The MRC Diarrhoeal Pathogens Research Unit (DPRU) 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:
WHO Rotavirus Regional Reference Laboratory core functions
Rotavirus epidemiology and genomics in Africa
Microbiome and metagenomics of the gut
Epidemiology and surveillance studies of diarrhoeal pathogens