Emerging Diseases

Since the discovery of penicillin in 1928 by Alexander Fleming to treat infection, the development of drug resistance in various sectors has been reported. The misuse and abuse of the antimicrobial drugs are among the important factors that have contributed to the rise of resistant microbes around the world. Antibiotics, which have saved millions of lives and were also known as miracle drug in the past, are no longer the ultimate way for the treatment of infections because bacteria have continued to develop multiple resistance towards many different types or classes of the drugs.  Antimicrobial agents have been widely used in agriculture for either therapeutic, prophylactic, or other purposes.  The antibiotics are normally used to increase growth as well as feed efficiency in the animals. However, some of the antibiotics are frequently used in both veterinary and human medicine.  The evolution of bacteria towards antibiotic resistance has been accelerated distinctly by selective pressure due to inappropriate and overuse of the antibiotics. In the efforts to cope with this problem, scientists have accelerated the search for alternative antimicrobial agents by screening many potential sources including medicinal plants and microbes.

Aquaculture is an important sector in the agriculture industry and is rapidly growing to meet the world’s demands for protein source.  This sector is challenged with the diverse type of diseases and bacterial infections; and antibiotics are an excellent tool to circumvent the problem.

The aim of this project is:

-          Determine the extent of antibiotic resistance in aquaculture products and aquaculture’s surrounding environment in animals housed at James Cook University’s aquatic health facilities.

Supervisor: A/Prof Brenda Govan

What will you be doing

    • Prepare culture and diagnostic media for bacteria
    • Undertake sampling from environmental/aquaculture sites
    • Isolate and identify bacteria from samples
    • Conduct MIC assays to determine antibiotic resistance profiles of selected bacteria.
    • Examine the result and make conclusions about the role of aquaculture in the spread of superbugs.
    • Give a PowerPoint presentation on your findings & experience in the program

Hand Books