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Biochemistry and Microbiology

Ostrich Protein Structure Programme

  • Studies on enzymes, hormones and inhibitors of the ostrich (comparative Biochemistry of the ostrich)
  • Effects of proteases on the maturation of ostrich meat
  • Studies on blood coagulation and inflammatory proteins of the ostrich

Antibody Receptor Programme

  • Expression of recombinant human antibody receptor proteins and complement receptor proteins
  • Functions of soluble antibody receptors and complement receptors in immune cells (signal transduction, apoptosis, cytokine expression)
  • Therapeutic analysis of soluble receptors for allergies, autoimmune diseases
     

Medicinal Plant Programme

  • Collaboration with African Traditional Healers
  • Medicinal garden
  • Workshops
  • Newsletters
  • Screening of plant extracts for biological activity
  • Antidiabetic
  • Anticancer
  • Anti-HIV/AIDS
  • Immune stimulation
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Anticoagulant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antimicrobial
  • Determination of biochemical mode of action of plant metabolites
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer

Fungal Plant Pathogens and Mycotoxin Programme

  • Molecular and genetic basis of aflatoxin production in Aspergillus spp
  • Effect of pH signalling on secondary metabolism in fungi
  • Antifungal nature of indigenous plants / plant extracts
  • Genetic modification of plants for increased production of antifungal compounds
  • Expression of recombinant proteins (viral capsids) in fungi

Diabetes Programme

  • Pathogenesis of diabetes as determined with high fat diet (rat model)
  • Role of fatty acids
  • Role of PPARgamma and inflammation

Cyanobacterial Programme

  • Development of structured models for cyanobacterial growth and competition
  • Ecophysiology of toxin production in Microcystis
  • Protective agents in in vivo toxicology studies with microcystin
  • Tumorogenicity of microcystin
  • Investigation into cyanobacterial-toxin induced apoptosis
  • Effects of microcystin on the gastrointestinal tract
  • National trends in cyanobacterial problem events
  • Mixed microbial population dynamics and control analysis
  • Immobilization of cyanobacteria for optimisation of secondary metabolite production
  • Modulation/regulation of microcystin production in Microcystis aeruginosa

Medical Microbiology Programme

  • Prevalance of Mycoplasma hominis, M. genitalium, M. penetrans, U. urealyticum, U. parvum and Chlamydia trachomatis in pregnancy
  • Antibiotic susceptibility patterns and molecular typing of Mycoplasma hominis, M. genitalium, M. penetrans, U. urealyticum, and U. parvum
  • Prevalance of Pneumocystis jiroveci and M. pneumoniae in cases of pneumonia from hospitals in Port Elizabeth
  • Atypical bacterial pathogens in cases of neonatal pneumonia
  • Genetyping (SSCP) of Pneumocystis jiroveci isololated from patients presenting with pneumonia
  • M. tuberculosis: Evaluation of cell flow cytometry for drug susceptiibilty tests
  • M. tuberculosis: Analysis of mutations in the rifampicin resistance-determining region (RRDR) of the rpoB gene