JKUAT Researchers Unveil Livestock Deworming Drug ‘Bromecure’

From left: Principal Investigators Prof. Naomi Maina and Dr. John Kagira display the Bromecure Drug and Silage

Two JKUAT dons; Dr. John Kagira from the Department of Animal Science and Prof. Naomi Maina from the Department of Biochemistry, have collaborated to develop an innovative drug named Bromecure.

This groundbreaking solution, derived from pineapple and seafood extracts, offers a novel approach to deworming in livestock. It holds tremendous promise in optimizing gut health among goats, sheep, and cows, thereby fostering enhanced livestock production for farmers.

Bromecure’s development marks a significant advancement in livestock management. By leveraging bromelain from pineapple peels and chitosan from seafood waste, the drug offers a safer and more sustainable alternative to conventional dewormers, mitigating concerns over drug resistance and harmful residues in animal products.

According to the research conducted by Dr. Kagira, the Principal Investigator of the project, and Prof. Maina, the Co-Principal Investigator, one of the hindrances to the growth of livestock in East Africa is high prevalence of diseases. One of these is helminthiasis.

This disease is known to cause immense losses to farmers as it causes decline in growth, productivity and mortality. To mitigate these losses, farmers and veterinarians opt for aggressive treatments using conventional deworming drugs.

This has led to the emergence of drug-resistant pathogens and consumer concerns regarding the presence of drug residues in animal products which are believed to cause allergies and cancer. Thus, the urgent need to develop alternative treatments such as Bromecure which is unique because it is herbal, organic, and safe for use in animals and man.

In addition to the Bromecure drug, the researchers also formulated silage which is a gut-friendly feed made from fermented pineapple waste which otherwise contributes to carbon emissions and environmental pollution. This is a better alternative to the traditional maize crop thereby reducing competition of food between animals and humans to boost food security.

These products were developed through a project funded by Bioinnovate Africa. This is a regional science and innovation-driven initiative that is supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and implemented by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) in Nairobi, Kenya.

During a meeting convened at JKUAT, February 20, 2024, to present the innovations to Bioinnovate Africa, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research, Production, and Extension, Prof. Jackson Kwanza, commended the duo for the innovation which was patented in 2018 and now ready for commercialization.

Similarly, Dr. Julius Ecuru, heading a delegation from Bioinnovate Africa, expressed admiration for the strides made by JKUAT researchers in aligning biological research concepts, innovations, and technologies with commercial viability. This collaboration involves key partners such as Université Evangélique en Afrique (UEA), Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), and Vetcare Africa, marking a significant step towards bridging research with business and market opportunities.

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, these two innovations will benefit small and large-scale pineapple farmers as there will be increased sales of pineapple waste, while animal health practitioners and agro vets can now access the novel drug for various livestock diseases already resistant to current drugs in the market.

Notably, postgraduate students undertaking training at JKUAT will also benefit. So far, seven students undertaking Masters’ and Doctorate degrees at the University have benefitted from the project and have conducted field studies on several objectives aligned to the project.

Overall, this initiative not only addresses critical issues in livestock health and production but also demonstrates a sustainable approach to agriculture and environmental management, with potential socio-economic benefits for various stakeholders in East Africa.

JKUAT Researchers Unveil Livestock Deworming Drug ‘Bromecure’

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