The Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit, based in Diepkloof, Soweto - studies pneumococcal and respiratory viruses like pneumonia and meningitis. The Unit pays special attention to ways of preventing infection in new-born babies. This focus responds to the high respiratory infection-related infant mortality rate.
The Wits VIDA is widely recognised as a leading facility for clinical vaccine trials and post-graduate training.
Key focus areas
- Studying pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) to help inform its use in low-to-middle income countries;
- Identifying the links between respiratory viruses and tuberculosis (TB) in community pneumonia outbreaks;
- Preventing Group B Streptococcus (the leading cause of sepsis in new-borns in South Africa);
- Diagnosing early-onset and community-acquired sepsis in infants;
- Vaccinating pregnant women (for Influenza / Flu, Group B Streptococcus, Whooping Cough and Respiratory Syncytial Virus) to protect their babies from early infection;
- Determining the impact of PCV on pneumococcal disease and pneumonia;
- Assessing the role of Flu and S. aureus (bacteria found in the nose, respiratory tract and on the skin) in developing pneumonia;
- Studying the prevention of Group B Streptococcus sepsis in new-borns, Group B Streptococcus colonisation in pregnant women, RSV infections and Whooping Cough infections; and
- Investigating high-risk groups for developing Flu - including those infected with HIV, pregnant women and adults with TB.
For more information, visit the WITS Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit's Website