Brooks Lab Research
Dr Brooks has a number of research interests in the fields of applied and diagnostic medical microbiology. Current research projects include (1) bioactivity of a gel for use in surgery (collaboration with Department of Chemistry) (2) necrotising enterocolitis in neonates and effects of a probiotic (collaboration with Dr Michelle McConnell) (3) plant-based antiviral agents for use in Herpes simplex infections.
MSc/Honours/PG Diploma projects available for 2013
1. Antiviral activity of a plant-based product. [INDUSTRY SPONSORED; MSc student preferred]
Topic: Activity of a natural plant-derived product against Herpes simplex type 1 virus and mechanism of action. Co-supervisor Dr Lyn Wise, Virus Research Unit.
Overall aim of project is to provide a natural alternative to conventional antiherpes treatments. Techniques you will learn include tissue culture, viral culture, antiviral assays, cytokine assays. The product is commercially produced by Forest Herbs Research Ltd as an antifungal agent. Preliminary testing has identified strong anti-herpes activity in this product but the relevant contribution of the different components requires investigation as well as possible mechanisms of antiviral action.
Check out Forest Herbs Research Ltd at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b__wDIJi8ew&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL
2. Biofilm formation on prosthetic eyes.
Topic: Identification of bacteria colonising prosthetic eyes by high throughput sequencing and culture; biofilm detection by microscopy. Co-supervisor Dr Geoff Tompkins, School of Dentistry.
Overall aim of the project is to determine the cause of eye socket inflammation in patients who use prosthetic eyes. Techniques you will learn include bacterial culture, electron microscopy, identification of bacteria by 16S rDNA PCR and high throughput sequerencing.
(See downloads section below for PDFs)
Matejka KM, Bremer PJ, Tompkins GR, Brooks HJL (2012). Antibiotic susceptibility of Moraxella catarhalis biofilms in a continuous flow model. Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease (in press).
Aziz M, Cabral JD, Brooks HJL, Moratti S, Hanton LR ( 2012). Antimicrobial properties of a chitosan-dextran based hydrogel for surgical use. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 56:280-287.
13 Lim KH, Brooks HJL, Burton J, McDougal R, De Silva T, Devenish C (2010) Is there a correlation between bacterial vaginosis and preterm labour in women in the Otago region of New Zealand? Australia and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 50:226–229.
14 Maas EW, Brooks HJL (2010). Is photosynthesis a requirement for paralytic shellfish toxin production in the dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum algal–bacterial consortium? Journal of Applied Phycology 22:293–296.
15 Carter PE, McTavish SM, Brooks HJL, Campbell D, Collins-Emerson JM, Midwinter AC, French NP (2009). Novel clonal complexes with an unknown animal reservoir dominate Campylobacter jejuni isolates from river water in New Zealand. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 75: 6038–6046.
1 Maas EW, Latter RM, Thiele J, Waite A, Brooks HJL (2007) Effect of multiple antibiotic treatments on a paralytic shellfish toxin-producing culture of the dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum from Anakoha Bay, New Zealand. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 48: 255–60.
2 McQueen RH, Laing RM, Delahunty CM, Brooks HJL, Niven BE (2007). Retention of axillary odour on apparel fabrics. Journal of the Textile Institute 99: 515–523.
3 McQueen RH, Laing RM, Brooks HJL, Niven BE (2007). Odour intensity in apparel fabrics and the link with bacterial populations. Textile Research Journal 77: 449–456.
4 Brooks HJL, McConnell MA, Corbett J, Buchan G, Fitzspatrick C, Broadbent R. (2006). Potential Prophylactic Value of Bovine Colostrum in Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Neonates: an In Vitro Study on Bacterial Attachment, Antibody Levels and Cytokine Production. FEMS Immunology and Microbiology 48:347–354.
5 Eyles, R.F, Brooks, H.J.L., Townsend, C.R., Burtenshaw, G.A., Heng, N.C.K., Jack, R.W., Weinstein, P. (2006). Comparison of Campylobacter jejuni PFGE and Penner subtypes in human infections and in water samples from the Taieri River catchment of New Zealand. Journal of Applied Microbiology 101: 18–25.
6 Tannock GW, Ghazally S, Walter J, Loach D, Brooks H, Cook G, Surette M, Simers C, Bremer P, Da Bello F, Hertel C. (2005). Ecological behaviour of Lactobacillus reuteri 100-23 is affected by mutation of the luxS gene. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 71(12): 8419–8425.
7 Burton JP, Chilcott CN, Al-Qumber M, Brooks HJL, Wilson D, Tagg JR, Devenish C. (2005) preliminary survey of Atopobium vaginae in women attending the Dunedin gynaecology out patients clinic: Is the contribution of the hard-to-culture microbiota overlooked in gynaecological disorders? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 45:450–452.
8 Brooks HJL, Ahmed D, McConnell MA, Barbezat GO (2004). Diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection by polymerase chain reaction: is it worth it? Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 50(1): 1-5.
9 Dilruba Ahmed, Heather Brooks, Michelle McConnell, Gil Barbezat (2004). Antibiotic resistance in Helicobacter pylori: is it a problem in New Zealand? NZMJ Aug 20:117(1200). http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/117–1200/1022/
10 Brooks HJL, Mollison BD, Bettelheim KA, Matejka K, Paterson KA, Ward VK (2001). Occurrence and virulence factors of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in retail meat in Dunedin, New Zealand. Letters in Applied Microbiology 32: 118–123.
11 McConnell MA, Buchan G, Borissenko MV, Brooks, HJL. (2001). A comparison of IgG and IgG 1 activity in an early milk concentrate from immunised cows and a commercially available milk from hyperimmunised animals. Food Research International 34: 255-261.
12 Maas EW, Thiele J Thompson C, Latter RM and Brooks HJL (2000). Modification of an algal culture medium for sustained growth of a saxitoxin producing isolate of Alexandrium minutum. Journal of Applied Phycology 12: 95-98.