Prevalence of extended spectrum beta lactamases (ESBL) in gram negative bacteria isolated from canine and feline infections


My pharmacology laboratory provides information to veterinarians on the best ways to treat their patients to avoid selecting for bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics (otherwise known as the pathogen becoming resistant to the antibacterial or antimicrobial resistance [AMR]). AMR is an emerging problem in people and is a problem in companion animals. I undertake this research to provide information to veterinarians so that antibiotics remain efficacious in animals and not pose an additional threat to people or the environment.       My pharmacological research is recognized globally for its innovation, development of assays to determine the concentrations of medicines in blood and tissues of animals, development of in-vitro models of drug metabolism and studies to optimize the dosages of antibiotics and analgesics and other medicines in animals. My research publications are listed at and I provide regular updates on my research at As a researcher in my laboratory you will develop analytical skills and critical thinking skills that are in demand by pharmacology research laboratories, medical research laboratories and human and veterinary pharmaceutical companies. 


Associate Professor Merran Govendir

Research Location

Sydney School of Veterinary Science

Program Type



Published studies and my own observations indicate that there is some development of antimicrobial resistance happening in pathogenic bacteria collected from dogs and cats. This is bad news as the current antibiotics will become less effective in these species and resistant bacteria excreted by animals into the environment can potentially infect people and other species. This project involves investigating the prevalence of extended spectrum beta lactamases (ESBL) produced from gram negative bacteria isolated from dogs and cats. For those bacteria that produce ESBL, the project also involves investigating which antibiotics they are resistant to, as well as attempting to categorize the mechanisms that confer ESBL resistance.  You will learn different methods of antimicrobial susceptibility testing and how to identify AMR in bacteria.

Additional Information

  This project is available to applicants with a good honours degree in the biological sciences, preferentially with some microbiology experience. To be eligible for a university stipend to support your candidature you will need a first class honours degree or equivalent. You will be expected to be a self-starter, enjoy critical thinking and be proficient in written English to a reasonably high standard as examination of your candidature is by submission of a written thesis.  

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Vet, dog, cat, bacteria, ESBL, E coli

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 2236

Other opportunities with Associate Professor Merran Govendir