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Memish Z.A.,Ministry of Health | Memish Z.A.,Alfaisal University | Alsahly A.,Regional Health Directorate | Masri M.al.,Ministry of Health | And 6 more authors.
Influenza and other Respiratory Viruses | Year: 2015

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is an emerging viral pathogen that primarily causes respiratory illness. We conducted a seroprevalence study of banked human serum samples collected in 2012 from Southern Saudi Arabia. Sera from 300 animal workers (17% with daily camel exposure) and 50 non-animal-exposed controls were examined for serological evidence of MERS-CoV infection by a pseudoparticle MERS-CoV spike protein neutralization assay. None of the sera reproducibly neutralized the MERS-CoV-pseudotyped lentiviral vector. These data suggest that serological evidence of zoonotic transmission of MERS-CoV was not common among animal workers in Southern Saudi Arabia during July 2012. © 2014 The Authors. Source

Boucher Y.,University of Alberta | Orata F.D.,University of Alberta | Alam M.,Center for Communicable Diseases
Frontiers in Microbiology | Year: 2015

Cholera is a diarrheal disease that has changed the history of mankind, devastating the world with seven pandemics from 1817 to the present day. Although there is little doubt in the causative agent of these pandemics being Vibrio cholerae of the O1 serogroup, where, when, and how this pathogen emerged is not well understood. V. cholerae is a ubiquitous coastal species that likely existed for tens of thousands of years. However, the evolution of a strain capable of causing a large-scale epidemic is likely more recent historically. Here, we propose that the unique human and physical geography of low-lying river deltas made it possible for an environmental bacterium to evolve into a deadly human pathogen. Such areas are often densely populated and salt intrusion in drinking water frequent. As V. cholerae is most abundant in brackish water, its favored environment, it is likely that coastal inhabitants would regularly ingest the bacterium and release it back in the environment. This creates a continuous selection pressure for V. cholerae to adapt to life in the human gut. © 2015 Boucher, Orata and Alam. Source

Shah R.,Independent Consultant | Nahar Q.,Center for Population | Gurley E.S.,Center for Communicable Diseases
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2016

We estimated the proportion of maternal deaths in Bangladesh associated with acute onset of jaundice. We used verbal autopsy data from a nationally representative maternal mortality survey to calculate the proportion of maternal deaths associated with jaundice and compared it to previously published estimates. Of all maternal deaths between 2008 and 2010, 23% were associated with jaundice, compared with 19% from 1998 to 2001. Approximately one of five maternal deaths was preceded by jaundice, unchanged in 10 years. Our findings highlight the need to better understand the etiology of these maternal deaths in Bangladesh. © 2016 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Source

Rahaman M.H.,North South University | Islam T.,Center for Communicable Diseases | Colwell R.R.,University of Maryland University College | Alam M.,University of Maryland University College
Frontiers in Microbiology | Year: 2015

Vibrio cholerae, the etiological agent of cholera, has been a scourge for centuries. Cholera remains a serious health threat for developing countries and has been responsible for millions of deaths globally over the past 200 years. Identification of V. cholerae has been accomplished using a variety of methods, ranging from phenotypic strategies to DNA based molecular typing and currently whole genomic approaches. This array of methods has been adopted in epidemiological investigations, either singly or in the aggregate, and more recently for evolutionary analyses of V. cholerae. Because the new technologies have been developed at an ever increasing pace, this review of the range of fingerprinting strategies, their relative advantages and limitations, and cholera case studies was undertaken. The task was challenging, considering the vast amount of the information available. To assist the study, key references representative of several areas of research are provided with the intent to provide readers with a comprehensive view of recent advances in the molecular epidemiology of V. cholerae. Suggestions for ways to obviate many of the current limitations of typing techniques are also provided. In summary, a comparative report has been prepared that includes the range from traditional typing to whole genomic strategies. © 2015 Rahaman, Islam, Colwell and Alam. Source

Bulbul T.,Center for Communicable Diseases | Hoque M.,Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University
BMC Pediatrics | Year: 2014

Background: Obesity has been declared an epidemic in many high income countries. In low income countries, the coexistence of obesity and underweight makes the situation more grievous. The priority is to explore the overall pictures of body weight status in low income countries and countries that are in transitional phase. Through this country wide cross sectional study we would like to capture the current body weight status among the school aged children, both in urban and rural areas in Bangladesh. Methods: We conducted a countrywide cross sectional study, from June to September 2009. By random sampling, we selected 10,135 students from 6 to 15 years from both the urban and rural schools. We categorized the students into overweight, obese and underweight by using the values for age and sex at +1SD, +2SD and -2 SD of Z scores of BMI respectively. Results: We observed among 6 to 15 year olds from both the urban and rural areas 3.5% were obese, 9.5% were overweight and 17.6% were underweight. The proportion of obese and overweight students were greater among the students from urban schools (5.6%, 10.6%) compared to the students from rural schools (1.2%, 8.6%) (RD = 4.3, 95% CI = 3.6, 5.0; RD = 2.0, 95% CI = 0.1, 3.1). The proportion of underweight students were lower in the urban schools (16.1%) compared to the rural schools (19.2%) (RD = -3.1; 95% CI = -4.6, -1.6). Conclusions: The rate of obesity and overweight is alarming among school aged children in Bangladesh. Overweight and underweight are coexisting which needs special attention to minimize the dual burden. © 2014 Bulbul and Hoque; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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