Duration: Jan 2019 – Dec 2020

Funding Source: Children’s Hospital Foundation

Nicole Ertl and Abdulrahman Ayfan
Nicole Ertl and Abdulrahman Ayfan

Chief investigators: Adam Irwin, Hosam Zowawi, Joanne Macdonald, Claire Heney, Patrick Harris, David Whiley, David Paterson

PhD Student: Abdulrahman Ayfan

Post-doc: Nicole Ertl


To develop innovative and affordable point-of-care tests for multidrug resistant pathogens affecting children.


Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise and multidrug resistant bacterial pathogens represent serious clinical and public health challenges. Infections with these pathogens are associated with increased morbidity and fatality, especially among vulnerable patient groups such as the young and the elderly. Rapid detection of resistant pathogens is critical to patient care as it ensures patients receive appropriate treatment in a timely manner and, where necessary, patients are isolated to prevent further spread.

Key clinical challenges include:

  • Multidrug resistant bacteria are difficult to treat as they can be highly resistant to a wide range of the most commonly used antibiotics.
  • Antimicrobial resistant superbugs are an increasing problem, including in children.
  • Current detection methods are typically laboratory-based, can take a long time, are costly and require specialist expertise and equipment.


We are developing rapid molecular resistance tests that can be used by doctors in the clinic or in the future at the bedside. This will assist health care professionals in quickly making decisions on the most effective treatment therapy, so as to improve patient outcomes.

Project members

Dr Patrick Harris

Dr Patrick Harris

NHMRC Early Career Fellow
UQ Centre for Clinical Research

Associate Professor David Whiley

Principal Research Fellow
UQ Centre for Clinical Research
Theme Leader for Infectious diseases
Abdulrahman Ayfan

Mr Abdulrahman Ayfan

PhD student
UQ Centre for Clinical Research
Centre for Children's Health Research
Dr Nicole Ertl

Dr Nicole Ertl

Postdoctoral Researcher
UQ Centre for Clinical Research