SATVI aims to find new safe, effective TB vaccines for:
  - all forms of TB
 - all ages

 - everyone, including people living with HIV.

About us


The South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI) is a research group at the University of Cape Town.

Vision, Mission and Outputs

SATVI's vision is "A World Without TB", while our mission is "Innovative And High-Quality TB Vaccine Research In Africa, To Impact The Global Epidemic". Vaccines prevent disease, while drugs treat disease. An effective TB vaccine has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives globally.

To achieve our mission, we have been testing 6 new TB vaccine candidates in 15 completed or ongoing clinical trials. Among these, the first successful completion of an efficacy trial of a new TB vaccine, MVA85A, in nearly 50 years has been a prominent achievement.

We also address other critical clinical, epidemiological, immunological and human genetic and human genetic questions in TB vaccine development. A large focus of this research is on identification of markers in blood to indicate whether a person is at risk of developing, or protected against, TB disease.

SATVI is the largest dedicated TB vaccine research group on the African continent. 
Our success is evident from manuscripts published in high impact journals, funding support from multiple international funding agencies, invited presentations at international conferences and representation on multiple international policy bodies.


SATVI regards each of its >100 personnel members as critical for success. Our team consists of specialists in: administration; clinical, epidemiological, human genetic and immunologic science; clinical trials; community liaison, recruitment and follow-up; data management and analysis; disease surveillance; information technology; inpatient and outpatient evaluation and care; laboratory technology; logistics; pharmaceutical matters; project management; regulatory affairs; study coordination and training.

We also have an active postgraduate academic training programme, with multiple PhD and Masters students.

Associate Professor Mark Hatherill, supported by the Executive Committee comprising of Dr Zameer Brey (Chief Operating Officer), Associate Professor Thomas Scriba (Deputy Director for Immunology and Human Genetics).Ms Marwou de Kock (Field Site Manager).

We have two homes in the Faculty of Health Sciences: the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDMM) and in the School of Child and Adolescent Health. SATVI has offices and a state-of-the-art laboratory within the IIDMM in Cape Town. The latter includes a biobank which houses >800,000 human samples.

The SATVI field site is located 110km outside Cape Town, where the rate of TB is amongst the highest recorded in the world. Here, >20,000 persons have participated in our studies to date. Our field site facilities include project offices, and a dedicated "Vaccine House", "Case Verification Ward", pharmacy and satellite immunology laboratory. These are located on the campus of a regional TB hospital, Brewelskloof.


We have found that ongoing and productive engagement with the local community is critical. We accomplish this, in part, through interaction with a dynamic Community Advisory Board (CAB).

SATVI has established a strong and critical partnership with regional, provincial and national health authorities. We are also developing productive relationships with the national Department of Science and Technology.

Our research partners include academics from Africa, Europe, the US and Asia, and allow fruitful interaction to promote the TB vaccine research agenda. These may function within large consortia, funded by sponsors such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the NIH and Aeras. Others include the international TBVACSIN (TB Vaccine Clinical Trial Sites Network) and the local TBVaC-SA (TB Vaccine Consortium of South Africa).


SATVI was established in 2001 by Professor Gregory Hussey in 2001, who now directs the Vaccines for Africa research group. Professor Maurice Kibel worked closely with Professor Hussey in the early days, which focused on establishing critical clinical trials capacity, and addressing unanswered questions surrounding BCG.