The health and wellbeing of plants, animals and humans is to a large extent determined by the microbes with which they co-exist. Our microbiology and molecular biology expertise spans the University, with researchers working across evolutionary, fundamental, natural, mathematical and veterinary sciences.
Our microbiological research focusses on the clinical aspects of antimicrobial resistance. Key pathogens we investigate include Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Mycoplasma genitalium, Chlamydia trichomatis, and human papilloma virus.
Massey University staff are working on world-leading collaborative research covering a range of areas related to infectious diseases and their transfer between the environment, animals and humans.
We have a broad range of specialists in animal, human and environmental health who are researching trends and solutions to emerging national and international public health issues caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites or viruses.
Our expertise is in biofilm development and control with a focus on the dairy industry. Fundamental studies include an understanding the role of ions in biofilm development, the genomic comparison of thermophilic bacteria and their relationship to biofilm structure and spore formation and the formation and control of highly heat-resistant spores.
We have a large number of people working in this area. We are using cutting-edge techniques to investigate microbial interactions, how to minimize their detrimental effects and to better exploit their beneficial effects.
Areas of speciality include gaining a better understanding of antibiotic resistance, bacteriophage technologies for vaccine development, medical diagnostics, and display technologies.
We use molecular, fluorescent, and flow cytometry techniques to explore cell biology, including cell shape, protein behaviour, and DNA segregation.
Molecular plant-microbe interactions
We have expertise in research and applications to both pathogens and mutualistic/beneficial endophytes. We use genomics-based technologies in our work to determine how these microorganisms cause plant diseases and trigger plant defences and pathogenic and mutualistic microbe-host interactions in plants and animals.
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Antimicrobial resistant bacteria in dairy cattle
The development and transmission of bacterial antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a complex and multifaceted process. One of the main drivers identified for the development and spread of AMR is the use of antimicrobials in human and veterinary medicine as well as for agricultural use.
A project led by Distinguished Professor Nigel French and Dr Sarah Burgess investigated this issue and developed recommendations on how to manage antimicrobial use in order to prevent bacteria in the gut of dairy cattle developing AMR.
Bacteriophages – the most numerous entity on the planet
Phages target specific bacterial strains in nature and as a primary parasite of bacteria they are responsible both for bacterial mortality and for transferring genes between bacterial strains. A team led by Heather Hendrickson are investigating, characterising and sequencing these entities in order to learn more about the role they play in the microbial world and their diversity. The group currently study Pseudomonas phages, Lactococcus phages, Paenibacillus phages and Mycobacterium phages.
Investigating Hazards Associated with Zoonotic pathogens in Emerging Livestock meat pathways
This research seeks to understand how the zoonotic enteric pathogens Salmonella and Campylobacter flow through the meat chain in Northern Tanzania. It examines the experiences and expectations of food safety and zoonoses in Tanzania’s butcheries and eateries.
Molecular interactions between bacteria and eukaryotic hosts
The health and wellbeing of plants, animals and humans is to a large extent determined by the microbes with which they co-exist. Some bacteria are pathogens causing diseases, but many others enhance growth and confer disease resistance.This project is using modern tools in molecular biology to elucidate the mechanisms of bacterial colonisation on the surfaces of plants and human tissues.
Manawatū Microscopy and Imaging Centre
The MMIC facility is available for use by organisations such as researchers, Crown Research Institutes, other teaching institutions, hospitals and commercial clients. We offer transmitted light and fluorescence microscopy, electron microscopy and image analysis and have a professional team of specialists to help you with your microscopy needs.
Specialists at Massey University's Nutrition Laboratory provide consultancy for your food business, including nutritional testing of food products including for shelf life, food safety and product formulation.
Centre for Metabolic Health Research
The Centre for Metabolic Health Research facilitates interdisciplinary research in metabolic health, with key aspects being the prevention of metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and the maintenance of mobility and functionality throughout the lifecycle.
The EpiCentre is the largest veterinary epidemiology training and research centre in Australasia. It is widely considered to be one of the leading groups in the world. We have expertise in the understanding and control of disease in animal populations, the transmission of disease from animals to humans, and hazards in food of animal origin.
Infectious Disease Research Centre (IDReC)
The Centre engages in applied research concerning multi-host pathogens and fundamental research regarding pathogen evolution and disease emergence. We cover the spectrum of population-based infectious disease research from microbiology, through population genetics, epidemiology, molecular epidemiology, disease ecology, statistics, mathematical modelling, and public health.
Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory
Our research seeks to understand the molecular basis of plant-pathogen interactions so that we can better inform disease resistance breeding programmes in crop and tree species of relevance to New Zealand.
The mEpiLab's works to improve the health of New Zealanders by developing and applying new techniques to inform decision making and guide the prevention and control of infectious disease.