524 015



The European Union (EU) and the European Regional Development Fund (EFRE) support our research. Aim of our ProFIT project is to increase the sensitivity of FISH. Ultimate goal is to test antimicrobial substances or surfaces in a FISH biofilm test-platform for improved medical implants. Biofilmzentrum carries out the project in cooperation with the SME MoKi Analytics. For more information, see

We are also supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie and the EXIST program.

ad 1. Publications

Lauten A, Martinovic M, Kursawe L, Kikhney J, Affeld K, Kertzscher U, Falk V Moter A. Bacterial biofilms in infective endocarditis – an in vitro – model to investigate emerging technologies of antimicrobial cardiovascular device coatings. Clin Res Cardiol. 2020, accepted

Yaban B, Kikhney J, Musci M, Petrich A, Schmidt J, Hajduczenia M, Schoenrath F, Falk V, Moter A. Aerococcus urinae – a potent biofilm builder in endocarditis. PLoS One. 2020, Apr 23; 15(4)

Detection of Coxiella burnetii in heart valve sections by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Aistleitner K, Jeske R, Wölfel R, Wießner A, Kikhney J, Moter A, Stoecker K. J Med Microbiol. 2018 Apr;67(4):537-542. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.000704.

Life on the driveline: Molecular detection and fluorescence in situ hybridization-based visualization of microbial species in patients with left ventricular assist devices. Schoenrath F, Kikhney J, Kursawe L, Schoenrath K, Hajduczenia MM, Schulze J, Potapov E, Krabatsch T, Kaufmann F, Falk V, Moter A. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2018 Jan;37(1):163-166. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2017.09.023.

Reaction-diffusion theory explains hypoxia and heterogeneous growth within microbial biofilms associated with chronic infections. Stewart PS, Zhang T, Xu R, Pitts B, Walters MC, Roe F, Kikhney J, Moter A. NPJ Biofilms Microbiomes. 2016 Jun 22;2:16012. doi: 10.1038/npjbiofilms.2016.12.

Microbiological diagnosis of device-related biofilm infections. Xu Y, Larsen LH, Lorenzen J, Hall-Stoodley L, Kikhney J, Moter A, Thomsen TR. APMIS. 2017 Apr;125(4):289-303. doi: 10.1111/apm.12676.

ad 2. Publications

Evaluating Efficacy of Antimicrobial and Antifouling Materials for Urinary Tract Medical Devices: Challenges and Recommendations. Ramstedt M, Ribeiro IAC, Bujdakova H, Mergulhão FJM, Jordao L, Thomsen P, Alm M, Burmølle M, Vladkova T, Can F, Reches M, Riool M, Barros A, Reis RL, Meaurio E, Kikhney J, Moter A, Zaat SAJ, Sjollema J. Macromol Biosci. 2019 May;19(5):e1800384. doi: 10.1002/mabi.201800384.

Sutrave S, Kikhney J, Schmidt J, Petrich A, Wiessner A, Kursawe L, Gebhardt M, Kertzscher U, Gabel G, Goubergrits L, Affeld K, Moter A. Effect of daptomycin and vancomycin on Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilms: An in vitro assessment using fluorescence in situ hybridization. PLoS One. 2019 Aug 27;14(8)

Recommendations for design and conduct of preclinical in vivo studies of orthopedic device-related infection. Moriarty TF, Harris LG, Mooney RA, Wenke JC, Riool M, Zaat SAJ, Moter A, Schaer TP, Khanna N, Kuehl R, Alt V, Montali A, Liu J, Zeiter S, Busscher HJ, Grainger DW, Richards RG. J Orthop Res. 2019 Feb;37(2):271-287. doi: 10.1002/jor.24230.

Acrylic microparticles increase daptomycin intracellular and in vivo anti-biofilm activity against Staphylococcus aureus. Woischnig AK, Gonçalves LM, Ferreira M, Kuehl R, Kikhney J, Moter A, Ribeiro IAC, Almeida AJ, Khanna N, Bettencourt AF. Int J Pharm. 2018 Oct 25;550(1-2):372-379. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2018.08.048.

ad 3. Publications

Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in the microbiological diagnostic routine laboratory: a review. Frickmann H, Zautner AE, Moter A, Kikhney J, Hagen RM, Stender H, Poppert S. Crit Rev Microbiol. 2017 May;43(3):263-293. doi: 10.3109/1040841X.2016.1169990.

Rupprecht T, Moter A, Wiessner A, Reutershan J, Lang-Schwarz K, Vieth M, Rupprecht C,  Wagner R, Bollinger T. Moth flies (Clogmia albipunctata) in the hospital distribute multidrug resistant bacteria from the waste water system. Emerg Inf Dis, 2020 accepted

ad 4. Publications

Potential Role for Urine Polymerase Chain Reaction in the Diagnosis of Whipple’s Disease. Moter A, Janneck M, Wolters M, Iking-Konert C, Wiessner A, Loddenkemper C, Hartleben B, Lütgehetmann M, Schmidt J, Langbehn U, Janssen S, Geelhaar-Karsch A, Schneider T, Moos V, Rohde H, Kikhney J, Wiech T. Clin Infect Dis. 2019 Mar 19;68(7):1089-1097. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciy664.

ad 5. Publications

Distribution and phylogeny of Brachyspira spp. in human intestinal spirochetosis revealed by FISH and 16S rRNA-gene analysis. Rojas P, Petrich A, Schulze J, Wiessner A, Loddenkemper C, Epple HJ, Sterlacci W, Vieth M, Kikhney J, Moter A. Anaerobe. 2017 Oct;47:25-32. doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2017.03.012.

Is Ureaplasma spp. the leading causative agent of acute chorioamnionitis in women with preterm birth? Kikhney J, von Schöning D, Steding I, Schulze J, Petrich A, Hiergeist A, Reischl U, Moter A, Thomas A. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2017 Feb;23(2):119.e1-119.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2016.10.010.