Research //

Infectious Diseases

The Maurice Wilkins Centre is focused on developing strategies to prevent, detect, and treat infectious diseases that pose a serious threat to Aotearoa New Zealand.

Infectious diseases continue to be a major threat to health throughout the world, and Aotearoa New Zealand is far from immune. Current threats include diseases such as highly drug-resistant bacteria, which remain difficult to treat or prevent, and newly emerging diseases, such as those caused by new virus strains, as well as important global causes of infectious diseases like tuberculosis.

The Infectious Diseases theme addresses viral and bacterial diseases that are associated with significant inequities for Māori and Pacific Peoples. Projects within the theme aim to develop new strategies to prevent, detect and treat a number of infectious diseases including COVID-19, tuberculosis, rheumatic heart disease and gonorrhoea amongst others. The outcomes of these projects include the delivery of new fundamental knowledge of the causes of infectious diseases and new methods to combat these infections. Combatting infectious diseases will contribute to addressing the associated significant inequities in health outcomes for Māori and Pacific People and benefit all of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The MWC Infectious Diseases theme is organised around three goals


Developing and improving techniques for the detection of viral and bacterial pathogens.


Advancing new vaccines and vaccine formulations to prevent a range of infectious diseases.


Developing new compounds to combat viral pathogens and new compounds and peptides targeting highly drug resistant bacterial pathogens.