Nasty microbes are responsible for 1 in every 3 deaths worldwide, a staggering 14 million people per year. While the majority of these deaths are in developing countries, New Zealand is bucking international trends, having experienced a 50% increase in hospital admissions caused by serious infectious diseases over the past 20 years. Another alarming international trend is the rise in resistance of microbes to our most effective antibiotics. Coupled with a lack of new antibiotics, this paints a frightening picture of a future in which we may lack means to treat bacterial infections. Without effective antibiotics, procedures such as organ transplants, chemotherapy for cancer and orthopaedic surgery would become almost prohibitively dangerous. Scientists at the University of Auckland need your help to understand what makes some microbes so dangerous and to investigate how they evolve to cause disease, in an effort to develop new ways to treat these wiley pathogens.
Mary Jane Boland
Development Manager, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
PH: + 64 9 923 7275
M: 021 805 471
Dr. Siouxsie Wiles is a microbiologist and bioluminescence enthusiast who heads up the Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab at the University of Auckland. Here she combines her twin passions to understand and combat infectious diseases. In a nutshell, Siouxsie and her team make nasty bacteria glow in the dark.