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 biofilm formation and bacterial quorum sensing of clinical and aquaculture pathogens and identifying novel anti-virulence strategies to control them. This has led to increased research on drug discovery from marine and plant-endophyte-associated bacteria, as well as investigating the mechanisms of action of indigenous South African medicinal plants.

  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:   Bacterial quorum sensing
Bacterial biofilms
Bacterial endophytes from medicinal plants and their potential for drug discovery
Inhibition of quorum sensing and biofilm formation for drug discovery using marine microorganisms
Fish pathogens and Aquaculture
Antimicrobial resistance genes and efflux pumps
 Recent Publications:  
Hafizah Y. Chenia, Balakrishna Pillay and Dorsamy Pillay. 2006. Mechanisms of fluoroquinolone resistance in urinary tract pathogens: Analysis of membrane composition, target gene alterations, accumulation of ciprofloxacin, and presence of the qnrA gene. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 58: 1274-1278.

Liezl Jacobs and Hafizah Y. Chenia. 2007. Characterisation of integrons and tetracycline resistance determinants in Aeromonas spp. isolated from South African aquaculture systems. International Journal of Food Microbiology 114: 295-306.

A. Basson, L. A. Flemming, and H.Y. Chenia. 2008. Evaluation of adherence, hydrophobicity, aggregation characteristics and biofilm development of Flavobacterium johnsoniae-like isolates from South African aquaculture systems. Microbial Ecology 55:1-14.

H. Y. Chenia. 2013. Anti-quorum sensing potential of crude Kigelia africana fruit extracts. Sensors 13: 2802-2817.
5. Aijaz Ahmad, Alvaro Viljoen, Hafizah Y Chenia. 2014. Plant volatiles influence bacterial communication. Letters in Applied Microbiology 60: 8 – 19.

Website:     ResearchGate

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