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The focus of the Institutional Research Theme Animal and Zoonotic Diseases (AZD) is largely on zoonoses - diseases that spread from animals to humans, either by direct contact or through intermediaries such as mosquito vectors or other pathogens. These zoonoses may include a variety of diseases such as SARS, avian influenza, Marburg or Ebola fevers.

The diagnosis and study of the pathogens associated with such zoonoses is the key to disease control and depend to a large degree on molecular techniques to detect viral genetic material in a variety of animal body samples.

Pathogenicity and vector transmission studies of these zoonotic pathogens require the ability to grow such pathogens under very safe conditions. This requirement motivated the University of Pretoria to acquire, with the support of the Ministry for Higher Education,  a biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory that can be used for work on such infectious agents. 

Click here to find out more about the BSL-3 Laboratory.

Click here to find out more about the Tissue Culture Laboratory

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