Characterisation of enteropathogenic E. coli
Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) is a leading cause of diarrhoea and death in children in non-industrialised countries. Roy’s group are investigating the phylogenetics of EPEC to improve their understanding of how different sub-types of these bacteria develop and spread. A key objective of this work is to identify potential virulence-associated genes in so-called atypical strains of EPEC that could be used to detect these bacteria in clinical samples, and as targets to block their virulence. Their research in this area includes the development of computer-based methods to subtype individual strains of E. coli and predict their susceptibility to antibiotics.
Development of new types of antimicrobial agents
The increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics poses an urgent health problem worldwide. As all current antimicrobials act by interfering with bacterial growth, they tend to select for resistant bacterial variants. A focus of Roy’s group’s research is to develop novel classes of antimicrobials that act selectively on bacterial virulence without affecting growth. Potential advantages of such agents are that they are unlikely to select for resistant forms, and that they will not interfere with the commensal bacteria which normally live in the gut. In this regard, they have discovered the first antibacterial that inhibits a key virulence regulator by blocking its ability to bind to DNA. As predicted, this agent does not select for resistant variants or disrupt the gut microbiota.
Professor Roy Robins-Browne
(03) 8344 8275 | [email protected]
- Laboratory Head
- Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections, Enteric infections, Immunology
- Education & Professional Development
- Department of Microbiology and Immunology (DMI)
- Lab Group(s):
- Robins-Browne Group
Professor Roy Robins-Browne is a clinical microbiologist and research scientist, who previously held the positions of Director of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, and Head of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne. Roy was the inaugural Professor/Director of Microbiological Research at the Royal Children's Hospital and is an Honorary Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. He is also co-leader of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.