Research News

Members of the Department Dr. Humphrey Kariuki and Chief Technologist Felistas Muthini conducted a field visit in Ganja Village, Msambweni, on the Kenyan Coast. They collected teaching and research materials in the form of Bulinus snails and malaria specimens to enhance our teaching capacity and research on some of the tropical neglected diseases vectors.

To see more photos from this field visit click here

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) officials Dr. Thandi Onami and Dr. Susan Barnett visited the KAVI-Institute of Clinical Research and were welcomed by Dr. Marianne Mureithi (Chair of the Department of Med Microbiology & Immunology and Ag Director KAVI-ICR), Prof. Omu Anzala, Dr. Daniel Muema, Dr. Robert Langat, Dr. Terry Muhomah,Dr Michael Mutua,  Dr. Charity Muriuki, Dr. Kariuki Njaanake and Matrona Akiso and Chair of the Department Human Anatomy and Physiology, Prof. Moses Obimbo. The team was also joined by Dr. Aloysious Ssemaganda of the University of Manitoba.

The University of Nairobi gave an overview of ongoing work in HIV Vaccine Discoveries and identified research gaps that can accelerate the innovation of an effective HIV Vaccine. BMGF is nonprofit fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world. BMGF focuses on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. It is based in Seattle, Washington and led by CEO Mark Suzman, under the direction of co-chairs Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates and the board of trustees.

Member of the Department Dr. Moses Masika recently published his work on exposure to Onyong-Nyong and Chikungunya virus in febrile patients of rural Taita-Taveta County and urban Kibera informal settlement in Nairobi as part of his PhD.

In his collaborative study with scientists from the University of Helsinki, Finland and Umeå University, Sweden, Dr. Masika and the research team noted several alphaviruses, such as chikungunya (CHIKV) and Onyong-nyong (ONNV), are endemic in Kenya and often cause outbreaks in different parts of the country. They assessed the seroprevalence of alphaviruses in patients with acute febrile illness in two geographically distant areas in Kenya with no previous record of alphavirus outbreaks. Blood samples were collected from febrile patients in health facilities located in the rural Taita-Taveta County in 2016 and urban Kibera informal settlement in Nairobi in 2017 and tested for CHIKV IgG and IgM antibodies using an in-house immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and a commercial ELISA test, respectively.

A subset of CHIKV IgG or IgM antibody-positive samples were further analyzed using plaque reduction
neutralization tests (PRNT) for CHIKV, ONNV, and Sindbis virus. Out of 537 patients, 4 (0.7%) and 28 (5.2%) had alphavirus IgM and IgG antibodies, respectively, confirmed on PRNT. The investigators showed evidence of previous and current exposure to alphaviruses based on serological testing in areas with
no recorded history of outbreaks.

For further details on this study, read the publication here

Prof. Omu Anzala, Dr. Marianne Mureithi, Dr. Moses Masika, Dr Daniel Muema, Victor Musyoki
amongst others from the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology and KAVI-ICR
visited University of Helsinki from the 22nd to 26th of May to participate in The One Health Early
Career Champions programme. This is part of an innovative strategic partnership between the
University of Helsinki and the University of Nairobi that promotes career advancement and
international networking of early career researchers from various disciplinary backgrounds,
focusing on One Health. The purpose of the visit was to participate in an on-site workshop
organized in the context of the One Health Early Career Champions programme.
The visit also included participating in the Africa Day organized by the University of Helsinki that
involved panel discussion on One Health - Two Continents: Building a Better Future Together.


To view more pictures from this visit click here

The Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology in conjunction with the Department of Surgery has teamed up with an International Registry of Men with Prostate Cancer known as IRONMAN. The main goal of this registry is to improve outcomes in men with advanced prostate cancer around the world.

The Registry will have an international cohort of a minimum of 5,000 men with advanced prostate cancer, including men with Metastatic Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer (mHSPC) and M0/M1 Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer (CRPC).

The Kenyan team includes Principal Investigator Dr. Charles Waihenya, Co-Principal Investigators Prof. Muthoni Musibi, Dr. Andrew Gachii, Dr. Samuel Gathere, Chair of the Department Dr. Marianne Mureithi, Chair of the Department of Surgery Dr. Julius Kiboi and Molecular Biology PhD Candidate and Instructor George Ichoho among others. The team of Medical Doctors and Scientists aim to recruit a minimum of 150 study participants. The Department will act as the regional biorepository site for all samples collected which will aid in the identification and validation of molecular phenotypes of the disease that predict response and resistance to specific therapeutics. The study will run until 2029 and the selected sites are Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and MP Shah Hospital.

Patients who enroll in this study will have detailed information collected from them for a minimum of five years to monitor overall survival, comorbidities, changes in cancer treatment, clinically significant adverse events and Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs). The cohort aims to gain a better understanding in the variation of care and treatment of advanced prostate cancer globally.

Did you get a chance to visit the 5th Nairobi Innovation Week (NIW) Exhibition? If not, then you missed one of the greatest stages put up to showcase innovations in the country. The Innovation Exhibition was the hub around which the numerous events constituting the Nairobi Innovation Week 2019 revolved.

In what is expected to be one of the biggest research events in the country, the Second Edition of the University of Nairobi Research Week shall be held from October 22-25, 2019. The Research Week shall feature a series of conferences, workshops and seminars across a broad array of disciplines. The event has 13 confirmed conferences and 2 seminars.