Professor Marinda Oosthuizen

Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases

[email protected]

Tick-borne Protozoal and Rickettsial Diseases


Description: Marinda OosthuizenMarinda Oosthuizen was born in Pretoria and completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Pretoria where she obtained her degrees cum laude. In 1998 she obtained a PhD with a thesis entitled “Taxonomy and phylogeny of aerobic Gram-negative heparinase producing bacteria”.

During 1999 to 2001 she completed a University of Pretoria and NRF funded postdoctoral fellowship at the University of the Witwatersrand on the topic “Proteomic investigation of a dairy-associated Bacillus cereus biofilm”. She joined the Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria in 2002 as a Research officer, was appointed as senior lecturer in 2007, and promoted to Associate Professor in January 2012.

In recent years she has established herself in the field of molecular veterinary parasitology; focusing on molecular diagnostic assay development and the molecular characterization of novel tick-borne blood parasites (Theileria, Babesia, Ehrlichia and Anaplasma species) of domestic and wild animals, including those that threaten endangered and rare wildlife species. Some of the highlights include the identification of novel Babesia and Theileria species from sable, roan and giraffe as well as the development of a Theileria parva-specific real-time PCR assay for the detection of T. parva (causing Corridor disease in South Africa) in buffalo and cattle.

Marinda Oosthuizen has a C2-rating from the NRF and she was the joint-winner of the Faculty of Veterinary Science “Researcher of the Year” award in 2011. She has published 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals and her findings have been presented at various national and international conferences.

There are currently 1 postdoctoral fellow, 2 PhD and 2 MSc students enrolled under her supervision. During the past 6 years she successfully supervised and/or co-supervised 4 PhD, 8 MSc and 3 Honours students. Furthermore, she is a council committee member of the Parasitological Society of Southern Africa (PARSA).


IRT-related research

Wildlife species as reservoir hosts of tick-borne haemoparasitic diseases impacting on livestock production in South Africa: Identification and molecular characterization of these parasites using a metagenomics approach.


Key Publications

1.     Chaisi ME, KP Sibeko, NE Collins, FT Potgieter, MC Oosthuizen. 2011. Identification of Theileria parva and Theileria sp. (buffalo) 18S rRNA gene sequence variants in the African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in southern Africa. Veterinary Parasitology 182(2-4):150-162.

2.     Bosman A-M, Oosthuizen MC, Venter EH & Penzhorn BL. 2010. Identification of a novel Babesia sp. in South African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus, Schreber, 1775) populations. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 48: 2703-2708.

3.     Oosthuizen MC, BA Allsopp, M Troskie, NE Collins, BL Penzhorn. 2009. Identification of novel Babesia and Theileria species in South African giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis, Linnaeus, 1758) and roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus, Desmarest 1804). Veterinary Parasitology 163: 39–46.

4.     Oosthuizen MC, E Zweygarth, NE Collins & BL Penzhorn. 2008. Molecular characterization of a Babesia sp. from sable antelope. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 46: 2247–2251.

5.     Sibeko KP, MC Oosthuizen, NE Collins, D Geysen, NE Rambritch, AA Latif, HT Groeneveld, FT Potgieter and JA Coetzer. 2008. Development and evaluation of a real-time polymerase chain reaction test for the detection of Theileria parva infections in Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer) and cattle. Veterinary Parasitology 155: 37–48.


Published by Grant Christie

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