Miss. Hlengiwe Sondlane is a M.MedSc. student at the UFS-NGS Unit and Division of Virology, University of the Free State under the supervision of Prof. Martin Nyaga. Her research focuses on genetic analysis of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) circulating in the Free State, in paediatric patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study is funded by National Research Foundation (NRF) and Poliomyelitis Research Foundation (PRF).
She attained her Honours degree at the Department of Microbiology, University of Venda, under the HIV/AIDS and Global Health Research Programme, where she investigated the genetic diversity of HIV-1 integrase in drug naïve and experienced individuals. The goal of the study was to examine for naturally occurring mutations/ variability of the integrase gene to determine if integrase inhibitors introduced as a salvage therapy, would be beneficial for individuals who fail first-line and second-line combination antiretroviral therapy/regimens.