Message from the Director

Diseases that can be transferred from animals to humans are known as zoonoses with over 75% of emerging diseases being zoonotic and more than 50% originating from Africa. The impact of zoonotic diseases are significant and already exceed $120 billion.  It is foreseen that this will increase in the future as the human population increases, resulting in further encroachment into previously unoccupied areas. To study these diseases require a multidisciplinary “One Health” approach investigating animal or insect vectors, reservoirs including wildlife, domestic and livestock and also including ecology and the environment. 

In 2016 the University of Pretoria established the Centre for Viral Zoonoses (UP CVZ) as an interfaculty multidisciplinary initiative with the objective to continue and expand the strengths bought together under the Institutional Research Theme, Animal and Zoonotic Diseases. It is a Centre of excellence in viral zoonotic diseases of public health concern in Africa and contributes significantly to the University’s national and international profile in zoonotic disease research. The individual research groups have established formidable research programs linked to highly prestigious and competitive funding awards. A world-class biosafety infrastructure, including Biosafety level 3 laboratories, provide a competitive advantage to study these diseases. Zoonotic diseases are also a major driver in global health security and international health regulations and the research activities are in line with the priorities of the National Department of Health and Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as well as programs of international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Animal Health (OIE).  

The Centre specifically generate new knowledge through surveillance, build diagnostic capacity and identify intervention strategies for effective disease control. There is also a strong focus on human resource development, building the next generation of multidisciplinary scientists and ultimately contributing to the profile of the University of Pretoria to be a leading research-intensive university. The Centre specifically generate new knowledge through surveillance, build diagnostic capacity and identify intervention strategies for effective disease control. There is also a strong focus on human resource development, building the next generation of multidisciplinary scientists and ultimately contributing to the profile of the University of Pretoria to be a leading research-intensive university.

Prof. Wanda Markotter

Director: UP CVZ

Published by Philip van Jaarsveldt

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