Mycobacterium in Children with Cystic Fibrosis (MiCCy)

May 2018May 2020

Duration: May 2018 – May 2020
Funding Source: Sasakawa Memorial Fund of the Children’s Hospital Foundation

Chief investigators: David Whiley, Christopher Coulter, Julia Clark, Sushil Pandey, Claire Wainwright, Amy Jennison, Graeme Nimmo, Scott Bell

PhD Student: Amanda Bordin

Research Assistants: Hazel Hackett, Carolyn Pardo


To develop new molecular tests that can rapidly detect Mycobacterium abscessus complex infection and associated antimicrobial resistance directly in respiratory samples.


The Mycobacterium abscessus complex is a group of bacteria that can cause life-threatening respiratory infections, especially in people with underlying lung conditions. It is now considered one of the most serious and difficult-to-treat respiratory infections affecting children with cystic fibrosis.

Key clinical challenges include:

  • Mycobacterium abscessus complex bacteria are resistant to commonly used antibiotics.
  • The number of infected patients has rapidly increased in recent years, and is recognised as a worldwide problem affecting patients with cystic fibrosis.
  • Detecting these bugs using traditional bacterial culture-based tests can take weeks, leaving doctors with little information to guide treatment decisions or implement infection control measures.


The new molecular diagnostic methods developed via the MiCCy project will address the above challenges by providing rapid diagnosis (hours rather than weeks) and simultaneously providing information on antibiotic resistance that doctors can use to choose the most effective therapies.

Project members

Associate Professor David Whiley

Principal Research Fellow
UQ Centre for Clinical Research
Theme Leader for Infectious diseases
Amanda Bordin

Ms Amanda Bordin

PhD student
UQ Centre for Clinical Research
Carolyn Pardo

Ms Carolyn Pardo

Research Assistant & Research Assistant
UQ Centre for Clinical Research