My research will help reduce the global problem of antibiotic resistance

PhD student Charlotte Neath is developing alternatives to antibiotics for use in the pig farming. By removing antibiotics from the meat supply chain, she hopes to reduce the global problem of antibiotic resistance.

"Many people think that antibiotic resistance is only a problem in clinical settings such as hospitals. However, it is also an issue in agriculture as antibiotic use in animals such as pigs contributes to resistant organisms in the environment.

"Pigs are often given antibiotic therapy and this can lead to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the animal gut. These bacteria can pass to you if you eat pork which isn’t cooked or handled properly. This may mean that any future antibiotics you are given might not be as effective.

"There is a lot of public awareness about combatting antibiotic resistance in hospitals. However, more research needs to be conducted into combatting antibiotic resistance in other environments and promoting this outside of scientific communities.

"I’ve always had an interest in microbiology and this developed through my Biological Sciences degree. My MSc Microbiology and Immunology sparked my interest in antibiotic resistance and I knew I wanted to conduct my own research and contribute towards the fight against antibiotic resistance. I hope my work will benefit many different parties including farmers, feed suppliers and the consumer.

"What I particularly like about being on the KESS 2 programme is that I am linked with an industrial partner, Feed, Food and Future Ltd. This means I can spend time at their head and gain skills outside of an academic environment."

"Doing my PhD at USW is great. I have really supportive academic supervisors and lab members whose input and guidance has been invaluable since starting here. I spend most of time at the Glyntaff campus; the views from the lab aren’t bad either!

"Being a science research student is full of successes and setbacks. Sometimes things work the way you expect and sometimes they don’t but what I have learnt is that a negative result is still a result. It is a great feeling when you complete an experiment and get some good data, though!

"I am currently nine months into my PhD but I don’t think it’s ever too early to think about what you might like to do afterwards. I would really like to stay in academia and carry on with my research whilst lecturing. I might even have the chance to supervise my own students!"

More information