Epidemiological factors associated with cutaneous leishmaniasis transmission in Gilgil, Nakuru County, Kenya


  • Barack Omondi

    International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology

Project summary

Leishmaniasis is spread to humans by bites from infected sandflies. About 350 million people are at risk of exposure to one of the four forms of the disease in nearly a hundred low- and middle-income countries, with 1.3 million new cases and 20,000-40,000 deaths annually. Visceral and cutaneous forms of the disease are known to be endemic in the Rift Valley, eastern, and north-eastern regions of Kenya. Cutaneous leishmaniasis is a disfiguring disease and it occurs in focal distribution and in remote locations with limited access to health services. The specific causal organisms and sandflies responsible for the spread of the disease have been identified in Kenya and cutaneous leishmaniasis cases have been reported in Gilgil, Nakuru County in Kenya.

Little is known about the factors that drive the transmission of leishmaniasis. This study seeks to determine the occurrence, distribution and abundance of sandflies in cutaneous leishmaniasis hotspots in Gilgil. I will look at causal organism screening from the vectors and evaluate exposure levels to sandfly bites using specific molecular markers.

This grant was awarded under the scheme's previous name of Master's Fellowships in Public Health and Tropical Medicine.