Defining the antimicrobial role of zinc and copper during infection

Study honours in molecular and biomedical science honours and investigate the impact of simultaneous fluxes of distinct metal ions during infection.

Our laboratory has identified and characterised the major zinc and copper transport systems in Acinetobacter baumannii, the world’s most problematic multi-drug resistant pathogen. 

Bart Eijkelkamp - Metal efflux systems

This proposed project aims to reveal the impact of simultaneous fluxes of distinct metal ions during infection, and how this affects bacterial pathogenesis. This is of primary interest as ratios of distinct metals are to be maintained within defined thresholds due to the synergistic antimicrobial activity of particular metal ion combinations, such as zinc and copper. 

To study the impact of metal ion fluxes in the complex environment as seen during infection, we have successfully established a murine model of zinc deficiency and subsequent zinc supplementation. This model also holds clinical relevance due to the global significance of human zinc deficiency, which affects nearly 2 billion people.

Bart Eijkelkamp

Supervisors

Dr Bart Eijkelkamp

Co-supervisors: Professor Ian Paulsen - Macquarie University | Dr Amy Cain - Macquarie University | Dr Karl Hassan - University of Newcastle

Research area: Research Centre for Infectious Diseases

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Molecular and Biomedical Science

Tagged in Honours projects - Molecular and biomedical science, Honours projects - Molecular and biomedical science: Microbiology and immunology, Honours projects - Bart Eijkelkamp