This aim of this project is to examine peri-domestic wildlife, bats and rodents, from around households for known and emerging zoonotic pathogens. Bats and rodents have been implicated in the recent emergence of a number of highly pathogenic organisms such as Nipah and hanta viruses.
This project was run in conjunction with the People, Animal and their Zoonoses (PAZ) project investigating endemic zoonoses in livestock and humans in households in western Kenya. Samples were collected from bats and rodents from randomly selected households, which were visited as part of the PAZ cross-sectional study. Samples are currently being tested for known pathogens and novel pathogens not previously reported in these hosts. Zoonoses that will be screened include haemorrhagic viruses, henipah and lyssa viruses. In addition, tissue samples will be examined for histopathology changes associated with disease in these animals.
The PAZ cross sectional study will provide information on human and animal exposure to zoonotic disease. The additional information regarding disease in peridomestic wildlife will allow a complete “One Health” approach to understanding the epidemiology of zoonotic disease in households in western Kenya.
Part of the urban zoo project is also concerned with bats as components of the peri-domestic fauna of Nairobi.