Agriculture award funds key anthrax researcher
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.