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Nelson X.J.,University of Canterbury | Warui C.M.,National Museums of Kenya | Warui C.M.,Mount Kenya University | Jackson R.R.,University of Canterbury
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2012

Jumping spiders (Salticidae) are renowned for their exceptional vision, but this does not preclude use of other senses. Here we provide evidence that olfactory pheromones are widespread in the Spartaeinae and Lyssomaninae, two subfamilies regarded as basal clades within the Salticidae. Pheromone use by salticids was tested in a series of experiments: males were tested with the odour of conspecific females, heterospecific females, and conspecific males, and females were tested with the odour of conspecific males. With seven of the 29 species tested, we also tested males using the draglines of conspecific females (spider absent) as the odour source. Males of all species tested were attracted to the odour of conspecific females and to the odour of the draglines of conspecific females. There was no evidence of males responding to the odour of heterospecific females or conspecific males, or of females responding to the odour of conspecific males. These findings suggest that it is primarily males that respond to olfactory sex pheromones, consistent with the apparent trend within spiders of males more actively searching for females and females placing greater emphasis on mate-choice decisions. Compared with most salticid groups, lyssomanines and spartaeines are unusually sedentary and this lifestyle may favour olfactory mate searching. © 2012 The Linnean Society of London.


Ivan E.,University of Witwatersrand | Crowther N.J.,University of Witwatersrand | Mutimura E.,Women Equity in Access to Care and Treatment WE ACTx | Osuwat L.O.,Mount Kenya University | And 4 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2013

Background:Within sub-Saharan Africa, helminth and malaria infections cause considerable morbidity in HIV-positive pregnant women and their offspring. Helminth infections are also associated with a higher risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of, and the protective and risk factors for helminth and malaria infections in pregnant HIV-positive Rwandan women receiving anti-retroviral therapy (ART).Methodology and principle findings:Pregnant females (n = 980) were recruited from health centres in rural and peri-urban locations in the central and eastern provinces of Rwanda. Helminth infection was diagnosed using the Kato Katz method whilst the presence of Plasmodium falciparum was identified from blood smears. The prevalence of helminth infections was 34.3%; of malaria 13.3%, and of co-infections 6.6%. Helminth infections were more common in rural (43.1%) than peri-urban (18.0%; p<0.0005) sites. A CD4 count ≤350 cells/mm3 was associated with a higher risk of helminth infections (odds ratio, 3.39; 95% CIs, 2.16-5.33; p<0.0005) and malaria (3.37 [2.11-5.38]; p<0.0005) whilst helminth infection was a risk factor for malaria infection and vice versa. Education and employment reduced the risk of all types of infection whilst hand washing protected against helminth infection (0.29 [0.19-0.46]; p<0.0005);). The TDF-3TC-NVP (3.47 [2.21-5.45]; p<0.0005), D4T-3TC-NVP (2.47 [1.27-4.80]; p<0.05) and AZT-NVP (2.60 [1.33-5.08]; p<0.05) regimens each yielded higher helminth infection rates than the AZT-3TC-NVP regimen. Anti-retroviral therapy had no effect on the risk of malaria.Conclusion/significance:HIV-positive pregnant women would benefit from the scaling up of de-worming programs alongside health education and hygiene interventions. The differential effect of certain ART combinations (as observed here most strongly with AZT-3TC-NVP) possibly protecting against helminth infection warrants further investigation. © 2013 Ivan et al.


De Steur H.,Ghent University | Mogendi J.B.,Ghent University | Mogendi J.B.,Mount Kenya University | Wesana J.,Ghent University | And 2 more authors.
Appetite | Year: 2015

Objective/Purpose: To use Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) to evaluate stakeholders' intention to adopt iodine biofortified foods as an alternative means to improve children's iodine status and overall school performance. Methods: A survey was administered with 360 parents of primary school children and 40 school heads. Protection motivation is measured through matching the cognitive processes they use to evaluate iodine deficiency (threat appraisal), as well as iodine biofortified foods to reduce the threat (coping appraisal). Data were analyzed through Robust (Cluster) regression analysis. Results: Gender had a significant effect on coping appraisal for school heads, while age, education, occupation, income, household size and knowledge were significant predictors of threat, coping appraisal and/or protection motivation intention among parents. Nevertheless, in the overall protection motivation model, only two coping factors, namely self-efficacy (parents) and response cost (school heads), influenced the intention to adopt iodine biofortified foods. Conclusion: School feeding programs incorporating iodine biofortification should strive to increase not only consumer knowledge about iodine but also its association to apparent deficiency disorders, boost self-efficacy and ensure that the costs incurred are not perceived as barriers of adoption. The insignificant threat appraisal effects lend support for targeting future communication on biofortification upon the strategies itself, rather than on the targeted micronutrient deficiency. PMT, and coping factors in particular, seem to be valuable in assessing intentions to adopt healthy foods. Nevertheless, research is needed to improve the impacts of threat appraisal factors. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Gimode W.R.,Kenyatta University | Kiboi D.M.,Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology | Kimani F.T.,Kenya Medical Research Institute | Wamakima H.N.,Kenya Medical Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
Malaria Journal | Year: 2015

Background: The evolution of drug-resistant parasites is a major hindrance to malaria control, and thus understanding the behaviour of drug-resistant mutants is of clinical relevance. The study aimed to investigate how resistance against lumefantrine (LU) and piperaquine (PQ), anti-malarials used as partner drugs in artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), impacts parasite fitness. This is important since resistance to ACT, the first-line anti-malarial regimen is increasingly being reported. Methods: The stability of Plasmodium berghei ANKA strain that was previously selected for LU and PQ resistance was evaluated using the 4-day assay and established infection test in mice. Fitness cost of resistance was determined by comparing parasites proliferation rates in absence of drug pressure for the drug-exposed parasites between day 4 and 7 post-infection (pi), relative to the wild-type. Statistical analysis of data to compare mean parasitaemia and growth rates of respective parasite lines was carried out using student's t-test and one-way analysis of variance, with significance level set at p<0.05. Results: During serial passaging in the absence of the drug, the PQ-resistant parasite maintained low growth rates at day 7 pi (mean parasitaemia, 5.6% ± 2.3) relative to the wild-type (28.4% ± 6.6), translating into a fitness cost of resistance of 80.3%. Whilst resistance phenotype for PQ was stable, that of LU was transient since after several serial passages in the absence of drug, the LU-exposed line assumed the growth patterns of the wild-type. Conclusions: The contrasting behaviour of PQ- and LU-resistance phenotypes support similar findings which indicate that even for drugs within the same chemical class, resistance-conferred traits may vary on how they influence parasite fitness and virulence. Resistance-mediating polymorphisms have been associated with less fit malaria parasites. In the absence of drug pressure in the field, it is therefore likely that the wild-type parasite will out-compete the mutant form. This implies the possibility of reintroducing a drug previously lost to resistance, after a period of suspended use. Considering the recent reports of high failure rates associated with ACT, high fitness cost of resistance to PQ is therefore of clinical relevance as the drug is a partner in ACT. © 2015 Gimode et al.; licensee BioMed Central.


Gichunge C.,Mount Kenya University | Somerset S.,Australian Catholic University | Harris N.,Griffith University
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2016

A cross-sectional sequential explanatory mixed methods study was conducted among household food preparers to examine the association between home availability and consumption of traditional vegetables among resettled African refugees living in Queensland, Australia. Home availability of traditional African vegetables was associated with age, having a vegetable garden, employment status, and having a supermarket in the local neighborhood. Food preparers from homes with low vegetable availability were less likely to consume the recommended number of vegetable servings. Barriers faced in the food environment included language, lack of availability of traditional vegetables and lack of transport. All of these aspects contributed to the study findings that both individual and food environment characteristics may play a role in access to and availability of food and vegetable consumption of resettled refugees. Consumption of traditional foods among the resettled refugees continues post resettlement. © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Kamande M.W.,Mount Kenya University | Lokina R.B.,University of Dar es Salaam
Journal of Environment and Development | Year: 2013

This study examines the linkage between the profitability of firms measured by return on assets (ROA) and environmental performance measured by eco-efficiency and also the impact of a good environmental management system (EMS) on profitability and eco-efficiency of firms. These environmental management practices were captured by the type of EMS a firm adopts that classified firms as either environmental leaders or environmental laggards. To achieve this panel data regression model with ROA as the dependent variable and eco-efficiency scores as the regressors was performed. The results suggest that there is a potential gain in the profitability of the firm by improving eco-efficiency in resource use. Furthermore, proactive firms are found to perform better than reactive firms in terms of profitability and eco-efficiency but firms that combine both proactive and reactive EMS perform even better, which shows the benefit of adopting commitment-based approaches alongside the compliance-based approaches to environmental management. © 2013 SAGE Publications.


Chege P.M.,Kenyatta University | Kimiywe J.O.,Kenyatta University | Ndungu Z.W.,Mount Kenya University
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity | Year: 2015

Background and objectives: Globally, children aged under five years are prone to malnutrition. Maasai are a nomadic community in Kenya still upholding traditional and has a high rate of child undernutrition. Consideration of cultural practices is a pre-condition for ensuring appropriate dietary practices. However, information on the influence of culture on dietary practices among Maasai children is minimal. The possible influence of culture on dietary practices among these children was investigated. Methods: Six focus group discussions sessions each consisting of 10 mothers were conducted from two randomly selected villages in Sajiloni location, Kajiado County. Results: Results from this study showed that children mainly consume cereals and legumes. Nomadism makes animal products inaccessible to most children. Livestock are considered a sign of wealth, thus mainly slaughtered on special occasions. Additionally, selling of animals or animal products is not encouraged limiting income that would improve the food basket. Some food taboos prohibit consumption of wild animals, chicken and fish limits the household food diversity. Consumption of vegetables is limited since they are perceived to be livestock feed. The belief that land is only for grazing contributes to low crop production and consumption thus the diets lack diversification. Maasai culture encourages introduction of blood, animal's milk and bitter herbs to infants below six months, which affects exclusive breast feeding. The men are prioritized in food serving leading to less and poor quality food to children. The consumption of raw meat, milk and blood is likely to lead to infections. The practice of milk fermentation improves bioavailability of micronutrients and food safety. Socialism ensures sharing of available food while believe in traditional medicine hinder visit to health facilities thus no access to nutrition education. Conclusion: This study concludes that culture influence the dietary practices among children under five years. It recommended initiation of programs to create awareness on how the beliefs negatively affect dietary practices with a view for a change. © 2015 Chege et al.


Mureithi D.K.,Mount Kenya University | Njuguna M.N.,Mount Kenya University
Livestock Research for Rural Development | Year: 2016

A cross sectional study was carried out to investigate the prevalence of subclinical mastitis in dairy cattle, determine the most frequent of intramammary infections and evaluate associated risk factors affecting subclinical mastitis in the urban and peri urban areas of the Thika Sub county. 172 lactating cows of different ages, parities and lactation stages on 13 smallholder farms were sampled. Milk samples from 172 animals and 688 udder quarters were tested for subclinical mastitis using a California mastitis test. Milk samples from California mastitis test (CMT) positive cows and quarters were collected for further bacteriological analysis. Risk factors were also recorded during sampling. The results showed that 110 cows out of 172 representing 64% were CMT positive for subclinical mastitis in the study area. At the quarter level of 688 active quarters tested for subclinical mastitis, 384 (55.8%) were positive to CMT test. Breed, udder hygiene, stage of lactation, parity and floor type had a significant influence on the prevalence of subclinical mastitis. Among the breed, Ayrshire had a high prevalence 80.6%. Mid stage of lactation and multiparous animals had the highest prevalence of 77.8% and 70.1% respectively. Dirty udder and animals housed in muddy soil floor type had a significantly higher prevalence of subclinical mastitis. The study concludes that there is a high prevalence of subclinical mastitis in smallholder dairy farms in urban and peri-urban regions of the Thika sub-county. The study recommends that in order to reduce high prevalence of subclinical mastitis, smallholder farmers require to keep the udder clean, mostly in the wet season, improve floor conditions through regular cleaning of the floor or upgrade to the concrete floor. © 2016, Fundacion CIPAV. All right reserved.


Ogolla J.O.,Mount Kenya University | Ayaya S.O.,Moi University | Otieno C.A.,Moi University
Iranian Journal of Public Health | Year: 2013

Background: This study sought to determine the level of adherence to Coartem© in the routine treatment of uncomplicated malaria among children under the age of five years in Nyando district, Kenya. Methods: Seventy-three children below the age of five years with microscopically confirmed uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria and prescribed Coartem® during the normal outpatient department hours were included into the study on 27th of April to 15th of May 2009. Adherence was assessed through a semi-structured interviewer administered questionnaire; pill count and blister pack recovery. Patients were then classified into three categories of adherence. Patients who had tablets remaining in the blister pack were classified as definitely non-adherent. Those who had blister pack missing or empty and the caretaker did not report administering all the doses at the correct time and amount were considered probably non-adherent or as probably adherent when the caretaker reported administering all doses at the correct time and amount. Results: Nine (14.5%) patients were definitely non-adherent, 6 (9.7%) probably non-adherent and 47 (75.8%) probably adherent. The most significantly left tablet was the sixth doses (P = 0.029). Conclusion: Caretakers should be made much aware that non-adherence might not only be dangerous to child's health but also dramatically increase the financial cost for public-health services.


Wekesa M.,Mount Kenya University
Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice | Year: 2015

Unregulated biomedical research has previously caused untold suffering to humankind. History is full of examples of abuse of animal and human subjects for research. Several codes and instruments have been formulated to regulate biomedical research. In Kenya, the Science, Technology and Innovation Act, 2014, together with the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, provide a fairly robust legal framework. Possible challenges include capacity building, overlap of functions of institutions, monitoring and evaluation, scientific/technological advances, intellectual property rights, funding for research, and dispute resolution. It is hoped that the new legislation will adequately address these challenges. © 2015 Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow.

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