If you’ve had a baby, you’ve probably heard of Group B Streptococcus or GBS – the bacteria can be a significant cause of disease in newborn babies.
GBS, known to veterinarians as Streptococcus agalactiae, lives in our bodies and is commonly found in the normal population of bacteria in our intestines and urogenital tract.
If passed from mother to baby in labour, GBS can cause serious infections in newborns.
And it’s not just babies: in 2015, GBS caused an unprecedented outbreak of foodborne disease in adults in Singapore. The bacteria have also been found in animals, such as cows, pets, giant groupers, stingrays, crocodiles, frogs, and pedicure fish.
Professor Ruth Zadoks, from our Sydney School of Veterinary Science, will explore whether GBS disease in people and animals is connected, and how those connections might be affected by human and animal migration patterns, population growth and climate change.
When: Monday 11 November 2019
Time: 6.30pm - 7.30pm
Location: Footbridge Theatre, Parramatta Road, University of Sydney
Professor Ruth Zadoks is Professor in Production Animal Health in the Sydney School of Veterinary Science, at the University of Sydney. She is a veterinarian working in the areas of One Health and food security, and is interested in promoting the health, welfare and productivity of food-producing animals and the people that look after them or use their products.
Her main research interest is bacterial infectious disease of livestock, fishes and people. She uses DNA-based methods to refine the characterisation of disease-causing organisms. Such ’DNA fingerprinting’ or ‘strain typing’, provides detailed insight into pathogen sources, transmission routes and disease manifestations.
Based on understanding these mechanisms, she provides advice to farmers, veterinarians and policy makers about ways to improve animal and human health and productivity. Her work on GBS spans six continents and even more host species, and includes the development of strategies and tools to reduce the risk of GBS in people and animals.
This memorial lecture commemorates the work of Ian Beveridge, whose pioneering work in the area of 'one medicine' foresaw an entirely new kind of interdisciplinary research.
Emeritus Professor William Ian Beveridge was an alumnus of the University of Sydney, graduating in 1931. He began his research career at McMaster Laboratory, CSIR, shortly afterwards supervised by Professor R H Carne. Remarkably, within a few years he had found the bacterium responsible for footrot of sheep and set the principles for its control and eradication. He was later awarded a DVSc for this research. During World War II he worked on influenza and other diseases at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne. In 1947 he became Professor of Animal Pathology at Cambridge and there and later in the WHO, developed and promoted the concept of 'comparative (one) medicine'. In 1972 Professor Beveridge published a book, Frontiers in Comparative Medicine, outlining his views in this area of 'one medicine'.