Bioplatforms Australia (BPA), is an NCRIS funded capability, that is tasked with increasing capacity and capabilities of the Australian life sciences sector to boost its contribution to Australia’s health, environmental, economic and social wellbeing.

BPA is investing in the generation of a number of frameworks datasets of national importance. This includes $1M funding for the Bioplatforms Australia Antibiotic Resistant Pathogens Initiative: the generation of comprehensive multi-omics (i.e. genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic) datasets for a number of common pathogens responsible for causing sepsis (blood infections).

Severe sepsis and septic shock have a mortality rate of 20-40% in the setting of optimal resuscitation in wealthy countries and are responsible for the loss of millions of health dollars and tens of thousands of lives every year in Australia. Antibiotic intervention remains one of the most powerful and cost-effective interventions in medicine, but is under severe threat from antibiotic resistance.

Analysis of the spread of resistant pathogens suggests that co-evolution of increased virulence may be an important additional factor in the dissemination of resistant strains, but this relationship is not well understood. Better understanding of invasiveness (as exemplified by established bloodstream infection) is crucial to the development of new approaches to clinical management, including strategies such as virulence-attenuating approaches that do not necessarily select for more antimicrobial resistance. This strategy requires the co-ordinated action of multi-disciplinary teams to identify common pathogenic pathways that may be exploited for the early diagnosis, treatment and prevention of life-threatening bacterial infections.

The BPA Antibiotic Resistant Pathogens project is led by Prof Mark Walker from the University of Queensland and will bring together researchers from several leading Australian research-intensive universities including the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne, Monash University, University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney, and the University of Adelaide.

For more information on the Antibiotic Resistant Pathogens project please contact

Mark Walker | T: 07 334 61623 | mark.walker@uq.edu.au
Anna Fitzgerald | T: 02 9850 1174 | afitzgerald@bioplatforms.com