top of page

Lixa teams up with UQ on new ARC training centre to tackle antimicrobial resistance in agribusiness and environment

5 July 2024

 A new training Centre led by The University of Queensland is partnering with industry to tackle the global crisis of antimicrobial-resistant infections, which affect humans, animals and the environment.

Headquartered at UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), the Australian Research Council Centre for Environmental and Agricultural Solutions to Antimicrobial Resistance (CEAStAR) was created to develop innovative approaches to curb this problem.


Centre Director Professor Mark Blaskovich from IMB emphasised the critical need for alternatives to antibiotics, especially in agriculture and veterinary medicine, where the same antibiotics are often used to prevent and treat infections as in human medicine.  


“One of the main drivers of drug-resistant pathogens is the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, both in humans and animals,” Professor Blaskovich said.  


“Nearly three-quarters of all antibiotics used worldwide in 2017 were for animals, not only to prevent and treat disease but also to promote growth and productivity.


“It’s imperative that treatments for livestock and companion animals don’t overlap with equivalent human therapeutics to reduce transmission of resistance across sectors.”


The Centre brings together multidisciplinary teams and applies a ‘One Health’ approach to antimicrobial resistance to acknowledge the interconnections between humans, animals, and the environment.


“CEAStAR is developing solutions specific to animal health and the environment, but this will also have a positive impact on human health,” Professor Blaskovich said.


The Centre aims to deliver new antimicrobials solely for animal use and alternative treatments that don’t require antibiotics as well as enhance detection, surveillance and monitoring of antimicrobial resistance in our environment.


Professor Blaskovich said these strategies will reduce infections and transmission of resistant microbes across sectors and preserve the efficacy of existing antibiotics for human use. 


CEAStAR was established with $4.5 million in Commonwealth funding from an Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Program grant and more than $4 million in partner and industry funds.


A key mission of CEAStAR is training of PhD students who will work with industry partners to advance technologies that address antimicrobial resistance.


The 13 PhD students and postdoctoral fellows trained through the Centre will have access to bootcamps, professional development activities, and industry placements that will equip them with fundamental antimicrobial resistance research skills.


Lixa Managing Director, Dr Maud Eijkenboom, says that Lixa is delighted to be a partner in the new centre.

"We have made it our mission to solve antimicrobial resistance (AMR) for anyone, anything, anywhere. Scalability is key, especially in the animal health settings. We are thrilled to be part of the CEAStAR partnership and are keen to deploy our non-antibiotic, antibiofilm and resistance breaker technologies to help solve specific animal agricultural and veterinary AMR problems." said Dr Eijkenboom.


CEAStAR is a partnership between UQ, University of Adelaide, BiomeMega Global, Calix Limited, Edenvale Beverages, Invion Pty. Ltd, Lixa, MGI Australia and Neoculi Pty Ltd. 


Learn more about CEAStAR by visiting their website.

bottom of page