Department of Tropical and Infectious Diseases
Infectious diseases are caused by pathogenic micro-organisms such as parasites, viruses that account for severe mortality and morbidity in developing countries. Against a constant background of established infections, epidemics of emerging/re-emerging diseases periodically appear and these greatly magnify the global burden of infections.
The department of Tropical and Infectious Diseases focuses on understanding the biology, immunology, ecological aspects of viral and protozoan diseases that afflict developing countries.
As a department, we research on a number of pathogenic micro-organisms such as parasites. These include the malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.), P. knowlesi a fifth human malaria parasite that also infects non-human primates, rodent malaria (P. berghei, P. yoelii), Trypanosomiasis and Leishmania donovani. Studies on viruses include the study of naturally occurring simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), experimental SHIV/HIV infections. For all these diseases we have established primate/rodent models. Studies that explore the role of wild populations of non-human primates (NHPs) in the spread of emerging/re-emerging diseases is a new area of research within the department.
The department’s wide research activities allow scientists to explore various scientific investigations with the aim to discover new treatments, diagnostics and vaccines.