Improving health outcomes for senior Australians living in residential aged care facilities

23 Feb 2018
Improving health outcomes for senior Australians living in residential aged care facilities

Last week, the Honourable Ken Wyatt AM MP, Federal Minister for Aged Care, announced that the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) will fund two major research projects that will seek to protect senior Australians in residential aged care from the threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria - and that Associate Professor Geraint Rogers, SAHMRI’s Director of Microbiome Research and Professor at Flinders University, is one of the recipients of this funding.

‘Superbugs’ – a challenge for health care professionals

The rise of so-called ‘superbug’ infections is a challenge for health care professionals, sometimes leaving them with limited or no available treatment options, which is becoming an increasing problem worldwide.

Reducing the threat and ensuring people in aged care are as safe as possible is a top priority, with a variety of factors contributing to both a high use of antibiotics and a heightened risk of infection, including from drug-resistant bacteria. 

A vital project

Associate Professor Rogers said he is delighted to be leading a project, which will analyse samples from 400 residents of 10 aged care facilities to determine the different modes of transmission of resistant bacteria and inform future strategies to limit the spread of antimicrobial resistance in residential aged care facilities.

“This project allows us to develop effective measures to limit multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) spread in aged-care facilities,” Associate Professor Rogers said.

“I am so pleased that understanding how antimicrobial resistance is transmitted and spread in residential aged care facilities has been identified as a strategic priority for the MRFF,” Associate Professor Rogers said.

“We will utilise data that will be obtained through the Healthy Ageing Research Consortium’s Registry of Older South Australians (ROSA), coordinated under the South Australian Academic Health Science and Translation Centre.

“This project will provide an opportunity to harness two of our core strengths – microbiome research and big data analysis - to ultimately lead to improved health outcomes for Australia’s ageing population.”