Protecting the environment Managing the risk from pests Preventing antibiotic resistance Preserving the food chain Using genomic technologies


Developing and using new technologies to fight major pests and infectious diseases

A strategic and collaborative academic and government alliance initiated between the Australian Institute for Microbiology & Infection (formerly the ithree institute), University of Technology Sydney and the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute (EMAI), NSW Department of Primary Industries

The risks associated with biosecurity and food safety are increasing across the globe. Australia has a strong need to maintain its public health and biosecurity record, to manage issues of food safety, and to continue to demonstrate its animal and plant health status for the purposes of national and international trade. AusGEM’s research program aims to help safeguard the country’s primary industries sector and sustain and grow agricultural sector outputs that comprise approximately two per cent of GDP.

AusGEM research focuses on current and emerging pests and infectious and parasitic diseases of animals and plants, as well as the global problem of antimicrobial resistance.

Its scientists’ approach to managing the risks posed by pests and pathogens is based on the latest DNA sequencing technologies, proteomics, and bioinformatics.

The AusGEM alliance plans to use these technologies to:

  • strengthen capacity to identify and respond to biosecurity threats
  • manage food safety
  • increase agricultural productivity
  • reduce antibiotic use
  • develop more innovative ways to mitigate the risk of infectious diseases

Combining the skills, knowledge and facilities of EMAI and AIMI allows AusGEM to better understand pathogen evolution and disease transmission.

One Health – a connected systems-based approach

AusGEM uses a ‘one health’ genomic epidemiological approach that connects the health of people to the health of animals and the environment. Critical to this approach is the generation and use of information on past outbreaks, as well as the discovery of new pathogens. AusGEM research is conducted across three key streams: Land, People and Water.