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Joseph Kuria is an associate professor in the department on veterinary pathology and microbiology, University of Nairobi. He holds a bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine, masters in immunology and a doctorate in microbiology. He has a wide teaching experience, having trained undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary students, diplomates in animal health, students of wildlife management of fish health and management in the last 35 years. Prof Kuria is an expert in animal health, zoonotic diseases and specialises in the field of microbiology Kuria has also carried out and supervised research in those fields for 35 years. The research has focused on diagnosis and control of animal and zoonotic diseases. He is involved in research in tuberculosis in humans and animal and his research team was the first to identify bovine (zoonotic) tuberculosis in Kenya. He has an extensive hands-on experience in isolation and molecular characterisation of Mycobacteria. His research in mycology has led to identification of a dimorphic fungus, an agent of systemic mycoses, previously considered geographically restricted to the American region. This fungus Paracoccidioides has been identified in both livestock and humans in Kenya. This is highly significant since the fungus is associated with lesions similar to those produced by Mycobacteria, hence a challenge to diagnosis of tuberculosis. Another dimorphic, Blastomyces dermatitidis, previously identified only in dogs and humans, has been identified in livestock. Prof Kuria has also been involved in aquaculture research. Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing sectors of agriculture but intensification causes’ environmental unsustainability and increase in fish health problems. Use of antibiotics in fish health management has inherent problem in development of antibiotic resistance and residues in fish products and water body. Prophylactic health products (PHPs) such as probiotics may be safer alternative. Kuria has been involved in evaluation of probiotics in promoting growth and health in aquaculture
Free-range indigenous chicken accounts for 80% of chicken production in Kenya but production, marketing is practiced under minimal biosecurity measures, which may expose the chicken to pathogenic zoonotic microorganism and pose a health risk to consumers.. Prof Kuria has conducted research on microorganisms of concern in biosafety of indigenous chicken value chain. In the investigation he established that free-range indigenous chicken value chain is a potential source of Campylobacter organisms which are the main agents of human campylobacteriosis. The research has also for the first time established that free-range chickens, especially those reared alongside cattle, are potential sources of the highly pathogenic and zoonotic Escherichia coli 0157:H7
Intracellular bacterial parasites are important pathogens in animals and humans, causing chronic debilitating diseases that difficult to treat by antimicrobial drugs. In addition to mycobacteria, Kuria has researched extensively on Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, the causative agent of the economically important caseous lymphadenitis mainly in sheep and goats. This research formed the subject of both masters and doctorate theses. In this research, the scientific contributions included establishing the mechanism of one of the tests used, the heamolysis inhibition test, establishing an immunoassay test, determining the most efficient route of experimental infection, the incubation period, and the pathogenic components of the organism. Prof Kuria has authored or co-authored 37 journal papers, one book , one book chapter and one booklet. He has supervised a number of masters and doctorate theses
Kuria has alone or in collaboration, attracted research grants which included a project on zoonotic tuberculosis in human and cattle populations funded by the National Research fund, a project on indigenous chicken value chain enhancement funded by Kenya agricultural and agribusiness productivity programme (KAPAP), a project on nematophagus fungi from soils, funded by United states Agency for international development , through Kenya Agricultural Research fund, and a project on caseous lymphadenitis in goats also funded by the United states Agency for international development through Kenya Agricultural Research fund. Kuria has been a recipient of a fellowship from Norwegian Agency For international development fellowship at the Norwegian College of Veterinary Medicine.
He is experienced in training farmers especially on identification and control of important animal diseases. I particular, he has been involved in a project that trained farmers in indigenous chicken value chain enhancement, particularly in health and biosafety. I the course of the project he designed and implemented a model chicken house for free-range indigenous chicken and also published a booklet on poultry diseases for farmers. Prof Kuria is widely experienced in regulation of veterinary education and practice, having been a member of the national statutory regulatory body, the Kenya Veterinary Board for nine (9) years, three of which he was the chairman . During his tenure as the Chairman, he established the first veterinary inspectorate in the country. I regulation of veterinary training, Prof Kuria has carried out, individually of jointly , expert consultations and consultancies which included training veterinarians in the Republic of Somaliland and the Puntiland state of Somalia on meat hygiene on behalf of FAO Somalia, review and updating the veterinary code for the transitional federal government of Somalia on behalf of Terra Nuova, training of veterinarians in the Republic of Somaliland and the Puntiland state of Somalia on the formation and operating of a veterinary board, training of veterinarians in the Republic of Somaliland and the Puntiland state of Somalia on formulation of regulations and procedures needed to operate a veterinary board, and Identification of gaps in laws and regulations in the poultry industry value chain, and formulation of rules and for the control and prevention of the highly pathogenic avian influenza, on behalf of FAO Kenya . Prof Kuria has held several committee positions, including vice-chairman and secretary, in the professional association the Kenya Veterinary Association.

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