Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa

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Loxton A.G.,Stellenbosch University | Black G.F.,Stellenbosch University | Black G.F.,Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation | Stanley K.,Stellenbosch University | Walzl G.,Stellenbosch University
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology | Year: 2012

The mycobacterial heparin-binding hemagglutinin (HBHA) protein induces a potent gamma interferon (IFN-γ) response in latent tuberculosis (TB) infection and is a candidate vaccine and diagnostic antigen. We have assessed HBHA-specific intracellular IFN-γ, interleukin-2 (IL-2), and IL-17 production by CD4 + T cells in TB cases and household contacts (HHCs) as well as the level of secreted IFN-γ in whole-blood culture supernatant. HHCs were further classified as tuberculin skin test (TST) positive or negative, and the group was also divided as HIV positive or negative. Our study revealed that HBHA induces multifunctional IFN-γ-, IL-2-, and IL-17-coexpressing CD4 + T cells in HHCs but not in active TB cases; however, IFN-γ levels in culture supernatant did not differ between participant groups. Further studies are needed to completely understand how HBHA induces immune responses in different disease groups. Copyright © 2012, American Society for Microbiology.


Charman A.,Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation | Walzl G.,Stellenbosch University | Preiser W.,University of Cape Town
Open Infectious Diseases Journal | Year: 2011

The paper reports on an investigation undertaken for the Network for European/ICPC cooperation in the field of AIDS and TB (EUCO-Net) into the state of biomedical research on the HIV/AIDS and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB)/tuberculosis (TB) within 13 selected Sub-Saharan African countries. The case countries were Botswana, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Gambia, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. An important objective of the research was to document the extent of linkages between HIV/AIDS and TB research endeavours within these countries to address co-infection. The study examines five aspects of current research in these fields. First, it considers individual country demographic and epidemiological status. Second, it examines the scope and costs of diagnostic services for these diseases. Third, it considers inter-cultural sensitivities that positively or negatively impact on (or influence) biomedical research in the case countries. Fourth, it identifies the extent of funding for basic science research and details the main institutional funders and recipients of funding. Fifth, it details the scale of medical studies with respect to the two diseases, identifying the scope of research activities within the case countries, the nature of the funding and research partners. The research concludes that African institutions can significantly contribute towards addressing the scientific challenges needed to advance diagnostics, pioneer new drugs and develop vaccines, but only if they receive a significantly higher injection of funding. South African institutions are well positioned (scientifically) to lead research within the African context, having the human capacity to conduct research and benefiting from supportive state institutions. © Charman et al.


Petersen L.M.,Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation | Petersen L.M.,University of Queensland | Charman A.J.E.,Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation | Moll E.J.,University of the Western Cape | And 2 more authors.
Society and Natural Resources | Year: 2014

South Africa's organically emerged cultural business of traditional healing is almost exclusively reliant on wild-harvested resources extracted from wilderness areas or open-access commons. The wild medicine business has been described for much of South Africa, although is little understood in Cape Town, the urban centerpiece of the Cape Floristic Region (CFR). A census of different traditional healer typologies in five typical working-class residential areas (representing ~71,500 residents) was conducted to assess the nature and extent of traditional medicine harvesting and trade. Extrapolating these findings for the city reveals a local industry of more than 15,000 practitioners collectively conducting trade worth US $15.6 million per year. More than 40% of the volume of traditional medicines traded in the city is harvested from the CFR. Future conservation approaches must consider that the business of traditional healing and dispensing wild-harvested medicines is both economically important and culturally entrenched. © 2014 Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


Petersen L.M.,Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation | Petersen L.M.,University of Queensland | Moll E.J.,University of the Western Cape | Hockings M.T.,University of Queensland | Collins R.J.,University of Queensland
Local Environment | Year: 2015

Despite a highly visible presence, policy-maker knowledge of the drivers and participants in the informal economy of wild-harvested medicinal plants in Cape Town remains limited. To illuminate the workings of this local cultural business activity, the researchers adopted value chain analysis (VCA) for dissecting harvesting, trading and consumer demand in the trade. The study included qualitative, open-ended interviews with 58 traditional healers and a quantitative consumer study of 235 township households. Cape Town's traditional healers are numerous and potentially more uniquely culturally diverse than elsewhere, serving various community health needs. Healer groups enhance their healing reputation by utilising wild-sourced medicines – much of which is harvested locally. Their services remain culturally important and utilised by at least 50% of all consumer respondents. The VCA revealed a universal healer and consumer requirement for wild medicine stocks which has considerable implications for policy-making, protected area management and traditional medicine-oriented conservation projects. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.


Petersen L.M.,University of Queensland | Petersen L.M.,Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation | Moll E.J.,University of the Western Cape | Collins R.,University of Queensland | Hockings M.T.,University of Queensland
Ecology and Society | Year: 2012

Wild harvesting has taken place over millennia in Africa. However urbanization and cash economies have effectively altered harvesting from being cultural, traditional, and subsistence activities that are part of a rural norm, to being a subculture of commonly illicit activities located primarily within the urban, cash-based, informal economy. This paper focuses on Cape Town, South Africa where high levels of poverty and extensive population growth have led to a rapidly growing informal industry based on the cultural, subsistence, and entrepreneurial harvesting and consumption of products obtained from the local natural environment. Through a process of literature reviews, database analysis, and key informant interviews, a compendium of harvested species was developed, illustrating the breadth of illicit harvesting of products from nature reserves, public open space, and other commonage within the City. The compendium records 448 locally occurring species (198 animals and 250 plants) that are extracted for medicinal, energy, ornamental, sustenance, nursery, and other uses. The sustainability of harvesting is questionable; nearly 70% of all harvested flora and 100% of all collected fauna are either killed or reproductively harmed through the harvesting processes. Furthermore, for the 183 indigenous flora species currently recorded on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, 28% (51) hold assessments ranging from Declining through to Critically Endangered. With respect to the more poorly assessed fauna (46 spp.), approximately 24% (11) have Declining or Threatened status. © 2012 by the author(s).


Charman A.J.E.,Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation | Petersen L.M.,Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation | Petersen L.M.,University of Queensland | Govender T.,Urban Works Architecture and Urbanism
South African Geographical Journal | Year: 2014

The paper explores the complex role of drinking in Sweet Home Farm (an informal settlement) through an examination of its contextual setting and its spatial characteristics. It examines, through a social-spatial ethnographic method and focus on a series of case studies, how shebeens are positioned in terms of their relationship to urban settlement, their role in providing publicly accessible venues within an over-crowed slum and influence on drinking outcomes. Our analysis of space focuses on the context of the informal settlement as an (un)regulated space which permits emergent spatial expressions and arrangements. Through a detail examination of four case studies, we consider the intimate configuration and organisation (place) of specific venues. From the perspective of place, the analysis examines the use (and non-use) of equipment/objects and internal architecture to define the character of particular typologies of establishments and their positioning vis-a-vis market niches. We reflect on the role and impact of shebeens on life within Sweet Home Farm, both in terms of providing space for socialisation and in supporting diverse cultures of drinking and business forms. © 2014 Society of South African Geographers.

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