Infectious diseases

What are infectious diseases?

Every person on the planet will at some point in their lifetime be affected by an infectious disease. Many of these infections are resistant to current antimicrobial treatments, and with limited development of new antimicrobials this presents an urgent global threat to public health. The healthcare landscape for infectious diseases is rapidly changing, and paired with globalisation, means that we are at a critical timepoint to produce novel approaches in how we detect, prevent, treat, and manage these infections. Our research teams work to develop new and innovative approaches to identify risks and manage treatments for infections. We are comprised of a diverse, international group of clinician researchers, scientists, bioinformaticians and research management specialists, whose aim is to produce meaningful research that has a substantial global impact for the management of infectious diseases.

What infectious diseases research is being done at UQCCR?

Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, as well as the antimicrobial resistance they harbour, remain a global health risk that threatens the utility of detection, prevention, and treatment strategies. Our research aims to address this health crisis by:

  • Improving antimicrobial dosing in clinically challenging and critically ill patient populations.
  • Gathering new knowledge on the microbiome to better understand infections, to generate novel microbiome-focused therapies.
  • Improving the global detection and surveillance of antimicrobial-resistant infections.
  • Trialling new therapies and methods for preventing and treating antimicrobial-resistant infections.
  • Translation of rapid diagnostic tests and novel treatment strategies from benchtop to bedside to combat infections and antimicrobial resistance.  

Research groups

Antibiotic Resistance Research – MERINO Clinical Research Network (Paterson Group)

Ear, Nose and Throat Research (Cervin Group)

Microbial Diagnostics and Characterisation (Whiley Group)

Antimicrobial Optimisation (Lipman and Roberts Group)

Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) -  Reduce the burden of antimicrobial reSistance through oPtimal, persONalised Dosing (RESPOND)

Queensland Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group

Operational Research and Decision Support for Prevention, Control and Elimination of Infectious Diseases (ODeSI)(Lau Group)

Fast facts

  • The estimated annual impact of AMR on the Australian economy by 2050 will be between A$142 billion and A$283 billion.1
  • In a recent publication demonstrating a comprehensive evaluation of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), it was estimated that 4.95 million deaths globally in 2019 were associated with antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.2
  • It is projected that 10,430 people in Australia will die between 2015 and 2050 as a result of AMR.3
  • Globally, AMR is on track to claim 10 million lives per year and put at risk a cumulative US$100 trillion of economic output if no action is taken by 2050.4
  • Unless we act now, common diseases will become untreatable and modern life-saving procedures riskier to perform.5

1The Guardian Australia (2020):

Superbugs to trigger our next global financial crisis, OUTBREAK consortium (2020).

2Murray, Christopher JL, et al. "Global burden of bacterial antimicrobial resistance in 2019: a systematic analysis." The Lancet 399.10325 (2022): 629-655.

3Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. Sydney: ACSQHC; 2012.

4Tackling drug-resistant infections globally. The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance Chaired by Jim O’Neill. (22016). 

5Antimicrobial Resistance Division. “WHO Strategic Priorities on Antimicrobial Resistance World Health Organisation, Preserving antimicrobials for today and tomorrow”. World Health Organisation.