Dr Muki Shey, Chief Research Officer (Associate Professor Level), PhD (University of Cape Town)

Department of Medicine

Muki SheyChief Research Officer & Wellcome Intermediate Fellow, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences. Contributing Investigator, Wellcome Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Africa (CIDRI-Africa). C2-rated Researcher, National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa.

Key areas of expertise:

Immunology, infectious disease, clinical research

My main interest in investigating the immunology and the intersection with genetics (Immunogenetics) of infectious diseases and the contribution of MAIT cells to resistance to Mtb infection (and TB disease) in highly exposed healthcare workers. Also interested in how HIV and other viral diseases including COVID-19 affect immune responses to M. tb infection. 

Selected publications:

Masina N, Bekiswa A, Shey M. Mucosal-associated invariant T cells in natural immunity and vaccination against infectious diseases in humans. Curr Opin Immunol. 2021 Mar 24;71:1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2021.03.007 

Balfour A, Schutz C, Goliath R, Wilkinson KA, Sayed S, Sossen B, kanyik JP, Ward A, Ndzhukule R, Gela A, Lewinsohn DM, Lewinsohn DA, Meintjes G, Shey M.  Functional and Activation Profiles of Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells in Patients With Tuberculosis and HIV in a High Endemic Setting. Front. Immunol., 22 March 2021 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.648216. 

van Dorp L, Shey MS, Ghedin E, Michor F, Koonin EV, Hampson K. How Does Large-Scale Genomic Analysis Shape Our Understanding of COVID Variants in Real Time? Cell Syst. 2021 Jan 29;12(2):109-11. doi: 10.1016/j.cels.2021.01.004. Online ahead of print.

Shey MS, Schmidt B-M, Wiysonge CS. Antibody tests for diagnosing COVID-19: how relevant are they? Pan African Medical Journal 2020 Sept 8; 37 (1): 4. 

Shey M, Okeibunor JC, Yahaya AA, Herring BL, Tomori O, Coulibaly SC, Gumede-Moeletsi HN, Mwenda JM, Yoti Z, Wiysonge CS, Talisuna AO. Genome sequencing and the diagnosis of novel coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) in Africa: how far are we? Pan African Medical Journal. 2020;36:80

Nnaji CA, Shey MS, Adetokunboh OO, Wiysonge CS. Immunogenicity and safety of fractional dose yellow fever vaccination: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Vaccine. 2020 Feb 5;38(6):1291-1301. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.12.018. Epub 2019 Dec 16. Review.

Schutz C, Barr D, Andrade BB, Shey M, Ward A, Janssen S, Burton R, Wilkinson KA, Sossen B, Fukutani KF, Nicol M, Maartens G, Wilkinson RJ, Meintjes G. Clinical, microbiologic, and immunologic determinants of mortality in hospitalized patients with HIV-associated tuberculosis: A prospective cohort study. PLoS Medicine. 2019 Jul 5;16(7):e1002840. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002840. eCollection 2019 Jul.

Shey MS, Balfour A, Wilkinson KA, Meintjes G. Contribution of APCs to mucosal-associated invariant T cell activation in infectious disease and cancer. Innate Immunity. 2018 Jan 1:1753425918768695. doi: 10.1177/1753425918768695. [Epub ahead of print]

Global Burden of Diseases Tuberculosis Collaborators. The global burden of tuberculosis: results from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. Lancet Infectious Disease. 2018 Mar;18(3):261-284. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(17)30703-X. Epub 2017 Dec 7.

Shey MS, Maharaj N, Archary D, Ngcapu S, Garrett N, Abdool Karim S, Passmore JA. Modulation of Female Genital Tract-Derived Dendritic Cell Migration and Activation in Response to Inflammatory Cytokines and Toll-Like Receptor Agonists. PLoS One. 2016 May 12;11(5):e0155668. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155668. eCollection 2016.

Shey MS, Nemes E, Whatney W, de Kock M, Africa H, Barnard C, van Rooyen M, Stone L, Riou C, Kollmann T, Hawn TR, Scriba TJ, Hanekom WA. Maturation of innate responses to mycobacteria over the first nine months of life. Journal of Immunology. 2014 May 15;192(10):4833-43. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1400062. Epub 2014 Apr 14.

Shey MS, Garrett NJ, McKinnon LR, Passmore JS. The role of dendritic cells in driving genital tract inflammation and HIV transmission risk: are there opportunities to intervene? Innate Immunity. 2013 Nov 26. 21(1):99-112. doi: 10.1177/1753425913513815.

Shey M, Kongnyuy EJ, Alobwede SM, Wiysonge CS. Co-formulated abacavir-lamivudine-zidovudine for treating HIV infection and AIDS (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013; (3): CD005481. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD005481.pub3. 

Randhawa AK, Shey MS, Keyser A, Peixoto B, Wells RD, de Kock M, Lerumo L, Hughes J, Hussey G, Hawkridge A, Kaplan G, Hanekom WA, Hawn TR. Association of human TLR1 & TLR6 deficiency with altered immune responses to BCG vaccination in South African infants. PLoS Pathogens 2011; 7(8): e1002174. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002174. 

Shey MS, Randhawa AK, Bowmaker M, Smith E, Scriba TJ, de Kock M, Mahomed H, Hussey G, Hawn TR, and Hanekom WA. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in toll-like receptor 6 are associated with altered lipopeptide-induced interleukin (IL) 6 secretion. Genes and Immunity 2010; 11(7): 561-72. 

Shey MS, Connell TG*, Seldon R, Rangaka MX, van Cutsem G, Simsova M, Sebo P, Diwakar L, Meintjes GA, Maartens G, Leclerc C, Wilkinson RJ, Wilkinson KA. Enhanced restimulation of M. tuberculosis specific T cells in low responding HIV infected people via genetically detoxified Bordetella pertussis adenylate cyclase antigen toxoids. Clinical Vaccine Immunology. 2007; 14(7):847-54. (* shared first authorship). 

Contact details:

N2.09B, Wernher & Beit North
IDM Building, Health Sciences Faculty
Anzio Road Observatory
University of Cape Town
South Africa

Tel: +27 21 650 1731
Email: muki.shey@uct.ac.za (alternate: sheyson.shey@gmail.com)

Group members:

Avuyonke Balfour (PhD Student)
Samuel Alobwede (PhD Student)
Phelele Bhengu (PhD student)
Nompumelelo Mthimkhulu (PhD Student, based at CSIR in Pretoria)
Sr Rachel Dielle (Research Nurse and Study Coordinator)
Nomawethu Masina (Laboratory Technologist)
Fuzeka Mdulwa (Clinical Research Worker)
Abulele Bekiswa (Laboratory Technologist)


Prof Graeme Meintjes (Mentor, Department of Medicine, UCT)
Prof Ambroise Wonkam (Human Genetics, UCT)
Dr Charlotte Schutz (Department of Medicine, UCT)
Prof Charles Wiysonge (SA Medical Research Council)
Prof David Lewinsohn (Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, USA)
Prof Thomas Hawn (University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, US)
Prof Katalin Wilkinson (The Francis Crick Institute, London, UK)
Dr Kabamba Alexandre (Council for Scientific & Industrial Research, Pretoria, South Africa)