Our Core Research Partners


Diagnostics Research & Training in Zambia

Who we are and what we do

HerpeZ is a not-for-profit medical research organisation in Zambia founded in 2012 by Dr Matthew Bates (PhD) and Dr Kunda Musonda (MBChB, PhD). We are based at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia, and we are interested in a range of infectious disease threats which are important causes of morbidity and mortality, for which current diagnostic and therapeutic strategies are inadequate. Our goal is to generate knowledge that informs on improved diagnostic or treatment strategies, resulting in better outcomes and saving lives.

Martin Mutale, Nyaxewo Mwaanza, John Tembo, Monica Kapasa, Matthew Bates, Lophina Chilukutu

Where we do it

The University Teaching Hospital receives patients from a network of roughly 20 community clinics and from district and regional hospitals across the country. We are based in the Dept. of Paediatrics & Child Health but we also work with the departments of Internal Medicine, Pathology & Microbiology and Obstetrics & Gynaecology. We collaborate with faculty from both the University of Zambia School of Medicine and University of Zambia School of Veterinary Medicine and also from the Zambian Ministry of Health. We share a well equipped research laboratory within the hospital and also work closely with the Bacteriology, Virology and BSL3 TB labs.

Paediatric nursing staff, mothers and their children taking part in our CMV Load study

Landmark outputs

Latest News

Mar 2022: Read our commentary on the topic of 'decolonizing Global Health' here.

Mar 2022: John Tembo & Samuel Munjita attend training in viral metagenomics at the Chan-Zuckerberg Biohub in San Francisco

Feb 2022: HerpeZ personnel attended CANTAM steering committee meeting in Dubai, UAE.

Dec 2021: Field work is ongoing on our Arenavirus surveillance project. Look what PhD student Sam Munjita found hiding in one of our rodent traps!!

Find all videos and materials from the workshop HERE

Apr 2021: Come on all you Easter bunnies!!  

Please join us for a workshop on whole genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 using the CoronaHiT pipeline on MinION sequencers on Tue 6th Apr at 9am British Summer Time.

Microsoft Teams Link - Hit this on 6th April 2021! 

July 2020: Our neonatal sepsis research continues with a new grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to study the molecular epidemiology of multi-drug resistant Klebsiella infections among neonates at the University Teaching Hospital, in collaboration with Boston University, The University of Lincoln and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Jun 2020: Our RAPIDCoV study has been submitted for ethics approval and has all institutional support ready to commence recruitment. the main aim of this study is to evaluate the utility of rapid diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 to provide rapid triage of new hospital admissions with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, so that cases can be isolated, protecting other patients and healthcare workers.  

May 2020: We are busy responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting the Zambian Ministry of Health and Zambia National Public Health Institute through existing projects (PANDORA, EMPIRICAL and CANTAM), and have applied for funding to conduct bespoke research projects aimed at better understanding the best diagnostic approach for COVID-19 in the African context, along with collecting data on clinical management, co-morbidities, epidemiological and surveillance data and pathology. We are also involve in efforts lead by Africa CDC and FIND to establish a pan-African biobank for COVID-19 research.  

Apr 2020: See our recent paper which describes West Nile virus infection in farmed crocodiles: Simulundu et al... Emerg Infect Dis.

July 2019: HerpeZ and UNZA School of Veterinary Medicine collaborators supported by the PANDORA project funded by the EDCTP, have returned after a successful week conducting field surveillance for arenaviruses in Southern Province. 

Arenavirus surveillance team. From left to right, Dr. Simbarashe Chitanga (UNZA School of Health Sciences), Martin Simasiku (District Veterinary Officer), Dr. John Tembo (HerpeZ), Dr. Edgar Simulundu (UNZA School of Veterinary Medicine), Samuel Munjita (UNZA PhD student) and N’gandu (Farm owner).

May 2019: Collaborators at the University of Lincoln in the U.K are recruiting a post-doc to help implement the EMPIRICAL clinical trial. For details just click here. Any queries please contact Dr Matthew Bates, Senior Lecturer in Microbiology at the University of Lincoln, and Director of HerpeZ.

May 2019: PhD opportunity developing molecular diagnostics for sepsis with Matthew Bates at the University of Lincoln. U.K/EU students only unfortunately, but working in collaboration with HerpeZ in Zambia.

Feb 2019: EMPIRICAL Kick-Off Meeting, Lusaka, Zambia, 19th/20th Feb 2019. Many thanks everyone for a very successful launch!