The Centre for Emerging Zoonotic and Parasitic Diseases (CEZPD) focuses on diagnosis, surveillance, and research of parasitic diseases, opportunistic infections, agents of diarrhoeal disease in under-five children, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths.

ICTV Virus Taxonomy Profile: Filoviridae

Kuhn JH, Amarasinghe GK, Basler CF, Bavari S, Bukreyev A, Chandran K, Crozier I, Dolnik O, Dye JM, Formenty PBH, Griffiths A, Hewson R, Kobinger GP, Leroy EM, Mühlberger E, Netesov SV, Palacios G, Pályi B, Pawęska JT, Smither SJ, Takada A, Towner JS, Wahl V


Members of the family Filoviridae produce variously shaped, often filamentous, enveloped virions containing linear non-segmented, negative-sense RNA genomes of 15-19 kb. Several filoviruses (e.g., Ebola virus) are pathogenic for humans and are highly virulent. Several filoviruses infect bats (e.g., Marburg virus), whereas the hosts of most other filoviruses are unknown.  Read Publication

Multiplex real-time RT – PCR for detection and distinction of Spondweni and Zika virus

Rademan R, Markotter W, Paweska JT, Jansen van Vuren P


Zika (ZIKV) and Spondweni viruses (SPOV) are closely related mosquito borne flaviviruses in the Spondweni serogroup. The co-circulation and similar disease presentation following ZIKV and SPOV infection necessitates the development of a diagnostic tool for their simultaneous detection and distinction. We developed a one-step multiplex real-time RT-PCR (ZIKSPOV) to detect and distinguish between SPOV and ZIKV by utilizing a single primer set combined with virus specific hydrolysis probes. Read Publication

Safety and tolerability of single low-dose primaquine in a low-intensity transmission area in South Africa: an open-label, randomized controlled trial

Raman J, Allen E, Workman L, Mabuza A, Swanepoel H, Malatje G, Frean J, Wiesner L, Barnes KI


To reduce onward falciparum malaria transmission, the World Health Organization recommends adding single low-dose (SLD) primaquine to artemisinin-based combination treatment in low transmission areas. However, uptake of this recommendation has been relatively slow given concerns about whether individual risks justify potential community benefit. This study was undertaken to generate comprehensive local data on the risk-benefit profile of SLD primaquine deployment in a pre-elimination area in South Africa. Read Publication

South African tick bite fever: An overview

Frean J, Grayson W


Tick bite fever has been a constant feature of the South African medical landscape. While it was recognised many years ago that there was a wide spectrum of clinical severity of infection, only recently has it been established that there are two aetiological agents, with different epidemiologies and clinical presentations. Rickettsia conorii infections resemble the classical Mediterranean spotted fever (fièvre boutonneuse), and patients are sometimes at risk of severe or even fatal complications.  Read Publication

Spotted fever rickettsiosis in South Africa: Evaluation of laboratory diagnostic capacity and inter-laboratory comparison of serological testing

Frean J, Grayson W


Spotted fever rickettsiosis, also known as tick bite fever (TBF), is a common infectious disease in South Africa (SA). Although the diagnosis of TBF is often based on clinical grounds only, laboratory testing is important to confirm the diagnosis and can contribute to case management in the light of a myriad of differential diagnoses, and in complicated cases.  Read Publication


Taxonomy of the order Bunyavirales: Update 2019

Abudurexiti A, Adkins S, Alioto D, Alkhovsky SV, Avšič-Županc T, Ballinger MJ, Bente DA, Beer M, Bergeron É, Blair CD, Briese T, Buchmeier MJ, Burt FJ, Calisher CH, Cháng C, Charrel RN, Choi IR, Clegg JCS, de la Torre JC, de Lamballerie X, Dèng F, Di Serio F, Digiaro M, Drebot MA, Duàn X, Ebihara H, Elbeaino T, Ergünay K, Fulhorst CF, Garrison AR, Gāo GF, Gonzalez JJ, Groschup MH, Günther S, Haenni AL, Hall RA, Hepojoki J, Hewson R, Hú Z, Hughes HR, Jonson MG, Junglen S, Klempa B, Klingström J, Kòu C, Laenen L, Lambert AJ, Langevin SA, Liu D, Lukashevich IS, Luò T, Lǚ C, Maes P, de Souza WM, Marklewitz M, Martelli GP, Matsuno K, Mielke-Ehret N, Minutolo M, Mirazimi A, Moming A, Mühlbach HP, Naidu R, Navarro B, Nunes MRT, Palacios G, Papa A, Pauvolid-Corrêa A, Pawęska JT, Qiáo J, Radoshitzky SR, Resende RO, Romanowski V, Sall AA, Salvato MS, Sasaya T, Shěn S, Shí X, Shirako Y, Simmonds P, Sironi M, Song JW, Spengler JR, Stenglein MD, Sū Z, Sūn S, Táng S, Turina M, Wáng B, Wáng C, Wáng H, Wáng J, Wèi T, Whitfield AE, Zerbini FM, Zhāng J, Zhāng L, Zhāng Y, Zhang YZ, Zhāng Y, Zhou X, Zhū L, Kuhn JH


In February 2019, following the annual taxon ratification vote, the order Bunyavirales was amended by creation of two new families, four new subfamilies, 11 new genera and 77 new species, merging of two species, and deletion of one species. This article presents the updated taxonomy of the order Bunyavirales now accepted by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). Read Publication

Taxonomy of the order Mononegavirales: Update 2019

Amarasinghe GK, Ayllón MA, Bào Y, Basler CF, Bavari S, Blasdell KR, Briese T, Brown PA, Bukreyev A, Balkema-Buschmann A, Buchholz UJ, Chabi-Jesus C, Chandran K, Chiapponi C, Crozier I, de Swart RL, Dietzgen RG, Dolnik O, Drexler JF, Dürrwald R, Dundon WG, Duprex WP, Dye JM, Easton AJ, Fooks AR, Formenty PBH, Fouchier RAM, Freitas-Astúa J, Griffiths A, Hewson R, Horie M, Hyndman TH, Jiāng D, Kitajima EW, Kobinger GP, Kondō H, Kurath G, Kuzmin IV, Lamb RA, Lavazza A, Lee B, Lelli D, Leroy EM, Lǐ J, Maes P, Marzano SL, Moreno A, Mühlberger E, Netesov SV, Nowotny N, Nylund A, Økland AL, Palacios G, Pályi B, Pawęska JT, Payne SL, Prosperi A, Ramos-González PL, Rima BK, Rota P, Rubbenstroth D, Shī M, Simmonds P, Smither SJ, Sozzi E, Spann K, Stenglein MD, Stone DM, Takada A, Tesh RB, Tomonaga K, Tordo N, Towner JS, van den Hoogen B, Vasilakis N, Wahl V, Walker PJ, Wang LF, Whitfield AE, Williams JV, Zerbini FM, Zhāng T, Zhang YZ, Kuhn JH


In February 2019, following the annual taxon ratification vote, the order Mononegavirales was amended by the addition of four new subfamilies and 12 new genera and the creation of 28 novel species. This article presents the updated taxonomy of the order Mononegavirales as now accepted by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). Read Publication

Test for association between dieldrin resistance and 2La inversion polymorphism in Anopheles coluzzii from Lagos, Nigeria

Adeogun AO, Brooke BD, Olayanju DR, Adegbehingbe K, Oyeniyi TA, Olakiigbe, A, Awolola TS


The assortment of paracentric chromosomal inversion 2La is associated with the maintenance of dieldrin resistance in laboratory colonies of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. This association has not been tested in field populations. Read Publication

The contribution of gut bacteria to insecticide resistance and the life histories of the major malaria vector Anopheles arabiensis (Diptera: Culicidae)

Barnard K, Jeanrenaud ACSN, Brooke BD, Oliver SV


The gut microbiota of mosquitoes is a crucial determinant of their fitness. As such, the biology of the gut microbiota of Anopheles arabiensis, a major malaria vector of Southern Africa, was investigated. Two laboratory strains of An. arabiensis were used; SENN, an insecticide susceptible strain, and SENN-DDT, a resistant strain. The strains were supplemented with either non-commensal bacteria or antibiotics via a sucrose source to sterilize the gut. Read Publication

The effects of larval organic fertiliser exposure on the larval development, adult longevity and insecticide tolerance of zoophilic members of the Anopheles gambiae complex (Diptera: Culicidae)

Jeanrenaud ACSN, Brooke BD, Oliver SV


Zoophilic members of the Anopheles gambiae complex are often associated with cattle. As such, it is likely that the immature aquatic stages will be exposed to cattle faeces as a pollutant. This study aimed to examine the effect of cattle manure on members of the An. gambiae complex found in South Africa. In this study, a commercial organic fertiliser originating from cattle manure was used as a proxy for cattle faeces. Read Publication

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