As one of eight CANSA (Cancer Association of South Africa) homes offering accommodation to cancer patients while on treatment around South Africa, Eikehof in Athlone is a godsend for many. Bienne Huisman visited the facility and spoke to staff and some patients.
In 2015, the World Health Organization recommended a urine test that helps with the detection of tuberculosis (TB) in people living with HIV who are hospitalised or who have compromised immune systems. While uptake of this test in South Africa was initially quite slow, numbers presented at the recent South African TB Conference suggest that the use of the test is now increasing. Tiyese Jeranji reports.
Professor Resia Pretorius and her colleagues at the University of Stellenbosch are at the cutting edge of research into one of the most likely causes of long COVID – inflammatory microclots. Adele Baleta spoke to Pretorius about their work.
Indications are that the virus that causes COVID-19 is going to continue evolving and escaping the protection against infection people already have. Researchers are working on next-generation vaccines tailored to fight off specific versions of the virus, like the Omicron sub-lineages BA.4 and BA.5. But can these new vaccines be tested and produced fast enough to keep up with the rapidly changing virus? Aisha Abdool Karim asked some local experts.
Omicron and its sub-variants have been dominating new surges of SARS-CoV-2 infections around the world and were behind South Africa’s fifth wave. The BA.4 and BA.5 sub-lineages unveiled yet more surprises about the evasive nature of these ever-emerging forms of SARS-CoV-2. They also hold clues for what to expect next and how to prepare. Aisha Abdool Karim reports.
The first long COVID study conducted in South Africa found that 82% of patients still had persistent or new symptoms a month after their discharge from hospital. However, much is still unknown about what exactly causes this and how to alleviate the suffering, which is becoming an increasing health burden across the globe. Elsabé Brits surveyed the latest evidence and asked local experts to place it in context.
Outbreaks of hospital-acquired infections such as Klebsiella have claimed the lives of infants and made headlines on a number of occasions over the last decade. Tiyese Jeranji looks at how the germs involved spread, how common these infections are, and what can be done to prevent outbreaks.
Cryptococcal meningitis is the second biggest killer of people living with HIV after tuberculosis (TB). Now, a global initiative, the Ending Cryptococcal Meningitis Deaths by 2030 Strategic Framework aims to get the gold standard drug to treat cryptococcal meningitis – flucytosine – registered in countries that need it. Amy Green reports.
An experimental COVID-19 vaccine currently in Phase I trials being run by the University of Cape Town has a unique design that might allow it to offer better protection against current and future variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Elri Voigt provides an update on the trial and unpacks the science behind this vaccine candidate.
It has been over a year since the world saw the first confirmed case of COVID-19, yet the science behind the virus’ physical impact on children remains relatively unclear. Kathryn Cleary spoke to two experts in paediatrics and immunology to get an update on what we have learnt so far.
We know antiretroviral therapy can prevent HIV infection, but can natural biological substances do the same? The results of a recent scientific trial have answered this question: Yes, using broadly neutralising antibodies. But what are broadly neutralising antibodies? How do they work? And when will the average person get access to them? Amy Green breaks down the science.
South Africa is set to produce its first vaccine in 25 years, but it won’t be a COVID-19 jab. Plans are however in place to “fill and finish” COVID-19 vaccines in South Africa. Laura Lopez Gonzalez has the details.