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A/Prof Sean Wasserman, MBChB, MMed (UCT), FCP (SA), Cert ID(Phys)SA

Department of Medicine

Consultant and Associate Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, Department of Medicine, Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town. Contributing Investigator at the Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa (CIDRI-Africa) and Associate Member of the Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town.

Key areas of expertise:

TB Therapeutics 

Sean Wasserman is an infectious diseases specialist based at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. His main research area is new and repurposed drugs for tuberculosis (TB), with a focus on clinical pharmacokinetics and treatment optimisation for pulmonary and meningeal TB. He is a pharmacologist on the ACTG Tuberculosis Transformative Science Group, and principal investigator on several trials of investigational therapeutic approaches for TB and COVID-19. Other interests include HIV-associated pneumocystis pneumonia and antibiotic stewardship.

He was a member of the original cohort of the International Society for Infectious Diseases (ISID) Emerging Leaders Program and currently serves on the ISID Council. He was awarded the TB Union’s Stephen Lawn TB-HIV Research Leadership Prize for 2019 (Lancet. 2020 Mar 21;395(10228):941), as well as the Institut Mérieux and Infectious Diseases Society of Southern Africa Young Investigator Award for research in antibiotic stewardship. 

Selected publications:

Abdelwahab MT, Wasserman S, Brust JCM, Dheda K, Wiesner L, Gandhi NR, Warren RM, Sirgel FA, Meintjes G, Maartens G, Denti P. Linezolid population pharmacokinetics in South African adults with drug-resistant tuberculosis. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2021 Sep 20;:AAC0138121. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01381-21. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 34543098.

Wasserman S, Davis A, Stek C, Chirehwa M, Botha S, Daroowala R, Bremer M, Maxebengula M, Koekemoer S, Goliath R, Jackson A, Crede T, Naude J, Szymanski P, Vallie Y, Moosa MS, Wiesner L, Black J, Meintjes G, Maartens G, Wilkinson RJ. Plasma Pharmacokinetics of High-Dose Oral versus Intravenous Rifampicin in Patients with Tuberculous Meningitis: a Randomized Controlled Trial. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2021 Jul 16;65(8):e0014021. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00140-21. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Brust JCM, Gandhi NR, Wasserman S, Maartens G, Omar SV, Ismail NA, Campbell A, Joseph L, Hahn A, Allana S, Hernandez-Romieu AC, Zhang C, Mlisana K, Viljoen CA, Zalta B, Ebrahim I, Franczek M, Master I, Ramangoaela L, Te Riele J, Meintjes G. Effectiveness and cardiac safety of bedaquiline-based therapy for drug-resistant tuberculosis: a prospective cohort study. Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Apr 21;. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciab335. 

Weir IR, Wasserman S. Treatment effect measures for culture conversion endpoints in phase IIb tuberculosis treatment trials. Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Jul 13;. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciab576. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 34254635.

Abdelwahab MT*, Wasserman S*, Brust JCM, Gandhi NR, Meintjes G, Everitt D, Diacon A, Dawson R, Wiesner L, Svensson EM, Maartens, G, Denti P. Clofazimine pharmacokinetics in patients with TB: dosing implications. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2020; dkaa310, https://doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkaa310.

Wasserman S, Furin J. Clarity with INHindsight: High-Dose Isoniazid for Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis with inhA Mutations. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2020; 201(11):1331-1333.

Wasserman S, Huo S, Ky K, Malig YN, Esmail A, Dheda K, Bacchetti P, Gerona R, Maartens G, Gandhi M, Metcalfe J. Correlation of linezolid hair concentrations with plasma exposure in patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 2020; 64(3):e02145-19.

Wasserman S, Davis A, Wilkinson RJ, Meintjes G. Key considerations with pharmacotherapy for tuberculous meningitis. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy. 2019; 20(15):1791-1795.

Otieno-Odhiambo P, Wasserman S, Hoving JC. The contribution of host cells to pneumocystis immunity: an update. Pathogens. 2019; 8(52).

Wasserman S, Louw G, Ramangoaela L, Barber G, Hayes, Cindy, Vally Omar S, Maartens G, Barry Clifton, Song T, Meintjes G. Linezolid resistance in patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis and treatment failure in South Africa. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2019; 74(8):2377-2384. 

Wasserman S, Denti P, Brust JCM, Abdelwahab M, Hlungulu S, Wiesner L, Norman J, Sirgel FA, Warren RM, Esmail A, Dheda K, Gandhi NR, Meintjes G, Maartens G. Linezolid pharmacokinetics in South African patients with drug resistant tuberculosis and a high prevalence of HIV co-infection. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 2019; 26;63(3):e02164-18.

Zhao Y, Manning K, Stewart A, Fox T, Tiffin N, Khomo N, Leslie J, Boulle A, Mudaly V, Kock Y, Meintjes G, Wasserman S. Clinical outcomes with bedaquiline when substituted for second-line injectable agents in multidrug resistant tuberculosis: a retrospective cohort study. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2019 Apr 24;68(9):1522-1529.

Chiliza N, Du Toit M, Wasserman S. Outcomes of HIV-associated pneumocystis pneumonia at a South African referral hospital. PLoS ONE. 2018; 13(8): e0201733.

Wasserman S, Meintjes G, Maartens G. Linezolid in the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis: the challenge of its narrow therapeutic index. Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy. 2016 Oct;14(10):901-15. 

Wasserman S, Engel ME, Mendelson M. Burden of pneumocystis pneumonia in HIV-infected adults in sub-Saharan Africa: protocol for a systematic review. Systematic Reviews. 2013 Dec 12;2:112.

Contact details:

Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine
Room G16.63, New Groote Schuur Hospital
Observatory 7925
South Africa

Tel:  +27 21 650 7220
Email: sean.wasserman@uct.ac.za / sean.wasserman@gmail.com 

Group members:

PhD students
Dr Attie Stadler
Dr Trevor Mnguni

MMed students
Dr Nicola Wills
Dr Priya Arnab

MSc student
Dr Neil Hattingh 

Research medical officer
Dr Marguerite Adriaanse


AIDS Clinical Trials Group
Robin Warren (Stellenbosch University, South Africa)
Grant Theron (Stellenbosch University, South Africa)
Frank Kloprogge (University College London, UK)
John Metcalfe (University of California, San Francisco, USA)
Serena Koenig (Harvard University, USA)
Marcus Horwitz (University of California, Los Angeles, USA)
Isabelle Weir (Harvard University, USA)
James Brust (Einstein College, USA)
Neel Gandhi (Emory University, USA)
Veronique Dartois (Hackensack Meridian Health, USA)
Andrew Medina-Merino (Desmond Tutu Health Foundation, South Africa)