Home > People > Staff > Academic > Ramona Hurdayal
Academic Staff

Ramona Hurdayal

Research | Publications | Collaborations | Lab members

Dr Ramona Hurdayal
Dr Ramona Hurdayal | Telephone: +27 21 650 7905 | Facsimile: +27 21 650 1861


Human leishmaniasis is an insect-borne neglected tropical disease prevalent in 88 countries across all continents except Antarctica. Disease ranges from localized cutaneous lesions (cutaneous leishmaniasis), to the more lethal visceral leishmaniasis, where parasites invade visceral organs. Collectively, the disease affects more than 12 million of the world’s population for which as yet, not a single vaccine has made it to a stage that can be considered effective. Moreover, current treatment strategies are unable to achieve a sterile cure. In order to understand the correlates of host protection and susceptibility, which could aid in the development of novel treatment strategies and/or vaccines, our team uses a range of genetic, immunological, cellular and molecular techniques to examine host-pathogen interactions in a murine model of human leishmaniasis. Specifically, we focus on targeting host genes/proteins/pathways to enhance host-protective immunity during Leishmania infection, drug treatment and vaccination. While SA is non-endemic for human leishmaniasis, high-burden countries are evident in North, East, West and Central Africa. Importantly, with the recent identification of the parasite vector in Botswana, it is probable that cases of Leishmania in SA is an imminent possibility. Thus, a concerted effort to expand this research field is urgently required in SA. Our growing research team, together with the Division of Immunology, Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT (currently the only two teams in South Africa researching this parasite) are aimed at achieving this.

Selected publications
  1. Hurdayal, R., and Brombacher, F. Interleukin-4 Receptor Alpha: From Innate to Adaptive Immunity in Murine Models of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis. Frontiers Immunology. 8:1354.doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01354.
  2. Hurdayal, R., and Ndlovu, H.H., Revaz-Breton M., Parihar, S.P., Komguep, J.N., Govender, M., and Brombacher F. IL-4-producing B cells regulate T helper cell dichotomy in type 1- and type 2-controlled diseases. Proc Natl Acad Sci (PNAS) USA. 2017 Oct 3;114(40).
  3. Descatoire M, Hurrell BP, Govender M, Passelli K, Martinez-Salazar B, Hurdayal R, Brombacher F, Guler R, Tacchini-Cottier FIL-4Rα Signaling in Keratinocytes and Early IL-4 Production Are Dispensable for Generating a Curative T Helper 1 Response in Leishmania major-Infected C57BL/6 Mice. Front Immunol. 2017 Oct 10; 8:1265.
  4. Krause RGE, Hurdayal R, Choveaux D, Przyborski JM, Coetzer THT, Goldring JPD. Plasmodium glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase: A potential malaria diagnostic target. Exp Parasitol. 2017 Aug; 179:7-19.
  5. Parihar SP, Ozturk M, Marakalala MJ, Loots DT, Hurdayal R, Beukes D, Van Reenen M, Zak DE, Mbandi SK, Darboe F, Penn-Nicholson A, Hanekom WA, Leitges M, Scriba TJ, Guler R, Brombacher F. Protein kinase C-delta (PKCδ), a marker of inflammation and tuberculosis disease progression in humans, is important for optimal macrophage killing effector functions and survival in mice. Mucosal Immunol. 2017 Aug.
  6. Parihar, S.P., Hartley, M.A., Hurdayal, R., Guler, R., and Brombacher, F 2016. Topical Simvastatin as Host-Directed Therapy against Severity of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Mice. Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 33458 (2016); doi:10.1038/srep33458.
  7. Roy S, Guler R, Parihar SP, Schmeier S, Kaczkowski B, Nishimura H, Shin JW, Negishi Y, Ozturk M, Hurdayal R, Kubosaki A, Kimura Y, de Hoon MJ, Hayashizaki Y, Brombacher F, Suzuki H. 2015. Batf2/Irf1 Induces Inflammatory Responses in Classically Activated Macrophages, Lipopolysaccharides, and MTB Infection. J Immunol. 194(12):6035-44.
  8. Hurdayal, R., and Brombacher, F. 2014. The role of IL-4 and IL-13 in cutaneous Leishmaniasis. Immunol Lett. 161(2):179-83.
  9. Parihar, S.P., Guler, R., Khutlang, R., Lang, D.M., Hurdayal, R., Mhlanga, M.M., Suzuki, H., Marais, A.D. and Brombacher, F. 2014. Statin Therapy Reduces the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Burden in Human Macrophages and in Mice by Enhancing Autophagy and Phagosome Maturation. J Infect Dis. 209:754-763.
  10. Hurdayal, R. and Nieuwenhuizen., N., Revaz-Breton M., Smith, L., Hoving, J.C., Parihar, P.S., Reizis B., and Brombacher., F. 2013. Deletion of IL-4 receptor alpha on dendritic cells renders BALB/c mice hypersusceptible to Leishmania major infection. PLoS Pathogens. 9:e1003699
  11. Masic, A., Hurdayal, R., Nieuwenhuizen, N., Brombacher., F and Moll, H. 2012. Dendritic Cell-Mediated Vaccination Relies on Interleukin-4 Receptor Signaling to Avoid Tissue Damage after Leishmania major Infection of BALB/c Mice. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 6(7): e1721

Prof. Frank Brombacher (International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Faculty Health Sciences, University of Cape Town).
Prof. J. Alexander and Dr. K.C. Carter (University of Glasgow. Scotland).
Prof. Fabienne Tachini-Cottier (University of Lausanne, Switzerland).
Dr. Gerald Chege (Department of Virology, University of Cape Town).

Lab members
Ms Rebeng Maine - MSc