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Dishon Muloi (

Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences & Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK, Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK, International Livestock Research Institute, PO Box 30709, Nairobi, Kenya


Escherichia coli or E.coli are harmless gut microbes, but some pathogenic strains can cause life-threatening infections, and other illnesses like UTIs. The bacteria can also cause disease in animals, leading to economic losses due to mortality and morbidity. According to the World Health Organization, E.coli has been catagorised as a priority pathogen due to its widespread antibiotic

There are substantial limitations in our understanding of the distribution of antibiotic resistance (AMR) in humans and livestock in developing countries. This study presents the results of an epidemiological study examining patterns of AMR in Escherichia coli isolates circulating in overlapping geographic human (n=321) and livestock (n=633) samples from 99 households across Nairobi, Kenya. E. coli isolates were tested for susceptibility to 13 antimicrobial drugs representing 9 antibiotic classes.

Project Overview

Nairobi is the capital city in Kenya where the population is rapidly growing, and livestock are commonly kept within household compounds bringing them into close contact with people. E. coli is an ideal organism to study the spread of AMR in this complex environment since it is a ubiquitous commensal in both livestock and humans, but with a wide range of resistance phenotypes. This study focuses on the role of livestock keeping as a potentially high-risk urban interface for AMR transmission between humans and livestock in urban Nairobi. This is the first study to characterize the patterns and epidemiology of antibiotic resistant E. coli from co-habiting human and livestock populations in a low resource urban setting. At the scale of individual households, we explore the role of livestock as risk factors for AMR carriage in humans, hence providing insight into the pathways of AMR transfer.


DishonMuloiabd,JohnKiirug,Melissa J.Wardbe,James M.Hassellcd,Judy M.Bettridgecd,Timothy P.Robinsonf,Bram A.D.van Bunnikab,MargoChase-Toppinga,GailRobertsonbj,Amy BPedersenbi,Eric M.Fèvrecd,Mark E.J.Woolhouseab,Erastus K.Kang'etheh,SamuelKariukig

Institutions Involved

  1. Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool, UK
  2. International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
  3. Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  4. Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  5. Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK
  6. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy
  7. Centre for Microbiology Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
  8. National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya
  9. University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
  10. Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
  11. Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, UK


Study was supported by the UK Medical Research Council, Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Natural Environment Research Council

More Information 

  1. Full publication available here:
  2. Zoonoses in Livestock in Kenya (ZooLink).