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SMU Diarrhoeal Pathogens Research Unit/ WHO Regional Rotavirus Reference Laboratory

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.


Rota unit: The lady in the photo is loading a gel to allow detection of PCR

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