SMU Diarrhoeal Pathogens Research Unit
The South African Medical Research Council (MRC) Diarrhoeal Pathogens Research Unit (DPRU) / World Health Organisation Regional Rotavirus Reference Laboratory was established at the former MEDUNSA in April 1996, and was the first MRC unit to be founded at a previously disadvantaged institution. The DPRU was founded on the principle that it will address a national and continental disease that was under-researched in Africa. Diarrhoeal diseases remain a leading cause of mortality among infants and young children in Africa. It is estimated that diarrhoeal disease is the primary cause of death in children younger than 5 years, leading to about 160 – 200 deaths per day in South Africa.
Current Priority Research Programmes: