Holds a B.V.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees. After graduating with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (B.V.Sc.) degree, Prof. Gathuma worked briefly as a Veterinary Research Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Veterinary Services in April, 1971.

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Kariuki, S, Mirza N, Mitema ES, Olsvik O.  Submitted.  Acquired tetracycline resistance genes in nosocomial Salmonella typhimurium infection in a Kenyan hospital.. AbstractWebsite

Tetracyclines have been among the most widely used antibiotics worldwide. Plasmid-mediated tetracycline resistance among hospital strains of bacteria has continued to rise and of major concern has been the transfer of resistance to pathogenic organisms. Bacteraemia due to hospital acquired S. typhimurium has been a major cause of morbidity at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), hence the need to study drug susceptibility pattern of this organism. This study also characterized the tetracycline resistance genes using oligonucleotide probes. Ninety seven S. typhimurium strains isolated from patients at KNH were used. Agar dilution method was used to determine minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). Plasmids were isolated from each strain and the different plasmid profiles were grouped by their molecular weights into 6 patterns. Out of 97, 87 (88%) strains were resistant. MIC ranged from 1 microgram/ml to 128 micrograms/ml. Genes encoding for tetracycline resistance were located on plasmids of molecular weights 65 MDa, 5.2 or both. Plasmid-encoded antimicrobial resistance is likely to spread to other pathogenic organisms, reduce our ability to treat the infection and increase the cost and duration of treatment.





Maichomo, MW;, Gitau GK;, Gathuma JM;, Ndung'u JM;, Kosura WO;, Nyamwaro SO.  2009.  Comparative returns from livestock and crops among the agro-pastoralists of Magadi division, Kajiado District, Kenya. Abstract

A cross-sectional study was conducted in Kajiado District in August 2003 to estimate incomes from livestock and crop agricultural enterprises, and assess important factors associated with them. Purposive and random selection of pastoralists and their animals was used in order to collect data which were then analyzed using descriptive statistics and Generalized Linear Models from the households (HHs) that were all headed by men. These pastoralists were considered generally wealthy with an average livestock holding of 232 heads of livestock and annual total profit margins of Kshs 436,300 from both livestock and crops, demonstrating their complementarity and livelihood diversification for risk aversion. Cost of inputs and value of income were significantly associated with profit from either crop or livestock production enterprises. This study revealed that livestock production still remained the major source of livelihood in Kajiado District compared to crop production. While reducing cost of livestock and crop production could increase profit for the large and small scale pastoralists respectively, complementarity of crop and livestock production could be exploited by medium scale pastoralists to harness existing opportunities for significant wealth generation and achieve food security.


Maichomo, MW;, Gathuma JM;, Ndung'u JM;, Matere CN.  2008.  Effect of trypanosomosis and tick borne diseases on productivity of Orma / Zebu cattle in an (ASAL) area of south western Kenya. Abstract

Trypanosomosis and tick-borne diseases (TBD’s) have a profound impact on the livelihoods of agro-pastoralists in the ASAL areas of Kenya whose transhumance nature exposes livestock to tsetse-infested areas and also new ground may be sources of parasites. Both diseases are endemic and cause suboptimal production, which is enhanced in presence of endoparasites and nutritional stress. Trypanosomosis infected animals have pronounced immunosuppression and easily succumb to TBD’s even in presence of endemic stability and perhaps trypanotolerant animals will show minimal loss in production. A trial was conducted in trypanosomosis endemic foci to assess productivity of three hundred Orma zebu (OZ) (trypanotolerant Orma boran x Maasai zebu) and Sahiwal zebu (SZ) (susceptible Sahiwal x Maasai zebu) crosses, which were monitored monthly from birth to 18 months for prevalence of trypanosomosis and TBDs, and body weight changes. Diagnosis was based on parasitology and serology. Growth rate and disease prevalence were used as outcome measures of productivity. Factors associated with these outcome variables were assessed using multiple regression [Proc Reg, SAS version 9.1, SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA] and logistic regression [Proc Logistic] fitted at 95% confidence level. Daily weight gain for the O/Z and S/Z were 0.209 g/d and 0.212 g/d respectively and comparable. Prevalence of trypanosomosis, TBD and EPG counts were 1.9% and 2.5%; 59% and 62%; 48 and 42 in the O/Z and S/Z respectively. Factors significantly associated with disease distribution were season and age of calves. Enhanced trypanotolerance in O/Z crosses can be utilized for effective reclamation of tsetseinfested lands.


Bett, B;, Kitala J;, Gathuma J.  2006.  Developing a Frame Work for Evaluating Vaccination Strategies Against Foot and Mouth Disease Required for the Establishment of ‘Disease Free Zones’ in Kenya. Abstract

Foot and mouth disease is the most economically devastating disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals. In most parts of Kenya, the disease has become endemic because the available control measures (prophylactic or reactive vaccination) are not being applied at an intensity that would curtail the maintenance of the disease. The effectiveness of the control interventions is complicated by factors that reduce vaccination coverage and efficacy; these factors include spatial and host heterogeneities, low rates of uptake of the vaccines and the multiple serotypes of the virus. The conditions necessary for the establishment of disease free zones, given these limitations, are explored using a mathematical model that combines the mass-action transmission principles with spatial correlation structure describing the contact patterns between clusters of cattle and potential reservoirs. Cattle clusters are nested within those of potential reservoirs. The relative contact probabilities between clusters vary depending on the distances between them. The outputs indicate that with a trivalent vaccine, very high vaccination coverage would have to be realized on a regular basis if disease free zones were to be established. This may require a review of the existing cost sharing policy as it is the main cause of the low uptake of prophylactic vaccination.


Joseph; Gathuma, M, Dickson, M; Nyariki, Wellington, N; Ekaya, Boniface; Makau F;.  2005.  Guidelines For Emergency Livestock Off -take Handbook. AbstractWebsite

Kenya’s agricultural sector accounts for 20–30% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Of this, the livestock sector alone makes a contribution of about 50%. Thus, livestock contributes heavily to the GDP and food security of its population. It also provides the necessary thrust for other forms of development in the country. Recent statistics indicate that currently over 50% of the country’s livestock population is based in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs), which form about 80% of the country’s land area. However, comparative international statistics show that livestock contributes 88% of the total agricultural output in Botswana even though the country has half Kenya’s livestock population and is of less agricultural potential. Thus, there is a huge potential contribution that livestock can make to the Kenyan national economy. Unfortunately, this sector receives only 10% of the government’s agricultural expenditure and less than one per cent of total spending, yet it is estimated that Kenya’s potential to export livestock products if adequately exploited would earn more than the earnings from tea and coffee combined. This then calls for new thinking about livestock development strategies to harness the arid landsThe livestock sector accounts for 90% of employment and more than 95% of household incomes in the ASALs. Most of the livestock slaughtered in major urban centres originates in these areas, with an annual slaughter of about 1.6 million Tropical Livestock Units. Kenya’s livestock from the ASALs is worth Kshs 60 billion (US$800 million). The internal livestock trade in trade in thepastoral areas alone nets in about 6 billion shillings (US$80 million )a yearIn the arid areas of the ASALs, arable crop production is not possible without some form of irrigation; while in semi-arid areas rainfall may be sufficient for certain types of crops, requiring special management techniques. Therefore, except for the areaunder cropping, the rest of the arid areas is used for livestock.......

Makau, BF.  2005.  Comparative analysis of veterinary drugs delivery mechanisms in the arid lands of Kenya. AbstractWebsite

As in other remote, inaccessible pastoral areas of the world, access to quality drugs in a timely and affordable manner remains a major problem in the ASAL areas of Kenya. Several drug delivery mechanisms have been tried by different organisations, but it appears none of them has proved to be satisfactory. This study was therefore launched to carry out a comparative analysis of the different models of running the drug stores, their strengths and limitations, compare their effectiveness and sustainability and provide guidelines for subsequent implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the different delivery systems to ensure effectiveness and value to the pastoral communities. The findings and conclusions in this report are based on observations and interviews with stakeholders and key informants in Nairobi as well as in all the 11 arid districts and one semi- arid district (West Pokot)



Karimi, SK;, McDermott JJ;, Gitau GK;, Gathuma JM;, Kinuthia RN.  2003.  Risk factors for sero-prevalence of tick-borne diseases of calves in Maasai pastoral herds in Kajiado District, Kenya. Abstract

Risk factors for sero-prevalence of Theileria parva, Theileria mutans, Anaplasma marginale and Babesia bigemina were investigated in 729 calves from Maasai herds in Kajiado District, Kenya. Study herds were selected using a multistage sampling method. Serum antibodies were estimated using an indirect Enzyme- Linked Immunosorbent Assay and expressed as a percent positivity. The objective was to identify risk factors associated with sero-prevalence of tick-borne diseases in Maasai pastoral systems in Kajiado District. Sero-prevalence and associated risk factors varied between and within agro-climatic zones, group ranches and farms. Thus, targeted rather than blanket immunization of calves and other tick control should be conducted, with targeting being done at agro-climatic, group ranch and farm levels

Gatongi, PM, Njoroge JM, Scott ME, Ranjan S, Gathuma JM, Munyua WK, Cheruiyot H, Prichard RK.  2003.  Susceptibility to IVM in a field strain of Haemonchus contortus subjected to four treatments in a closed sheep–goat flock in Kenya. Abstract

Susceptibility to IVM (IVM) of “strain A” Haemonchus contortus which had been exposed to IVM four times over a 2-year period was compared to IVM susceptibility of “strain C” H. contortus which had no prior field exposure to IVM, by in vivo and in vitro methods. In vivo, the percentage reduction in faecal egg counts (FEC) and the total worm counts (TWC) were compared between control animals (lambs and kids) and animals treated with low dose IVM (20 μg/kg). In vitro susceptibility to IVM was evaluated by larval migration inhibition (LMI) after the two strains of H. contortus were exposed to different concentrations of IVM. The dose response, measured as the proportion of larvae inhibited from migrating, was used to estimate LD50. Although differences in response to IVM in the in vivo determinations were not significant, “strain A” H. contortus had a significantly higher LD50 than “strain C” in the LMI assay. Coincident with the conduct of the in vivo experiment, it was observed that “strain A” H. contortus established and survived better than “strain C” in the control lambs.

MWANGI, PROFGATHUMAJ.  2003.  Njanja, J.C., Gathuma,J.M., Gitau, G.K. Njeruh, F.M. and Kinuthia, R.N. (2003). Pastrolists. Nairobi Journal of Medince 1: 23, 1970. : au-ibar Abstract
No abstract available.


Muthee, AM;, Kabuage LW;, Gathuma JM;, Mwambia MW.  2002.  The Status Of Dairy Industry In Kenya. Review Of Policy, Institutional And Market Environment;.


Njoroge, EM;, Mbithi PMF;, Gathuma JM;, Wachira TM;, Magambo JK;, Zeyhle E.  2001.  Use of ultrasound in diagnosis of cystic echinococcosis in domestic intermediate hosts in Kenya.
MUCHAI, PROFKAGIKOM, MUCHAI PROFKAGIKOM, MWANGI PROFGATHUMAJ.  2001.  Community-Based Animal Health Care in East Africa: Experiences and Case Studies. Gathuma J.M., Kagiko, M.M. et al. (2001). An Intermediate Technology Development Group publication .ISBN No.9966-931-04-X. Nairobi Journal of Medince 1: 23, 1970. : au-ibar Abstract
No abstract available.


Odoi, A;, Gathuma JM;, Gachuiri CK;, Omore A;, Gitau T;, Wanyangu SW;, Murage E.  2000.  Constraints to Sheep and Goal Production in Small Holder Mixed Farms in Kenya's Central Highlands.
E.M, N, P.M.F M, J.M G, T.M W.  2000.  Application of ultrasonography in prevalence studies of hydatid cysts in goats in north-western Turkana, Kenya and Toposaland, southern Sudan. Abstract

Application of ultrasonography in prevalence studies of hydatid cysts in goats in north-western Turkana, Kenya and Toposaland, southern Sudan. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research, 67:251-255 A study was done to determine the prevalence of hydatid cysts in goats using ultrasonography. A total of 1 390 goats were examined, 43,6 % (606/1390) of them from north-western Turkana, Kenya, and 56,4 % (784/1390) from Toposaland, southern Sudan. Hydatid cysts were visualized in 1,82 % (11/ 606) of the goats from north-western Turkana and 4,34 % (34/784) of those from Toposaland. Unlike abattoir surveys, the prevalence data obtained in this study were unbiased because entire flocks were examined. The lower prevalence rate of the disease in goats from Turkana was attributed to the hydatid disease control programme in that area, which is absent in Toposaland. Keywords: Goats, hydatid cysts, Kenya, north-western Turkana, prevalence, southern Sudan, Toposaland


Njogu, A, Owiti GO, Persson E, Njoroge EM, Mbithi PMF, Wachira TM, Maxson AD, Zeyhle EE.  1999.  Ultrasound in Livestock. A contribution to epidemiology of hydatidosis. Website
Njenga, MJ, Munyua SJM, Mutiga ER, Gathuma JM, JM; Kang’ethe EK, Bwangamoi O;, Mugera GM, Mitaru BN.  1999.  Semen characteristics of goats with subacute, acute and chronic besnoitiosis : research communication. Abstract

A study on the semen obtained from breeding goats suffering from mild to severe chronic besnoitiosis revealed marked changes in semen volume, colour, density, concentration, mass and individual motility and percentage live. There were also many neutrophils and spermatozoa with primary and secondary defects, including missing tails and deformed heads and tails. The observed changes were considered to be severe enough to account for the infertility observed in the flock. Sections of testes obtained for histopathology were characterised by massive blockage of the pampiniform plexus, degeneration of the germinal epithelium, tubular necrosis with an inflammatory infiltrate and, in some cases, accumulation of haemosiderin-like material in the tunica vaginalis.


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