Factors influencing usage of antimicrobial drugs among pastoralists in Kenya

Dennis N. Makau, Ilya Slizovskiy, Vincent Obanda, Noelle R. Noyes, James R. Johnson, Michael Oakes, Dominic Travis, Kimberly VanderWaal, George P. Omondi

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1 Scopus citations


Agricultural use of antimicrobials in food animal production may contribute to the global emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). However, considerable gaps exist in research on the use of antimicrobial drugs (AMDs) in food animals in small-scale production systems in low- and middle-income countries, despite the minimal regulation of antimicrobials in such regions. The aim of this study was to identify factors that may influence AMD use in livestock among pastoral communities in Kenya. We collected data related to household and herd demographics, herd health, and herd management from 55 households in the Maasai Mara ecosystem, Kenya, between 2018 and 2019. We used multi-model logistic regression inference (supervised machine learning) to ascertain trends in AMD use within these households. AMD use in cattle was significantly associated with AMD use in sheep and goats (p = 0.05), implying that decisions regarding AMD use in cattle or sheep and goats were interdependent. AMD use in sheep and goats was negatively associated with vaccination against the foot and mouth disease (FMD) virus in cattle (OR = 0.06, 95% CI 0.01–0.67, p = 0.02). Less AMD use was observed for vaccine-preventable diseases like contagious ecthyma when households had access to state veterinarians (OR = 0.06, p = 0.05, 95% CI 0.004–0.96). Overall, decisions to use AMDs were associated with vaccine usage, occurrence of respiratory diseases, and access to animal health advice. This hypothesis-generating study suggests that applying community-centric methods may be necessary to understand the use of AMDs in pastoral communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number332
JournalTropical Animal Health and Production
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The funding for this project was provided through the Faculty Grant Research Program from the Healthy Foods Healthy Lives Institute of the University of Minnesota, grant number 18SFR-2YR100KV.

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge the Maasai Mara community, Kenya Wildlife Service staff at the KWS Mara Research Centre, and Narok County Government. We would specifically like to appreciate James Lempoiyo and Joel Dukuny for their assistance in the field.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


  • Antimicrobial use
  • Food animals
  • Kenya
  • Machine learning
  • Pastoral communities

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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