The Centre for Emerging Zoonotic and Parasitic Diseases (CEZPD) was established by the amalgamation of five divisions: the Special Bacterial Pathogens Reference Laboratory (SBPRL), Special Viral Pathogens Division [including the Special Viral Pathogens Laboratory (SVPL) and Arbovirus Reference Laboratory (ARL)], Electron Microscopy (EM), the Parasitology Reference Laboratory (PRL) and the Vector Control Reference Laboratory (VCRL). A sixth division, ARMMOR (Laboratory for Antimalarial Resistance Monitoring and Malaria Operational Research), was established in 2018.

The CEZPD has a competitive track record in providing comprehensive capacity for the differential diagnosis and research of viral haemorrhagic fevers, arthropod-borne diseases, human rabies, anthrax, plague, leptospirosis and other infectious diseases, in particular those of zoonotic origin and public health importance. The centre also offers specialised parasitological diagnostic tests and is involved in the surveillance of drug-resistant malaria and vector control strategies in South Africa.

In order to accomplish its mandate, the CEZPD operates the only positive pressure suit biosafety level 4 (BSL4) facility on the African continent, which places it both strategically and critically in a position to assist in the response of highly dangerous emerging and re-emerging zoonotic pathogens. In addition, to several biosafety level 2 laboratory suites, the CEZPD operates two biosafety level 3 facilities, a transmission electron microscope, several insectaries and a mass-mosquito rearing facility.

The CEZPD contributes actively in the arena of One Health and Laboratory Biorisk Management in South Africa and regionally. CEZPD staff members also contribute to a myriad of training activities including, post-graduate student supervision and both national and international research fellow training.

Diseases A-Z