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author:("wasf3, Momtaz")
1.  Serosurvey for Zoonotic Viral and Bacterial Pathogens Among Slaughtered Livestock in Egypt 
Zoonotic diseases are an important cause of human morbidity and mortality. Animal populations at locations with high risk of transmission of zoonotic pathogens offer an opportunity to study viral and bacterial pathogens of veterinary and public health concern.
Blood samples were collected from domestic and imported livestock slaughtered at the Muneeb abattoir in central Egypt in 2009. Samples were collected from cattle (n = 161), buffalo (n = 153), sheep (n = 174), and camels (n = 10). Samples were tested for antibodies against Leptospira spp. by a microscopy agglutination test, Coxiella burnetii by enzyme immunoassay, Brucella spp. by standard tube agglutination, and Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV), Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV), sandfly fever Sicilian virus (SFSV), and sandfly fever Naples virus (SFNV) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Antibodies against Leptospira spp. were identified in 64 (40%) cattle, 45 (29%) buffalo, 71 (41%) sheep, and five (50%) camels; antibodies against C. burnetii in six (4%) buffalo, 14 (8%) sheep, and seven (70%) camels; and antibodies against Brucella spp. in 12 (8%) cattle, one (1%) buffalo, seven (4%) sheep, and one (10%) camel. Antibodies against RVFV were detected in two (1%) cattle and five (3%) buffalo, and antibodies against CCHFV in one (1%) cow. No antibodies against SFSV or SFNV were detected in any species.
Results indicate that livestock have been exposed to a number of pathogens, although care must be taken with interpretation. It is not possible to determine whether antibodies against Leptospira spp. and RVFV in cattle and buffalo are due to prior vaccination or natural exposure. Similarly, antibodies identified in animals less than 6 months of age may be maternal antibodies transferred through colostrum rather than evidence of prior exposure. Results provide baseline evidence to indicate that surveillance within animal populations may be a useful tool to monitor the circulation of pathogens of veterinary and public health concern in Egypt.
PMCID: PMC4676263  PMID: 25198525
Zoonoses; Rift Valley Fever virus; Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever virus; Coxiella burnetii; Brucella; Leptospira; Abattoir; Livestock; Egypt
2.  Molecular Characterization of Multidrug Resistant Hospital Isolates Using the Antimicrobial Resistance Determinant Microarray 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69507.
Molecular methods that enable the detection of antimicrobial resistance determinants are critical surveillance tools that are necessary to aid in curbing the spread of antibiotic resistance. In this study, we describe the use of the Antimicrobial Resistance Determinant Microarray (ARDM) that targets 239 unique genes that confer resistance to 12 classes of antimicrobial compounds, quaternary amines and streptothricin for the determination of multidrug resistance (MDR) gene profiles. Fourteen reference MDR strains, which either were genome, sequenced or possessed well characterized drug resistance profiles were used to optimize detection algorithms and threshold criteria to ensure the microarray's effectiveness for unbiased characterization of antimicrobial resistance determinants in MDR strains. The subsequent testing of Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae hospital isolates revealed the presence of several antibiotic resistance genes [e.g. belonging to TEM, SHV, OXA and CTX-M classes (and OXA and CTX-M subfamilies) of β-lactamases] and their assemblages which were confirmed by PCR and DNA sequence analysis. When combined with results from the reference strains, ∼25% of the ARDM content was confirmed as effective for representing allelic content from both Gram-positive and –negative species. Taken together, the ARDM identified MDR assemblages containing six to 18 unique resistance genes in each strain tested, demonstrating its utility as a powerful tool for molecular epidemiological investigations of antimicrobial resistance in clinically relevant bacterial pathogens.
PMCID: PMC3723915  PMID: 23936031
3.  Genetic characterization of antimicrobial resistance of Shigella flexneri 1c isolates from patients in Egypt and Pakistan 
Shigella flexneri serotype 1c emerged as a critical isolate from children in Egypt and Pakistan. The pattern of antimicrobial susceptibility (AMS) and resistance genes of this serotype have yet to be characterized.
Sixty nine S. flexneri 1c isolates isolates were identified from both Egypt (n-46) and Pakistan (n = 23) and tested for AMS by disk diffusion method and minimal inhibitory concentrations were also determined. Isolates were genotyped by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and five relevant resistance genes (blaTEM, blaSHV, blaOXA, sulI and sulII) were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and confirmed by DNA sequencing. High resistance was observed in all isolates for ampicillin (AM >96%); trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole and tetracycline (>88%). Most AM-resistant isolates from Egypt (70%) harbored blaTEM resistance, while 52% of isolates from Pakistan expressed blaOXA. All isolates were closely related by PFGE, irrespective of source or time of collection. The sulII gene was present in 100% of isolates from pediatric cases in Egypt, 65% of Pakistan isolates, and 53% of isolates from older Egyptian patients.
While different Shigella serotypes gathered in specific genotypic groups, 1c serotype isolates formed multiple clusters. Although AMS was considerably high to most commonly used drugs, genetic determinants were variable between countries over time. The data stress the need for a more careful selection of antibiotics in the treatment of shigellosis.
PMCID: PMC3661368  PMID: 23638855
S. flexneri 1c; Genetic diversity; Antibiotic resistance; Oxa1; PFGE; Egypt; Diarrhea; Pakistan
4.  In vitro antibiotic susceptibility testing of Brucella isolates from Egypt between 1999 and 2007 and evidence of probable rifampin resistance 
Brucellosis poses a significant public health problem in Mediterranean countries, including Egypt. Treatment of this disease is often empirical due to limited information on the antibiotic susceptibility profiles of Brucella spp. in this region of the world. The aim of this study was to determine the antibiotic susceptibility profiles of Brucella blood isolates in Egypt, a country endemic for brucellosis.
Brucella spp. isolates were identified from the blood cultures of acute febrile illness (AFI) patients presenting to a network of infectious disease hospitals from 1999–2007. Minimum inhibitory concentrations were determined for tetracycline, gentamicin, doxycycline, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, streptomycin, ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin and rifampin using the E-test. Interpretations were made according to Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines.
A total of 355 Brucella spp. isolates were analyzed. All were susceptible to tetracycline, doxycycline, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, streptomycin and ciprofloxacin; probable resistance to rifampin and ceftriaxone was observed among 277 (64%) and 7 (2%) of the isolates, respectively. Percentages of isolates showing probable resistance to rifampin were significantly lower before 2001 than in the following years (7% vs. >81%, p < 0.01).
Despite the high burden of brucellosis in Egypt and frequent empirical treatment, isolates have remained susceptible to the majority of tested antibiotics. However, this is the first report of high rates of probable resistance to rifampin among Brucella isolates from Egypt. Patients should be closely monitored while following standard treatment regimens. Continued surveillance, drug susceptibility studies and updated CLSI interpretive criteria are needed to monitor and update antibiotic prescribing policies for brucellosis.
PMCID: PMC3464789  PMID: 22929054
Brucella; Brucellosis; MIC; Rifampin; Ceftriaxone; E-test; Egypt
5.  Cross-Species Surveillance of Leptospira in Domestic and Peri-Domestic Animals in Mahalla City, Gharbeya Governorate, Egypt 
A survey of 179 animals (black rats, dogs, sheep, buffaloes, cattle, donkeys, weasels, and cats) for Leptospira infection was conducted in Mahalla City (Lower Egypt). Blood, urine, and kidney were collected and tested by culture, microscopic agglutination test (MAT), and/or polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Among rats, 26% were positive by PCR, including 7% that were also positive by culture for L. interrogans serovars Grippotyphosa, Pyrogenes, and Icterohaemorrhagiae. L. borpetersenii serovar Polonica was isolated for the first time in Egypt in three rats. MAT titers ≥ 1:800 were observed in 11% of rats and 12% of dogs. L. interrogans serovar Grippotyphosa was detected in one cat. Sheep and donkeys were negative for leptospirosis by all methods. Buffaloes and cattle were seropositive in 20% and 44% of animals, respectively. Data indicate that several pathogenic serovars are circulating in the animals, which may pose exposure risks and account for high rates of acute febrile illness.
PMCID: PMC3042818  PMID: 21363980
6.  Estimating the Incidence of Typhoid Fever and Other Febrile Illnesses in Developing Countries 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2003;9(5):539-544.
To measure the incidence of typhoid fever and other febrile illnesses in Bilbeis District, Egypt, we conducted a household survey to determine patterns of health seeking among persons with fever. Then we established surveillance for 4 months among a representative sample of health providers who saw febrile patients. Health providers collected epidemiologic information and blood (for culture and serologic testing) from eligible patients. After adjusting for the provider sampling scheme, test sensitivity, and seasonality, we estimated that the incidence of typhoid fever was 13/100,000 persons per year and the incidence of brucellosis was 18/100,000 persons per year in the district. This surveillance tool could have wide applications for surveillance for febrile illness in developing countries.
PMCID: PMC2972755  PMID: 12737736
Population surveillance; community surveys; incidence; fever; typhoid fever; Salmonella Typhi; brucellosis; Brucella; malaria; Egypt; research
7.  Evaluation of Dipstick Serologic Tests for Diagnosis of Brucellosis and Typhoid Fever in Egypt 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2002;40(9):3509-3511.
Two dipstick assays for the detection of Brucella- and typhoid-specific immunoglobulin M, recently developed by the Royal Tropical Institute of The Netherlands, were evaluated by use of 85 plasma samples from Egyptian patients. Both dipsticks were simple and accurate rapid diagnostic assays, and they can be useful adjuncts for the diagnosis of typhoid fever and brucellosis.
PMCID: PMC130816  PMID: 12202606
8.  Characterization of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex Isolates from the Cerebrospinal Fluid of Meningitis Patients at Six Fever Hospitals in Egypt 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2002;40(5):1651-1655.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex isolates from cerebrospinal fluid of 67 meningitis patients were obtained from six fever hospitals in Egypt. One M. bovis and 66 M. tuberculosis isolates were identified by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of oxyR. Among the M. tuberculosis isolates, 53 unique strain types (with 3 to 16 copies of IS6110) were found by RFLP analyses. Nine clusters (eight with two isolates each and one with six isolates) were also found. Thirty-six spoligotypes, including at least 10 that have been previously reported from other countries, were also observed. Forty-one (62.1%) of the isolates were in spoligotype clusters, and 22 (33%) of the isolates were in RFLP clusters. Fifty-one of the isolates were susceptible in vitro to all of the antituberculosis drugs tested, 11 were monoresistant to capreomycin, rifampin, isoniazid (INH), pyrazinamide, or streptomycin (STR), 4 were resistant to STR and INH, and 1 was resistant to STR, INH, and ethambutol.
PMCID: PMC130952  PMID: 11980936
9.  In Vitro Antibiotic Susceptibility of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in Jakarta, Indonesia 
Antibiotic susceptibilities were determined for 122 Neisseria gonorrheae isolates obtained from 400 sex workers in Jakarta, Indonesia, and susceptibilities to ciprofloxacin, cefuroxime, cefoxitin, cefotaxime, ceftriaxone, chloramphenicol, and spectinomycin were found. All isolates were resistant to tetracycline. A number of the isolates demonstrated decreased susceptibilities to erythromycin (MIC ≥ 1.0 μg/ml), thiamphenicol (MIC ≥ 1.0 μg/ml), kanamycin (MIC ≥ 16.0 μg/ml), penicillin (MIC ≥ 2.0 μg/ml), gentamicin (MIC ≥ 16.0 μg/ml), and norfloxacin (MIC = 0.5 μg/ml). These data showed that certain antibiotics previously used in the treatment of gonorrhea are no longer effective.
PMCID: PMC90294  PMID: 11120999
10.  Phenotypic Diversity of Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Strains from a Community-Based Study of Pediatric Diarrhea in Periurban Egypt 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1999;37(9):2974-2978.
No past studies of diarrhea in children of the Middle East have examined in detail the phenotypes of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) strains, which are important pathogens in this setting. During a prospective study conducted from November 1993 to September 1995 with 242 children under 3 years of age with diarrhea living near Alexandria, Egypt, 125 episodes of diarrhea were positive for ETEC. ETEC strains were available for 98 of these episodes, from which 100 ETEC strains were selected and characterized on the basis of enterotoxins, colonization factors (CFs), and O:H serotypes. Of these representative isolates, 57 produced heat-stable toxin (ST) only, 34 produced heat-labile toxin (LT) only, and 9 produced both LT and ST. Twenty-three ETEC strains expressed a CF, with the specific factors being CF antigen IV (CFA/IV; 10 of 23; 43%), CFA/II (5 of 23; 22%), CFA/I (3 of 23; 13%), PCFO166 (3 of 23; 13%), and CS7 (2 of 23; 9%). No ETEC strains appeared to express CFA/III, CS17, or PCFO159. Among the 100 ETEC strains, 47 O groups and 20 H groups were represented, with 59 O:H serotypes. The most common O serogroups were O159 (13 strains) and O43 (10 strains). O148 and O21 were each detected in five individual strains, O7 and O56 were each detected in four individual strains, O73, O20, O86, and O114 were each detected in three individual strains, and O23, O78, O91, O103, O128, and O132 were each detected in two individual strains. The most common H serogroups were H4 (16 strains), 12 of which were of serogroup O159; H2 (9 strains), all of which were O43; H18 (6 strains); H30 (6 strains); and H28 (5 strains); strains of the last three H serogroups were all O148. Cumulatively, our results suggest a high degree of clonal diversity of disease-associated ETEC strains in this region. As a low percentage of these strains expressed a CF, it remains possible that other adhesins for which we either did not assay or that are as yet undiscovered are prevalent in this region. Our findings point out some potential barriers to effective immunization against ETEC diarrhea in this population and emphasize the need to identify additional protective antigens commonly expressed by ETEC for inclusion in future vaccine candidates.
PMCID: PMC85425  PMID: 10449484
11.  Differentiation of Campylobacter Isolates on the Basis of Sensitivity to Boiling in Water as Measured by PCR-Detectable DNA 
Differential sensitivity for the release of PCR-detectable genomic DNA upon boiling in water is reported for 45 Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli strains isolated in Egypt. All of the strains released PCR-detectable DNA when treated with proteinase K and sodium dodecyl sulfate. When DNA was extracted from these strains by boiling in water, nine (20%) of the strains were PCR negative or resistant to boiling, suggesting the presence of boiling-sensitive and boiling-resistant phenotypes.
PMCID: PMC124720  PMID: 9435091

Results 1-11 (11)