Virology in Africa Conference Highlights Advances and Collaboration in Disease Management

The Virology Africa 2024 conference, held from April 15-18 at the Protea Hotel in Techno Park, Stellenbosch, brought together a vibrant community of virologists from across Africa and beyond. Key themes of the conference included One Health, the management of emerging viruses, pandemic preparedness, and advances in vaccinology among others.

Participants ranging from postgraduate students to seasoned professionals presented their latest research in plant, human, animal, and bacterial virology through both oral presentations and poster sessions. The conference facilitated a rich exchange of ideas and fostered networking opportunities, enabling attendees to share their insights and collaborate on solutions to critical virological issues affecting the continent. This interactive platform highlighted the importance of a united approach in tackling the challenges and advancements within the field of virology.

As the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CERI), We are proud to have had Director Prof Tulio de Oliveira as a plenary speaker at the conference. He delivered an insightful presentation titled "Using Genomics to Respond to the SARS-CoV-2 Epidemic in South Africa." Prof. de Oliveira highlighted, "Genomic tools have been pivotal in enhancing our understanding and combating COVID-19 within our regional context. These tools set a high standard for future genomic surveillance efforts."

In another significant contribution, Dr. Gaspary Mwayika, a postdoctoral fellow at CERI, presented his research on the introduction of Dengue serotype 1 during the 2019 outbreak in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. His poster, titled "Introduction of Dengue Serotype 1 Virus During the 2019 Outbreak in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania", provided valuable insights into the transmission dynamics and potential control strategies for Dengue fever, a pressing health issue in many tropical regions. Dr. Mwayika stated, "Understanding the transmission dynamics of Dengue is crucial for developing effective control strategies in tropical regions prone to such outbreaks."

The event not only served as a platform for sharing research and knowledge but also strengthened collaborations among scientists dedicated to the study of viruses affecting both humans and animals. As the conference concluded, participants left equipped with new insights and connections, ready to further their work in understanding and combating viral diseases in Africa and beyond.

News date: 2024-05-02


KRISP has been created by the coordinated effort of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the South African Medical Research Countil (SAMRC).

Location: K-RITH Tower Building
Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, UKZN
719 Umbilo Road, Durban, South Africa.
Director: Prof. Tulio de Oliveira