Marietjie Venter

Marietjie Venter
University of Pretoria | UP · Deparment of Medical Virology

PhD(Medical Virology)

About

459
Publications
33,269
Reads
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8,895
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2016 - present
Univerisity of Pretoria
Position
  • Head: Zoonotic arbo and Respiratory virus program, Centre for Viral Zoonoses
Description
  • Full Professor in Medical Virology, Heading the zoonotic arbo and Respiratory virus research program.
February 2014 - June 2016
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Position
  • Managing Director
August 2009 - February 2014
National Institute for Communicable Diseases
Position
  • Managing Director
Description
  • Director National Influenza Centre
Education
April 2003 - December 2003
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Field of study
  • DNA Microarrays, West Nile Virus
August 2000 - March 2003
University of the Witwatersrand
Field of study
  • Medical Virology
January 1997 - December 1997
University of Pretoria
Field of study
  • Genetics

Publications

Publications (459)
Article
Full-text available
Background South Africa reported a notable increase in COVID-19 cases from mid-November, 2021, onwards, starting in Tshwane District, which coincided with the rapid community spread of the SARS-CoV-2 omicron (B.1.1.529) variant. This increased infection rate coincided with a rapid increase in paediatric COVID-19-associated admissions to hospital (h...
Article
Full-text available
Background The Old world Alphavirus , Middelburg virus (MIDV), is not well known and although a few cases associated with animal illness have previously been described from Southern Africa, there has been no investigation into the association of the virus with human illness. The current study aimed to investigate possible association of MIDV infect...
Preprint
Full-text available
The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has multiple Spike (S) protein mutations that contribute to escape from the neutralizing antibody responses, and reducing vaccine protection from infection. The extent to which other components of the adaptive response such as T cells may still target Omicron and contribute to protection from severe outcomes is unknow...
Preprint
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The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic in southern Africa has been characterised by three distinct waves. The first was associated with a mix of SARS-CoV-2 lineages, whilst the second and third waves were driven by the Beta and Delta variants respectively. In November 2021, genomic surveillance teams in South Afri...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background South Africa reported a notable increase in COVID-19 cases from mid-November 2021 onwards, starting in Tshwane District, linked to rapid community spread of the Omicron variant. This coincided with a rapid rise in paediatric COVID-19-associated hospitalisations. Methods We synthesized data from five sources to describe the impact of Omic...
Article
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Background In sub-Saharan Africa, acute respiratory infections (ARI), acute gastrointestinal infections (GI) and acute febrile disease of unknown cause (AFDUC) have a large disease burden, especially among children, while respective aetiologies often remain unresolved. The need for robust infectious disease surveillance to detect emerging pathogens...
Article
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Shuni virus is associated with neurologic and febrile illness in animals and humans. To determine potential vectors, we collected mosquitoes in South Africa and detected the virus in species of the genera Mansonia, Culex, Aedes, and Anopheles. These mosquitoes may be associated with Shuni virus outbreaks in Africa and emergence in other regions.
Article
This communication summarizes the presentations given at the 1st international conference of the World Society for Virology (WSV) held virtually during 16–18 June 2021, under the theme of tackling global viral epidemics. The purpose of this biennial meeting is to foster international collaborations and address important viral epidemics in different...
Article
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Mosquitoes in the Aedes and Culex genera are considered the main vectors of pathogenic flaviviruses worldwide. Entomological surveillance using universal flavivirus sets of primers in mosquitoes can detect not only pathogenic viruses but also insect-specific ones. It is hypothesized that insect-specific flaviviruses, which naturally infect these mo...
Article
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Culicoides-borne viruses such as bluetongue, African horse sickness, and Schmallenberg virus cause major economic burdens due to animal outbreaks in Africa and their emergence in Europe and Asia. However, little is known about the role of Culicoides as vectors for zoonotic arboviruses. In this study, we identify both veterinary and zoonotic arbovir...
Preprint
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The Beta variant of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in South Africa in late 2020 and rapidly became the dominant variant, causing over 95% of infections in the country during and after the second epidemic wave. Here we show rapid replacement of the Beta variant by the Delta variant, a highly transmissible va...
Article
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In the light of the urgency raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, global investment in wildlife virology is likely to increase, and new surveillance programmes will identify hundreds of novel viruses that might someday pose a threat to humans. To support the extensive task of laboratory characterization, scientists may increasingly rely on data-driven r...
Article
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Background Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of pediatric death, with >99% of mortality occurring in low- and lower middle-income countries. At least half of RSV-related deaths are estimated to occur in the community, but clinical characteristics of this group of children remain poorly characterized. Methods The RSV Global Onlin...
Article
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Background We aimed to describe the prevalence of human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) and evaluate associations between HRSV subgroups and/or genotypes and epidemiologic characteristics and clinical outcomes in patients hospitalized with severe respiratory illness (SRI). Methods Between January 2012 and December 2015, we enrolled patients of...
Article
Background: Severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) is an important cause of mortality in young children, especially in children living with HIV infection. Disparities in SARI death in children aged <5 years exist in urban and rural areas. Objective: To compare the factors associated with in-hospital death among children aged <5 years hospitaliz...
Article
Full-text available
Background There is a paucity of recent data and knowledge on mosquito diversity and potential vectors of arboviruses in South Africa, with most of the available data dating back to the 1950s–1970s. Aedes and Culex species are the major vectors of some of the principal arboviruses which have emerged and re-emerged in the past few decades. Methods...
Article
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The Orthobunyavirus genus, family Peribunyaviridae, contains several important emerging and re-emerging arboviruses of veterinary and medical importance. These viruses may cause mild febrile illness, to severe encephalitis, fetal deformity, abortion, hemorrhagic fever and death in humans and/or animals. Shuni virus (SHUV) is a zoonotic arbovirus th...
Preprint
Full-text available
In light of the urgency raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, global investment in wildlife virology is likely to increase, and new surveillance programs will identify hundreds of novel viruses that might someday pose a threat to humans. Our capacity to identify which viruses are capable of zoonotic emergence depends on the existence of a technology—a m...
Article
Biting midges in the genus Culicoides (Diptera; Ceratopogonidae) are vectors of pathogens that can cause diseases of major economic importance in humans and animals. Identifying host ranges of these biting midges might aid in understanding the complex epidemiology of such diseases, often involving reservoirs hosts and multiple species. In this stud...
Article
Full-text available
Equine encephalosis virus (EEV) is a neglected virus endemic to South Africa and is considered to generally result in mild disease in equines. Specimens were analyzed from live horses that presented with undefined neurological, febrile, or respiratory signs, or sudden and unexpected death. Between 2010 and 2017, 111 of 1523 (7.3%) horse samples tes...
Article
We describe Shuni virus (SHUV) detection in human neurologic disease cases in South Africa. SHUV RNA was identified in 5% of cerebrospinal fluid specimens collected during the arbovirus season from public sector hospitals. This finding suggests that SHUV may be a previously unrecognized cause of human neurologic infections in Africa.
Article
Full-text available
Although West Nile virus (WNV) is endemic to South Africa (RSA), it has only become recognized as a significant cause of neurological disease in humans and horses locally in the past 2 decades, as it emerged globally. This article describes the epidemiological and clinical presentation of WNV in horses across RSA during 2016–2017. In total, 54 WNV-...
Article
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Humans alter the environment at unprecedented rates through habitat destruction, nutrient pollution and the application of agrochemicals. This has recently been proposed to act as a potentially significant driver of pathogen-carrying mosquito species (disease vectors) that pose a health risk to humans and livestock. Here, we use a unique set of loc...
Article
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We screened nonequine animals with unexplained neurologic signs or death in South Africa during 2010-2018 for Shuni virus (SHUV). SHUV was detected in 3.3% of wildlife, 1.1% of domestic, and 2.0% of avian species. Seropositivity was also demonstrated in wildlife. These results suggest a range of possible SHUV hosts in Africa.
Article
Full-text available
Background External quality assessments (EQAs) for the molecular detection of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are necessary to ensure the provision of reliable and accurate results. One of the objectives of the pilot of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global RSV Surveillance, 2016‐2017, was to evaluate and standardize RSV molecular tests used...
Article
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Alphaviruses from Africa, such as Middelburg virus (MIDV), and Sindbis virus (SINV), were detected in horses with neurologic disease in South Africa, but their host ranges remain unknown. We investigated the contribution of alphaviruses to neurologic infections and death in wildlife and domestic animals in this country. During 2010-2018, a total of...
Article
Full-text available
Most data on species associations and vector potential of mosquitoes in relation to arboviral infections in South Africa date back from the 1940s to late 1990s. Contextual information crucial for disease risk management and control, such as the sampling effort, diversity, abundance, and distribution of mosquitoes in large parts of South Africa stil...
Article
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Background Maternal influenza immunisation can reduce morbidity and mortality associated with influenza infection in pregnant women and young infants. We aimed to determine the vaccine efficacy of maternal influenza immunisation against maternal and infant PCR-confirmed influenza, duration of protection, and the effect of gestational age at vaccina...
Article
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Countries globally are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly two million cases and 120 000 deaths occurring within 4 months of the discovery of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 in December 2019 in China. Accurate diagnoses of cases is key in managing the pandemic by identification, isolation and treatment of patients and...
Article
Full-text available
The genus Orthobunyavirus (family Peribunyaviridae, order Bunyavirales) comprises over 170 named mosquito-and midge-borne viruses, several of which cause severe disease in animals or humans. Their three-segmented genomes enable reassortment with related viruses, which may result in novel viruses with altered host or tissue tropism and virulence. On...
Article
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West Nile virus (WNV) lineage 2 is associated with neurologic disease in horses and humans in South Africa. Surveillance in wildlife and nonequine domestic species during 2010-2018 identified WNV in 11 (1.8%) of 608 animals with severe neurologic and fatal infections, highlighting susceptible hosts and risk for WNV epizootics in Africa.
Article
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Bagaza virus (BAGV) has not been reported in birds in South Africa since 1978. We used phylogenetic analysis and electron microscopy to identify BAGV as the likely etiology in neurologic disease and death in Himalayan monal pheasants in Pretoria, South Africa. Our results suggest circulation of BAGV in South Africa.
Article
From 2011 through 2016, we conducted surveillance for severe respiratory illness in infants. Human immunodeficiency virus exposure significantly increased the risk of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-associated hospitalization in infants aged <5 months. More than 60% of RSV-associated hospitalizations occurred in the first 4 months of life and may...
Article
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Background: Assessing adult mosquito populations is an important component of disease surveillance programs and ecosystem health assessments. Inference from adult trapping datasets involves comparing populations across space and time, but comparisons based on different trapping methods may be biased if traps have different efficiencies or sample d...
Article
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Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-associated acute lower respiratory infection is a common cause for hospitalization and hospital deaths in young children globally. There is urgent need to generate evidence to inform immunization policies when RSV vaccines become available. The WHO piloted a RSV surveillance strategy that leverages the...
Article
Full-text available
Human Parainfluenza viruses (HPIV) type 1 and 3 are important causes of respiratory tract infections in young children globally. HPIV infections do not confer complete protective immunity so reinfections occur throughout life. Since no effective vaccine is available for the two virus subtypes, comprehensive understanding of HPIV-1 and HPIV-3 geneti...
Article
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Background Yellow fever, Dengue, West Nile and Zika viruses are re-emerging mosquito-borne Flaviviruses of public health concern. However, the extent of human exposure to these viruses and associated disease burden in Kenya and Africa at large remains unknown. We assessed the seroprevalence of Yellow fever and other Flaviviruses in human population...
Preprint
Background: Assessing adult mosquito populations is an important component of disease surveillance programs and ecosystem health assessments. Inference from adult trapping datasets involves comparing populations across space and time, but comparisons based on different trapping methods may be biased if traps have different efficiencies or sample di...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The association of rhinovirus (RV) detection to illness is poorly understood. Methods: We enrolled case patients hospitalized with severe respiratory illness (SRI) at 2 hospitals and outpatients with influenza-like illness (ILI) and asymptomatic individuals (controls) from 2 affiliated clinics during 2013-2015. We compared the RV pre...
Article
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Background: We estimated the household secondary infection risk (SIR) and serial interval (SI) for influenza transmission from HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected index cases. Methods: Index cases were the first symptomatic person in a household with influenza-like illness, testing influenza positive on real-time reverse transcription polymerase cha...
Article
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The corms of Hypoxis argentea are widely used as a traditional remedy for diabetes mellitus in South Africa. In this study, we investigated the effects of non-toxic concentrations (12.5-100 μg mL-1) of the aqueous extract of H. argentea (HAA) corms on glucose uptake, pancreatic beta cell proliferation, and adipocyte differentiation. HAA stimulated...
Article
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Background: Data on the susceptibility of influenza viruses from South Africa to neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) is scarce, and no extensive analysis was done. Objectives: We aimed to determine oseltamivir and zanamivir susceptibility of influenza A and B virus neuraminidases (NAs), 2007-2013, South Africa. Patients/methods: We enrolled partic...
Article
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Background: Prolonged shedding of influenza viruses may be associated with increased transmissibility and resistance mutation acquisition due to therapy. We compared duration and magnitude of influenza shedding between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected and -uninfected individuals. Methods: A prospective cohort study during 3 influenza...
Article
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Aim To investigate the prevalence of human bocavirus (hBoV), human coronaviruses (hCoV), and human polyomaviruses (hPyV) among patients with severe acute respiratory illness (SARI), in South Africa. Methods The study included 680 South African patients randomly selected in age‐defined categories from hospitalised patients enrolled through SARI sur...
Article
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Background The increasing use of malaria diagnostic tests reveals a growing proportion of patients with fever but no malaria. Clinicians and health care workers in low-income countries have few tests to diagnose causes of fever other than malaria although several diseases share common symptoms. We propose here to assess etiologies of fever in Madag...
Article
Full-text available
West Nile virus (WNV) is the aetiological agent of the mosquito-borne zoonotic disease West Nile fever. The virus, first isolated in Uganda in 1937, evolved into two distinct lineages in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) that subsequently spread to most continents where the virus has evolved further as evident through phylogenetic analysis of extant genomes...
Article
Introduction: Yellow fever (YF) and dengue (DEN) viruses are important re-emerging mosquito-borne viruses sharing similar vectors and reservoirs. The last documented YF outbreak in Kenya occurred in 1992-95. However, YF virus is re-emerging in bordering countries including Uganda, Ethiopia and South Sudan with the potential for spread to the neigh...
Article
Background: Few data describe influenza- or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-associated hospitalized illness in children aged <5 years in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods: During 2011-2016, we conducted prospective surveillance for severe respiratory illness (SRI) in children aged <5 years in three South African hospitals. Nasopharyngeal aspirates w...
Article
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Background: Influenza disease burden varies by age and this has important public health implications. We compared the proportional distribution of different influenza virus types within age strata using surveillance data from twenty-nine countries during 1999-2014 (N=358,796 influenza cases). Methods: For each virus, we calculated a Relative Ill...
Article
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Background: A century of studies have described particular aspects of relatively few mosquito species in southern Africa, mostly those species involved with disease transmission, specifically malaria and arboviruses. Patterns of community composition such as mosquito abundance and species diversity are often useful measures for medical entomologis...
Article
Several African arboviruses have emerged over the past decade in new regions where they caused major outbreaks in humans and/or animals including West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus and Zika virus. This raise questions regarding the importance of less known zoonotic arboviruses in local epidemics in Africa and their potential to emerge international...
Article
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https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/23/12/16-2078_article During 2008–2015 in South Africa, we conducted West Nile virus surveillance in 1,407 animals with neurologic disease and identified mostly lineage 2 cases in horses (7.4%, 79/1,069), livestock (1.5%, 2/132), and wildlife (0.5%, 1/206); 35% were fatal. Geographic correlation of horse cases wit...
Article
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Background: The attributable fraction of influenza virus detection to illness (INF-AF) and the duration of symptoms as a surveillance inclusion criterion could potentially have substantial effects on influenza disease burden estimates. Methods: We estimated rates of influenza-associated influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute (SARI-10) or...
Data
Association between clinical signs and West Nile virus positivity in horses and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analysis of West Nile virus nonstructural protein 5 gene from isolates acquired in horses.
Article
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Background: Risk factors for human infection with highly pathogenic (HP) and low-pathogenic (LP) avian influenza (AI) H5N2 and H7N1 were investigated during outbreaks in ostriches in the Western Cape province, South Africa. Methods: Serum surveys were conducted for veterinarians, farmworkers, and laboratory and abattoir workers involved in 2 AI...