News, Events and Blog Postings

Freshwater Vector Snails and their Infection with Trematode cercariae in Busia County

Freshwater Vector Snails and their Infection with Trematode cercariae in Busia County

In this study, we sought to identify snail species infected with Trema-tode cercariae and environmental factors that correlate with their presence. This was undertaken to better understand the underlying biology of these species to better understand the risk of transmission of livestock- and human-infectious trematodes.

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Letter from the PI: Introducing the ZooLink Suite of Projects

Letter from the PI: Introducing the ZooLink Suite of Projects

It’s a real pleasure to write the first “Letter from the PI” for the Zoonoses in Livestock in Kenya (ZooLinK) project, part of the Zoonoses in Emerging Livestock Systems programme, funded by the UK Research Councils (led by the BBSRC), UK DFID and UK DSTL.
Our project has been underway since 2015, engaged in planning and staffing, followed by refurbishing of our field lab and the commencement of field activities in Kenya. It’s satisfying, a year and a half in, to now be able to start reporting on how we are doing and what we are up to. While we have been and will continue to share updates through social media on a regular basis, our project newsletters serve to provide slightly more indepth ongoing reporting of our work. Newsletter articles will also appear on our project website as blog articles – we are active on social media both on the web at www.zoonotic-diseases.org and through twitter @ZoonoticDisease, with #zels #zoolink.

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Dr. John Kiiru: My experience as a Post Doc

Dr. John Kiiru: My experience as a Post Doc

I joined the Urban Zoo Project in June 2014 as a laboratory coordinator. The Urban Zoo study is a collaborative project bringing together experts from various institutions in the UK (University of Liverpool, The Royal Veterinary College, University of Edinburgh etc.), and at least three institutions in Kenya (The University of Nairobi (UoN), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). The Team in ILRI handles the fieldwork while the teams at KEMRI and UoN handle the lab work. My main responsibility has been to develop standard protocols for use in the two labs and to ensure that the data generated is not only robust, but accurate. The two labs have approximately 10 technicians, numerous students on attachments and a number of interns from Kenya and the UK.

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Multi-Institutional Collaboration at its best

Multi-Institutional Collaboration at its best

The Epidemiology Ecology and Social-Economics of Disease emergence in Nairobi (ESEI) project has hosted a variety of studies each with different study designs since its conception. MSc students, Mercy Gichuyia, James Macharia and I had the opportunity to work within an aspect of this wider project which involved a cross-sectional study among livestock keeping house-holds in Korogocho and Viwandani informal settlements of Nairobi. We sampled blood and faeces from humans and different livestock species kept in the area and from the faecal samples, identified the prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of Salmonella, Campylobacter and E.coli. This article will focus on the interaction with the different team members and partners during our field sample collection. The science we undertook is currently being prepared for publication.

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Urban Zoo Team-Breaking the barriers

Urban Zoo Team-Breaking the barriers

Proper planning and efficient communication has been the key to ensuring that everything is well coordinated. Team leaders (management or PI’s) from all the collaborating institutions hold fort-nightly teleconferences to update, consult and agree on a unified way of moving forward. It is a common practice for staff to communicate through emails, phone calls, skype and one on one talks with each other. The group has a “WhatsApp group chat” that is used to share updates/progress including photos of both the labs and fieldwork. It is also the easiest and simplest way of sharing information with the entire group. Our active website www.zoonotic-diseases.org and the quarterly newsletters, publications and scientific conference presentations are some of the effective means used to ensure that the public is informed of the projects progress and findings.

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Our Work in Pictures

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