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1.  Population-Based Incidence and Etiology of Community-Acquired Neonatal Bacteremia in Mirzapur, Bangladesh: An Observational Study 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2009;200(6):906-915.
To devise treatment strategies for neonatal infections, the population-level incidence and antibiotic susceptibility of pathogens must be defined.
Surveillance for suspected neonatal sepsis was conducted in Mirzapur, Bangladesh, from February 2004 through November 2006. Community health workers assessed neonates on postnatal days 0, 2, 5, and 8 and referred sick neonates to a hospital, where blood was collected for culture from neonates with suspected sepsis. We estimated the incidence and pattern of community-acquired neonatal bacteremia and determined the antibiotic susceptibility profile of pathogens.
The incidence rate of community-acquired neonatal bacteremia was 3.0 per 1000 person–neonatal periods. Among the 30 pathogens identified, the most common was Staphylococcus aureus (n = 10); half of all isolates were gram positive. Nine were resistant to ampicillin and gentamicin or to ceftiaxone, and 13 were resistant to cotrimoxazole.
S. aureus was the most common pathogen to cause community-acquired neonatal bacteremia. Nearly 40% of infections were identified on days 0–3, emphasizing the need to address maternal and environmental sources of infection. The combination of parenteral procaine benzyl penicillin and an aminoglycoside is recommended for the first-line treatment of serious community-acquired neonatal infections in rural Bangladesh, which has a moderate level of neonatal mortality. Additional population-based data are needed to further guide national and global strategies.
Trial registration identifier: NCT00198627.
PMCID: PMC2841956  PMID: 19671016
2.  Immune Responses to O-Specific Polysaccharide and Lipopolysaccharide of Vibrio cholerae O1 Ogawa in Adult Bangladeshi Recipients of an Oral Killed Cholera Vaccine and Comparison to Responses in Patients with Cholera 
Protective immunity to cholera is serogroup specific, and serogrouping is defined by the O-specific polysaccharide (OSP) of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We characterized OSP-specific immune responses in adult recipients of an oral killed cholera vaccine (OCV WC-rBS) and compared these with responses in patients with cholera caused by Vibrio cholerae O1 Ogawa. Although vaccinees developed plasma immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgM, IgA antibody and antibody secreting cell (ASC, marker of mucosal response) to Ogawa OSP and LPS 7 days after vaccination, responses were significantly lower than that which occurred after cholera. Similarly, patients recovering from cholera had detectable IgA, IgM, and IgG memory B cell (MBC) responses against OSP and LPS on Day 30 and Day 90, whereas vaccinees only developed IgG responses to OSP 30 days after the second immunization. The markedly lower ASC and MBC responses to OSP and LPS observed among vaccinees might explain, in part, the lower protection of an OCV compared with natural infection.
PMCID: PMC4015581  PMID: 24686738
3.  Effect of Active Case Finding on Prevalence and Transmission of Pulmonary Tuberculosis in Dhaka Central Jail, Bangladesh 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0124976.
Understanding tuberculosis (TB) transmission dynamics is essential for establishing effective TB control strategies in settings where the burden and risk of transmission are high. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effect of active screening on controlling TB transmission and also to characterize Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains for investigating transmission dynamics in a correctional setting.
The study was carried out in Dhaka Central Jail (DCJ), from October 2005 to February 2010. An active case finding strategy for pulmonary TB was established both at the entry point to the prison and inside the prison. Three sputum specimens were collected from all pulmonary TB suspects and subjected to smear microscopy, culture, and drug susceptibility testing as well as genotyping which included deletion analysis, spoligotyping and analysis of mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units (MIRU).
A total of 60,585 inmates were screened during the study period. We found 466 inmates with pulmonary TB of whom 357 (77%) had positive smear microscopy results and 109 (23%) had negative smear microscopy results but had positive results on culture. The number of pulmonary TB cases declined significantly, from 49 cases during the first quarter to 8 cases in the final quarter of the study period (p=0.001). Deletion analysis identified all isolates as M. tuberculosis and further identified 229 (70%) strains as ‘modern’ and 100 (30%) strains as ‘ancestral’. Analysis of MIRU showed that 347 strains (85%) exhibited unique patterns, whereas 61 strains (15%) clustered into 22 groups. The largest cluster comprised eight strains of the Beijing M. tuberculosis type. The rate of recent transmission was estimated to be 9.6%.
Implementation of active screening for TB was associated with a decline in TB cases in DCJ. Implementation of active screening in prison settings might substantially reduce the national burden of TB in Bangladesh.
PMCID: PMC4416744  PMID: 25933377
4.  Children reporting rescuing other children drowning in rural Bangladesh: a descriptive study 
Injury Prevention  2014;21(e1):e51-e55.
SwimSafe, a basic swimming and safer rescue curriculum, has been taught to large numbers of Bangladeshi children since 2006. This study examines the frequency and characteristics of rescues reported by children who graduated from SwimSafe and compares them with age-matched and sex-matched children who did not participate in SwimSafe.
Interviews were conducted during the swimming season in Raiganj, Bangladesh. Data were collected from 3890 SwimSafe graduates aged 6–14. Two age-matched and sex-matched controls were selected; one who had learned to swim naturally, the other who had not learned to swim.
188 rescues were reported by the three groups. The 12–14-year age groups reported the highest monthly rate of rescues (SwimSafe 10.5/100 000 (95% CI 3.4 to 24.5), natural swimmers 8.5/100 000 (95% CI 2.2 to 21.2)) and annual rate of rescue reported (SwimSafe 25.4/100 000 (95% CI 13.2 to 43.9), natural swimmers 35.4/100 000 (20.8 to 56.2)). Reported rescue numbers among both swimming groups was similar. Mean victim age was 4.1 years and 92.5% were under 7 years. All victims were younger than their rescuer (mean 5.9 years less). Most rescues (73.7%) took place in ponds or ditches with most (86.6%) within 10 m of the bank. Most victims had entered the water to bathe (53.8%). A large majority of reported rescues (90.9%) were conducted with the rescuer in the water, half requiring the rescuer to swim.
Children report frequent drowning rescues of younger children in rural Bangladesh. Most reported are contact rescues with the rescuer in the water. Formal training for in-water rescue techniques may be needed to reduce the risk to the child rescuer.
PMCID: PMC4392303  PMID: 24686262
5.  Quantitative Drug-Susceptibility in Patients Treated for Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Bangladesh: Implications for Regimen Choice 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0116795.
Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) treatment in Bangladesh is empiric or based on qualitative drug-susceptibility testing (DST) by comparative growth in culture media with and without a single drug concentration.
Adult patients were enrolled throughout Bangladesh during the period of 2011–2013 at MDR-TB treatment initiation. Quantitative DST by minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) testing for 12 first and second-line anti-TB drugs was compared to pretreatment clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes. MIC values at or one dilution lower than the resistance breakpoint used for qualitative DST were categorized as borderline susceptible, and MIC values one or two dilutions greater as borderline resistant.
Seventy-four patients were enrolled with a mean age of 35 ±15 years, and 51 (69%) were men. Of the rifampin isolates with MIC >1.0 μg/ml, 12 (19%) were fully susceptible or borderline susceptible to rifabutin (MIC ≤0.5 μg/ml). Amikacin was fully susceptible in 73 isolates (99%), but kanamycin in only 54 (75%) (p<0.001). Ofloxacin was borderline susceptible in 64%, and fully susceptible in only 14 (19%) compared to 60 (81%) of isolates fully susceptible for moxifloxacin (p<0.001). Kanamycin non-susceptibility and receipt of the WHO Category IV regimen trended with interim treatment failure: adjusted odd ratios respectively of 5.4 [95% CI 0.82–36.2] (p = 0.08) and 7.2 [0.64–80.7] (p = 0.11).
Quantitative MIC testing could impact MDR-TB regimen choice in Bangladesh. Comparative trials of higher dose or later generation fluoroquinolone, within class change from kanamycin to amikacin, and inclusion of rifabutin appear warranted.
PMCID: PMC4339842  PMID: 25710516
6.  Awareness, Treatment, and Control of Diabetes in Bangladesh: A Nationwide Population-Based Study 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0118365.
To examine awareness, treatment, and control of diabetes mellitus among the adult population in Bangladesh.
The study used data from the 2011 nationally representative Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS). The BDHS sample is comprised of 7,786 adults aged 35 years or older. The primary outcome variables were fasting blood glucose, diagnosis, treatment, and control of diabetes. Multilevel logistic regression models were used to identify the risk factors for diabetes awareness.
Overall, age-standardized prevalence of diabetes was 9.2%. Among subjects with diabetes, 41.2% were aware of their condition, 36.9% were treated, and 14.2% controlled their condition. A significant inequality in diabetes management was found from poor to wealthy households: 18.2% to 63.2% (awareness), 15.8% to 56.6% (treatment), and 8.2% to 18.4% (control). Multilevel models suggested that participants who had a lower education and lower economic condition were less likely to be aware of their diabetes. Poor management was observed among non-educated, low-income groups, and those who lived in the northwestern region.
Diabetes has become a national health concern in Bangladesh; however, treatment and control are quite low. Improving detection, awareness, and treatment strategies is urgently needed to prevent the growing burden associated with diabetes.
PMCID: PMC4334658  PMID: 25692767
7.  Antihyperglycaemic and Antinociceptive Activity Evaluation of Methanolic Extract of Whole Plant of Amaranthus Tricolour L. (Amaranthaceae) 
Amaranthus tricolor whole plants are used by folk medicinal practitioners of Bangladesh for treatment of pain, anaemia, dysentery, skin diseases, diabetes, and as a blood purifier. Thus far, no scientific studies have evaluated the antihyperglycaemic and antinociceptive effects of the plant. The present study was carried out to evaluate the possible glucose tolerance efficacy of methanolic extracts of A. tricolour whole plants using glucose-induced hyperglycaemic mice, and antinociceptive effects with acetic acid-induced gastric pain models in mice. In antihyperglycaemic activity tests, the extract at different doses was administered one hour prior to glucose administration and blood glucose level was measured after two hours of glucose administration (p.o.) using glucose oxidase method. The statistical data indicated the significant oral hypoglycaemic activity on glucose-loaded mice at all doses of the extracts tested. Maximum antihyperglycaemic activity was shown at 400 mg extract per kg body weight, which was comparable to that of a standard drug, glibenclamide (10 mg/kg body weight). In antinociceptive activity tests, the extract also demonstrated a dose-dependent significant reduction in the number of writhings induced in mice through intraperitoneal administration of acetic acid. Maximum antinociceptive activity was observed at a dose of 400 mg extract per kg body weight, which compared favourably with that of a standard antinociceptive drug, aspirin, when administered at a dose of 200 mg per kg body weight. The results validate the folk medicinal use of the plant for reduction of blood sugar in diabetic patients as well as the folk medicinal use for alleviation of pain. The results suggest that this plant may possess further potential for scientific studies leading to possible discovery of efficacious antihyperglycaemic and antinociceptive components.
PMCID: PMC3847438  PMID: 24311858
Amaranthus tricolour; antihyperglycaemic; antinociceptive; Amaranthaceae
8.  Diagnosed hematological malignancies in Bangladesh - a retrospective analysis of over 5000 cases from 10 specialized hospitals 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:438.
The global burden from cancer is rising, especially as low-income countries like Bangladesh observe rapid aging. So far, there are no comprehensive descriptions reporting diagnosed cancer group that include hematological malignancies in Bangladesh.
This was a multi-center hospital-based retrospective descriptive study of over 5000 confirmed hematological cancer cases in between January 2008 to December 2012. Morphological typing was carried out using the “French American British” classification system.
A total of 5013 patients aged between 2 to 90 years had been diagnosed with malignant hematological disorders. A 69.2% were males (n = 3468) and 30.8% females (n = 1545), with a male to female ratio of 2.2:1. The overall median age at diagnosis was 42 years. Acute myeloid leukemia was most frequent (28.3%) with a median age of 35 years, followed by chronic myeloid leukemia with 18.2% (median age 40 years), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (16.9%; median age 48 years), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (14.1%; median age 27 years), multiple myeloma (10.5%; median age 55 years), myelodysplastic syndromes (4.5%; median age 57 years) and Hodgkin’s lymphoma (3.9%; median age 36 years). The least common was chronic lymphocytic leukemia (3.7%; median age 60 years). Below the age of 20 years, acute lymphoblastic leukemia was predominant (37.3%), followed by acute myeloid leukemia (34%). Chronic lymphocytic leukemia and multiple myeloma had mostly occurred among older patients, aged 50-over.
For the first time, our study presents the pattern and distribution of diagnosed hematological cancers in Bangladesh. It shows differences in population distributions as compared to other settings with possibly a lower presence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. There might be under-reporting of affected women. Further studies are necessary on the epidemiology, genetics and potential environmental risk factors within this rapidly aging country.
PMCID: PMC4063230  PMID: 24929433
AML; CML; ALL; MDS; NHL; HL; MM; Hematological malignancy; Bangladesh
9.  The prevalence of naturally acquired swimming ability among children in Bangladesh: a cross sectional survey 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:404.
Most rural homes in Bangladesh have ponds nearby to serve as household water sources. As a result children of all ages are exposed to water bodies on a daily basis. Children learn to swim early in childhood from peers and relatives in a natural process that involves play and structured learning. In a large, national injury survey in Bangladesh, the ability to swim was associated with reduced risk of drowning. This study determines the prevalence of swimming ability in children in Bangladesh as a step in assessing whether this is a potential component of a national drowning prevention program.
A descriptive study design using a subset of a national sample survey determined the prevalence of naturally acquired swimming ability (NASA) reported by children of rural and urban communities in Bangladesh. A total of 2,598 households (1,999 rural and 599 urban) housing 4,336 children (2,263 male and 2,073 female) aged 5-17 years were chosen from 4 randomly selected districts using multistage random sampling. NASA was defined as the ability to cross 25 meters of water deeper than the child’s height using any body movement for self-propulsion.
Reported NASA was greater in males (55.6%) than females (47.9%) and among rural children (57.8%) than urban children (25.5%) for children 5-17 years. The proportion reporting NASA increased with increasing age. At age 5, 5.8% of males and 6.3% of females reported NASA, rising to 84.3% of males and 70.7% of females by age 17. By age 17, 83.1% of rural children and 57.5% of urban children reported NASA.
Most children in Bangladesh report being able to swim 25 meters and learning it by middle childhood. Reported NASA is higher for males than females and for rural children than urban children. High rates of swimming appear to be achievable in the absence of pools and a swim-teaching industry. This may facilitate development of a low cost, national drowning prevention program with swimming an integral part.
PMCID: PMC4014625  PMID: 24767407
Swimming ability; Naturally acquired swimming ability; NASA; Child drowning; Drowning prevention; Bangladesh
10.  Antigen-Specific Memory B-cell Responses to Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Infection in Bangladeshi Adults 
Multiple infections with diverse enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) strains lead to broad spectrum protection against ETEC diarrhea. However, the precise mechanism of protection against ETEC infection is still unknown. Therefore, memory B cell responses and affinity maturation of antibodies to the specific ETEC antigens might be important to understand the mechanism of protection.
In this study, we investigated the heat labile toxin B subunit (LTB) and colonization factor antigens (CFA/I and CS6) specific IgA and IgG memory B cell responses in Bangladeshi adults (n = 52) who were infected with ETEC. We also investigated the avidity of IgA and IgG antibodies that developed after infection to these antigens.
Principal Findings
Patients infected with ETEC expressing LT or LT+heat stable toxin (ST) and CFA/I group or CS6 colonization factors developed LTB, CFA/I or CS6 specific memory B cell responses at day 30 after infection. Similarly, these patients developed high avidity IgA and IgG antibodies to LTB, CFA/I or CS6 at day 7 that remained significantly elevated at day 30 when compared to the avidity of these specific antibodies at the acute stage of infection (day 2). The memory B cell responses, antibody avidity and other immune responses to CFA/I not only developed in patients infected with ETEC expressing CFA/I but also in those infected with ETEC expressing CFA/I cross-reacting epitopes. We also detected a significant positive correlation of LTB, CFA/I and CS6 specific memory B cell responses with the corresponding increase in antibody avidity.
This study demonstrates that natural infection with ETEC induces memory B cells and high avidity antibodies to LTB and colonization factor CFA/I and CS6 antigens that could mediate anamnestic responses on re-exposure to ETEC and may help in understanding the requirements to design an effective vaccination strategies.
Author Summary
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is a non-invasive pathogen causing diarrhea in children as well as in adults and travelers in developing countries. After colonizing the intestine using colonization factors, the organisms secrete heat-stable (ST) and/or heat-labile (LT) enterotoxin to cause watery diarrhea. Natural infection with ETEC provides protection against subsequent infection; however, the precise mechanism is unknown. In this study, we have shown that adult patients with diarrhea infected with ETEC develop toxin (LTB) and colonization factor (CFA/I and CS6) specific memory B cell responses as well as highly avid antigen-specific antibodies. The antibody avidity indices were shown to be positively associated with memory B cell responses, suggesting that these processes may occur in concert. This study encourages further evaluation of such responses in children as well as in vaccinees.
PMCID: PMC3998937  PMID: 24762744
11.  Population-Based Incidence of Severe Acute Respiratory Virus Infections among Children Aged <5 Years in Rural Bangladesh, June–October 2010 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89978.
Better understanding the etiology-specific incidence of severe acute respiratory infections (SARIs) in resource-poor, rural settings will help further develop and prioritize prevention strategies. To address this gap in knowledge, we conducted a longitudinal study to estimate the incidence of SARIs among children in rural Bangladesh.
During June through October 2010, we followed children aged <5 years in 67 villages to identify those with cough, difficulty breathing, age-specific tachypnea and/or danger signs in the community or admitted to the local hospital. A study physician collected clinical information and obtained nasopharyngeal swabs from all SARI cases and blood for bacterial culture from those hospitalized. We tested swabs for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza viruses, human metapneumoviruses, adenoviruses and human parainfluenza viruses 1–3 (HPIV) by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. We calculated virus-specific SARI incidence by dividing the number of new illnesses by the person-time each child contributed to the study.
We followed 12,850 children for 279,029 person-weeks (pw) and identified 141 SARI cases; 76 (54%) at their homes and 65 (46%) at the hospital. RSV was associated with 7.9 SARI hospitalizations per 100,000 pw, HPIV3 2.2 hospitalizations/100,000 pw, and influenza 1.1 hospitalizations/100,000 pw. Among non-hospitalized SARI cases, RSV was associated with 10.8 illnesses/100,000 pw, HPIV3 1.8/100,000 pw, influenza 1.4/100,000 pw, and adenoviruses 0.4/100,000 pw.
Respiratory viruses, particularly RSV, were commonly associated with SARI among children. It may be useful to explore the value of investing in prevention strategies, such as handwashing and respiratory hygiene, to reduce respiratory infections among young children in such settings.
PMCID: PMC3934972  PMID: 24587163
12.  Phase IV Trial of Miltefosine in Adults and Children for Treatment of Visceral Leishmaniasis (Kala-Azar) in Bangladesh 
Miltefosine (target dose of 2.5 mg/kg/day for 28 days) is the recommended treatment for visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar) in Bangladesh on the basis of data from India. We evaluated miltefosine in a phase IV trial of 977 patients in Bangladesh. At the six-month final follow up, 701 were cured. 24 showed initial treatment failure, and 95 showed treatment failure at 6 months, although 73 of the 95 showed treatment failure solely by the criterion of low hemoglobin values. One hundred twenty-one patients were not assessable. With the conservative assumption that all low hemoglobin values represented treatment failure, the final per protocol cure rate was 85%. Of 13 severe adverse events, 6 led to treatment discontinuation and 7 resulted in deaths, but only 1 death (associated with diarrhea) could be attributed to drug. Nearly all non-serious adverse events were gastrointestinal: vomiting in 25% of patients and diarrhea in 8% of patients. Oral miltefosine is an attractive alternative to intramuscular antimony and intravenous amphotericin B for treatment of kala-azar in Bangladesh.
PMCID: PMC3122346  PMID: 21734127
13.  Effectiveness of an integrated approach to reduce perinatal mortality: recent experiences from Matlab, Bangladesh 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:914.
Improving perinatal health is the key to achieving the Millennium Development Goal for child survival. Recently, several reviews suggest that scaling up available effective perinatal interventions in an integrated approach can substantially reduce the stillbirth and neonatal death rates worldwide. We evaluated the effect of packaged interventions given in pregnancy, delivery and post-partum periods through integration of community- and facility-based services on perinatal mortality.
This study took advantage of an ongoing health and demographic surveillance system (HDSS) and a new Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) Project initiated in 2007 in Matlab, Bangladesh in half (intervention area) of the HDSS area. In the other half, women received usual care through the government health system (comparison area). The MNCH Project strengthened ongoing maternal and child health services as well as added new services. The intervention followed a continuum of care model for pregnancy, intrapartum, and post-natal periods by improving established links between community- and facility-based services. With a separate pre-post samples design, we compared the perinatal mortality rates between two periods--before (2005-2006) and after (2008-2009) implementation of MNCH interventions. We also evaluated the difference-of-differences in perinatal mortality between intervention and comparison areas.
Antenatal coverage, facility delivery and cesarean section rates were significantly higher in the post- intervention period in comparison with the period before intervention. In the intervention area, the odds of perinatal mortality decreased by 36% between the pre-intervention and post-intervention periods (odds ratio: 0.64; 95% confidence intervals: 0.52-0.78). The reduction in the intervention area was also significant relative to the reduction in the comparison area (OR 0.73, 95% CI: 0.56-0.95; P = 0.018).
The continuum of care approach provided through the integration of service delivery modes decreased the perinatal mortality rate within a short period of time. Further testing of this model is warranted within the government health system in Bangladesh and other low-income countries.
PMCID: PMC3257323  PMID: 22151276
14.  Burn injury in Bangladesh: electrical injury a major contributor 
Electrical injury is a major cause of burn injury and significant cause of mortality, morbidity and disability. To explore the proportional incidence of thermal and electrical burn injuries in Bangladesh, a population-based cross sectional survey was conducted between January and December 2003. Nationally representative data was collected from 171,366 rural and urban households, comprising of a total population of 819,429.The study was designed to describe the proportional incidence of thermal, electrical and chemical cause of burn in Bangladesh. Electrical injury constituted about one third of the total burn injuries. Among the total 1,999 injuries about 31% were due to electrical injuries, about 26% were due to flame, about 25% were due to hot liquid, over 16% by hot object, about 2% by chemical and less than 1% were due to explosives. The incidence of death rate was 3.97 per 100,000 populations per year. Thermal burn was found as the major cause of death due to burn injures and constituted 58% of the total deaths due to burn. Electrical injuries caused 42% of the deaths. It was estimated that more than 5,600 people die due to burn and electrical injuries every year in Bangladesh considering the incidence rate of 3.97 per 100,000 populations per year in the 150 million population. Electrical injury including lightning constitute about one third of the burn related mortality, morbidity and disabilities. Rural people and children are the more vulnerable group. Electrical injury needs to be included as a special component in a burn prevention strategy, particularly in rural Bangladesh.
PMCID: PMC3415945  PMID: 22928160
Burn; electrical Injury; Bangladesh
15.  Dopamine-β-Hydroxylase (DBH), Its Cofactors and Other Biochemical Parameters in the Serum of Neurological Patients in Bangladesh 
Dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DBH) is a neurotransmitter synthesizing enzyme which catalyzes the formation of norepinephrine from dopamine. In this study, we measured the level of DBH activity in the serum of patients of three different age groups (8–14 yrs, 20–40 yrs and 45–60 yrs) suffering from neurological diseases. Serum DBH activity was measured in 38 neurological patients and 38 normal individuals in order to determine significant variables for its potential use to diagnose the neurological patients. It was found that the DBH activity decreased in the patients of all age groups. A considerable decrease in activity was observed in the patients of 8–14 yrs age group (14.2 nmoles/min/ml in patients compared to the normal value of 22.6). A significant decrease in activity was found in the 20–40 yrs age group (23.4 nmoles/min/ml in patients compared to the normal value of 33.0). The decrease in DBH activity was also found in the patients of 45–60 yrs age group but to a lesser extent (26.4 nmoles/min/ml in the patients compared to the normal value of 30.2). The kinetic studies of DBH exhibited an increase of Km value and a decrease in Vmax in the neurological patients. Serum copper and ascorbic acid levels (cofactors of DBH) were found to be decreased in neurological patients and hence are in agreement with the decrease in DBH activity in these patients. Other parameters such as glucose and cholesterol levels increased, protein and zinc levels decreased and ALT, AST, creatinine and urea content remained nearly unchanged in the patients’ serum.
PMCID: PMC3614808  PMID: 23675164
dopamine-β-hydroxylase; copper; ascorbic acid; zinc; neurological patients
16.  Socioeconomic inequality in child injury in Bangladesh – implication for developing countries 
Child injury is an emerging public health issue in both developed and developing countries. It is the main cause of deaths and disabilities of children after infancy. The aim of this study was to investigate the socioeconomic inequality in injury related morbidity and mortality among 1–4 years children.
Materials and methods
Data used for this study derived from Bangladesh Health and Injury Survey. A multistage cluster sampling technique was conducted for this survey. In this study quintiles of socioeconomic status were calculated on the basis of assets and wealth score by using principle component analysis. The numerical measures of inequality in mortality and morbidity were assessed by the concentration index.
The poorest-richest quintile ratio of mortality due to injury was 6.0 whereas this ratio was 5.6 and 5.5 for the infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases. The values of mortality concentration indices for child mortality due to infection, non-communicable diseases and injury causes were -0.40, -0.32 and -0.26 respectively. Among the morbidity concentration indices, injury showed significantly greater inequality. All the concentration indices revealed that there were significant inequalities among the groups. The logistic regression analysis indicated that poor children were 2.8 times more likelihood to suffer from injury mortality than rich children, taking into account all the other factors.
Despite concentration indices used in this study, the analysis reflected the family's socioeconomic position in a Bangladesh context, showing a very strong statistical association with child mortality. Due to the existing socioeconomic situation in Bangladesh, the poor children were more vulnerable to injury occurrence.
PMCID: PMC2676296  PMID: 19309516
17.  Non-invasive diagnosis of H pylori infection: Evaluation of serological tests with and without current infection marker CIM 
AIM: To evaluate the performance of commercially available immunochromatographic (ICT) and immunoblot tests covering the current infection marker CIM and conventional ELISA for the diagnosis of H pylori infection in adult dyspeptic patients.
METHODS: Consecutive non-treated dyspeptic patients undergoing diagnostic endoscopy were tested for H pylori infection by culture, rapid urease test, and histology of gastric biopsy specimens. Serum from 61 H pylori infected and 21 non-infected patients were tested for anti-H pylori IgG antibodies by commercial ELISA (AccuBindTM ELISA, Monobind, USA), ICT (Assure® H pylori Rapid Test, Genelabs Diagnostics, Singapore), and immunoblot (Helico Blot 2.1, Genelabs Diagnostics, Singapore) assays. ICT and immunoblot kits cover CIM among other parameters and their performance with and without CIM was evaluated separately.
RESULTS: Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and accuracy of ELISA were 96.7%, 42.8%, 83.1%, 81.8%, and 82.9%, of ICT were 90.1%, 80.9%, 93.2%, 73.9%, and 87.8%, of ICT with CIM were 88.5%, 90.4%, 96.4%, 73.0%, and 89.0%, of immunoblot were 98.3%, 80.9%, 93.7%, 94.4%, and 93.9%, and of immunoblot with CIM were 98.3%, 90.4%, 96.7%, 95.0%, and 96.3%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Immunoblot with CIM had the best performance. ICT with CIM was found to be more specific and accurate than the conventional ELISA and may be useful for non-invasive diagnosis of H pylori infection.
PMCID: PMC2690671  PMID: 18300349
H pylori; ELISA; Immunochromatographic test; Immunoblot; Current infection marker
18.  Clustering of non-communicable diseases risk factors in Bangladeshi adults: An analysis of STEPS survey 2013 
BMC Public Health  2015;15:659.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have already become major killers in Bangladesh. Once NCDs are developed, they become chronic health and economic problems. Their primary prevention is linked to their common risk factors. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of NCD risk factors with a focus on their clustering in Bangladeshi adults.
This nationally representative study was done in 4,073 (1,812 men and 2,261 women) adults aged 25 years or older selected from rural and urban households. Multistage cluster sampling design was used. Selected variables were in line with steps I and II of WHO stepwise surveillance except alcohol.
Forty-four percent used tobacco in any form. Almost 93 % did not consume adequate fruit and vegetables (5 servings or more). Thirty eight percent had low physical activity level (<600 MET-minutes/week). One-quarter (26 %) were overweight (body mass index > =25 kg/m^2). Twenty-one percent had hypertension (blood pressure > =140/90 mmHg or medication) and about 5 % had documented diabetes.
Upon examination of risk factor clustering, we observed that 38 % had at least three risk factors. After this threshold, clustering suddenly dropped down to a fairly low level. Using this threshold as a cut-off, clustering of risk factors was associated with age, male gender, urban residence, educational levels and quality of house in multivariate analysis.
Prevalence of NCD risk factors is fairly high in Bangladeshi adults with a tendency of clustering. If a risk factor such as hypertension is detected, a closer look for other risk factors has to be given in both at clinical and public health settings. Clustering raises risk by more than a summation of risk factors. Our findings, therefore, suggest that Bangladesh could expect a significant increase in NCDs in near future.
PMCID: PMC4501055  PMID: 26169788
19.  An Outbreak of Chikungunya in Rural Bangladesh, 2011 
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases  2015;9(7):e0003907.
The first identified Chikungunya outbreak occurred in Bangladesh in 2008. In late October 2011, a local health official from Dohar Sub-district, Dhaka District, reported an outbreak of undiagnosed fever and joint pain. We investigated the outbreak to confirm the etiology, describe the clinical presentation, and identify associated vectors.
During November 2–21, 2011, we conducted house-to-house surveys to identify suspected cases, defined as any inhabitant of Char Kushai village with fever followed by joint pain in the extremities with onset since August 15, 2011. We collected blood specimens and clinical histories from self-selected suspected cases using a structured questionnaire. Blood samples were tested for IgM antibodies against Chikungunya virus. The village was divided into nine segments and we collected mosquito larvae from water containers in seven randomly selected houses in each segment. We calculated the Breteau index for the village and identified the mosquito species.
The attack rate was 29% (1105/3840) and 29% of households surveyed had at least one suspected case: 15% had ≥3. The attack rate was 38% (606/1589) in adult women and 25% in adult men (320/1287). Among the 1105 suspected case-patients, 245 self-selected for testing and 80% of those (196/245) had IgM antibodies. In addition to fever and joint pain, 76% (148/196) of confirmed cases had rash and 38%(75/196) had long-lasting joint pain. The village Breteau index was 35 per 100 and 89%(449/504) of hatched mosquitoes were Aedes albopictus.
The evidence suggests that this outbreak was due to Chikungunya. The high attack rate suggests that the infection was new to this area, and the increased risk among adult women suggests that risk of transmission may have been higher around households. Chikungunya is an emerging infection in Bangladesh and current surveillance and prevention strategies are insufficient to mount an effective public health response.
Author Summary
Chikungunya virus is transmitted through bites from Aedes mosquitoes and causes outbreaks of fever and polyarthralgia; the geographic range of infection is expanding. An outbreak of fever with prolonged joint pain was investigated in Bangladesh in 2011, where house-to-house surveys were carried out to identify suspected cases. Twenty-nine percent of the village inhabitants experienced symptoms consistent with Chikungunya during the three months of the outbreak. Eighty percent of suspected cases had evidence of IgM antibodies against Chikungunya suggesting that this virus caused the outbreak. Attack rates were similar for all age groups, which suggests that this population had little pre-existing immunity to the disease. This is consistent with the assumption that Chikungunya is an emerging infection in this part of the world where the majority of people likely remain susceptible to infection. Attack rates were higher among adult females, which may provide clues to where transmission occurs. Since most rural women spend the majority of their time in and around the home, interrupting vector habitat near houses might be a useful way to control epidemics. Given the continued risk for outbreaks, we need more efficient methods for detection and control.
PMCID: PMC4498910  PMID: 26161995
20.  Perceptions of health care providers and patients on quality of care in maternal and neonatal health in fourteen Bangladesh government healthcare facilities: a mixed-method study 
Bangladesh has achieved remarkable progress in healthcare with a steady decline in maternal and under-5 child mortality rates in efforts to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5. However, the mortality rates are still very high compared with high-income countries. The quality of healthcare needs improve to reduce mortality rates further. It is essential to investigate the current quality of healthcare before implementing any interventions. The study was conducted to explore the perception of healthcare providers about the quality of maternal and neonatal health (MNH) care. The study also investigated patient satisfaction with the MNH care received from district and sub-district hospitals.
Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used in the study. Two district and 12 sub-district hospitals in Thakurgaon and Jamalpur in Bangladesh were the study settings. Fourteen group discussions and 56 in-depth interviews were conducted among the healthcare providers. Client exit interviews were conducted with 112 patients and their attendants from maternity, labor, and neonatal wards before being discharged from the hospitals. Eight physicians and four anthropologists collected data between November and December 2011 using pretested guidelines.
The hospital staff identified several key factors that affected the quality of patient care: shortage of staff and logistics; lack of laboratory support; under use of patient-management protocols; a lack of training; and insufficient supervision. Doctors were unable to provide optimal care because of the high volume of patients. The exit interviews revealed that 85 % of respondents were satisfied with the hospital services received. Seven out of 14 respondents were satisfied with the cleanliness of the hospital facilities. More than half of the respondents were satisfied with the drugs they received. In half of the facilities, patients did not get an opportunity to ask the healthcare providers questions about their health conditions and treatments.
The quality of healthcare is poor in district and sub-district hospitals in Bangladesh because of the lack of healthcare personnel and logistic support. An integrated quality improvement approach is needed to improve MNH care service in district and sub-district hospitals in Bangladesh.
PMCID: PMC4472247  PMID: 26084893
Quality of healthcare; Maternal and neonatal health; Healthcare providers’ perception; Clients’ satisfaction; Bangladesh
21.  Impact of Intensive Handwashing Promotion on Secondary Household Influenza-Like Illness in Rural Bangladesh: Findings from a Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(6):e0125200.
There is little evidence for the efficacy of handwashing for prevention of influenza transmission in resource-poor settings. We tested the impact of intensive handwashing promotion on household transmission of influenza-like illness and influenza in rural Bangladesh.
In 2009–10, we identified index case-patients with influenza-like illness (fever with cough or sore throat) who were the only symptomatic person in their household. Household compounds of index case-patients were randomized to control or intervention (soap and daily handwashing promotion). We conducted daily surveillance and collected oropharyngeal specimens. Secondary attack ratios (SAR) were calculated for influenza and ILI in each arm. Among controls, we investigated individual risk factors for ILI among household contacts of index case-patients.
Among 377 index case-patients, the mean number of days between fever onset and study enrollment was 2.1 (SD 1.7) among the 184 controls and 2.6 (SD 2.9) among 193 intervention case-patients. Influenza infection was confirmed in 20% of controls and 12% of intervention index case-patients. The SAR for influenza-like illness among household contacts was 9.5% among intervention (158/1661) and 7.7% among control households (115/1498) (SAR ratio 1.24, 95% CI 0.92–1.65). The SAR ratio for influenza was 2.40 (95% CI 0.68–8.47). In the control arm, susceptible contacts <2 years old (RRadj 5.51, 95% CI 3.43–8.85), those living with an index case-patient enrolled ≤24 hours after symptom onset (RRadj 1.91, 95% CI 1.18–3.10), and those who reported multiple daily interactions with the index case-patient (RRadj 1.94, 95% CI 1.71–3.26) were at increased risk of influenza-like illness.
Handwashing promotion initiated after illness onset in a household member did not protect against influenza-like illness or influenza. Behavior may not have changed rapidly enough to curb transmission between household members. A reactive approach to reduce household influenza transmission through handwashing promotion may be ineffective in the context of rural Bangladesh.
Trial Registration NCT00880659
PMCID: PMC4465839  PMID: 26066651
22.  Determinant factors of tobacco use among ever-married men in Bangladesh 
The burden of tobacco use is shifting from developed to developing countries. This study aimed to explore the different types of tobacco use, and to identify the determinant factors associated with the tobacco use among ever-married men in Bangladesh.
Data and methods
Data of 3,771 ever-married men, 15–54 years of age were extracted from the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2007. Prevalence rate, chi-square (χ2) test, and binary logistic regression analysis were used as the statistical tools to analyze the data.
Tobacco use through smoking (58.68%) was found to be higher than that of chewing (21.63%) among men, which was significantly more prevalent among the poorest, less educated, and businessmen. In bivariate analysis, all the socioeconomic factors were found significantly associated with tobacco use; while in multivariate analysis, age, education, wealth index, and occupation were identified as the significant predictors.
Tobacco use was found to be remarkably common among males in Bangladesh. The high prevalence of tobacco use suggests that there is an urgent need for developing intervention plans to address this major public health problem in Bangladesh.
PMCID: PMC4435047  PMID: 25999762
tobacco use; smoking tobacco; chewing tobacco; prevalence rate; logistic regression model
23.  Effects of organic extracts and their different fractions of five Bangladeshi plants on in vitro thrombolysis 
The increasingly high incidence of ischemic stroke caused by thrombosis of the arterial vessels is one of the major factors that threaten people’s health and lives in the world. The present treatments for thrombosis are still unsatisfactory. Herbal preparations have been used since ancient times for the treatment of several diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate whether herbal preparations possess thrombolytic activity or not.
An in vitro thrombolytic model was used to check the clot lysis effect of the crude extracts and fractions of five Bangladeshi plant viz., Trema orientalis L., Bacopa monnieri L., Capsicum frutescens L., Brassica oleracea L. and Urena sinuata L. using streptokinase as a positive control and water as a negative control. Briefly, venous blood drawn from twenty healthy volunteers was allowed to form clots which were weighed and treated with the test plant materials to disrupt the clots. Weight of clot after and before treatment provided a percentage of clot lysis.
Using an in vitro thrombolytic model, different fractions of five Bangladeshi medicinal plants namely T. orientalis, B. monnieri, C. frutescens, B. oleracea and U. sinuata showed various range of clot lysis activity. Chloroform fractions of T. orientalis, B. monnieri, C. frutescens, B. oleracea and U. sinuata showed highest significant (P < 0.05 and P < 0.001) clot lysis activity viz., 46.44 ± 2.44%, 48.39 ± 10.12%, 36.87 ± 1.27%, 30.24 ± 0.95% and 47.89 ± 6.83% respectively compared with positive control standard streptokinase (80.77 ± 1.12%) and negative control sterile distilled water (5.69 ± 3.09%). Other fractions showed moderate to low clot lysis activity. Order of clot lysis activity was found to be: Streptokinase > Chloroform fractions > Methanol (crude) extract > Hydro-methanol fractions > Ethyl acetate fractions > n-hexane fractions > Water.
Our study suggests that thrombolytic activity of T. orientalis, B. monnieri and U. sinuata could be considered as very promising and beneficial for the Bangladeshi traditional medicine. Lower effects of other extracts might suggest the lack of bio-active components and/or insufficient quantities in the extract. In vivo clot dissolving property and active component(s) of T. orientalis and B. monnieri for clot lysis could lead the plants for their therapeutic uses. However, further work will establish whether or not, chloroform soluble phytochemicals from these plants could be incorporated as a thrombolytic agent for the improvement of the patients suffering from atherothrombotic diseases.
PMCID: PMC4414290  PMID: 25902818
Thrombolysis; Trema orientalis L; Capsicum frutescens L; Urena sinuata L. Streptokinase; Fractionation
24.  Rescue and Emergency Management of a Man-Made Disaster: Lesson Learnt from a Collapse Factory Building, Bangladesh 
The Scientific World Journal  2015;2015:136434.
A tragic disaster occurred on April 24, 2013, in Bangladesh, when a nine storied building in a suburban area collapsed and killed 1115 people and injured many more. The study describes the process of rescue operation and emergency management services provided in the event. Data were collected using qualitative methods including in-depth interviews and a focus group discussion with the involved medical students, doctors, volunteers, and local people. Immediately after the disaster, rescue teams came to the place from Bangladesh Armed Forces, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, and Dhaka Metropolitan and local Police and doctors, medical students, and nurses from nearby medical college hospitals and private hospitals and students from colleges and universities including local civil people. Doctors and medical students provided 24-hour services at the disaster place and in hospitals. Minor injured patients were treated at health camps and major injured patients were immediately carried to nearby hospital. Despite the limitations of a low resource setting, Bangladesh faced a tremendous challenge to manage the man-made disaster and experienced enormous support from different sectors of society to manage the disaster carefully and saved thousands of lives. This effort could help to develop a standard emergency management system applicable to Bangladesh and other counties with similar settings.
PMCID: PMC4411435  PMID: 25954767
25.  Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Virus Infection among Workers at Live Bird Markets, Bangladesh, 2009–2010 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2015;21(4):629-637.
Evidence of infection was low despite frequent exposure to infected poultry and low use of personal protective equipment.
The risk for influenza A(H5N1) virus infection is unclear among poultry workers in countries where the virus is endemic. To assess H5N1 seroprevalence and seroconversion among workers at live bird markets (LBMs) in Bangladesh, we followed a cohort of workers from 12 LBMs with existing avian influenza surveillance. Serum samples from workers were tested for H5N1 antibodies at the end of the study or when LBM samples first had H5N1 virus–positive test results. Of 404 workers, 9 (2%) were seropositive at baseline. Of 284 workers who completed the study and were seronegative at baseline, 6 (2%) seroconverted (7 cases/100 poultry worker–years). Workers who frequently fed poultry, cleaned feces from pens, cleaned food/water containers, and did not wash hands after touching sick poultry had a 7.6 times higher risk for infection compared with workers who infrequently performed these behaviors. Despite frequent exposure to H5N1 virus, LBM workers showed evidence of only sporadic infection.
PMCID: PMC4378465  PMID: 25811942
seroprevalence; seroconversion; incidence; influenza; subtype H5N1; viruses; live bird market; poultry worker; Bangladesh; transmission; highly pathogenic avian influenza; risk factors

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