Madeeha Afzal

Madeeha Afzal

Postgraduate Research Student
School of Optometry and Vision Science

Research Title: Determining the pathogenic traits of Staphylococcus aureus associated with keratitis
Supervisors: Mark Willcox, Fiona Stapleton, Ajay Vijay
Email Address:


Research Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus is commonly isolated from ocular infections and non-infectious inflammatory conditions such as keratitis and conjunctivitis. Microbial keratitis, a severe infectious condition can lead to blindness if left untreated. Different virulence factors of Staphylococcus aureus may be involved in the pathogenesis of keratitis and conjunctivitis. Virulence factors of Staphylococcus aureus in keratitis include adherence, evasion of the immune system and invasion of epithelial cells, the virulent factors involved in non-infectious corneal infiltrative events and conjunctivitis are not well described. My study will Investigate which virulent factors are associated with microbial keratitis, conjunctivitis and non-infectious conditions by examining the possession of genes in clinical isolates, as well as the possession of genes involved in resistance to commonly used antibiotics in these conditions. To compare the possession of resistance and virulence factors of isolates from different geographic locations.


M.Phil. in Microbiology


I did M. microbiology in 2013 from Hazara university Pakistan. After that I started my job as a research officer at K& N’s diagnostic and research institute which is Pakistan’s best poultry company where I explored the world of microorganisms. Later, I got promoted to Assistant Manager in same organization. Meanwhile I got TFS from UNSW and I got a chance to work with Professor Mark willcox and Professor Fiona Stapleton on pathogenic traits of Staphylococcus aureus associated with keratitis. In this study I am planning to work on the genomics of Staphylococcus aureus My aim is to explore some novel and interesting facts about the virulence and resistance in S. aureus keratitis.


Tuition fee Scholarship, 2019, UNSW Sydney, Australia

PEEF Living scholarship award from government of Pakistan


Triple I for Microbiology, Sydney, 2019