Luna Kamau

Dr. Luna Kamau

Deputy Director CBRD

Dr. Luna Kamau, is a Molecular Entomology and Ecology Researcher with over 21 years’ experience in research and training in vector biology and control. She has held numerous research grants in the field of molecular and population genetic studies of disease vectors, vector ecology and behaviour, insecticide resistance, development and testing of new tools for vector identification, analysis and control. She is widely published and has played a key role in supervised and mentored students and upcoming scientists in the field. Dr. Kamau also serves as the Deputy Director, Centre for Biotechnology Research and Development at KEMRI. Dr. Kamau holds a PhD in Molecular Entomology, a Master’s degree in Immunology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and is a member of the Kenya National Academy of Sciences (KNAS) and a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).

Research Grants
  1. Principal Investigator, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grant: Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles arabiensis genetic diversity and association with insecticide resistance in Kenya, 2019 – 2020
  2. Principal Investigator, Kenya Government Research Grant: Mapping emerging infectious diseases in Kenya within the context of climate change, 2019 -2020.
  3. Co-Principal Investigator & Mentor, Kenya Government Research Grant: Occurrence, density & insecticide susceptibility of Anopheline mosquitoes in cluster regions of Isiolo County (PI Stanley
    Kitur), 2019 – 2021.
  4. Co-Principal Investigator, Swedish Research Council: Vector Control by Multiple Classes of Small Organic Compounds to Combat Mosquito-Borne Infectious Diseases and Sustain Insecticide
    Resistance (Co-PI Anna Linusson, Umeå University, Sweden), 2015 – 2020.
  5. Co-investigator, NACOSTI: Evaluation of isothermal amplification methods and development of an OligoChromatographic dipstick assay for point-of-care diagnosis of Wuchereria bancrofti and disease
    surveillance (PI Nancy Kinyatta), 2015 – 2019.
Selected Publications
  1. Kinyatta NM, Wambua L Mutahi W, Mugasa C, Kamau L, Wachira D, Ichugu C, Waigi E, Githae R, Lusweti J, Kagai J. 2019. Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of Wuchereria bancrofti in human blood samples from Malindi and Tana River Delta, endemic regions in Kenya, Journal of Biomedical Research and Reviews, In Press.
  2. Knutsson S, Engdahl C, Kumari R, Forsgren N, Lindgren C, Kindahl T, Kitur S, Wachira L, Kamau L, Ekström F, Linusson A. 2018. Noncovalent Inhibitors of Mosquito Acetylcholinesterase 1 with Resistance-Breaking Potency. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 61, 10545 – 10557.
  3. Kleinschmidt I, Bradley J, Knox TB, Mnzava AB, Kafy HT, Mbogo C, Ismail BA, Bigoga JD, Adechoubou A, Raghavendra K, Cook J, Malik EM, Nkuni ZJ, Macdonald M, Bayoh N, Ochomo E, Fondjo E, Awono-Ambene HP, Etang J, Akogbeto M, Bhatt RM, Chourasia MK, Swain DK, Kinyari T, Subramaniam K, Massougbodji A, Okê-Sopoh M, Ogouyemi-Hounto A, Kouambeng C, Abdin MS, West P, Elmardi K, Cornelie S, Corbel V, Valecha N, Mathenge E, Kamau L, Lines J, Donnelly MJ. 2018. Implications of insecticide resistance for malaria vector control with long-lasting insecticidal nets: A WHO-coordinated, prospective, international,  bservational cohort study. Lancet Infectious Diseases, 3099(18)30172-5.
  4. Kiuru CW, Oyieke FA, Mukabana WR, Mwangangi J, Kamau L, Muhia-Matoke D. 2018. Status of insecticide resistance in malaria vectors in Kwale County, Coastal Kenya. Malaria Journal, 5;17(1):3
  5. Ondeto BM, Nyundo C, Kamau L, Muriu SM, Mwangangi JM, Njagi K, Mathenge EM, Ochanda H,Mbogo CM. 2017. Current status of insecticide resistance among malaria vectors in Kenya. Parasites and Vectors, 19;10(1):429.
  6. Knutsson S, Kindahl T, Engdahl C, Nikjoo D, Forsgren N, Kitur S, Ekström F, Kamau L, Linusson A. 2017."N-aryl-N'-ethyleneaminothioureas Effectively Inhibit Acetylcholinesterase 1 in Disease-Transmitting Mosquitoes. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 134: 415 – 427.
Dr Lelo

Dr. Eric Lelo

Schitosomiasis Division Head
Research Grants
  1. Principal Investigator and experienced senior research officer with hands-on expertise in a range of molecular laboratory techniques in basic science and actively contributing to the mission of the institute.
  2. Knowledge and experience in quality management functions in a Molecular laboratory while closely working with the laboratory management and personnel to ensure that quality is maintained at the highest levels for output of quality results.
  3. Manager of capacity building within Schistosomiasis section through recruitment, training, supervision and mentoring of both undergraduate and postgraduate students and interns.
Selected Publications
  1. Development of a Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) technique for the detection for Diagnosis of Ascaris lumbricoides in fecal samples. Shiraho Esther, Agola Eric, Mwangi Ibrahim, Kinyua Johnson, , Mkoji Gerald:. Journal of Parasitology Research Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7376207, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/7376207
  2. Current Status of Soil-Transmitted Helminths among School Children in Kakamega County, Western Kenya. Teresia Ngonjo, Collins Okoyo, Julius Andove, Elses Simiyu, Agola Eric Lelo, Ephantus Kabiru, Jimmy Kihara, and Charles Mwandawiro. Journal of Parasitology Research Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7680124
  3. Activity of MG-192 Against in Vitro Cultures of Infective Trypanosome Species and its Acute Toxicity Effects in Mice. Maureen Kamau, Joanna Auma, Monica Maichomo, Jesca Wesonga, Joseph Chege, Agola Eric Lelo. International Journal of Sciences: Basic and Applied Research (IJSBAR)(2016) Volume 25, No 3, pp 315-323
  4. William Chege Kiarie, Laura Wangai, Eric L. Agola, Francis T. Kimani3 and Charity Hungu. Chloroquine sensitivity: diminished prevalence of chloroquine‑resistant gene marker pfcrt‑76 13 years after cessation of chloroquine use in Msambweni, Kenya. Malar J (2015) 14:328. DOI 10.1186/s12936-015-0850-9
  5. Phytochemical constituents of senna didymobotrya fresen irwin roots used as a traditional medicinal plant in kenya Lydia Bonareri Nyamwamu, Moses Ngeiywa , Margaret Mulaa, Agola Eric Lelo, Johnstone Ingonga, Albert Kimutai. International Journal of Education and Research Vol. 3 No. 6 June 2015

 

Dr. Damaris Matoke, Vector Diseases Researcher, KEMRI

Dr. Damaris Matoke

Entomology Division Head

Damaris is a molecular biology research scientist with interest is on utilizing genomics in the control of vector borne diseases. She holds a PhD in Molecular Medicine from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, MSc in Biotechnology and BSc in Biochemistry. Damaris joined KEMRI, Centre for Biotechnology Research and Development, Molecular Entomology laboratory in the year 2006 as an Assistant Research Officer and later rose to the position of Senior Research Officer. Currently, Damaris’ research is on malaria and leishmaniasis with a focus on exploring innovative vector control tools, vector bionomics, insecticide resistance monitoring, population genetic structure, parasite screening and characterization in correlation with ecological factors, disease epidemiology and climate change. During her Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), with funding from the Wellcome Trust, Damaris was involved in investigating risk determinants of leishmania transmission and occurrence in Kenya, and explore development of an ‘attract and kill’ strategy for sandflies. Her PhD work focused on population genetics and insecticide resistance monitoring of malaria vectors in Western Kenya. Further, Damaris is involved in the investigation of malaria epidemiology and anopheles mosquito composition following intense malaria control activities and agricultural intensification in some parts of Kenya. In addition to her extensive experience working in disease prevention and vector control, Damaris is passionate in mentoring young career scientists and advocates for the advancement of the careers of women scientists. She supervises a number of PhD and MSc students. In 2017, Damaris got recognized as the best young scientist and selected to be an Affiliate of the African Academy of Sciences for 2017-2021. She is an ASPEN new voices fellow. Damaris is a member of American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), Pan-African Mosquito Control Association (PAMCA), Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) and an Organizing Secretary for the KEMRI Annual Scientific Health (KASH)

Research Grants
  1. PI, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Strengthening the role of women in the control of vector borne diseases.
  2. CO-PI, ANTI-VeC Pump-Priming Grant, UK : Determining heritable microbe incidence, prevalence and impact in sandfly vector species.
  3. CO-I, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – The East-South Africa Anopheles funestus Consortium: Building the capacity for An. funestus entomological surveillance, insecticide resistance and genomic diversity studies in Malawi, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania
  4. PI, Wellcome Trust Fellowship: Visceral Leishmaniasis: A proof of principle sand fly control study to reduce vector populations, and human-sand fly contact”.
  5. Co-I, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles arabiensis genetic diversity and association with insecticide resistance in Kenya
  6. CO-PI, National Research Fund (NRF): Magnitude and dynamics of Visceral and Cutaneous Leishmaniasis transmission in Baringo, Nyandarua and Nakuru Counties in Kenya.
Selected Publications
  1. Barrack O. Omondi, Damaris Matoke-Muhia, Yasser Alraey, Jackline Milkah Mwangi Johnstone Ingonga, Philip M. Ngumbi, Aitor Casas-Sanchez, Alvaro Acosta-Serrano, Daniel K. Masiga (2019). Association of Phlebotomus guggisbergi with L. major and L. tropica in a complex transmission setting for cutaneous leishmaniasis in Gilgil, Nakuru county, Kenya (2019). PLoS NTD 18-01844
  2. Alex J. Limwagu, Emmanuel W. Kaindoa, Halfan S. Ngowo, Emmanuel Hape, Marceline Finda, Gustav Mkandawile, Japhet Kihonda, Khamis Kifungo, Rukiyah M. Njalambaha, Damaris Matoke-Muhia & Fredros O. Okumu (2019). Using a miniaturized double-net trap (DN-Mini) to assess relationships between indoor–outdoor biting preferences and physiological ages of two malaria vectors, Anopheles arabiensis and Anopheles funestus. Malaria Journal volume 18(282)
  3. Protus Omondi, Marion Burugu, Damaris Matoke-Muhia, Edwin Too, Eva A. Nambati, William Chege, Kelvin B. Musyoka, Kelvin Thiongo, Maureen Otinga, Francis Muregi, Francis Kimani (2019). Gametocyte clearance in Children, from western Kenya, with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria after Artemether-Lumefantrine or Dihydroartemisinin-Piperaquine Treatment. Malaria Journal (accepted under review)
  4. Gabriel Kishoyian, Eliud N.M. Njagi, George O. Orinda, Francis T. Kimani, Kevin Thiongo, Damaris Matoke – Muhia (2019). Molecular Monitoring of Plasmodium falciparum Resistance to Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine in Western Kenya, 14 Years after its Withdrawal. Ann Med Health Sci Res.2019; 9: 633-639
  5. Diba Dulacha Stephen Mwatha, Peter Lomurukai, Maurice Omondi Owiny, Wycliffe Matini, Zephania Irura, Fredrick Odhiambo, Titus Waititu, Damaris Matoke, Daniel Njenga, Hussein Boru, Abduba Liban, George Kirigi, Mark Obonyo (2019). Epidemiological characteristics and factors associated with Visceral Leishmaniasis in Marsabit County, Northern Kenya. J Interv Epidemiol Public Health. 2019 Mar; 2(1)
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Ms. Dorcas Wachira

Immunology Division Head
Research Interest

Stem cell Research, Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy

Contact Information

Email: dwachira@kemri.org

Selected Publications
  1. Dorcas Wachira, Raphael Lihana, Vincent Okoth, Alex Maiyo, and Samoel Ashimosi Khamadi Chemokine Coreceptor-2 Gene Polymorphisms among HIV-1 Infected Individuals in Kenya Disease Markers Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 952067
  2. Beatrice Mukami Muriuki1, Michael Muita Gicheru1, Dorcas Wachira3, Anthony Kebira Nyamache23* and Samoel Ashimosi Khamadi3 Prevalence of Hepatitis B and C viral co-infections among HIV-1 infected individuals in Nairobi, Kenya (2013) BMC Research Notes 2013, 6:363
  3. Albert K; Willy K. Tonui; Michael M; Peter N; Johnstone I; Stella K; Laban N; Dorcas W; Robert K; Milkah M and Lydia N. Evaluation of the Adjuvanticity with Soluble Leishmania Major Antigens in BALB/c Mice (2009). Journal of Nanjing Medical University, 23(6): 1-14.
  4. Kimutai, Albert; Tonui, Willy K.; Gicheru, Michael M.; Ngure, Peter Kamau; Ingonga, Johnstone; Kepha, Stella; Njeru, Laban Ireri; Wachira Dorcas; Muhia, Robert Karanja; Mwangi, Milkah; Nyamwamu, Lydia B.Evaluation of the Adjuvanticity of Artemisinin with soluble Leishmania Major Antigens in BALB/c mice. Journal of Nanjing Medical University vol. 23 issue 6 November, 2009. p. 359-372
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Mr. Bernard Osero Ong’ondo

Research Officer
Research Interest
  1. Use of aptamers in diagnosis of leishmaniasis
  2. Cytokine profiling on BALB/c mice infected with leishmania parasites
  3.  Gene expression levels on uninfected commercial sex workers who are highly exposed to HIV-1 infection
  4. Gene expression on leishmania infected BALB/c mice treated with well-known drugs
  5. Transcriptomic approaches, the significance of genes, factors and cells for host protection on knockout and knockdown animal models
Selected Publications
  1. Barasa Mustafa, Ndeti Muia Cosmas, Wanjala Christine Ludwin, Ingonga Mwihwa Johnstone, Osero Bernard, Sarah Shinoko Muyonga, Wanyonyi Khakasa Mable, Frankline Tireito, Drinold Mbete, Kokonya Apollo Donald, Ozwara Suba Hastings, Zipporah Waithera Ng’ang’a, and Anjili Omukhango Christopher (2015). Cytokine-CpG Motif Oligodeoxynucleotide Co-Inoculation in BALB/c Mice Infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA Strain. Journal of Medical and Biological Science Research, 1 (10), pp. 145-161
  2. Osero BO, Mosigisi A, Ogeto TK, Mugambi R, Ingonga J, Karanja RM, Gicheru M, Anjili C. (2015). Effects of glucocorticoids in leishmania major infection. International Journal of Fauna and Biological Studies; 2 (3): 16-22
  3.  Rose M. Nyamao, Zipporah O. Lagat, Khayeka W. Christopher, Bernard N. Jumba, Rebecca W. Waihenya, Robert Karanja and Bernard Osero Ong’ondo. (2014). Efficacy of glucocorticoids in controlling leishmania major infecting Balb/c mice. Journal of Infectious Diseases and Immunity, 6(2): 10-18
  4. Edwin Too, Sabah Omar, Joseph Makumi, Francis Kimani and Bernard Osero Ong’ondo. Evaluation of efficacy of artemether lumefantrine and dihydro-artemisinin piperaquine in clearance of gametocytes in uncomplicated plasmodium falciparum malaria and effectiveness of microscopy and RT-PCR in gametocytes detection. Abstract A-004 (page 17) presented in the 2nd Kenya National Malaria Forum held in Kenya from 13th-14th October, 2014
  5. Ogeto T.K, Odhiambo R.A, Shivairo, R.S, Muleke C.I, Osero B.O, Anjili C, Ingonga J.M, Osuga I.M. (2013). Antileishmanial activity of Aloe Secundiflora plant extracts against Leishmania Major. Advances in Life Science and Technology, 13: 9-17
  6. Elijah M Songok, Bernard Osero, Lyle Mckinnon, Martin K Rono, Winnie Apidi, Elizabeth J Matey, Adrienne FA Meyers, Ma Luo, Joshua Kimani, Charles Wachihi, Blake T Ball, Frank A Plummer, Solomon Mpoke. CD26/ dipeptidyl peptidase IV (CD
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Mr. Edwine Too

Research Officer
Research Interest
  1. Assessment of therapeutic efficacy to the antifolates, artemisinin and non-artemisinin based combinations against falciparum malaria.
  2. Molecular characterization and application of radionuclide techniques for the detection of drug-resistant malaria parasites.
  3. Monitoring of antimalarial drug efficacy using quantitative assays, e.g nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (QT-NASBA) and RT-PCR.
  4. Transmission dynamics studies post-artemisinin-based intervention.
  5.  Parasite population studies determining origin and dispersal mechanisms of resistant parasites.
  6. Human population studies investigating protection to malaria disease and prevalence of some human immune genes and other phenotypic markers.
  7. Diagnosis of malaria parasites.
  8. In vitro screening of traditional medicines for antimalarial activity, towards bio-prospecting for antimalarial agents.
Selected Publications
  1. Evaluation of Efficacy of Artemether Lumefantrine and Dihydro-Artemisinin Piperaquine in Clearance of Gametocytes in Uncomplicated Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria and Effectiveness of Microscopy and Rt-Pcr in Gametocytes Detection.
    Edwin Too, Sabah Omar, Joseph Makumi, Francis Kimani, Benard Ongondo.
  2. PfEMP1 DBLα Sequence Tags in Genomic DNA of P. falciparum Field Isolates from Two Malaria Endemic Sites in Kenya.Francis W. Makokha1, 2, 4* Sabah A. Omar4 Francis T. Kimani4 Gabriel Magoma4 Rahma Udu4, 6. Edwin Too4 Nathan Shaviya5 Charity Hungu4.
  3. In Vivo Anti-malarial Test of Essential Oil Extracted from Nigella sativa (L.) Seeds‟. The Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Sabah O mar, Rahma U. Yusuf, Edwin Too. (2009).
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Ms. Nancy Kinyatta

Research Officer
Selected Publications
  1. Kinyatta NM, Ng’ang’a ZW, Kamau L, Kimani FT, Githae RW and Kagai JM. 2011. Determination of vectorial potential of Mansonia species in the transmission of Wuchereria bancrofti in Tana-Delta District, Coast-Kenya. East African Medical Journal Vol. 88 No. 10 pg.344-348
  2. Manuscript under review:
    Kinyatta NM, Ng’ang’a ZW, Kamau L, and Kagai JM. Comparison of mosquito collection methods in the assessment of lymphatic filariasis transmission dynamics in mosquito vectors in Tana River County, Kenya,
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Mr. David Siele

Lab Technologist
Research Interest

Efficacy testing of medical significant pesticides chemicals to Leishmania related vectors and parasites

Selected Publications
  1. Lawyer PG, Mebrahtu YB, Ngumbi PM, Mwanyumba P, Mbugua J, Kiilu G, Kipkoech D, Nzovu J, Anjili CO.Phlebotomus guggisbergi (Diptera: Psychodidae), a vector of Leishmania tropica in Kenya. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1991 Mar; 44(3): 290-8.
  2. Larvicidal effects of crude plant extracts from Tarchonanthus camphoratus (Family: Asteraceae) and Cassia didymobotrya (Family Ceasalpiniaceae on Culicine mosquitoes. Bernard Langat, David Siele, Faith Mwende, Christopher Anjili, Willy K. Tonui, Charles Mwandawiro, Charles Mutai and Lawrence Muthami
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Mr. Japheth Lusweti

Lab Technologist
Research Grants
  1. NRF Infrastructure grant Co-Investigator in Establishment of a Stem Cell Research Unit
  2. Generation, Characterization, Maintenance and Propagation of Mice Bone Marrow Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Their Application in Pre-Clinical Animal Model of Diabetes
  3. KEMRI IRG Grant- Co-PI Restorative Capacity of Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Cutaneous leishmaniasis Skin Lesions in Balb/c Mice
Selected Publications
  1. Molecular Characterization and Phylogenetic analysis of Wuchereria bancrofti in human blood samples from Malindi and Tana River Delta, endemic regions in Kenya (2019)
  2. Antiproliferative Activity of Kenyan Trametes versicolor Aqueous Extract on Selected Cancer and Normal Cell Lines (2016)
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Mr. David Muriu

Lab Technologist
Research Interest

Use of natural products to control parasites

Research Grants
  1. Principal Investigator and experienced senior research officer with hands-on expertise in a range of molecular laboratory techniques in basic science and actively contributing to the mission of the institute.
  2. Knowledge and experience in quality management functions in a Molecular laboratory while closely working with the laboratory management and personnel to ensure that quality is maintained at the highest levels for output of quality results.
  3. Manager of capacity building within Schistosomiasis section through recruitment, training, supervision and mentoring of both undergraduate and postgraduate students and interns.
Selected Publications
  1.  Effect of Praziquantel on platelets levels in mice infected with Schistosoma mansoni: Wambayi E., Kasili, Kimani G., and Warunge D.– E.A. Med. Journal 70: 665 1993
  2. Daily variation of Schistosoma hematobium egg excretion. David Warunge Muriu, Yoshiki Hamada, Kanji Watanabe, Yoshiki Aoki, Kazuhiko Moji,Yawo Dotse Afetse, Mohamed Karama, Ng’ethe Muhoho, and Masaaki Shimada, Tropical Medicine & Health, Vol. 33 no 01, March 2005
  3. Rodent parasites isolated from KEMRI Animal House. David Muriu, Timothy Kamau, Joseph Mwatha, Kimani Gachuhi, African Journal of Health Sciences, Vol. 19, no 3-4 (Supplementary) June- Dec 2011
  4. Antischistosomal Activity of Azadirachta indica and Ekebergia capensis in Mice Infected with Schistosoma mansoni Rael Musili, Francis Muregi, Joseph Mwatha, David Muriu, Linus M’ Rewa, Timothy Kamau, Antony Menaine, Simon Chege, Joseph Thiong’o, Zipporrah Ng’ang’a and Gachuhi Kimani, European Journal of Medicinal Plants 6(2): 92-102, 2015, Article no.EJMP.2015.046

 

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Mr. Lynus Murungi

Lab Technologist
Ongoing Project

Schistosomiasis and pregnancy: alterations in susceptibility and immunes responses in mice

Selected Publications
  1. Specific humoral responses to S. mansoni crude antigens in primary school children before and after treatment in Makueni District, Kenya. Lynus M’Rewa, David Muriu, Timothy Kamau, Joseph Mwatha, Eliud M.N. Njagi, Eucharia U. Kenya, Kimani Gachuhi. African Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 19 No. 3 & 4 (supplementary abstracts) June-Dec 2011.
  2. Antischistosomal Activity of Azadirachta indica and Ekebergia capensis in Mice Infected with Schistosoma mansoni. Rael Musili, Francis Muregi, Joseph Mwatha, David Muriu, Linus M’ Rewa, Timothy Kamau, Antony Menaine, Simon Chege, Joseph Thiong’o, Zipporrah Ng’ang’a, Gachuhi Kimani. European Journal of Medicinal Plants 6(2): 92-102, 2015, Article no.EJMP.2015.046.
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Mr. Anthony Muthee

Lab Technologist
Selected Publications
  1. Antischistosomal activity of Azadiracta indica and Ekebergia capensis in mice infected with Schistosoma mansoni.
    Rael Musili, Francis Muregi, Joseph Mwatha, David Muriu, Linus M’ Rewa, Timothy Kamau, Antony Menaine, Simon Chege, Joseph Thiong’o, Zipporrah Ng’ang’a and Kimani Gachuhi.