Estimating the current and future threat of emerging/re-emerging zoonoses originating from free-ranging non-human primates along the Kenyan coastline

Reference Number: 
PGD5/IOyier/Zoonotic Pathogens
Location: 
Kilifi
Country: 
Kenya
Supervisor: 
Dr Isabella Oyier, Dr Lucy Ochola and Dr Mercy Akinyi
Description: 

 

Background
More than 60% of all emerging infectious diseases in humans are acquired from animals. In Kenya, animal acquired viruses such as Rift Valley Fever, chikungunya and dengue virus are known to cause recurrent disease epidemics especially along the coastal towns and account for a substantial proportion of febrile admissions. Few studies have investigated the role of NHPs as reservoirs of zoonotic viruses, bacteria and haemoprotozoan parasites. Addressing these knowledge gaps would inform strategies to interrupt disease transmission through various control methods for improvement of both human and animal welfare.
This study investigates the presence and distribution of emerging/re-emerging zoonotic pathogens including: bacteria and, protozoans (haemoparasites especially hepatocystis and Plasmodium, Entopolypoides, Babesia spp) circulating in common free-ranging NHPs. Specifically, the surveillance will focus on Papio anubis (baboons), Chlorocebus aethiops (vervet monkeys) and Cercopithecus mitis (Sykes’ monkeys) found on the forest fringes and close to small towns and villages along the Kenyan coastal strip.

Question to be addressed by the fellow
To determine the presence of zoonotic pathogens in free-ranging NHPs.

Skills to be acquired by fellow
Sample collection and processing, DNA extraction, RNA extraction, PCR and data analysis, presentation and writing skills.

 

Preferred training background of required fellow

Biochemistry, Molecular biology

 

Application deadline: 11 February 2019