Dr John Thuita Meru University of Science and Technology

Research Publications

  1. Karanja P Ku, Ng’ang’a, Z,  Njeruh, FM,  and Thuita J (2020). In vitro antiplasmodial, cytotoxicity assay and partial chemical characterization of Kenyan Physalis peruviana L. (Solanaceae family) extracts.https://doi.org/10.5897/JMPR2019.6882
  2. Ndung’u K, Murilla GA, Thuita JK, Ngae GN, Auma JE, Gitonga PK, et al. (2020) Differential virulence of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense isolates does not influence the outcome of treatment with anti-trypanosomal drugs in the mouse model. PLoS ONE 15(11): e0229060. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0229060
  3. Nyamota, R, Vincent Owino, Richard Nyamota, Owino V , Murungi, EK,  Villinger J, Otiende, M,  Masiga D , Thuita, J,  Lekolool, I, Jeneby, M, (2020). Broad diversity of simian immunodeficiency virus infecting Chlorocebus species (African green monkey) and evidence of cross-species infection in Papio anubis (olive baboon) in Kenya.   J Med Primatol .2020 Aug;49(4):165-178.doi: 10.1111/jmp.12461.Epub 2020 Feb 6.
  4. Ndungu K, Thungu D, Wamwiri F, Mireji P, Ngae G, Gitonga P, Mulinge J, Auma J, Thuita J. (2019). Route of inoculation influences Trypanosoma congolense and Trypanosoma brucei brucei virulence in Swiss white mice. PLoS One 2019 Jun 20;14(6):e0218441. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0218441. eCollection 2019.


  1. Purity K Gitonga, PK, Kariuki Ndung’u, K., Murilla, GA, Thande, PC, Wamwiri, FN  Auma, JE,  Geoffrey N Ngae, Kibugu, JK,  Richard Kurgat, R,  Thuita JK.(2017). Differential virulence and tsetse fly transmissibility of Trypanosoma congolense and Trypanosoma brucei Onderstepoort J Vet Res. 2017; 84(1): 1412. Published online 2017 Jun 27. doi: 10.4102/ojvr.v84i1.1412
  2. Mokua PM , Mayunzu O, Obonyo M, Thuita JK, Mutuku J, Rutto J, Murilla G (2016) The Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia Fiscus-Indica) Cladode Extracts Modulate Blood Sugar in Swiss White Albino Mice. International Journal of Diabetes Research 2016, 5(3): 41-47 DOI: 10.5923/j.diabetes.20160503.01.
  3. Thuita, K., Wolf, K. K., Murilla, G. A., Bridges, A. S., Boykin, D. W., Mutuku, J. N., … Brun, R. (2015). Chemotherapy of Second Stage Human African Trypanosomiasis: Comparison between the Parenteral Diamidine DB829 and Its Oral Prodrug DB868 in Vervet Monkeys. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 9(2), e0003409. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003409.
  4. Muchiri MW, Ndung’u K, Kibugu JK, Thuita JK, Gitonga PK, Ngae GN, Mdachi RE, Kagira JM (2015). Comparative pathogenicity of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense strains in Swiss white mice and Mastomys natalensis rats. Acta Trop. 150:23-8.
  5. Nyariki JN, Thuita JK, Grace Nyambati GK, Isaac AO (2014) Coenzyme Q10 prevented full blown splenomegaly and decreased melarsoprol-induced reactive encephalopathy in mice infected with Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense. Journal of Coastal Life Medicine 2(3): 230-238
  6. Murilla GA, Ndung’u K, Thuita JK, Gitonga PK, Kahiga DT, Auma JE, et al. (2014) Kenya Trypanosomiasis Research Institute Cryobank for Human and Animal Trypanosome Isolates to Support Research: Opportunities and Challenges. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 8(5): e2747. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002747
  7. Thuita JK, Wolf KK, Murilla GA, Liu Q, Mutuku JN, Chen Y, et al. (2013) Safety, Pharmacokinetic, and Efficacy Studies of Oral DB868 in a First Stage Vervet Monkey Model of Human African Trypanosomiasis. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 7(6): e2230. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002230
  8. Ndung’u K1, Kibugu JK, Gitonga PK, Thuita JK, Auma JE, Gitonga SK, Ngae GN, Murilla GA (2013) Infectra(®)-kit: a device for restraining mice and confining tsetse flies during trypanosome infection transmission experiments. Acta Trop. 26:146-9. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2013.02.006.
  9. Thuita JK, Wang MZ, Kagira JM, Denton CL, Paine MF, et al. (2012) Pharmacology of DB844, an Orally Active aza Analogue of Pafuramidine, in a Monkey Model of Second Stage Human African Trypanosomiasis. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 6(7): e1734. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001734
  10. Paine M.F., Wang M.Z., Generaux C.N., Boykin D.W., Wilson W.D., De Koning H.P., Olson C.A., Pohlig G., Burri, C., Brun, R., Murilla, G.A., Thuita, J.K., Barrett M.P., and Tidwell R.R., (2010). Diamidines for human African trypanosomiasis. Current Opinion in Investigational Drugs 11(8):876-883
  11. Karanja, S.M., Ngaira, J.M., Thuita, J.K., Maina-Ngotho and Gichuki, C.W. (2010) Use of TrypTect CIAAT to determine the effectiveness of treatment of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense infections in vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops) and man. J. Protozool. Res. 20: 10-20.
  12. Thuita, J.K., Karanja, S.M., Wenzler, T., Mdachi, R.E., Ngotho, J.M., Kagira, J.M., Tidwell, R.R. and Brun, R., (2008). Efficacy of the diamidine DB75 and its prodrug DB289, against murine models of human African trypanosomiasis. Acta Trop Oct 108 (1) 6-10. Epub 2008 Aug 5.
  13. Mdachi, R.E,K. Thuita, J.M. Kagira, J.M. Ngotho, G.A. Murilla, D.W. Boykin, J.M. Ndung’u, R.R. Tidwell , J.Ed. Hall and R. Brun (2009). Efficacy of a novel diamidine compound 2, 5-bis (4-amidinophenyl)-furan-bis-O-methlylamidoxime (Pafuramidine, DB289) against T. b rhodesiense infection in vervet monkeys after oral administration. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 53(3) 953-957
  14. Thuita, J.K., Kagira, J.M, Mwangangi, D.M., Matovu, E., Turner, C.M.R., and Masiga, D. (2008). Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense transmitted by a single tsetse fly bite in vervet monkeys as a model of Human African Trypanosomiasis. PloS NTD, 2, e238.
  15. Kagira J.M., Thuita J.K, Ngotho J.M., Mwangangi D.M., Ndung’u J.M. (2006). Haematology of experimental Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense infection in Vervet monkeys. Africa Journal of health sciences 13: 59-65.
  16. Kagira JM, Ngotho M, Thuita JK, Maina NW, Hau J. (2007). Haematological changes in vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops) during eight months’ adaptation to captivity. Am J Primatol. 69: 485-490.
  17. Kagira J.M., Ngotho, J.M. and Thuita J.K. (2007). Development of rodent model for b. rhodesiense sleeping sickness. J. Protozool Res 17 (2).
  18. Ngotho Maina, Kagira J.M., Karanja S.M., Ndung’u J.M., Thuita J.K., Mwendia C.M.T., Makumi J.N. (2007). Clinical and pathological findings in piglets infected with Trypanosoma simiae Bulletin of Animal Health and Production in Africa 54: 176-185.
  19. M. Kagira, M. Ngotho, J.K. Thuita and J. Hau. (2007) Lymphorsarcoma in adult African green monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops). Scandinavian Journal of Laboratory Animal Science 34; 143-146
  20. Kagira J.M., Maina N.W., Thuita J.K., Ngotho J M. and Han J (2005). Influence of cyclophosphamide on the haematological profile of laboratory bred African soft furred rats (Mastomys natalensis). Scandinavian Journal of Laboratory Animal Science 32: 153-158.
  21. Thuita, J.K., K. Kangethe, S.M. Arimi and H.F.A. Kaburia: (2004): The influence of pH and usefulness of buffered diluent on the recovery of micro-organisms from honey. Kenya veterinary Journal Vol 87.
  22. Maina N.W., Ngotho J.M., Were T., Thuita J.K., Mwangangi D.M., Kagira J.M., Ndung’u J.M. (2004). Proinflammatory cytokine response in the early phase of b. rhodesiense infection in vervet monkeys. Infection and immunity 72: 3063-3065.
  • Attended a Scientific Symposium organized as post Tokyo International Conference of Africa’s Development (TICAD) by KEMRI and Nagasaki University at Weston hotel in Nairobi Kenya on 15th and 16th September 2016.
  • Attended a Biosafety and Biosecurity Training of Trainers held at International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) on 8th to 12th September 2014.
  • Thuita J.K., Osoro S, Auma J, Njenga M., Murilla G.A. Human African Trypanosomiasis: Focus on the Maasai Maara ecosystem. HAT/Platform/EANETT scientific conference/workshop held at the PANAFRIC hotel, May 2013, in Nairobi Kenya.
  • Thuita J.K. (2013) In vitro metabolism and pharmacokinetic studies of diamidine prodrugs targeted for therapy of human African Trypanosomiasis. The 19th International Scientific Conference on Basic and Clinical Research for Improved Health 11th-13th September 2013 at Southern Sun, Mayfair hotel Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Tanja Wenzler, John Thuita, Mohamed A. Ismail, Donald A. Patrick, David W. Boykin, Richard R. Tidwell, Reto Brun. Novel diamidines for 2nd stage African sleeping sickness: new preclinical drug candidates. Emerging Paradigms in Anti-Infective Drug Designs” in London, UK: 17 – 18. September 2012.
  • Tanja Wenzler, John Thuita, Donald A. Patrick, Richard R. Tidwell, David W. Boykin, Reto Brun (2012). Diamidines for 2nd stage African sleeping sickness:new preclinical drug candidates. Annual Swiss Trypanosomatid Meeting in Leysin, CH:  25th – 27th January 2012
  • Tanja Wenzler, John Thuita, Mohamed A. Ismail, Donald A. Patrick, David W. Boykin, Richard R. Tidwell, Reto Brun. Novel diamidines for 2nd stage African sleeping sickness: new preclinical drug candidates. Biovalley Science day (MipTec) in Basel, CH:  20. September 2011
  • John Thuita Grace Murilla and Reto Brun et al. Prospects for treatment of human African trypanosomiasis with novel diamidines: studies in the vervet monkey model of HAT. Presented during the 11th annual HAT Platform/EANETT scientific conference on 4-5th Oct 2010 at the Silver Springs Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya.


Student supervisions

  1. Mr Peter Karanja Kamau (PhD Student). Registered for PhD at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). PhD project title: Antimicrobial Immunomodulatory effects, safety evaluation and partial characterization of Kenyan Cape Goosberry (Physalis peruviana extracts).
  2. William Kiplimo Limo (MSc student). Registered for MSc at Egerton University. Identification of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense strains responsible for varying disease outcomes in mouse and their establishment in tsetse fly.
  3. Mr James Nyariki (MSc student) carried out in vivo studies of his MSc research project under my supervision. He has already graduated with an MSc degree at Egerton University, Kenya and is currently working at Technical University of Kenya.
  4. Maureen Kamau (MSc student) did her research project on drug development work partly in my Chemotherapy laboratory. She is in the process of writing up her thesis.


External Examiner of MSc Thesis

I have served as an external examiner of three MSc Thesis for two students of JKUAT University and one student of University of Nairobi upper Kabete Campus


  • Registered by the Kenya Veterinary Board
  • Member of Kenya Veterinary association


Academic and Professional Referees

  1. Daniel Masiga (MSc, PhD), International Centre for Insect Physiology and ecology (Icipe), P.O Box 30772-00100, Nairobi, Kenya. Email: dmasiga@icipe.org
  2. Raymond Mdachi (MSc, PhD, Head Chemotherapy Division), Biotechnology Research Institute-Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, P.O. Box 362, 00902, Kikuyu, Kenya. Email: rayelliemdachi@gmail.com
  3. Professor Reto Brun, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and University of Basel, Socinstrasse 57, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland. Email: Reto.Brun@unibas.ch