Agri­cul­ture award funds key an­thrax re­searcher

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - News -

RE­CEIV­ING a pres­ti­gious agri­cul­tural award has pro­vided a vet­eri­nary sci­en­tist the op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther her re­search into an­thrax.

Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Pri­mary In­dus­tries’ (DEPI) vet­eri­nary of­fi­cer Kelly Porter has set out on a quest to re­duce the risk of an­thrax out­breaks in Aus­tralia af­ter win­ning the CSIRO Biose­cu­rity Flag­ship Award in the 2014 Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture’s sci­ence and in­no­va­tion awards for young people in agri­cul­ture.

Dr Porter said her re­search and fas­ci­na­tion with an­thrax led her to dis­cover just how much re­mains un­known about the dis­ease, its oc­cur­rence, how it is able to sur­vive in the en­vi­ron­ment and how it in­ter­acts with Aus­tralian live­stock and wildlife.

“It is thought that fac­tors such as cli­matic con­di­tions, heavy rain, soil dy­namic, flood­ing and farm­ing ac­tiv­i­ties can bring an­thrax spores to­wards top soil lay­ers, ex­pos­ing them to graz­ing live­stock,” Dr Porter said.

“Once an an­i­mal is in­fected, the bac­te­ria pro­duce dam­ag­ing tox­ins which harm cells through­out the body, usu­ally re­sult­ing in rapid death.

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