The Division of Medical Microbiology is part of the Department of Pathology in the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Cape Town

Our vision is to provide appropriate, technology driven diagnostic services, to develop and test strategies for delivering essential microbiology services to underserved areas, to provide relevant and excellent under- and post-graduate training and to engage in bench to bedside research which impact on and effect changes in clinical practice, with the aim to improve outcomes.

The Division of Medical Microbiology engages in a broad range of inter-related and multi-disciplinary activities. We provide state-of-the-art microbiology diagnostic services to the Groote Schuur/ Red Cross Children's Hospital academic centre, conduct cutting-edge research into high burden infectious diseases and have an active undergraduate and postgraduate training programme. In addition, we serve as clinical consultation service for infectious diseases.

The composition of the Division is complex with clinical service providing and research staff drawn from the University of Cape Town, and the National Health Laboratory Service. The microbiology diagnostic laboratories are located at Groote Schuur hospital, while the research laboratories are located in Falmouth Building and in the Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, on the adjacent Health Sciences Campus.

Aside from providing a full range of diagnostic services including a wide range of molecular tests, the Division conducts clinical and diagnostic trials, investigates outbreaks of infection and defines the local epidemiology of relevant infectious agents. Important areas of research include tuberculosis, mechanisms of antimicrobial antibiotic resistance, the molecular epidemiology of community- and nosocomial-acquired pathogens, antibiotic stewardship and understanding our knowledge of the protective, metabolic and immune functions of microbiomes. A major effort is directed into developing and testing novel point-of-care diagnostic tests suitable for low resource settings.