Animal TB
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Division of Molecular Biology & Human Genetics

​​Animal TB Research Group


Prof Sven Parsons worked as a clinical veterinarian in private practice before doing an MSc in veterinary science and a PhD in Molecular Biology. His doctoral and postdoctoral work focused primarily on the diagnostic immunology of animal TB. Additionally, he has an interest in unusual members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex that are isolated from various wildlife species. Sven was one of the founding members of the Animal TB group and continues to collaborate closely with us. 

Orcid: 0000-0002-9033-9686


Dr-Nelita-Du-Plessis-Burger.jpgProf Nelita Du Plessis is a senior scientist at the SUN Immunology Research group. Her PhD focused on the immunological effect of helminth infestations on host responses to TB. She is an expert in flow cytometry and co-supervises Netanya's  PhD project.



Dr-Dave-Cooper.jpgDr Dave Cooper is a wildlife veterinarian working for Ezemvelo KZN-wildlife and based in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve. The Animal TB Group collaborates with Dave on projects involving African buffalo, lion, wild dogs and rhinoceros.



Dr-Lin-Mari-de-Klerk-Lorist.jpgDr Lin Mari de Klerk-Lorist is a State Veterinarian based in the Kruger National Park and is an active collaborator on multiple projects with the Animal TB Group. She has been a key member of our warthog TB diagnostic and epidemiology project as well as other projects on lions, buffalo and rhinoceros.  She also provides guidance on regulatory components of our projects.


Dr-Peter-Buss.jpgDr Peter Buss – Dr Buss is the senior veterinary manager for Veterinary Wildlife Services in the Kruger National Park and his collaboration with the Animal TB Group has facilitated studies on diagnostic test development and epidemiology of BTB in wild dogs, lions, warthogs, buffalo, rhinoceros, and elephants. His research interests include physiology and effects of immobilization in wildlife as well as infectious diseases.  Dr Buss is completing his PhD investigating cardiorespiratory effects of immobilizing drugs in white rhinoceros.  He is actively involved in our field research in KNP and is a co-author on numerous manuscripts and grants.


Prof-Francisco-Olea-Popelka.jpgProf Francisco Olea-Popelka - Dr Olea-Popelka is from Chile and is currently a veterinary epidemiologist at Colorado State University. He provides statistical input into study design and data analyses for projects on animal health and epidemiology of TB and is a co-supervisor Eduard's PhD project.


Dr Mark Moseley's research focusses on understanding transmission of zoonotic pathogens at the human-wildlife-livestock interface and how ecological and environmental change might influence zoonotic disease risk in the developing world. After qualifying as a veterinary surgeon from the University of Pretoria he worked for 10 years in large animal clinical practice in South Africa and Scotland while completing a MPhil in Wildlife Management by correspondence with a research dissertation focussed on controlling the transmission of louping-ill virus between sheep and red grouse. This research led to a successful application to a PhD studentship, funded by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council in the UK, investigating the ecology and epidemiology of leptospirosis in Madagascar. After graduation he continued working on leptospirosis in Madagascar and developed collaborations with researchers working in Tanzania and South Africa leading to a successful application to a Wellcome Trust fellowship and publications ranging from the identification of widespread, novel Leptospira strains in livestock in Madagascar and Tanzania to an investigation of the source of a leptospirosis outbreak in inmates in a correctional services facility in South Africa. His research in Africa continues in collaboration with medical and veterinary clinicians, public health officials and ecologists with the aim of informing public health interventions to reduce zoonotic and livestock disease burdens in the developing world.

We acknowledge the contributions of our research partners:

  • Prof. Anita Michel, veterinary bacteriologist, University of Pretoria, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Department of Tropical Diseases.
  • Dr Darshana Morar-Leather, microbiologist, University of Pretoria, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Department of Tropical Diseases. 
  • Dr Andre Loxton, immunologist, Stellenbosch University, Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics.
  • Dr Anzaan Dippenaar, mycobacteriologist, Stellenbosch University, Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics. 
  • Dr  Louis van Schalkwyk, State Veterinarian, Kruger National Park.
  • Dr Emily Lane Mitchell, veterinary pathologist, National Zoological Gardens of Pretoria. 
  • Dr Chris Foggin, wildlife veterinarian, Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, Zimbabwe.
  • Prof. Anna Jolles, disease ecologist, Oregon State University, School of Veterinary Medicine, USA.
  • Dr Konstantin Lyashchenko, research director, Chembio Diagnostic Systems, Inc., USA.
  • Dr. Stuart Patterson, veterinary epidemiologist, Royal Veterinary College, UK.