- Cross-disciplinary approach to resolve environmental challenges that impact on human health
- Expertise in molecular biology, antimicrobial resistance, ocular microbiology/microbiome, and microbial ecology
- Laboratories with cutting-edge techniques for antimicrobial assays and genomics
- Advantages include:
- Novel models to demonstrate how microbial resistance genes evolve, transfer, mobilise, and disseminate via the symbiosis process in Acanthamoeba species
- Controlling amoeba in the environment may mitigate a hotspot of resistance evolution
- Highlighting the role of water contaminants (toxic elements) on microbial communities which could drive antimicrobial resistance
- Build-up of water pollutants will drive development of resistance to these within microbial communities. This resistance is often mediated by genes on mobile genetic elements that also contain genes for antibiotic resistance.
- Bacteria may use their ability to survive within amoeba as an additional mechanism to escape from the build-up of toxins.
- Bacteria within amoeba can also transfer resistance genes between themselves
- Dissemination of amoeba through water can disseminate resistant microbes
- Transmission of many microbes that can infect humans commonly occurs via water
- Development of novel approaches to prevent the emergence of Acanthamoeba harbouring drug resistant intracellular pathogens.
- Reducing numbers of the role of water contaminants on microbial interactions which could drive antibiotic resistance to turn back a foundation of modern medicine
- Track-record on Acanthamoeba research focusing its impact on eye health, and Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) prevention understanding symbionts and amoeba interactions
Capabilities and facilities
- Capabilities relating to overall research capability and/or important facilities
- Well-equipped laboratory facilities to identify the novel drug resistance genes in Acanthamoeba symbionts
- Wider collaboration networks with geochemists, policy experts in UK
- Advanced collaborative research arms
- Team of expertise in Acanthamoeba research and it's clinical impact particularly, ocular infection
- UK Research and Innovation: Natural Environment Research Council
- J&J, Alcon, CooperVision, B&L
- Australian Standards and International Standards Organisation, Contact Lens Working Group