Centre for the Study of Antimicrobial Resistance (CAMRA) - An SA MRC Extramural Unit

CAMRA, directed by Professor Dheda and lead managed by Dr Anil Pooran, was established to contribute to tackling the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in South Africa and globally. EMUs are prestigious external research divisions, usually lead by global research leaders, and commissioned by the MRC to conduct research on its behalf. The EMU, the Centre for the Study of Antimicrobial Resistance (CAMRA), is embedded within the CLII and brings together a multi-disciplinary group of national and international experts to address specific questions related to mycobacterial (TB and NTM) and non-TB bacterial multi-drug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) pathogens including Klebsiella pneumoniae, MDR Pseudomonas, MDR Acinetobacter, and carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE). The central theme of CAMRA is Pharmacokinetic (PK) Mismatch (its drivers, its consequences, and how it can be mitigated). PK mismatch refers to sub-lethal and suboptimal drug concentrations at the disease site. We will study the relationship between PK mismatch and resistance amplification, and corrective strategies such as better diagnostic readouts to detect mismatch, and newer approaches to drug delivery including inhaled drug formulations. Another important dimension of the project is to establish a multi-disciplinary platform for the future study of inhaled antibiotics. This will address a gap in current capacity and infrastructure as so such facility exists within South Africa. It is hoped this research will lead to future rational planning and allocation of healthcare resources and provide therapeutic insights on how new and existing drugs can best be used to tackle the global threat of drug resistance.

Key South African members

  1. CAMRA Director - Prof Keertan Dheda (Professor of Respiratory Medicine, University of Cape Town)
  2. CAMRA Study Manager and Scientific Co-ordinator – Dr Anil Pooran (Scientist, University of Cape Town)
  3. Prof. Gary Maartens (Professor of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Cape Town)
  4. Prof. Koleka Mlisana (NHLS & Head of Department of Medical Microbiology, University of KwaZulu Natal)
  5. Prof Bernard Fourie (Research Professor (Extraordinary) of Medical Microbiology, University of Pretoria)
  6. Prof. Robin Warren (Unit Director SAMRC Council Centre for TB Research, Stellenbosch University)
  7. A/ Prof. Olga Perovic (Lead Antimicrobial Resistance Laboratory and Culture Collection, National Institute of Communicable Diseases)
  8. Dr. Nazir Ismail (Head of the Centre for Tuberculosis, National Institute of Communicable Diseases)

Key International members

  1. Prof. Taane Clark (Professor of Genomics and Global Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK)
  2. A/ Prof Francesca Buttini (University of Parma, Parma, Italy)
  3. Prof. Tawanda Gumbo (Director of CIDRET, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, Dallas, Texas, USA)


  1. Prof. Peter Smith (Division of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Cape Town)
  2. Dr Malcom Miller and Prof. Ivan Joubert (ICU at University of Cape Town/Groote Schuur Hospital)
  3. Prof Patrick Olubuyo (Head of Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Walter Sisulu University)
  4. Dr. Carol Maluleka (MBCHB, MMed); Pathologist (Microbiology); Sefako Makgatho University: NHLS/ Lecturer (UL)
  5. 16. Dr. John Black (Livingston Hospital, Walter Sisulu University).

Read More:

Article 1: Centre for the Study of Antimicrobial Resistance
Article 2: Problem of antibiotic resistance under unprecedented scrutiny by new unit