Dr Felix Sizwe Dube, BSc (Hons), PhD (University of Cape Town)

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, BSc (Hons), PhD (University of Cape Town)

Anna CoussensLecturer, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Faculty of Science

Felix Dube is a medical microbiologist with broader research interests in the microbial dysbiosis associated with infectious diseases. The current focus is on Streptococcus pneumoniae (the ‘pneumococcus’), a bacterium that is a major bacterial cause of diseases including pneumonia and meningitis worldwide. By applying high-throughput genome sequencing techniques, this work provides further insights into the pneumococcal pathobiome, especially changes in pneumococcal sero-epidemiology, pathogenesis through statistical and computational approaches to unravel genotype-phenotype associations. This work is interfaced with an in-depth characterization of the nasopharyngeal resistome in children colonized by pneumococci.  A recent but rapidly expanding component of our research group is around the evolution of the microbiome at different body sites in African children and the relationship between the microbiome and child health, with a specific focus on respiratory and skin infections and on antimicrobial resistance.

Key areas of expertise:

Microbiome of respiratory and skin infections, genotype-phenotype associations 

Selected publications:

Manenzhe RI, Moodley C, Abdulgader SM, Robberts FJL, Zar HJ, Nicol MP and Dube FS (2019) Nasopharyngeal Carriage of Antimicrobial-Resistant Pneumococci in an Intensively Sampled South African Birth Cohort. Front. Microbiol. 10:610. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.0061

Abdulgader SM, Robberts L, Ramjith J, Nduru PM, Dube F, Gardner-Lubbe S, Zar HJ and Nicol MP (2019) Longitudinal Population Dynamics of Staphylococcus aureus in the Nasopharynx During the First Year of Life. Front. Genet. 10:198. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2019.00198

Aneesa Vanker, Polite M. Nduru, Whitney Barnett, Felix S. Dube,  Peter D. Sly, Robert P. Gie, Mark P. Nicol, Heather J. Zar (2018). Indoor Air Pollution and Tobacco Smoke Exposure: Impact on Nasopharyngeal Bacterial Carriage in Mothers and Infants in an African Birth Cohort Study. ERJ Open Research. PA1857; DOI: 10.1183/1393003.2018.PA1857.

Dube, F. S., Ramjith, J., Gardner-Lubbe, S., Nduru, P., Robberts, F. J. L., Wolter, N., Zar, H, Nicol, M. P. (2018). Longitudinal characterization of nasopharyngeal colonization with Streptococcus pneumoniae in a South African birth cohort post 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine implementation. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 12497. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-30345-5

Gary Maartens, Annemie Stewart, Rulan Griesel, Andre P. Kengne, Felix Dube, Mark Nicol, Molebogeng X. Rangaka, Marc Mendelson. Development of a clinical prediction rule to diagnose Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia in the World Health Organization’s algorithm for seriously ill HIV-infected patients. Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine, [S.l.], v. 19, n. 1, p. 6 pages, july 2018. ISSN 2078-6751. PMCID: PMC6111628.

Felix Dube, Mamadou Kaba, F.J Lourens Robberts, Lemese Ah Tow, Sugnet Lubbe, Heather J. Zar, Mark P. Nicol. Respiratory microbes present in the nasopharynx of children hospitalised with suspected pulmonary tuberculosis in Cape Town, South Africa. BMC ID. 2016 Oct 16:597; DOI: 10.1186/s12879-016-1934-z. PMCID: PMC5075757

Rudzani Muloiwa, Felix S. Dube, Mark P. Nicol, Gregory D. Hussey, Heather J. Zar: Incidence and Diagnosis of Pertussis in South African Children Hospitalized with Lower Respiratory Tract Infection. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2016 Mar 10. PMID 26967813.

F S Dube, S P Van Mens, Lourens Robberts, N Wolter, J Mafofo, P Nicol, H Zar, M P Nicol Comparison of a Multiplex Real-Time PCR and Sequetyping Assay for Pneumococcal Serotyping PLoS One. 2015 Sep 3; 10(9): e0137349. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0137349. PMCID: PMC4559314.

Dube FS, Kaba M, Whittaker E, Zar HJ, Nicol MP. Detection of Streptococcus pneumoniae from Different Types of Nasopharyngeal Swabs in Children. PLoS One.2013 Jun 26;8(6): e68097. Print 2013. PMID: 23840817; PMCID: PMC3694050

Felix Dube and Sugnet Gardner-Lubbe: Visualisation of quadratic discriminant analysis and its application in exploration of microbial interactions. BioData Mining 2015, 8:8 doi:10.1186/s13040-015-0041-9. PMCID: PMC4369096.

Contact details:

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

Molecular and Cell Biology Building, Room 227

University Avenue

University of Cape Town


Cape Town


South Africa

Tel: 021 6503861

Email: sizwe.dube@uct.ac.za

Alternative site: http://www.mcb.uct.ac.za/mcb/people/staff/academic/felix-dube/

Group Members:

Mr Rendani Manenzhe

Ms Regina Abotsi

Ms Gillian Ndhlovu

Ms Andrea Young

Ms Wendy Blose

Mr Lubabalo Ndidi

Mr Prince Mushunje

Ms Rethabile Mokupi

Ms Redifentse Malebo   

Collaborations: (name, affiliation, country)

Prof. Mark Nicol, University of West Australia, Australia

Prof. Stephen Bentley, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, United Kingdom

Prof. Angela Brueggemann, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Prof. Martin Antonio, Medical Research Council Unit in The Gambia at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, The Gambia

Prof. Christopher Dupont, J. Craig Venter Institute, United States

Read more about Dr Felix Dube here.