The Division has an active research programme, which has three broad focus areas. Firstly, we conduct research around the development, evaluation and implementation of novel diagnostic tests for tuberculosis. Secondly, we host a satellite unit of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, which focuses on the molecular epidemiology of drug-resistant nosocomial pathogens. Thirdly, we have a new interest in understanding the dynamics of the nasopharyngeal microbiome, and its relationship to childhood pneumonia and asthma. By adopting a research strategy that is based on investigating specific aspects of the physiology and metabolism of M. tuberculosis, the Molecular Mycobacteriology Research Unit (MMRU) has positioned itself at the front-end of TB drug discovery research


Principal Investigators


Scientific Advisors


Current Students
Name Degree Topics Supervisors
Mischka Moodley PhD Investigation of novel TB diagnostics as point-of-care tests in low-income settings. Prof Mark Nicol
Reggie Mutetwa PhD Preventing adverse outcomes in smear negative TB suspects in the era of collaborative TB and HIV programmes: the contribution of new TB diagnostics. Prof Mark Nicol
Dr Elizabeth Corbett (LSHTM)
Prof Peter Mason (BRTI, Harare)
Shima Mohammed PhD Investigation of the genetic background of Staphylococcus aureus in the nasopharyngeal microbiome. Prof Mark Nicol
Dr Lourens Robberts
Felix Dube PhD Longitudinal study of Streptococcus pneumoniae carriage in a mother - infant cohort -
The Drakenstein Child Lung Health Study
Prof Mark Nicol
Dr Mamadou Kaba
Jermaine Khumalo MSc The use of molecular diagnostic methods to improve the detection of the common bacterial and viral causes of community acquired meningitis in children in South Africa. Dr Colleen Bamford
Shantelle Claassen MSc Dynamics of faecal bacterial populations in early infancy as determined by massively parallel sequencing. Prof Mark Nicol
Dr Mamadou Kaba
Menna Duyver MSc The association between the bacterial community of indoor house dust and recurrent wheezing in young South African children. Prof Mark Nicol
Dr Lemese Ah Tow Edries
Dr Mamadou Kaba
Rendani Manenzhe MSc Epidemiology of extended spectrum beta-lactamase and carbapenemase-producing bacteria in stool from apparently healthy children, South Africa. Prof Mark Nicol
Dr Mamadou Kaba
Sindile Venessa Ntuli MMed Validation of a pan-fungal PCR assay for the detection and identification of fungi from tissue samples. Dr Clinton Moodley
Co-supervisor: Dr Colleen Bamford