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Associate Professor Jo-Ann Passmore PhD (Cape Town)

Mucosal Immunology Laboratory

Jo Ann Passmore

Head, Mucosal Immunology Laboratory, Division of Medical Virology, Department of Pathology & Member of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town.

Jo-Ann Passmore's research has focused on studying genital tract adaptive and innate immune responses associated with protection from or susceptibility to sexually transmitted viral diseases including HPV and HIV. She is specifically interested in studying biomarkers for susceptibility and protection to HIV infection, including secreted inflammatory molecules, genital immune activation and HIV-specific immune responses present in the female genital tract.

Jo-Ann has been principal investigator on grants from the South African HIV/AIDS Research Platform (SHARP), the Wellcome Trust, CHAVI, South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative (SAAVI), the HIV Pathogenesis Programme (Doris Duke Charitable Foundation), Medical Research Council (South Africa) and Poliomyelitis Research Foundation and laboratory PI on a grant from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) to investigate the impact of HIV infection on cervical mucosal responses during chronic and acute HIV infection. She is a member of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) Mucosal Working Group (2009-current) which aims at developing methods to investigate HIV-specific immunity in mucosal tissue including the female genital tract; and is project leader for the CAPRISA Mucosal Immunology Laboratory at the University of KwaZulu Natal (2011-) focusing on development and testing of microbicides to prevent HIV infection.

HIV/HPV Mucosal Immunology; genital tract, innate immunity, cytokine biomarkers, genital tract immune activation


Recent publications:

Klatt N.R., Cheu R., Birse K., Zevin A.S., Perner M., Noël-Romas L., Grobler A., Westmacott G., Xie I.Y., Butler J., Mansoor L., McKinnon L.R., Passmore J.-A.S., Karim Q.A., Karim S.S.A., Burgener A.D. Vaginal bacteria modify HIV tenofovir microbicide efficacy in African women. Science (2017) 356(6341):938-945.

Jaumdally S.Z., Jones H.E., Hoover D.R., Gamieldien H., Kriek J.-M., Langwenya N., Myer L., Passmore J.-A.S., Todd C.S. Comparison of sampling methods to measure HIV RNA viral load in female genital tract secretions. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology (2017) 77(3): e12619.

Liebenberg L.J.P., Masson L., Arnold K.B., McKinnon L.R., Werner L., Proctor E., Archary D., Mansoor L.E., Lauffenburger D.A., Karim Q.A., Karim S.S.A., Passmore J.-A.S. Genital-systemic chemokine gradients and the risk of HIV acquisition in women. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (2017) 74(3):318-325.

Happel A.-U., Jaumdally S.Z., Pidwell T., Cornelius T., Jaspan H.B., Froissart R., Barnabas S.L., Passmore J.-A.S. Probiotics for vaginal health in South Africa: What is on retailers' shelves? BMC Women's Health (2017) 17(1):7.

Selhorst P., Masson L., Ismail S.D., Samsunder N., Garrett N., Mansoor L.E., Karim Q.A., Karim S.S.A., Passmore J.-A.S., Williamson C. Cervicovaginal inflammation facilitates acquisition of less infectious HIV variants. Clinical Infectious Diseases (2017) 64(1):79-82.


Contact details:

Falmouth Bdg Level 3 Entrance 3
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine
Anzio Road, Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT
Observatory 7925
South Africa

Tel:  +27 21 650 7963
Fax: +27 21 406 6681
Email:  Jo-ann.Passmore@uct.ac.za

Alternate sites: https://passmore-lab.org.za/



Group members:

Member Position
Hoyam Gamieldien Chief Scientific Officer
Kathryn Norman Project Administrator
Lindi Masson Junior Lecturer
Rubina Bunjun Postdoctoral fellow
Smirtee Dabee Doctor of Philosophy student
Anna Hapnell Doctor of Philosophy
Iyaloo Konstantinus Doctor of Philosophy  student
Ramadhani Chambuso Doctor of Philosophy  student
Lyle Curry Doctor of Philosophy  student
Sibanda Wanani Doctor of Philosophy  student
Manhanzva Monalisa T Masters  student
Thandi Magwai Masters  student
Kopano Valerie Masete Masters  student



SA/INDIA consortium

Principal investigators are:
Prof Lynn Morris, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa
Dr Jayanta Bhattacharya, National AIDS Research Institute, Pune, India

And co-applicants:
Assoc Prof Jo-Ann Passmore, IDM, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Prof Salim Abdool-Karim, CAPRISA, University of KwaZulu Natal, SA
Dr Sengeziwe Sibeko, CAPRISA, University of KwaZulu Natal, SA
Dr Nivashnee Naicker, CAPRISA, University of KwaZulu Natal, SA
Dr Kalpana Luthra, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India


EDCTP Programme

Dr Heather B Jaspan (IDM, UCT), Prof Clive M Gray (IDM, UCT), Prof Carolyn Williamson (IDM, UCT), Prof Anna-Lise Williamson (IDM, UCT), Associate Prof Nicola J Mulder (IDM, UCT), Associate Prof Linda-Gail Bekker (UCT/DTHF/IDM), Dr Melissa Wallace (Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation),   Prof Glenda E Gray (Perinatal HIV Research Unit, JHB), Prof Lynn Morris (NICD), Prof  David A Lewis (NICD), Dr Doug P K  Wilson (Edendale Hospital, UKZN),  Prof Francesca Chiodi (Karilinska Institute, Sweden),  Prof Robin J Shattock (Imperial College, UK), Prof Tom Hope  Northwestern University (USA)



Prof S S A Karim Director CAPRISA (UZKN), Prof C Williamson (IDM, UCT), Prof Clive M Gray (IDM, UCT) Prof Lynn Morris (NICD) JHB


HVTN Mucosal Group

Julie McElrath Director (FHCRC) (USA), Florian Hladik Research Assistant ProfessorAffiliate Investigator, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) , Dr Lyle McKinnin (University of Nairobi), Dr Marco Schito (NIH) USA,  Prof Rick Novak (University of Illinois, Chicago), Prof Robin J Shattock (Imperial College, UK), Associate Professor Rupert Kaul (University of Toronto)