Dr Hafizah Chenia

Dr. Hafizah Y. Chenia (PhD) is a senior lecturer in the Discipline: Microbiology.  The increasing incidence of antibiotic resistant microorganisms and the evolution of “super-bugs” has led to tremendous interest in the genetics and mechanisms of resistance evolved by bacteria in order to counteract the effect of antimicrobial agents.  Many bacteria have evolved innovative means of ensuring their survival, including making a biofilm lifestyle choice, using bacterial communication systems and horizontal transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes.  This has implications on antimicrobial usage in both clinical and veterinary medicine.  The research focus of my group is on understanding identifying antimicrobial resistant bacteria (clinical pathogens and environmental opportunistic pathogens), characterizing their genetically encoded resistance mechanisms, their ability to form biofilms formation and to communicate.  The other focus is on identifying novel anti-virulence strategies to control them.  This has led to increased research on drug discovery from indigenous medicinal plant-associated endophytic bacteria, bacteria associated with marine invertebrates as well as investigating the mechanisms of action of indigenous South African medicinal plant extracts.  The green synthesis of nanoparticles what could be used as an alternative for the treatment of antimicrobial resistant bacteria is also being investigated.  To this end, research is being conducted by Hons, Masters and PhD students in my laboratory.

  Position:   Senior Lecturer 
 Qualifications:   Bsc (Hons), MSc (Microbiology), PhD (Microbiology) 
Discipline:   Microbiology
Campus:   Westville
Telephone:   031 260 7796
 Email:   cheniah@ukzn.ac.za
 Research Areas:   Antimicrobial resistance
Biofilms and biofilm inhibition strategies
Bacterial diseases in Aquaculture
Drug Discovery (Bacterial endophytes
Bacterial symbionts of marine invertebrates)
Green biosynthesis of nanoparticles Quorum sensing inhibition
Quorum quenching 
 Recent Publications:  

H. Y. Chenia and A. Jacobs. 2017. Characterisation of antimicrobial resistance, heavy metal tolerance, and integron content of bacteria isolated from a South African tilapia aquaculture system. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03173

Gbonjubola V. Awolola, Hafizah Chenia, Himansu Baijnath, Neil A. Koorbanally. 2017.  Anti-adhesion potential of non-polar compounds and extracts from Ficus natalensis. Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjp.2017.07.004 

Joel M. Gichumbi, Bernard Omondi, Geraldine Lazarus, Moganavelli Singh, Nazia Shaikh, Hafizah Y. Chenia, and Holger B. Friedrich. 2017. Influence of halogen substitution in the ligand sphere on the antitumor and antibacterial activity of half-sandwich ruthenium(II) complexes [RuX(η6-arene)(C5H4N-2-CH=N-Ar)]+. Journal of Inorganic and General Chemistry 643: 699–711. 

H. Y. Chenia and S. Duma. 2017. Characterisation of virulence, cell surface characteristics and biofilm-forming ability of Aeromonas spp. isolates from fish and seawater. Journal of Fish Diseases 40: 339-350.

Joel M. Gichumbi, Holger B. Friedrich, Bernard Omondi, Moganavelli Singh, Kovashnee Naicker & Hafizah Y. Chenia. 2016. Synthesis, characterization, and cytotoxic and antimicrobial activities of ruthenium(II) arene complexes with N,N-bidentate ligands. Journal of Coordination Chemistry 69: 3531–3544.

Website:     ResearchGate

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