Division of Medical Virology
The Division of Medical Virology is involved in diagnostic virology, research and teaching.
The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) virology diagnostic laboratory under Dr Diana Hardie provides a comprehensive service to Groote Schuur Hospital and Red Cross Children's Hospital. In addition it is the referral laboratory for a large proportion of the regional virology testing in the province. It offers a wide repertoire of tests in the fields of viral serology and molecular diagnostics. The laboratory has a special interest in molecular diagnosis of human viral diseases and performs an extensive range of 'in-house' and commercial molecular assays. It is a registered training laboratory with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa.
The Division of Medical Virology has a dynamic research programme. Its members are part of national and international programmes to discover an effective vaccine against HIV, with research focus in immunology, viral diversity and evolution, and vaccine development. They have developed candidate HIV vaccines that have been tested in clinical trials. They have an interest in human papilloma virus research, and are developing novel diagnostic tools for some of the more neglected but still clinically relevant viral diseases that are common in Africa. The division also participates in the WHO human papillomavirus laboratory network (Labnet).
First South African developed HIV vaccines begin testing in SA
A major achievement from Division of Medical Virology, as part of the UCT/SAAVI programme led by Anna-Lise Williamson.
See below extracted from press release on 20th July 2009:
"First South African developed HIV vaccines begin testing in SA
CAPE TOWN: Two South African developed HIV vaccines have begun clinical testing in South Africa (Crossroads, Cape Town and at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Soweto). The trial, called SAAVI 102/HVTN 073, is being conducted jointly with the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) and the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). It will test two vaccines developed by the University of Cape Town (UCT) through joint funding from SAAVI and NIAID."