Microbiology Research Group, DPI, Brisbane

Microbiology Research Group, DPI, Brisbane

Overall Purpose for Microbiology Research Group headed by Professor Patrick J. Blackall

To increase the profitability of Queensland’s primary industries by performing innovative research to reduce the impact of microbial pathogens on the food and fibre supply chains and the environment.

Research Areas
Molecular epidemiology/population structure using DNA sequencing techniques

  • Rapid disease diagnosis by molecular methods
  • On farm epidemiological studies to improve safety of poultry meat
  • Managing antimicrobial drug resistance in intensive animal industries
  • Novel approaches to vaccines for the prevention and control of bacterial respiratory diseases of pigs and poultry
  • Novel approaches to the serotyping of key bacterial respiratory pathogens of pigs and poultry
  • Co-evolution of bacteria and their hosts – implications for host specificity, pathogenicity mechanisms and novel prevention and control programs
  • Current Externally Funded Research
    Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation – Chicken Meat. Two Projects – one on rapid genotyping of Campylobacter and one on Health implications of emissions from tunnel ventilated sheds. Pork Co-operative Research Centre. Project on novel vaccine for Glasser’s Disease. Collaborative project with University of Copenhagen – Project on co-evolution of Pasteurellaceae and their marsupial hosts (funded by Danish Natural Science Council). Collaborative projects with Environmental Microbiology Laboratory (another group inside DPI&F) on composting in the layer industry (funded by Australian Egg Corporation Limited), composting in the pig industry (funded by Australian Pork Limited) and food-borne pathogen risks associated with the re-use of litter across broiler cycles (funded by Poultry Co-operative Research Centre).
    Total External Funding for Calender Years 2003-2008 – $1,500,000

Areas of Expertise
Bacterial diseases of pigs, chickens and cattle
Respiratory vaccines of pigs and poultry
International reference centre for Avibacterium (Haemophilus) paragallinarum, Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, Haemophilus parasuis and Pasteurella multocida
Food safety pathogens – Salmonella, Campylobacter, Arcobacter, Helicobacter
Application of classical and molecular veterinary bacteriology in developing countries (experienced in China, India, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador)
Environmental fate of pathogens associated with intensive animal production