Enteric Diseases

 Mission: To provide specialized diagnostics, relevant data and expertise in diarrhoeal diseases
Working Groups:
Bacteriology Division
The bacteriology division was established in 1997 and is the reference centre in South Africa for human infections involving bacterial enteric pathogens including diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli, Salmonella species, Shigella species and Vibrio cholerae. The division participates in national laboratory-based surveillance for enteric bacterial pathogens. Isolates are voluntarily submitted to the bacterial division from ~200 clinical microbiology laboratories and data is collected on patients presenting throughout South Africa with both invasive and non-invasive disease. In order to make these data representative and reflective of disease burden in each province, all diagnostic laboratories are actively motivated to voluntarily submit limited demographic details and isolates. In exchange, the bacterial division offers serogrouping and serotyping results free of charge, regular feedback (quarterly reports by province sent to every laboratory participating) and aggregated pathogens numbers, published in the NICD Bulletin. In addition, E-tests are used to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of each isolate to antimicrobial agents, according to CLSI guidelines. The division routinely performs genotypic characterization (DNA fingerprinting) on all outbreak/epidemic-prone pathogens including Salmonella Typhi, Shigella dysenteriae type 1, V. cholerae O1 and Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (including the  enterohaemorrhagic E. coli). The division actively assist in outbreak investigations and performs genotyping and strain characterization of any enteric bacterial pathogens involved.
Virology Division
The virology division was established in May 2006 to expand the range of diarrhoeal pathogens under investigation to include viruses associated with gastroenteritis. The division participates in a sentinel surveillance program at five sites around South Africa to monitor rotavirus epidemiology, genotype distribution and the impact of the rotavirus vaccine introduced into the expanded program on immunization (EPI) in August 2009. The division is also involved in investigating methods to improve vaccine safety and efficacy in developing countries. Furthermore, the division monitors the incidence, seasonality and molecular character of additional enteric viruses including, but not limited to, norovirus, sapovirus, adenovirus, astrovirus, bocavirus in children less than five years of age. The division also provides diagnostic support to the outbreak investigation unit. 

For Publications of the Centre for Enteric Diseases click on the link below:
 Centre Leadership team
Dr Karen Keddy (Head: Bacteriology Division)
Dr Nicola Page (Head: Virology Division)

Contact details
Tel: +27 11 386 6269 (Bacteriology Division)
Tel: +27 11 555 0370 (Virology Division)