This research project is focused around the important question of pathogen emergence, and the role of urbanization in the emergence of zoonotic pathogens. The overall objective is to understand the mechanisms leading to the introduction of pathogens into urban populations through livestock commodity value chains, and their subsequent spread.

The focus is on livestock as sources of these pathogens, because emerging diseases are likely to be zoonotic in origin, and livestock pathogens, through the close interactions between livestock, their products and people, are at high of risk crossing the species barrier.

The focus in this project is on Escherichia coli, as an exemplar of many potential emerging pathogens, which exists in a diversity of hosts, in the environment, on food, in waste etc. The geographical focus is the city of Nairobi, Kenya, and its hinterlands. In the microbiology components, the project takes a landscape genetics approach to understanding E. coli distribution and spread, with a view to understanding how this is affected by environmental and socio-economic factors.

The project includes a public health component investigating the etiology of diarrhoea in children in low income settlements, centred on the Korogocho and Viwandani slums, part of the Nairobi Urban Health Demographic Surveillance System.

For more information, visit the project website

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