PO Box 475, Lavington NSW, 2641 Australia +61 2 6040 0683
Find a supplier

Fighting antimicrobial resistance with each breath

LJ Hooker

In Australia, one in 2,500 babies are born with CF, incredibly that’s one every four days.

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) primarily affects the lungs and digestive system, with sufferers labouring to breathe from a build-up of mucus, resulting in frequent lung infections. A percentage of patients will need a double lung transplant at some stage in their life. There is currently no cure for CF.

Close friends, of ProAgni Co-Founder and CTO Rob Bell, have a daughter Rose, who suffers from this genetic disorder and has witnessed the physical, emotional and financial impact it has on their day to day lives.

When Rose’s parents first learnt about their daughter’s diagnosis they rallied to fundraise for ‘Cystic Fibrosis QLD’, with donations contributing to ongoing research and support for sufferers.  This led to the bi-annual ‘65 Rose’s dinner’, and the 23km ‘C2C Coastal walk’ events. Over $100k has been raised to date by a generous local community.

Rob Bell was MC the very first fundraising event…

“I was absolutely honoured to be asked to take part. The ‘65 Rose’s dinner’ is a great event, with tremendous community and business support. After that first year, I was lucky enough to be asked back to MC the next three fundraisers.”

So, what does CF have to do with ProAgni?

In the event of any lung infection the first response is a course of antibiotics, the severity of the infection can lead to multiple rounds and multiple doses, hospitalisation is a common outcome. Over prescription, and the inclusion of non-essential antibiotics in the food chain has led to bacterial mutation, making some infections now completely resistant to treatment.

The situation has become of such global concern, the World Health Organisation has called for immediate initiatives to remove antibiotics from food production:

“The world is at the brink of a disaster. Unless concerted global efforts are initiated immediately, it is heading for the pre-antibiotic era with unstoppable progress of infectious diseases”1

– Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director-World Health Organisation South East Asia

ProAgni products aim to remove antibiotics from the food chain.

“Part of my story with ProAgni has been how the over use of antibiotics effects not just us, but those within our immediate community. Watching the daughter of close friends fight infections, including MRSA golden staff, with this disorder, has been an eye opener.”

“As individuals, communities, and industry we all have a responsibility in how we use and interact with antibiotics. Decreasing reckless use of antibiotics can only have a positive impact on antimicrobial resistance. As a community, our inability to complete a course of prescribed tablets or pressuring our health professionals for antibiotics at every appointment is making the problem worse, as is over use in the animal industry.  These all contribute to the bigger issue.”

– Rob Bell, ProAgni Co-Founder and CTO

As an innovation leader in livestock supplements and feeds, it’s our responsibility to develop products that combat the rise of over use of antibiotics that lead to antimicrobial resistance and, offer vulnerable people, living with CF, effective treatments when they need them most.

1 Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director-World Health Organisation South East Asia – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK487956/


ALFA SMARTBEEF 2019 – ‘Is chicken the new beef?’

Rob Bell presentation at SmartBeef 2019

The chicken industry has under gone massive change over the past 15 years maintaining their social licence to farm. We have seen the rise of free range egg business to meet consumer demands and a shift in antibiotic use that has moved the market of the clean green broiler from about 3% of the market 10 years ago to nearly 50% toady. 

So what does this have to do with us…

I think the changes that have been seen in the poultry industry give a great insight into the what the red meat sector may experience in the near future. Let’s take the lessons learnt from another intensive meat producing sector and learn from it and take this change as an opportunity not a threat.