Infectious Diseases

UniSA’s Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Research Group conducts important research aimed at addressing a variety of biological challenges affecting human and animal health. We have a strong interest in the spread and control of antimicrobial resistance as antimicrobial resistance is one of the most pressing problems of the 21st century. The WHO has warned that without new strategies to address antimicrobial resistance, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era where small injuries and minor infections will once again be fatal.

Our research

Rietie Venter leads a multidisciplinary team in the Infectious diseases and Microbiology group. Our research programmes are directed to the reversal of antimicrobial resistance and include the following projects:

Our capabilities

Antimicrobial screening

The antimicrobial screening node of the South Australian high throughput screening facility is located in our lab. This facility consist of:

  • Cytation 5 multimode plate reader combining multimode plate reading (absorbance, fluorescence, luminescence, fluorescence polarisation) with imaging capabilities and CO2-, temperature- and shaking control
  • EpMotion 5070 automated liquid handling system
  • Autoclaves, incubators at various temperatures and all the facilities needed for handling microbial cells and tissue cultures
  • Microscopes including a Olympus fluorescent microscope

Protein biochemistry

We have the expertise and capacity to produce and purify screening targets (e.g. recombinant proteins) in large amounts which can be used for screening campaigns and crystal production for structural analysis. In addition to standard Molecular Biology and Biochemistry equipment the facility also includes:

  • Acta Pure FPLC (fast and efficient protein purification, characterisation of oligomeric protein assemblies)
  • Perkin Elmer LS55 Fluorimenter (measuring drug efflux in real time, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, fluorescence polarisation etc.)
  • Constant Systems Cell Breaker (large-scale lysis of bacterial cells for protein purification)
  • A variety of centrifuges including a Beckman Coulter XPN-100 high speed centrifuge
  • Plate readers and plate shakers with incubation options including an Enspire multi-mode plate reader
  • Equipment for the preparation of liposomes and protein reconstitution (rotary evaporator, Avastin extruder and high speed centrifuges)
  • UV Cross-linker (covalent attachment of drugs to target proteins)

PhD Scholarship: Healthy Futures - Scarce Resources

Applications are now being accepted for a PhD Scholarship. Please see the attached for further details.

Research Students

The Infectious Diseases and Microbiology research group has several research students working on projects as a part of their studies with the University of South Australia.

Students interested in undertaking research with the Infectious Diseases and Microbiology should check the Division of Health Sciences research section for information on how to apply.

Research Services

Research collaboration enquiries

Dr Rietie Venter 
t - +61 8 8302 1515
e – rietie.venter@unisa.edu.au

Contact Details

Media enquiries:
Please visit the Media Centre 

All other enquiries:
Dr Rietie Venter 
t - +61 8 8302 1515
e – rietie.venter@unisa.edu.au