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issn:2229-340
1.  Characterization of human rotavirus subgroups and serotypes in children under five with acute gastroenteritis in a Saudi Hospital 
Objectives:
Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea in children. Currently, there is no published data on the prevalence of subgroups and serotypes of rotavirus in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia. The objectives of the present study were to assess the rotavirus infection in children with acute gastroenteritis and to assess the subgroups and serotypes of rotavirus in the Children and Maternity Hospital in Dammam, Eastern Saudi Arabia.
Materials and Methods:
Children under 5 years of age with gastroenteritis attending the emergency rooms, or hospitalized in the pediatric wards of in the Children and Maternity Hospital in Dammam were included in the study (N=156). Laboratory diagnosis of rotavirus shedding was established using the novel rotavirus STAT-PAK immunochromatographical test. Subgroup and G-serotype of the positive stool specimens were analyzed by the ELISA method.
Results and Conclusions:
Using the novel immmunochromatographic assay, 37 samples were shown to be positive for rotavirus (23.7%). Subgroup I (serotype 2) was found to constitute 5.4% of the isolates and subgroup II (serotypes 1, 3 and 4) was found to constitute 56.7% of the isolates, whereas 37.8% were non-typeable. A survey of serotypes of rotavirus in the whole region as well as in the whole of Saudi Arabia will provide important information about the subgroups and groups of rotavirus in the community and may help in assessing the success of the rotavirus vaccine in the future.
doi:10.4103/1319-1683.78634
PMCID: PMC3114610  PMID: 21694956
Immunochromatography; rotavirus; subgroup; serotypes
2.  PREVALENCE OF HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS TYPES 1 AND 2 AND ASSOCIATED SOCIODEMOGRAPHIC VARIABLES IN PREGNANT WOMEN ATTENDING KING FAHD HOSPITAL OF THE UNIVERSITY 
Objectives:
The risk factors associated with herpes simplex virus (HSV) seropositivity in pregnant women in Saudi Arabia are not known. This study was aimed at identifying the sociodemographic variables associated with seroprevalence of HSV-1 and HSV-2 in pregnant women in a Saudi hospital.
Materials and Methods:
This is a hospital-based cross-sectional study that included all pregnant mothers who delivered at King Fahd Hospital of the University (KFHU) over a period of two years (November 2002 to October 2004). Anti-HSV-1 and anti-HSV-2 IgG and IgM antibodies were determined using type-specific ELISA. Each subject completed a structured questionnaire. Relevant sociodemographic variables were analyzed.
Results:
A higher prevalence of HSV-1 IgG antibodies (93.2%) was found in those mothers who were not educated (illiterate or read and write only) in comparison with pregnant women with formal school education (p = 0.021). This was confirmed by using multiple regression analysis (p = 0.027). The prevalence of HSV-2 IgG was higher among civil servants and teachers (40.0 % and 14.7 % respectively) than in unskilled labourers, professionals, or housewives (p = 0.0001). Using multiple regression analysis, the prevalence of HSV-2 IgG was found to increase in older mothers (p = 0.037). No statistically significant association was found between HSV seroprevalence and other socio demographic variables.
Conclusions:
Identifying the sociodemographic factors associated with HSV infection will help in understanding the epidemiology of HSV infection in Saudi women and may help in designing preventive measures.
PMCID: PMC3410117  PMID: 23012136
HSV-1; HSV-2; pregnant women; IgG; IgM; sociodemographic variables
3.  DETECTION OF HEPATITIS C VIRUS CORE ANTIGEN IN BLOOD DONORS USING A NEW ENZYME IMMUNOASSAY 
Objectives:
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the presence of hepatitis C virus [HCV] core antigen (HCV core Ag) in blood donors at King Fahd Hospital of the University, Al-Khobar, using the new HCV core Ag assay, and to correlate this finding with anti-HCV antibodies detected in the same samples using the standard Abbott MEIA(microparticle enzyme immunoassay).
Materials and Methods:
A total of 898 samples from blood donors were analyzed using the new assay prototype designed to detect and quantify total HCV core Ag in serum (Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics). Positive results were confirmed by the neutralization assay. The results of the HCV core Ag assay were compared with the results of the standard Abbott MIEA which measures anti-HCV antibody.
Results and Conclusions:
Out of the 898 samples tested, 18 samples were found to be positive by the HCV core Ag assay (2%). Out of these, 3 samples were confirmed positive by the neutralization protocol (0.33%). All the HCV core Ag positive samples were negative for anti-HCV antibodies (using MEIA by Abbott). These 3 donors may have been in the window period of HCV infection, or may be low responders for the HCV antigens, and are thus unable to mount detectable antibody level. The HCV core Ag assay is a potentially useful assay for screening blood donors, which will minimize the risk of using HCV positive blood from a patient in the window period of HCV infection.
PMCID: PMC3410079  PMID: 23012059
Hepatitis C virus; Core Antigen; Blood Donors; ELISA

Results 1-3 (3)