Research Projects


DNA-fingerprint analyses TB


DNA-fingerprint analyses to document the outcome of Directly Observed Treatment Strategies (DOTS) and DOTS-plus treatment.

Surveillance studies that provide data on re-infection versus MDRTB development by fingerprinting analysis of tuberculosis strains are scarce, limiting guidance to policy makers when instigating strategies for DOT and DOT-plus. The aim of the longitudinal microbiology sub-project is to provide information on strain diversity, geographical spread, transmission, reactivation and re-infection rates, which in turn indicate patient adherence to treatment and the effectiveness of existing treatment regimens.

Resistance gene profiles will complete the data of strains from patients that show a negative response after two months of treatment. The project will provide valuable guidelines and information to assist TB management when developing strategies for TB programs.

Researchers: Dr Leen Rigouts (ITM, Antwerp) and Anneke Van der Spoel-Van Dijk (UFS),
Research assistants: Johannes J van der Merwe and Pazo Khumalo.

Antibiotic resistance in Chlamydia trachomatis


The study constitutes surveillance of Chlamydia trachomatis in the community of Welkom and Mangaung. Tissue culture and DNA amplification techniques are employed for the isolation and detection of chlamydial strains. Susceptibility testing is performed on all isolates.

The project will concentrate on the major antibiotics currently employed in South Africa for the management of bacterial sexually transmitted diseases with the obvious exclusion of ß-lactam agents; tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, erythromycin and azithromycin. Resistance genes are characterised to determine class/type and antibiotic-resistant gene detection systems developed to facilitate continued rapid surveillance.

Contact - Mrs Anneke (A) Van Der Spoel Van Dijk





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