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Microbiology Logo Microbiology & Immunology
Te Tari Moromoroiti me te Ārai Mate

Antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance and discovering new drugs for environmental microorganisms

Our laboratory is focused on understanding antimicrobial resistance in humans and food animals and developing new “purpose built” narrow spectrum drugs to combat resistance. This research is coupled to the development of whole genome sequencing as a platform for rapid diagnosis and identification of multidrug-resistant bacteria.

Research projects in this area include:

1. Designing and implementing high throughput screening strategies to identify new inhibitors of:

Mastitis: Developing the Next Generation of Agritech Anti-infectives - in partnership with Deosan ( and Agmardt NZ

Discovery of new nitrification inhibitors to mitigate nitrous oxide emissions in grazed pasture systems – in partnership with MPI and Ravensdown NZ

Accelerated Discovery of Methanogen-Specific Inhibitors – in partnership with MPI, NZAGRC and PGgRc

2. Understanding the molecular and structural basis for:

Chlorhexidine resistance in Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus uberis

Teixobactin resistance in Enterococcus faecalis

3. Whole genome sequencing projects and diagnostics

Whole-genome sequencing of drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains for diagnostics and outbreak detection in Myanmar and New Zealand

Development of a point-of-care diagnostic test for drug-resistant tuberculosis

Whole-genome sequencing of vancomycin-resistant enterococci from food animals and humans in New Zealand

Team members 

Dr Adam Heikal, Research

Dr Htin Aung, Postdoctoral Fellow,

Dr Michael Petridis, Postdoctoral fellow,

James Cheung, Research Technician,

Ayana Menorca, Research Technician,

Rachel Herron, PhD candidate,

George Poulter, PhD candidate,

Mel Knottenbelt, MSc candidate,

Nichaela Harbison-Price, BSc(Hons) student,

Please enquire to obtain more specific information on these projects: