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Sfax, Tunisia

The University of Sfax is a university located in Sfax, Tunisia. It was founded in 1986 and is organized in 8 Faculties.The University of Sfax is a university based in Sfax .It was founded in 1986 under the name University of the South and then covers all academic institutions in the South. It is divided into three universities, including the current University of Sfax, with the creation of the University of Gabes in 2003 and the University of Gafsa in 2004. Wikipedia.

Kasule O.H.,University of Sfax
Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences | Year: 2013

Objective: This paper identified ethical issues relating to brain death and analyzed them according to the purposes of the Law, maqasid al shari'at, and principles of the law, qawa'id al fiqh, to reach conclusions of practical importance. Methods: Issues arising in brain death were selected from articles retrieved from PUBMED over a 10-year period. Practical and conceptual issues identified in the articles were analyzed using maqasid al shari'atand qawa'id al fiqh. Results: Early determination of death by use of brain death criteria was motivated by the need to harvest transplantation organs earlier, to save intensive care resources by earlier cessation of life support, and to obtain tissues for research before deterioration. These motives would violate the principle of intention which requires that actions be judged by underlying intentions and that the end does not justify the means. In this case the nobility of the ends and their public interest were overriding considerations. The requirements, by the principle of certainty, of evidence-based proof of death were partially fulfilled by brain death criteria, tests, and examinations. The principle of custom was partially fulfilled because there was no universal consensus on criteria of brain death; the criteria varied by country, by institution, and over time. Conclusions and recommendations: Brain stem death, determined by clinical examination with or without instrumental confirmation, should remain the mainstay of death definition. Legal rulings on brain death should be reviewed every 3 years to take into consideration new developments in medical knowledge and technology. © 2013 Taibah University. Production and hosting by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Holgate S.T.,University of Sfax
Drug Discovery Today: Disease Mechanisms | Year: 2012

While asthma is an inflammatory disorder of the conducting airways with strong allergic overtones, the variable and often low clinical response to selective treatments that target the Th2 pathway have been disappointing. Beyond mild disease, asthma is a disorder of epithelial damage and aberrant repair with recapitulation of regenerative pathways that are prominent in foetal lung morphogenesis. This has led to the concept of activation of chronic asthma being maintained by persistent activation of the epithelial mesenchymal trophic unit by biologically active allergens, microorganisms and pollutants to drive inflammation in parallel with airway remodelling. Such mechanisms provide a basis for novel therapies directed towards increasing the lung's resistance to the inhaled environment and improving repair rather than concentrating on suppressing inflammation. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Kammoun I.,University of Sfax | Cipriano A.M.,Thales Alenia
IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications | Year: 2011

The use of single-antenna terminals for coherent cooperative wireless communications has received more attention in literature than for non-coherent communications. But acquiring knowledge of the fading coefficients in a cooperative scheme is very challenging in a fast fading case. In this paper, we develop several cooperative schemes suited for systems which do not require channel state information at either relays or destination. We analyze the performance of these schemes in terms of diversity gain and error probability. The diversity gained with an equal gain combiner at the destination is investigated too. The proposed cooperative schemes are compared to the literature and are shown to achieve significant performance gain depending on the type of relaying protocol. © 2011 IEEE.

Lucas M.G.,Morriston Hospital | Bosch R.J.L.,UMC Utrecht | Burkhard F.C.,University of Bern | Cruz F.,University of Sfax | And 7 more authors.
European Urology | Year: 2012

Context: The European Association of Urology (EAU) guidelines on urinary incontinence published in March 2012 have been rewritten based on an independent systematic review carried out by the EAU guidelines panel using a sustainable methodology. Objective: We present a short version here of the full guidelines on the surgical treatment of patients with urinary incontinence, with the aim of dissemination to a wider audience. Evidence acquisition: Evidence appraisal included a pragmatic review of existing systematic reviews and independent new literature searches based on Population, Intervention, Comparator, Outcome (PICO) questions. The appraisal of papers was carried out by an international panel of experts, who also collaborated in a series of consensus discussions, to develop concise structured evidence summaries and action-based recommendations using a modified Oxford system. Evidence summary: The full version of the guidance is available online (www.uroweb.org/guidelines/online-guidelines/). The guidance includes algorithms that refer the reader back to the supporting evidence and have greater accessibility in daily clinical practice. Two original meta-analyses were carried out specifically for these guidelines and are included in this report. Conclusions: These new guidelines present an up-to-date summary of the available evidence, together with clear clinical algorithms and action-based recommendations based on the best available evidence. Where high-level evidence is lacking, they present a consensus of expert panel opinion. © 2012 European Association of Urology.

Graeber M.B.,University of Sfax | Graeber M.B.,University of Sydney | Streit W.J.,University of Florida
Acta Neuropathologica | Year: 2010

The past 20 years have seen a gain in knowledge on microglia biology and microglia functions in disease that exceeds the expectations formulated when the microglia "immune network" was introduced. More than 10,000 articles have been published during this time. Important new research avenues of clinical importance have opened up such as the role of microglia in pain and in brain tumors. New controversies have also emerged such as the question of whether microglia are active or reactive players in neurodegenerative disease conditions, or whether they may be victims themselves. Premature commercial interests may be responsible for some of the confusion that currently surrounds microglia in both the Alzheimer and Parkinson's disease research fields. A critical review of the literature shows that the concept of "(micro)glial inflammation" is still open to interpretation, despite a prevailing slant towards a negative meaning. Perhaps the most exciting foreseeable development concerns research on the role of microglia in synaptic plasticity, which is expected to yield an answer to the question whether microglia are the brain's electricians. This review provides an analysis of the latest developments in the microglia field. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.

Kasule O.H.,University of Sfax
Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences | Year: 2013

Professionalism is defined as behaviors and attitudes. The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) listed 6 dimensions of good professionalism as: altruism, accountability, excellence, duty, honor and integrity, and respect for others; and listed elements that erode professionalism: abuse of power and sexual harassment, conflicts of interest, professional arrogance, physician impairment, and fraud in research. The formulation of professionalism from an Islamic perspective consists of 7 dimensions: (faith (iman), consciousness (taqwat), best character (ahsan al akhlaq), excellent performance (itqaan al 'amal), strife toward perfection (ihsan), responsibility (amanat), and self-accountability (muhasabat al nafs). From the earliest human history medical practice was by non-professionals, members of the family and religious leaders. Development of scientific medicine and its technology required training of dedicated professionals who had specialized skills and had to follow codes of professionalism. Professional organizations were set up to defend the rights of members, regulate and discipline practitioners, regulate training, and promote scientific research and exchange. Professionalism is taught actively as structured curriculum courses or passively as apprenticeship under good role models. Various approaches are used in the assessment of professionalism such as using special instruments like the Nijmegen Professional Scale developed in the Netherlands and the Professional Mini Evaluation instrument developed in Canada. Professionalism can also be assessed by (a) assessing knowledge, attitudes, and practice of professionalism; peer assessment of professionalism, (b) assessment of student behaviors such as fulfilling duties, and (c) analysis of student narratives on critical incidents. © 2013 Taibah University.

Pepermans G.,University of Sfax | Pepermans G.,Catholic University of Leuven
Energy Policy | Year: 2011

This paper estimates the willingness to pay/accept (WTP/WTA) of Flemish households for continuous power supply, based on a stated preference approach. The data were collected via a choice experiment and were then used to estimate a main effects conditional logit model and a random parameter logit model with interaction effects and correlated preferences. Power outages are characterized by 6 attributes: annual frequency, duration, peak or off peak, announced or unannounced, winter or summer and invoice impact. All estimates have the expected sign. The results are used to assess the marginal WTP/WTA for each of these attributes. Overall, the outcome suggests that Flemish households have heterogeneous preferences regarding power outage attributes, and that, due to a status quo bias, only a relatively small share of them is willing to switch to a lower reliability level if this would be compensated by a bill discount. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Elshazly W.G.,University of Sfax | El Nekady A.E.a.,Alexandria University | Hassan H.,Alexandria University
International Journal of Surgery | Year: 2010

Aims: Surgical treatment of obstructed defecation (OD) carries frequent recurrences. The aim of the study was to evaluate the role dynamic magnetic resonance imaging defecography, and to elucidate the underlying anatomic and pathophysiologic background of pelvic floor disorders in these patients in order to minimize failures. Patients and methods: Forty consecutive constipated patients with OD symptoms (31 females) with mean age 48.15 ± 14.29 years. They underwent perineal examination, proctoscopy, anorectal manometry and Dynamic MRI defecography. The different pelvic floor morphology was recorded. The type and outcome of treatment whether conservative or surgical were also recorded. Results: The dynamic MRI of the pelvic floor showed 23 patients with descending perineum, 32 rectoceles (28 females), 12 cystoceles (10 females), 6 enteroceles (4 females), 18 intussusceptions (14 females), and 7 dyskinetic puborectalis muscle (3 females). The diagnosis of combined pelvic floor disorders with dynamic MRI defecography was consistent with clinical results in 70% and there were additional diagnostic parameters in 30% of patients. Dynamic MRI findings changed treatment decision in 8 patients 20% with surgical treatment performed in 25 patients (8 stappled trans-anal rectal resection, 11 trans-anal Delorme's, 6 trans-abdominal combined repair), and conservative treatment in 15 patients. Conclusions: Dynamic magnetic resonance imaging represents a convenient diagnostic procedure in females and to a lesser extent in males, especially in terms of dynamic imaging of pelvic floor organs during defecation. In addition to the clinical assessment, dynamic magnetic resonance imaging had clinical impact in OD and interdisciplinary treatment. © 2010 Surgical Associates Ltd.

Abdelkafi S.,University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 | Abdelkafi S.,University of Sfax | Abousalham A.,University Claude Bernard Lyon 1
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry | Year: 2011

Phospholipase Dα (PLDα) purified from six-day post-germinated sunflower seeds was inactive in vitro on bilamellar substrates. It was fully active on mixed micelles made with phospholipids and a mixture of Triton-X100 and SDS at equal concentrations. It had an absolute need for divalent ions and calcium ions at millimolar concentration were the most efficient. Calcium had two effects. Firstly, using the fluorescent probe 2-p-toluidinylnaphtalene-6-sulfonate, we showed that the enzyme was able to bind calcium with a dissociation constant of 40-50 mM. This high value is probably due to the modification of the C2 domain which lacks some coordination residues allowing the binding of the metal. Secondly, using turbidity measurements, we showed that the metal ions interact with the SDS contained in the mixed micelles thus leading to an aggregated form of the substrate which is more easily hydrolyzed by PLDα. © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS.

Hamilton G.M.,University of Calgary | Meeuwisse W.H.,University of Calgary | Emery C.A.,University of Calgary | Emery C.A.,University of Sfax | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2011

Previous injury is believed to be a causal risk factor for subsequent injury. Using empirical data on circus artists (n = 1,281 artists) between 2004 and 2008 in Montreal, Canada, as a motivating example, the authors use patient vector plots to demonstrate that a bias away from the null must always occur in the typical analyses cited as evidence (i.e., survival analysis, Poisson regression), except in the improbable context where all subjects have the same inherent risk independent of previous injury. In addition, using simulated data, the authors demonstrate that a simple method that conditions on the individual will approximate conclusions from more complex analytical methods. By using the typical analysis of the authors' empirical data, Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox regression suggested increasing injury rates for both the second and third injuries compared with the first injury. However, conditional analyses using a matched population (i.e., time to first, second, and third injuries among artists with 3 or more injuries) showed that injury rates were unchanged for both the second and third injuries compared with the first injury. These results suggest that previous injury should not be evaluated as a causal risk factor unless one conditions on the individual in some way. © 2011 The Author.

van Boxtel J.J.A.,University of Sfax | Dapretto M.,University of CaliforniaLos Angeles | Lu H.,University of California at Los Angeles
Autism Research | Year: 2016

Given the ecological importance of biological motion and its relevance to social cognition, considerable effort has been devoted over the past decade to studying biological motion perception in autism. However, previous studies have asked observers to detect or recognize briefly presented human actions placed in isolation, without spatial or temporal context. Research on typical populations has shown the influence of temporal context in biological motion perception: prolonged exposure to one action gives rise to an aftereffect that biases perception of a subsequently displayed action. Whether people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) show such adaptation effects for biological motion stimuli remains unknown. To address this question, this study examined how well youth with ASD recognize ambiguous actions and adapt to recently-observed actions. Compared to typically-developing (TD) controls, youth with ASD showed no differences in perceptual boundaries between actions categories, indicating intact ability in recognizing actions. However, children with ASD showed weakened adaptation to biological motion. It is unlikely that the reduced action adaptability in autism was due to delayed developmental trajectory, as older children with ASD showed weaker adaptation to actions than younger children with ASD. Our results further suggest that high-level (i.e., action) processing weakens with age for children with ASD, but this change may be accompanied by a potentially compensatory mechanism based on more involvement of low-level (i.e., motion) processing. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Athmania D.,University of Tebessa | Achour H.,University of Sfax
Remote Sensing | Year: 2014

Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) including Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer-Global Digital Elevation Model (ASTER GDEM), Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), and Global Multi-resolution Terrain Elevation Data 2010 (GMTED2010) are freely available for nearly the entire earth's surface. DEMs that are usually subject to errors need to be evaluated using reference elevation data of higher accuracy. This work was performed to assess the vertical accuracy of the ASTER GDEM version 2, (ASTER GDEM2), the Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research-Consortium for Spatial Information (CGIAR-CSI) SRTM version 4.1 (SRTM v4.1) and the systematic subsample GMTED2010, at their original spatial resolution, using Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) validation points. Two test sites, the Anaguid Saharan platform in southern Tunisia and the Tebessa basin in north eastern Algeria, were chosen for accuracy assessment of the above mentioned DEMs, based on geostatistical and statistical measurements. Within the geostatistical approach, empirical variograms of each DEM were compared with those of the GPS validation points. Statistical measures were computed from the elevation differences between the DEM pixel value and the corresponding GPS point. For each DEM, a Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) was determined for model validation. In addition, statistical tools such as frequency histograms and Q-Q plots were used to evaluate error distributions in each DEM. The results indicate that the vertical accuracy of SRTM model is much higher than ASTER GDEM2 and GMTED2010 for both sites. In Anaguid test site, the vertical accuracy of SRTM is estimated 3.6 m (in terms of RMSE) 5.3 m and 4.5 m for the ASTERGDEM2 and GMTED2010 DEMs, respectively. In Tebessa test site, the overall vertical accuracy shows a RMSE of 9.8 m, 8.3 m and 9.6 m for ASTER GDEM 2, SRTM and GMTED2010 DEM, respectively. This work is the first study to report the lower accuracy of ASTER GDEM2 compared to the GMTED2010 data. © 2014 by the authors.

Simons F.E.R.,University of Sfax
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2010

Anaphylaxis occurs commonly in community settings. The rate of occurrence is increasing, especially in young people. Understanding potential triggers, mechanisms, and patient-specific risk factors for severity and fatality is the key to performing appropriate risk assessment in those who have previously experienced an acute anaphylactic episode. The diagnosis of anaphylaxis is based primarily on clinical criteria and is valid even if the results of laboratory tests, such as serum total tryptase levels, are within normal limits. Positive skin test results or increased serum specific IgE levels to potential triggering allergens confirm sensitization but do not confirm the diagnosis of anaphylaxis because asymptomatic sensitization is common in the general population. Important patient-related risk factors for severity and fatality include age, concomitant diseases, and concurrent medications, as well as other less well-defined factors, such as defects in mediator degradation pathways, fever, acute infection, menses, emotional stress, and disruption of routine. Prevention of anaphylaxis depends primarily on optimal management of patient-related risk factors, strict avoidance of confirmed relevant allergen or other triggers, and, where indicated, immunomodulation (eg, subcutaneous venom immunotherapy to prevent Hymenoptera sting-triggered anaphylaxis, an underused, potentially curative treatment). The benefits and risks of immunomodulation to prevent food-triggered anaphylaxis are still being defined. Epinephrine (adrenaline) is the medication of first choice in the treatment of anaphylaxis. All patients at risk for recurrence in the community should be equipped with 1 or more epinephrine autoinjectors; a written, personalized anaphylaxis emergency action plan; and up-to-date medical identification. Improvements in the design of epinephrine autoinjectors will help to optimize ease of use and safety. Randomized controlled trials of pharmacologic agents, such as antihistamines and glucocorticoids, are needed to strengthen the evidence base for treatment of acute anaphylactic episodes. © 2010 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Zhani K.,University of Sfax | Ben Bacha H.,King Saud University
Renewable Energy | Year: 2010

This paper tackles an experimental investigation of a new solar desalination prototype using the humidification dehumidification principle at the weather conditions of Sfax City, Tunisia. The prototype is designed and constructed at the national engineering school of Sfax to conduct this experimental investigation under different meteorological and operating parameters. It is composed of a flat plate solar air collector, a flat plate solar water collector, a humidifier, an evaporation tower and a condensation tower. An economic analysis was conducted, since it affects the final cost of produced water, to determine both the cost of fresh water production and the payback period of the experimental setup. Although a system may be technically very efficient, it may not be economic. The experimental investigation of the dynamic behaviour of the solar desalination unit during summer season (June, July and August) and during a typical day in July was carried to study the temporal evolutions of the temperature of air and water and the relative humidity at the inlet and the outlet of each component of the system. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Gauthier G.,Universite de Sherbrooke | St-Onge C.,Universite de Sherbrooke | Tavares W.,McMaster University | Tavares W.,Centennial College | Tavares W.,University of Sfax
Medical Education | Year: 2016

Background: Given the complexity of competency frameworks, associated skills and abilities, and contexts in which they are to be assessed in competency-based education (CBE), there is an increased reliance on rater judgements when considering trainee performance. This increased dependence on rater-based assessment has led to the emergence of rater cognition as a field of research in health professions education. The topic, however, is often conceptualised and ultimately investigated using many different perspectives and theoretical frameworks. Critically analysing how researchers think about, study and discuss rater cognition or the judgement processes in assessment frameworks may provide meaningful and efficient directions in how the field continues to explore the topic. Methods: We conducted a critical and integrative review of the literature to explore common conceptualisations and unified terminology associated with rater cognition research. We identified 1045 articles on rater-based assessment in health professions education using Scorpus, Medline and ERIC and 78 articles were included in our review. Results: We propose a three-phase framework of observation, processing and integration. We situate nine specific mechanisms and sub-mechanisms described across the literature within these phases: (i) generating automatic impressions about the person; (ii) formulating high-level inferences; (iii) focusing on different dimensions of competencies; (iv) categorising through well-developed schemata based on (a) personal concept of competence, (b) comparison with various exemplars and (c) task and context specificity; (v) weighting and synthesising information differently, (vi) producing narrative judgements; and (vii) translating narrative judgements into scales. Conclusion: Our review has allowed us to identify common underlying conceptualisations of observed rater mechanisms and subsequently propose a comprehensive, although complex, framework for the dynamic and contextual nature of the rating process. This framework could help bridge the gap between researchers adopting different perspectives when studying rater cognition and enable the interpretation of contradictory findings of raters' performance by determining which mechanism is enabled or disabled in any given context Discuss ideas arising from the article at www.mededuc.com discuss. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Ravichandran K.,King Faisal Specialist Hospital And Research Center | Mohamed G.,Disease Control Strategy Group | Al-Hamdan N.A.,University of Sfax
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention | Year: 2010

Background: Earlier studies on cancer knowledge/awareness from Saudi Arabia have been few and mostly limited to knowledge of and attitude towards breast cancer. The objectives of the present cross sectional study were to determine the levels of knowledge concerning cancer and to identify associated factors. Methods: This study was carried out among 1,407 Saudis who were either patients or their escorts, attending selected hospitals in Riyadh region and aged 15 years or more. Required information was obtained by interview using a piloted Arabic questionnaire. Associations between different variables and respondents knowledge were evaluated by Chi square test. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the potential impact of the variables. Results: This study population consisted of 688 males and 719 females. Approximately two thirds of participants (67.6%) had never heard of any cancer warning signals, but 80.7% believed some cancers can be cured if detected early, 27.1% believed cancer means end of life and 74.2% believed cancer will appear overnight. The majority of the respondents (65.1%) received information about cancer from television/radio. Although 1,159 had high level knowledge (scored 50.0% and more), only 233 individuals scored 75.0% and more. Significant differences in the knowledge level across age groups, educational levels and marital status were observed. Females had higher level knowledge than males. Odds of having high level knowledge about cancer was 5.27 times higher among those who had undergone any of the tests (breast self examination, mammography, occult blood, Papanicolau smear) compared to those who had none of those tests (95% CI: 1.87-14.84). Those who had heard about any cancer warning signal were more knowledgeable (OR=1.55; 95% CI: 1.10-2.19) than those who hadn't. The other most important determinants of knowledge level included age, and attending a primary health care centre. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the knowledge of cancer is poor among the public and greater attempts should be made to increase public awareness.

Fakhfakh M.,University of Sfax | Pierzchala M.,Wroclaw University of Technology
Radioengineering | Year: 2013

This paper proposes a novel idea for the synthesis of active filters that is based on the use of signal-flow graph (SFG) stamps of differential difference current conveyors (DDCCs). On the basis of an RLC passive network or a filter symbolic transfer function, an equivalent SFG is constructed. DDCCs' SFGs are identified inside the constructed 'active' graph, and thus the equivalent circuit can be easily synthesized. We show that the DDCC and its 'derivatives', i.e. differential voltage current conveyors and the conventional current conveyors, are the main basic building blocks in such design. The practicability of the proposed technique is showcased via three application examples. Spice simulations are given to show the viability of the proposed technique.

Vuilleumier N.,University of Geneva | Vuilleumier N.,University of Sfax | Dayer J.-M.,University Hospitals Geneva Medical Center | Eckardstein A.V.,University of Zurich | Roux-Lombard P.,University of Geneva
Swiss Medical Weekly | Year: 2013

Apolipoprotein A-1 (apoA-1) is the principal protein fraction of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), conferring to the latter many of its pleiotropic atheroprotective functions. After its effect on cholesterol efflux, the second most studied feature of apoA-1 is its anti-inflammatory property. In addition, it interferes with lipid peroxidation and innate immune receptors. These anti-inflammatory effects are due to various properties, in particular the ability to inhibit the transendothelial migration of immune cells by reducing integrin expression, to inhibit monocyte activation and cytokine production induced by T-cell contact, to inhibit lipid peroxidation and to interfere with innate immune receptors. Recent studies have demonstrated that during chronic systemic inflammation HDL could lose some of its atheroprotective functions and become dysfunctional or even proinflammatory. Recent evidence suggests that specific posttranslational modifications of apoA-1 transform this genuine anti-inflammatory molecule into a proinflammatory one. The structural changes include chlorination, nitration and carbamylation of amino acids by myeloperoxidase, oxidation by reactive carbonyls, as well as glycation. Humoral autoimmunity to apoA-1 and HDL has been reported in populations at high cardiovascular risk and constitutes another emerging mechanism contributing to the loss of functions of apoA-1 and HDL. The fact that in recent trials cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitors (torcerapib and dalcetrapib) have unfortunately failed to prevent cardiovascular disease despite increasing cholesterol efflux in vitro and HDL levels in vivo, further highlights the clinical importance of understanding the mechanisms driving apoA-1 and HDL towards pro- or anti-inflammatory molecules. These findings should not affect current dyslipidaemia management guidelines.

Ammar F.,University of Sfax | Makhlouf A.,Upper Alsace University | Silvestrov S.,Lund University
Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical | Year: 2010

In this paper we construct ternary q-Virasoro-Witt algebras which q-deform the ternary Virasoro-Witt algebras constructed by Curtright, Fairlie and Zachos using su(1, 1) enveloping algebra techniques. The ternary Virasoro-Witt algebras constructed by Curtright, Fairlie and Zachos depend on a parameter and are not Nambu-Lie algebras for all but finitely many values of this parameter. For the parameter values for which the ternary Virasoro-Witt algebras are Nambu-Lie, the corresponding ternary q-Virasoro-Witt algebras constructed in this paper are also Hom-Nambu-Lie because they are obtained from the ternary Nambu-Lie algebras using the composition method. For other parameter values this composition method does not yield a Hom-Nambu-Lie algebra structure for q-Virasoro-Witt algebras. We show however, using a different construction, that the ternary Virasoro-Witt algebras of Curtright, Fairlie and Zachos, as well as the general ternary q-Virasoro-Witt algebras we construct, carry a structure of the ternary Hom-Nambu-Lie algebra for all values of the involved parameters. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.

N-acetylcysteine belongs to commonly used drugs from expectorants. Its mechanism of action is not based on the modified mucus formation and/or its structure in airways only, however, it possesses also antioxidant or immunomodulatory properties. These activities are discussed here in the context of its current therapeutic use with a special focus on paediatric population. © 2014.

Genest J.,University of Sfax
Canadian Journal of Cardiology | Year: 2010

The inflammatory biomarker high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) has been proposed as a novel instrument to assess cardiovascular risk, to determine the need for statin therapy in specific individuals otherwise not deemed to meet current criteria, and to represent a potential target of treatment. CRP is predominantly secreted by the liver and adipose tissue in response to inflammatory stress and is regulated, in great part, by interleukin- 6. The issue of CRP as a causal factor (rather than a biomarker) has been addressed by three types of studies: animal models, in which CRP was injected; transgenic mice over-expressing human CRP; and Mendelian randomization studies. All indicate that CRP may not have a direct role in promoting atherosclerosis but, instead, serves as a marker of vascular inflammation and the presence of atherosclerosis. Several clinical studies have shown that individuals reaching both low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and hsCRP targets (LDL-C less than 2.0 mmol/L and hsCRP less than 2 mg/L) have the lowest event rate, suggesting that hsCRP may become a secondary target of treatment after LDL-C. The Justification for the Use of Statins in Prevention: an Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin (JUPITER) study showed that apparently healthy men and women with elevated hsCRP, but normal LDL-C (less than 3.4 mmol/L), had an overall 44% reduction in the primary end points with rosuvastatin 20 mg/day. The results of this study have now been incorporated in the new Canadian guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of dyslipidemia and prevention of cardiovascular disease. © 2010 Pulsus Group Inc.

Kisic B.,Institute of Biochemistry | Miric D.,Institute of Biochemistry | Zoric L.,University of Sfax | Ilic A.,Institute of Preventive Medicine | Dragojevic I.,Institute of Biochemistry
Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity | Year: 2012

The immediate cause of the occurrence of cataract is unknown, but oxidative damage and effects of reactive oxygen species are considered important in its etiopathogenesis. Our research was aimed at testing the nonenzyme antioxidant power of corticonuclear lens blocks, with different types and different maturity of age-related cataract. Clinical and biochemical researches were carried out in 101 patients with age-related cataract. In corticonuclear lens blocks of the patient, the concentration of nonprotein and total-SH groups and the concentration of total vitamin C and dehydroascorbic acid (DHA) were determined; the current redox balance of dehydroascorbate/ascorbate and total antioxidant power measured by ferric-reducing ability were examined. In corticonuclear lens blocks with incipient cataract a significantly higher concentration of GSH, total SH groups, concentration of total vitamin C and ascorbic acid (AA), and ferric-reducing ability were measured. The measured concentration of DHA is higher than the concentration of AA in the lenses with the incipient and mature cataract. The concentration ratio of redox couple DHA/AA is higher in lenses with mature cataract, where the measured concentration of AA was lower than in the incipient cataract. Timely removal of DHA from the lens is important because of its potential toxicity as an oxidant. An increase of the current concentration of DHA/AA redox balance can be an indicator of oxidative stress. Copyright 2012 Bojana Kisic et al.

Cragg J.J.,University of Sfax | Noonan V.K.,Rick Hansen Institute | Krassioukov A.,International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries | Krassioukov A.,Strong Rehabilitation Center | And 4 more authors.
Neurology | Year: 2013

Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between spinal cord injury (SCI) and type 2 diabetes in a large representative sample and to determine whether an association exists irrespective of known risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Methods: Data were obtained on 60,678 respondents to the Statistics Canada 2010 Cycle of the cross-sectional Canadian Community Health Survey. Multivariable logistic regression, incorporating adjustment for confounders and probability weights to account for the Canadian Community Health Survey sampling method, was conducted to quantify this association. Results: After adjustment for both sex and age, SCI was associated with a significant increased odds of type 2 diabetes (adjusted odds ratio 5 1.66, 95%confidence interval 1.16-2.36). These heightened odds persisted after additional adjustment for smoking status, hypertension status, body mass index, daily physical activity, alcohol intake, and daily consumption of fruits and vegetables (fully adjusted odds ratio 5 2.45, 95% confidence interval 1.34-4.47). Conclusions: There is a strong association between SCI and type 2 diabetes, which is not explained by known risk factors for type 2 diabetes. © 2013 American Academy of Neurology.

PierzchaLa M.,Wroclaw University of Technology | Fakhfakh M.,University of Sfax
Microelectronics Journal | Year: 2011

This paper proposes a novel method of synthesis of active RC-filters. The process is based on the use of the classical LC-network. The constructed equivalent active circuit uses a kind of active switches, i.e. nullators and norators that ensure 'switching' between voltage graphs and current graphs. Accordingly, parameters of the constructed circuit depend only on the values of resistors and capacitors and not on the parameters of the active elements. The proposed approach is illustrated through two examples. SPICE simulation results are given to show viability of the proposed method. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.All rights reserved.

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) collection is a necessary process in any municipality resulting in the quality-of-life, economic aspects and urban structuralization. The intrinsic nature of MSW collection relates to the development of effective vehicle routing models that optimize the total traveling distances of vehicles, the environmental emission and the investment costs. In this article, we propose a generalized vehicle routing model including multiple transfer stations, gather sites and inhomogeneous vehicles in time windows for MSW collection. It takes into account traveling in one-way routes, the number of vehicles per m2 and waiting time at traffic stops for reduction of operational time. The proposed model could be used for scenarios having similar node structures and vehicles' characteristics. A case study at Danang city, Vietnam is given to illustrate the applicability of this model. The experimental results have clearly shown that the new model reduces both total traveling distances and operational hours of vehicles in comparison with those of practical scenarios. Optimal routes of vehicles on streets and markets at Danang are given. Those results are significant to practitioners and local policy makers. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

The oxygen and carbon isotopes record from fossil foraminifera in deep-sea sediments are commonly used as proxy for global thermohaline and productivity changes. The last 28 ka record of oxygen and carbon isotopes are characterized by a slow transfer of isotopic signal from surface to deep Mediterranean at the beginning of Heinrich events (H2 and H1) and during the Bölling/Alleröd. These changes in deep waters properties occur some 180 years later, indicating a decrease of ventilation in the beginning of these events. The slowing of the thermohaline convection is more marked in the early Holocene, characterized by less than 500 years of lag-time between the isotopic signals. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Okabe S.,Tokyo Medical University | Tauchi T.,Tokyo Medical University | Tanaka Y.,Tokyo Medical University | Kitahara T.,Tokyo Medical University | And 3 more authors.
Cancer Biology and Therapy | Year: 2014

Imatinib, an ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), has shown clinical efficacy against chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). However, a substantial number of patients develop resistance to imatinib treatment due to the emergence of clones carrying mutations in the protein BCR-ABL. The phosphoinositide 3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway regulates various processes, including cell proliferation, cell survival, and antiapoptosis activity. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of NVP-BEZ235, a dual PI3K and mTOR inhibitor, using BCR-ABL-positive cell lines. Treatment with NVP-BEZ235 for 48 h inhibited cell growth and induced apoptosis. The phosphorylation of the AKT kinase, eukaryotic initiation factor 4-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1), and p70 S6 kinase were decreased after NVP-BEZ235 treatment. The combination of NVP-BEZ235 with a BCR-ABL kinase inhibitor, imatinib, or nilotinib, induced a more pronounced colony growth inhibition, whereas the combination of NVP-BEZ235 and nilotinib was more effective in inducing apoptosis and reducing the phosphorylation of AKT, 4E-BP1, and S6 kinase. NVP-BEZ235 in combination with nilotinib also inhibited tumor growth in a xenograft model and inhibited the growth of primary T315I mutant cells and ponatinib-resistant cells. Taken together, these results suggest that administration of the dual PI3K and mTOR inhibitor NVP-BEZ235 may be an effective strategy against BCR-ABL mutant cells and may enhance the cytotoxic effects of nilotinib in ABL TKI-resistant BCR-ABL mutant cells. © 2014 Landes Bioscience.

Dhahri A.,University of Monastir | Dhahri J.,University of Monastir | Hlil E.K.,CNRS Neel Institute | Dhahri E.,University of Sfax
Journal of Alloys and Compounds | Year: 2012

We have studied the effect of Ti substitution on magnetic and magnetocaloric properties in La 0.57Nd 0.1Pb 0.33Mn 1-xTi xO 3 (x = 0.1 and x = 0.15) over a wide temperature range (T = 240-340 K). The prepared samples remain single phase and exhibit paramagnetic (PM)-ferromagnetic (FM) phase transition (T C) at 300 and 280 K for x = 0.1 and x = 0.15, respectively. From the magnetic measurements as function of temperature and magnetic applied field, we have discovered a large magnetic entropy change (-ΔS M) at Curie temperature.ΔS M has been deduced by two methods: Maxwell relation and Landau theory. The maximum value of the magnetic entropy change obtained from the M(H) curves and it increases with increase of Ti content from 4.85 J kg -1 K -1 at 299 K to 5.2 J kg -1 K -1 at 279 K, under ΔH = 5 T. The field dependence of the magnetic entropy change is also analyzed showing the power law dependence, ΔS M ∝ H n where n = 0.610(3) for x = 0.1 and n = 0.525(5) for x = 0.15 at their respective transition temperatures. The relative cooling power (RCP) and its field dependence are also analyzed. The obtained results show that La 0.57Nd 0.1Pb 0.33Mn 1-xTi xO 3 could be considered as a potential candidate for magnetic refrigeration applications around room temperature. © 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V.

In the paper [A. Ben Amar, A. Jeribi, and B. Krichen, Fixed point theorems for block operator matrix and an application to a structured problem under boundary conditions of Rotenberg's model type, to appear in Math. Slovaca. (2014)], the existence of solutions of the two-dimensional boundary value problem (1) and (2) was discussed in the product Banach space L(p)×L(p) for p∈(1, ∞). Due to the lack of compactness on L1 spaces, the analysis did not cover the case p=1. The purpose of this work is to extend the results of Ben Amar et al. to the case p=1 by establishing new variants of fixed-point theorems for a 2×2 operator matrix, involving weakly compact operators.

Kaya S.,Hacettepe University | Akbayrak T.,Hacettepe University | Beksac S.,University of Sfax
Clinical Rehabilitation | Year: 2011

Objective: To investigate and compare the effectiveness of various treatment protocols for the treatment of women with idiopathic detrusor overactivity. Design: Prospective, randomized controlled trial. Setting: Departments of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation and Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Hacettepe University. Subjects: Forty-six subjects were randomized to three groups. Interventions: The first group received only pharmacotherapy, the second group received only physiotherapy and in the third group pharmacotherapy was combined with physiotherapy (combined therapy group). Main measures: All patients were evaluated at the beginning and at the end of treatment. Assessment parameters were maximum cystometric capacity, electromyographic activity of pelvic floor muscles, voiding diary parameters, the amount of urine leakage and the quality of life score. Results: The maximum cystometric capacity and the electromyographic activity of pelvic floor muscles increased significantly and the number of voids/day and incontinence episodes/day, and the amount of urine leakage reduced significantly (P<0.05) in both physiotherapy and combined therapy groups while there was no significant difference in the pharmacotherapy group. After treatment, the number of voids/day increased by 0.3±3.4 in the pharmacotherapy group (P>0.05) and decreased by 5.1±5.5 and 4.7±5.6 in the physiotherapy and combined therapy groups, respectively (P<0.05). Statistically significant improvements were observed in all groups according to the number of voids/night and the quality of life scores at the end of the treatment. Conclusion: The physiotherapy protocol we introduced in the present study with or without anticholinergic therapy has a substantial positive impact on the treatment of female patients with idiopathic detrusor overactivity. © The Author(s), 2010.

Ben Amar F.,University of Sfax | Ben Amar F.,A+ Network | Dhifaoui R.,A+ Network
International Journal of Electrical Power and Energy Systems | Year: 2011

The principal contribution of this article is to determine the existence zones of the various periodic ferroresonant modes (fundamental, harmonic and subharmonic) intervening in the electrical power network. The bifurcation diagrams are used for this purpose. To be able to plot a bifurcation diagram of a particular solution, it is initially necessary to locate this solution and then to follow it according to a bifurcation parameter. The developed computation code, resulting from the implementation of the Galerkin method jointly with the pseudo-arclength continuation method, has proved to be a powerful and reliable tool to construct these bifurcation diagrams. Indeed, it enables the electrical power network operators to better understand the problems of the phenomenon which had been observed in its network and to foresee new ferroresonance cases. Applied to the single-phase ferroresonant circuits, both series and parallel, we have been able to easily calculate the existence zones of these modes, as well as the stability limits of the system on ranges of broad variation of the parameters. Several results obtained numerically by software MATLAB, as from the real cases, are presented and commented upon. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Sonnewald U.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Sonnewald U.,University of Sfax
Journal of Neurochemistry | Year: 2014

The central process in energy production is the oxidation of acetyl-CoA to CO2 by the tricarboxylic acid (TCA, Krebs, citric acid) cycle. However, this cycle functions also as a biosynthetic pathway from which intermediates leave to be converted primarily to glutamate, GABA, glutamine and aspartate and to a smaller extent to glucose derivatives and fatty acids in the brain. When TCA cycle ketoacids are removed, they must be replaced to permit the continued function of this essential pathway, by a process termed anaplerosis. Since the TCA cycle cannot act as a carbon sink, anaplerosis must be coupled with cataplerosis; the exit of intermediates from the TCA cycle. The role of anaplerotic reactions for cellular metabolism in the brain has been studied extensively. However, the coupling of this process with cataplerosis and the roles that both pathways play in the regulation of amino acid, glucose, and fatty acid homeostasis have not been emphasized. The concept of a linkage between anaplerosis and cataplerosis should be underscored, because the balance between these two processes is essential. The hypothesis that cataplerosis in the brain is achieved by exporting the lactate generated from the TCA cycle intermediates into the blood and perivascular area is presented. This shifts the generally accepted paradigm of lactate generation as simply derived from glycolysis to that of oxidation and might present an alternative explanation for aerobic glycolysis. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.

Etemad-Sajadi R.,University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland | Ghachem L.,University of Sfax
Computers in Human Behavior | Year: 2015

Abstract The objective of this paper is to examine the impact of avatars' utilitarian and hedonic values on the different dimensions of e-service quality. Despite the existence of many studies focusing on the impact of the avatar on user's online experience, there is a lack of research on the effect of avatars' values on the different dimensions of websites' perceived quality. We asked respondents to interact with an avatar and then fill in our questionnaire. We applied this process to 8 different service companies' websites with an avatar already integrated. We received 945 questionnaires back. In order to measure e-service quality, we used WEBQUAL. As we had several latent variables, we used partial least squares (PLS), a variance-based structural equation modeling method. Results show that the utilitarian and hedonic values of the avatar increase significantly the perception of the website's quality. The utilitarian value of the avatar impacts 9 of the 10 dimensions of e-service quality. The hedonic value impacts 5 of the 10 dimensions of e-service quality. The results of this study are relevant to the academic world, as we identified that the utilitarian value of an avatar can impact nearly all dimensions of WEBQUAL. Our results can also have immediate and direct implications for companies who want to improve a specific dimension of their website by the use of an avatar. Moreover, this study will be useful for developers of online agents in order to adjust the knowledge of their avatars to clients' and users' needs. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Pavord I.D.,University of Leicester | Korn S.,Mainz University Hospital | Howarth P.,University of Sfax | Bleecker E.R.,Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine | And 4 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2012

Background Some patients with severe asthma have recurrent asthma exacerbations associated with eosinophilic airway infl ammation. Early studies suggest that inhibition of eosinophilic airway infl ammation with mepolizumab- a monoclonal antibody against interleukin 5-is associated with a reduced risk of exacerbations. We aimed to establish effi cacy, safety, and patient characteristics associated with the response to mepolizumab. Methods We undertook a multicentre, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial at 81 centres in 13 countries between Nov 9, 2009, and Dec 5, 2011. Eligible patients were aged 12-74 years, had a history of recurrent severe asthma exacerbations, and had signs of eosinophilic infl ammation. They were randomly assigned (in a 1:1:1:1 ratio) to receive one of three doses of intravenous mepolizumab (75 mg, 250 mg, or 750 mg) or matched placebo (100 mL 09% NaCl) with a central telephone-based system and computer-generated randomly permuted block schedule stratifi ed by whether treatment with oral corticosteroids was required. Patients received 13 infusions at 4-week intervals. The primary outcome was the rate of clinically signifi cant asthma exacerbations, which were defi ned as validated episodes of acute asthma requiring treatment with oral corticosteroids, admission, or a visit to an emergency department. Patients, clinicians, and data analysts were masked to treatment assignment. Analyses were by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01000506. Findings 621 patients were randomised: 159 were assigned to placebo, 154 to 75 mg mepolizumab, 152 to 250 mg mepolizumab, and 156 to 750 mg mepolizumab. 776 exacerbations were deemed to be clinically signifi cant. The rate of clinically signifi cant exacerbations was 240 per patient per year in the placebo group, 124 in the 75 mg mepolizumab group (48% reduction, 95% CI 31-61%; p<00001), 146 in the 250 mg mepolizumab group (39% reduction, 19-54%; p=00005), and 115 in the 750 mg mepolizumab group (52% reduction, 36-64%; p<00001). Three patients died during the study, but the deaths were not deemed to be related to treatment. Interpretation Mepolizumab is an eff ective and well tolerated treatment that reduces the risk of asthma exacerbations in patients with severe eosinophilic asthma. Funding GlaxoSmithKline.

Cherif S.,University of Sfax
Lipids in health and disease | Year: 2011

Bacterial lipases received much attention for their substrate specificity and their ability to function in extreme environments (pH, temperature...). Many staphylococci produced lipases which were released into the culture medium. Reports of thermostable lipases from Staphylococcus sp. and active in alkaline conditions are not previously described. A newly soil-isolated Staphylococcus sp. strain ESW secretes an induced lipase in the culture medium. The effects of temperature, pH and various components in a detergent on the activity and stability of Staphylococcus sp. lipase (SL1) were studied in a preliminary evaluation for use in detergent formulation solutions. The enzyme was highly active over a wide range of pH from 9.0 to 13.0, with an optimum at pH 12.0. The relative activity at pH 13.0 was about 60% of that obtained at pH 12.0. It exhibited maximal activity at 60°C. This novel lipase, showed extreme stability towards non-ionic and anionic surfactants after pre-incubation for 1 h at 40°C, and relative stability towards oxidizing agents. Additionally, the crude enzyme showed excellent stability and compatibility with various commercial solid and liquid detergents. These properties added to the high activity in high alkaline pH make this novel lipase an ideal choice for application in detergent formulations.

Bertram J.E.A.,University of Sfax | Hasaneini S.J.,University of Calgary
Journal of Experimental Biology | Year: 2013

As one of the most energetically demanding daily activities, locomotion has attracted substantial investigative attention. Although legged locomotion has been well described, it is currently not well understood. Looking at energy accounting might be a good pathway with which to solve this problem. One relatively simple way of analyzing energy management is to look directly at the flow of mechanical energy into and out of the system, in terms of costs and losses (with some attention to the mechanisms responsible for this flow). In this commentary we argue that a key source of energetic loss has largely been neglected: the redirection of body motion from downward to upward at each step. We discuss the role of this loss and the compensating energetic costs, identifying some of the general features of the trade-offs that determine gait optimization strategies. We find that even at a conceptual level, a focus on the main mechanism of loss and the strategies available to the organism to effectively compensate for losses can yield substantial insight into observations as diverse as the functional limits of a playground swing through to the strikingly different effect of reduced gravity on human walking and running. Such insight changes the interpretation of fundamental features of leg function, such as push-off timing and the role of elastic deflection during stance. © 2013. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

Badsi B.E.,University of Sfax
COMPEL - The International Journal for Computation and Mathematics in Electrical and Electronic Engineering | Year: 2013

Purpose - The aim of this paper is to propose a novel direct torque control (DTC) strategy for induction motor (IM) drives fed by three-switch three-phase inverter (TSTPI). The introduced strategy is based on the emulation of the operation of the conventional six-switch three-phase inverter (SSTPI). Design/methodology/approach - The proposed strategy has been achieved thanks to suitable combinations of the six unbalanced voltage vectors intrinsically generated by the TSTPI, leading to the synthesis of the six balanced voltage vectors of the SSTPI. This approach has been adopted in the design of the vector selection table of the proposed DTC strategy which considers a subdivision of the Clarke plane into six sectors. Findings - Simulation results have revealed that, thanks to the proposed DTC strategy, TSTPI fed IM drives exhibit interesting performance. Research limitations/implications - The results obtained by simulation should be validated by experiments. Originality/value - The drawbacks associated with the application of unbalanced voltage vectors in previous DTC strategies dedicated to TSTPI have been eradicated thanks to the synthesis of six balanced voltage vectors using appropriate combinations of the TSTPI intrinsic ones. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Akrout B.,University of Sfax | Mahdi W.,British Petroleum
IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium, Proceedings | Year: 2013

The driver drowsiness detection used in human security systems aims to decrease the number of accidents. We describe in this paper an approach developed to detect the driver drowsiness state from a video-based system. Our approach uses a noninvasive method which excludes any human related elements. The latter calculates two geometric features to calculate a non-linearly and non-stationary signal. We analyze the signal extracted from the previous step by combining the two methods EMD (Empirical Mode Decomposition) and BP (Band Power) for filtering. This analysis is confirmed by the SVM (Support Vector Machine) to classify the driver alertness state. © 2013 IEEE.

Dumas M.-E.,Imperial College London | Kinross J.,Imperial College London | Kinross J.,University of Sfax | Nicholson J.K.,Imperial College London
Gastroenterology | Year: 2014

Metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors for type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease, is becoming an increasing global health concern. Insulin resistance is often associated with metabolic syndrome and also typical hepatic manifestations such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Profiling of metabolic products (metabolic phenotyping or metabotyping) has provided new insights into metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Data from nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectrometry combined with statistical modeling and top-down systems biology have allowed us to analyze and interpret metabolic signatures in terms of metabolic pathways and protein interaction networks and to identify the genomic and metagenomic determinants of metabolism. For example, metabolic phenotyping has shown that relationships between host cells and the microbiome affect development of the metabolic syndrome and fatty liver disease. We review recent developments in metabolic phenotyping and systems biology technologies and how these methodologies have provided insights into the mechanisms of metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. We discuss emerging areas of research in this field and outline our vision for how metabolic phenotyping could be used to study metabolic syndrome and fatty liver disease. © 2014 by the AGA Institute.

Matan M.,University of Sfax | Axelman E.,Thrombosis and Hemostasis Unit | Brenner B.,Thrombosis and Hemostasis Unit | Nadir Y.,Thrombosis and Hemostasis Unit
Human Reproduction | Year: 2013

STUDY QUESTIONWhat is the effect of estrogen on heparanase procogulant activity?SUMMARY ANSWEREstrogen increases heparanase procoagulant activity.WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADYEstrogen therapy increases the risk of thrombosis and was previously found to up-regulate heparanase expression. Heparanase is involved in angiogenesis and metastasis, and has been shown to form a complex with tissue factor (TF) and also shown to enhance the generation of factor Xa.STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATIONA case-control study. Thirty-four healthy women using oral contraceptives (OC) and 41 women not using hormonal therapy and not pregnant per history were enrolled, over a 5-month period, at the Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel. In vitro, estrogen receptor-positive (MCF-7) and -negative (MDA-231) cell lines were incubated with estrogen, tamoxifen and ICI-182.780 a pure estrogen receptor antagonist. The cell medium was evaluated for TF/heparanase complex activity, TF activity and heparanase procoagulant activity by chromogenic substrate.PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODSExclusion criteria included age <18 years, post-menopausal women, concomitant medications other than supplement minerals and vitamins, acute or chronic illness.MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCEThe study demonstrates increased risk of high heparanase procoagulant activity in OC users. When a cutoff level of 0.25 (absorbance 405-490 nm) was set, the odds ratio was 131 (P < 0.0001). When all results were studied by quartiles, in quartiles 3 and 4 the results were almost exclusively of the OC users (P < 0.0001). In cell cultures, estrogen and tamoxifen increased heparanase procoagulant activity in the medium of estrogen receptor-positive (MCF-7) cells.LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTIONThe main limitation of the current study is that the two estrogens given to the women and cell cultures, ethinyl estradiol (EE) and 17-β-estradiol (E2), respectively, may have different effects on the coagulation system, although an increase in heparanase procoagulant activity was demonstrated in both of them. Although the sample size of the study group was limited, significant differences in the activation of the extrinsic coagulation pathway were demonstrated.WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGSThe clinical relevance of the heparanase procoagulant activity assay as a screening tool in thrombophilia work-up should further be elucidated. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved.

Golusin M.,Educons University | Ostojic A.,Novi Management | Latinovic S.,Imes Biogas | Jandric M.,University of Sfax | Ivanovic O.M.,Educons University
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2012

Construction and operation of plants that produce energy from renewable energy sources is the subject for discussion in all the countries that have accepted the sustainable development concept and Kyoto protocol as their own development direction. Enlargement of the renewable energy production is clearly an imperative, but only economically viable construction and operation can result in long-term sustainability, which is initially the goal when deciding upon such investments. In line with this goal, this paper presents the estimation of the economic viability of constructing and operating biogas electricity plant on the farm Vizelj in Serbia. The timeframe for this estimation is from 2011 until 2020. This paper also presents all parameters which are necessary for performing this estimation, respectively, analysis of revenues and expenditures, projection of economic and financial flow, ratio analysis, dynamic and static analysis, and analysis of sensitivity of the project, i.e. impact of the changes in prices and raw material on the overall performance of the project. The observed investment is predicted to be financed from the EBRD's credit line for renewable energy in Western Balkans, while the total investment is estimated at Euro 958,000.00. After the performed economic assessment, the conclusion is that the observed investment in biogas electricity plant is very acceptable and it can serve as a role model for similar investments in the region. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Adams S.,University of Sfax | Adams S.,St Vincents Center For Applied Medical Research | Braidy N.,University of New South Wales | Bessesde A.,University of New South Wales | And 8 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2012

Brain tumors are among the most common and most chemoresistant tumors. Despite treatment with aggressive treatment strategies, the prognosis for patients harboring malignant gliomas remains dismal. The kynurenine pathway (KP) is the principal route of L-tryptophan catabolism leading to the formation of the essential pyridine nucleotide, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD +), and important neuroactive metabolites, including the neurotoxin, quinolinic acid (QUIN), the neuroprotective agent, picolinic acid (PIC), the TH17/Treg balance modulator, 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid (3-HAA), and the immunosuppressive agent, L-Kynurenine (KYN). This review provides a new perspective on KP dysregulation in defeating antitumor immune responses, specifically bringing light to the lower segment of the KP, particularly QUIN-induced neurotoxicity and downregulation of the enzyme α-amino- β-carboxymuconate-ε-semialdehyde decarboxylase (ACMSD) as a potential mechanism of tumor progression. Given its immunosuppressive effects, 3-HAA produced from the KP may also play a role in suppressing antitumor immunity in human tumors. The enzyme indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase (IDO-1) initiates and regulates the first step of the KP in most cells. Mounting evidence directly implicates that the induction and overexpression of IDO-1 in various tumors is a crucial mechanism facilitating tumor immune evasion and persistence. Tryptophan 2, 3-dioxygenase (TDO-2), which initiates the same first step of the KP as IDO-1, has likewise recently been shown to be a mechanism of tumoral immune resistance. Further, it was also recently shown that TDO-2-dependent production of KYN by brain tumors might be a novel mechanism for suppressing antitumor immunity and supporting tumor growth through the activation of the Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). This newly identified TDO-2-KYN-AhR signaling pathway opens up exciting future research opportunities and may represent a novel therapeutic target in cancer therapy. Our discussion points to a number of KP components, namely TDO-2, IDO-1, and ACMSD, as important therapeutic targets for the treatment of brain cancer. Targeting the KP in brain tumors may represent a viable strategy likely to prevent QUIN-induced neurotoxicity and KYN and 3-HAA-mediated immune suppression. ©2012 AACR.

Fersi G.,University of Sfax
Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems, DCOSS 2015 | Year: 2015

The significant progress in smart devices has lead to the shifting of actual Internet to the Internet of Things (IoT). Internet of Things is invading our real lives. In this new Internet vision, trillions of smart dynamic objects and areas will be connected to the Internet and interact between each others to achieve common applications. This new Internet vision requires suitable IoT infrastructure that offers the main Internet of Things functionalities to facilitate the development of IoT applications. Middleware is the software layer between technological and application layers. It is mainly used to afford common services and functions to applications and to abstract implementation details to ease more complex application development. In this paper, we review the main challenges facing Internet of Things middleware and survey the most well known middleware that have been proposed in this field. © 2015 IEEE.

Schaffer M.,Institute of Oncology | Schaffer M.,University of Oradea | Schaffer P.M.,University of Oradea | Bar-Sela G.,University of Sfax
Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care | Year: 2015

Purpose of review Curcumin, commonly known as turmeric, is a spice that comes from the root Curcuma longa. The present article presents an update of new studies of curcumin activities as tested in anticancer models from 2011 to 2015. Recent findings Evidence from in-vitro and in-vivo research, together with clinical trials conducted over the past few decades, substantiates the potential of curcumin as an anticancer and anti-inflammatory agent. The development of formulations of curcumin in the form of nanoparticles, liposomes, micelles, or phospholipid complexes to enhance its bioavailability and efficacy are still in the early stages. Clinical trials with curcumin indicate safety, tolerability, and nontoxicity. However, the efficacy is questionable, based on the small numbers of patients in each study. Summary The laboratory and the clinical studies until 2011 were summarized in a review published in this journal. An update of the new studies and knowledge from 2011 to March 2015 focuses on new ways to overcome its low bioavailability and data from clinical trials. Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Fantazzini D.,Moscow State University | Toktamysova Z.,University of Sfax
International Journal of Production Economics | Year: 2015

Long-term forecasts are of key importance for the car industry due to the lengthy period of time required for the development and production processes. With this in mind, this paper proposes new multivariate models to forecast monthly car sales data using economic variables and Google online search data. An out-of-sample forecasting comparison with forecast horizons up to 2 years ahead was implemented using the monthly sales of ten car brands in Germany for the period from 2001M1 to 2014M6. Models including Google search data statistically outperformed the competing models for most of the car brands and forecast horizons. These results also hold after several robustness checks which consider nonlinear models, different out-of-sample forecasts, directional accuracy, the variability of Google data and additional car brands. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Low L.-F.,Dementia Collaborative Research Center | Harrison F.,Dementia Collaborative Research Center | Harrison F.,University of Sfax | Lackersteen S.M.,Dementia Collaborative Research Center
American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry | Year: 2013

Objective: A life course epidemiologic approach suggests that personality may have lifelong pathways of influence on risk of dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This article aimed to systematically review caseecontrol and prospective studies on the association between personality and risk of these cognitive disorders. Methods: Studies were identified through Scopus, Medline, PubMed, and PsycINFO. Searches combined terms for personality with those for dementia and MCI. Data were extracted and checked by a second reviewer, systematically reviewed, and metaanalyzed where appropriate. Results: Twelve longitudinal and three caseecontrol studies were included. Five of nine studies found that higher neuroticism was associated with greater dementia risk (pooled hazard ratio [HR] per unit increase on neuroticism score, HR = 1.13, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.08-1.18, z = 5.11, p <0.001, N = 3,285), and two studies showed it increased risk of MCI. Three of four studies showed that higher conscientiousness was protective against dementia (pooled HR = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.81-0.97, z = 3.34, p = 0.001, N = 1,687), and one of two studies suggested it reduced risk of MCI. Three of four studies found no association between openness and dementia; however, pooled data suggested openness was protective (HR = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.81e0.97, z = 2.34, p = 0.008, N = 1,687). Seven studies indicated that extraversion was not linked with dementia, and four found no association between agreeableness and dementia. Conclusions: Neuroticism increased risk for dementia, and conscientiousness reduced risk. The protective effect of openness was tentative. Extraversion and agreeableness were not associated with dementia. Personality should be incorporated in conceptual models of dementia risk. Clinicians and public health professionals should consider personality when planning dementia risk reduction strategies. © 2013 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.

Kalia S.,University of Bologna | Kalia S.,BAHRA University | Boufi S.,University of Sfax | Celli A.,University of Bologna | Kango S.,Jaypee University of Information Technology
Colloid and Polymer Science | Year: 2014

Interest in nanofibrillated cellulose has been increasing exponentially because of its relatively ease of preparation in high yield, high specific surface area, high strength and stiffness, low weight and biodegradability etc. This bio-based nanomaterial has been used mainly in nanocomposites due to its outstanding reinforcing potential. Solvent casting, melt mixing, in situ polymerization and electrospinning are important techniques for the fabrication of nanofibrillated cellulose-based nanocomposites. Due to hydrophilic character along with inherent tendency to form strong network held through hydrogen-bonding, nanofibrillated cellulose cannot uniformly be dispersed in most non-polar polymer matrices. Therefore, surface modification based on polymer grafting, coupling agents, acetylation and cationic modification was used in order to improve compatibility and homogeneous dispersion within polymer matrices. Nanofibrillated cellulose opens the way towards intense and promising research with expanding area of potential applications, including nanocomposite materials, paper and paperboard additive, biomedical applications and as adsorbent. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Aloui A.,University of Sfax | Chaouachi A.,Research Laboratory Sport Performance Optimization | Chtourou H.,Research Laboratory Sport Performance Optimization | Wong D.P.,The Hong Kong Institute of Education | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance | Year: 2013

Purpose: This study examined the effects of Ramadan on cycling repeated-sprint ability (RSA) and corresponding diurnal variations. Methods: Twelve active men performed an RSA test (5 × 6-s maximal sprints interspersed with 24 s passive recovery) during morning and afternoon sessions 1 wk before Ramadan (BR), during the second (R2) and the fourth (R4) weeks of Ramadan, and 2 wk after Ramadan (AR). Maximal voluntary contraction was assessed before (MVCpre), immediately after (MVCpost), and 5 min after the RSA test (MVCpost5). Moreover, hematocrit, hemoglobin, and plasma sodium and potassium (K+) concentrations were measured at rest and after the RSA test and MVCpost. Results: Overall, peak power (Ppeak) during the RSA test decreased throughout the 5 sprints. Ppeak measured in the first sprint and MVCpre were lower during Ramadan than BR in the afternoon (P < .05) and higher in the afternoon than the morning BR and AR (P < .05). However, this diurnal rhythmicity was not found for the last 4 sprints' Ppeak, MVCpost, and MVCpost5 in all testing periods. Furthermore, the last 4 sprints' Ppeak, MVCpost, MVCpost5, and morning MVC pre were not affected by Ramadan. [K+] measured at rest and after the RSA test and MVCpost were higher during Ramadan than BR in the afternoon (P < .05) and higher in the afternoon than the morning during Ramadan (P < .05). Conclusions: Fatigability is higher in the afternoon during Ramadan, and, therefore, training and competition should be scheduled at the time of day when physical performance is less affected. © 2013 Human Kinetics, Inc.

Rehacek P.,University of Sfax
Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Strategic Management and Its Support by Information Systems 2015, SMSIS 2015 | Year: 2015

In present, projectized organizational structure and mainly cross-functional management is a research topic given the multitude of the cross-functional organizations that are founded and whose advantages are unanimous recognized. The old hierarchical pyramid was suitable for companies a long while during the industrial era. But nowadays they are not at all seen as profitable organizations. The aim of this paper is to present the main features of the organizational structure for project management, their advantages and disadvantages.

Mozaffari-Khosravi H.,University of Yazd | Nabizade L.,University of Yazd | Yassini-Ardakani S.M.,University of Sfax | Hadinedoushan H.,University of Yazd | Barzegar K.,University of Yazd
Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology | Year: 2013

The correlation between vitamin D deficiency and depression has recently been put forward and resulted in controversial findings. The present study was conducted to find out the effect of 2 single injections of 150,000 and 300,000 IU of vitamin D on improving the depression in depressed patients with vitamin D deficiency.This clinical trial study was carried out during 2011-2012 in Yazd, Islamic Republic of Iran. A total of 120 patients who had a Beck Depression Inventory II score of 17+ and were affected with vitamin D deficiency were randomly assigned to 3 groups of 40. They included G300, G150, and NTG. G300 and G150 received an intramuscular single dose of 300,000 and 150,000 IU of vitamin D, respectively, and the NTG group received nothing. After 3 months of intervention, the depression state, serum vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, and parathormone were measured.The median of serum vitamin D after intervention were 60.2, 54.6, and 28.2 nmol/L (P < 0.001) for the G300, G150, and NTG, respectively. Percentages of vitamin D deficiency after intervention were 18, 20, and 91.2 for the groups, respectively. The serum calcium mean showed a statistically significant increase in just the 2 test groups receiving vitamin D. There was only significant difference in mean of Beck Depression Inventory II test score between G300 and NTG (P = 0.003).The results of the study revealed that first, the correction of vitamin D deficiency improved the depression state, and second, a single injection dose of 300,000 IU of vitamin D was safe and more effective than a 150,000-IU dose. Copyright © 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Al-Zalabani A.H.,University of Sfax
Saudi Medical Journal | Year: 2011

Researchers looking for health statistics on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) may face difficulty. This is partly due to the lack of awareness of potential sources where such statistics can be found. The purpose of this paper is to review various online sources of health statistics on KSA, and to highlight their content, coverage, and presentation of health statistics. Five bibliographic databases where local research can be found are described. National registries available are summarized. Governmental agencies, as well as societies and centers where the bulk of health statistics is produced are also described. Finally, some potential international sources that can be used for the purpose of comparison are presented.

El Ghezal M.I.,Catholic University of Louvain | Maalej Y.,University of Sfax | Doghri I.,Catholic University of Louvain
Computational Materials Science | Year: 2013

Due to their interesting properties and diverse applications, porous solids and cellular materials are the focus of many researchers. This paper deals with the prediction of the macroscopic elastic and linear viscoelastic properties of these materials based on their microstructure. Hence, a comparative study of several micromechanical models is conducted for both porous solids and open cell foams. Analytical beam theory models based on tetrakaidecahedron representation of the microstructure are studied for cellular materials. The applicability of common Mean Field (MF) theoretical models is examined and compared for porous solids in the whole range of porosity. The linear viscoelastic behavior is deduced from elastic results using the correspondence principle for both cellular and porous solids. Finite Element (FE) analyses are carried out in order to assess the quality of analytical solutions in elasticity and viscoelasticity. Unit cell FE models under periodic boundary conditions were developed for cellular materials and Representative Volume Elements (RVEs) were generated to represent the porous solids. Finally, the potential of MF models suitable for highly porous solids to predict the response of cellular materials is investigated. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Nali H.,University of Sfax
Journal of Coordination Chemistry | Year: 2012

Two new noncentrosymmetric polar zinc sulfates have been synthesized by slow evaporation through the use of enantiomorphically pure sources of either (R)-2-methylpiperazine or (S)-2-methylpiperazine. A centrosymmetric analog was also prepared using a racemic source of the amine. The 3-D structure networks for these compounds consist of isolated [Zn(H 2O) 6] 2+, [C 5H 14N 2] 2+, and linked by hydrogen bonds. The use of racemic 2-methylpiperazine results in crystallographic disorder of the amines and creation of inversion centers, while using a single enantiomer destroys the inversion symmetry and orders of the amines. These structures were determined using single-crystal X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, and thermal analyses. Crystal data are as follows: [C 5H 14N 2][Zn(H 2O) 6](SO 4) 2 (1), a=6.5988(1)Å, b=10.9613(2)Å, c=12.5479(2)Å, β=101.385(1)°, V=889.75(3)Å 3, P 21/n (No. 14), Z=2; [(R)-C 5H 14N 2][Zn(H 2O) 6](SO 4) 2 (2), a=10.8665(2)Å, b=7.8600(1)Å, c=11.7029(2)Å, β=116.283(1)°, V=896.22(3)Å 3, P 21 (No. 4), Z=2; [(S)-C 5H 14N 2][Zn(H 2O) 6](SO 4) 2 (3), a=6.5819(2)Å, b=11.0014(2)Å, c=12.5229(3)Å, β=101.489(1)Å, V=888.62(4)Å 3, P 21 (No. 14), Z=2. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Low-grade systemic inflammation is considered a hallmark of COPD that potentially links COPD to increased rate of systemic manifestations of the disease. Obesity with/without the metabolic syndrome and cachexia represent two poles of metabolic abnormalities that may relate to systemic inflammation. On one hand systemic inflammatory syndrome likely reflects inflammation in the lungs, i.e. results from lung-to plasma spillover of inflammatory mediators. On the other hand, obesity-related hypoxia results in local inflammatory response within adipose tissue per se, and may contribute to elevations in circulatory mediators by spillover from the adipose tissue to the systemic compartment. The extent to which systemic hypoxia contributes to the adipose tissue inflammation remains unknown. We assume that in patients with COPD and concurrent obesity at least three factors play a role in the systemic inflammatory syndrome: the severity of pulmonary impairment, the degree of obesity-related adipose tissue hypoxia, and the severity of systemic hypoxia due to reduced pulmonary functions. The present review summarizes the epidemiological and clinical evidence linking COPD to obesity, the role of adipose tissue as an endocrine organ, and the role of hypoxia in adipose tissue inflammation. © 2010 Ruzena Tkacova.

Zhani K.,University of Sfax | Ben Bacha H.,King Saud University
Desalination and Water Treatment | Year: 2010

This paper deals with modeling and simulation of a new design of the SMCEC (Solar Multiple Condensation Evaporation Cycle) desalination unit using solar energy. The newly designed system is basically composed of a flat plate solar air collector, a flat plate solar water collector, a humidifier, an evaporation tower and a condensation tower. A mathematical model based on heat and mass transfers in each component of the unit is developed and simulated using C++ software in a steady state regime. The numerical model is used to investigate the steady state behavior of each component of the unit exposed to a variation of the entrance parameters and meteorological conditions. This theoretical model is expected to help in predicting the behavior of the unit in various operating and climatic conditions. Besides, it would be useful in enhancing the performance of such unit. © 2010 Desalination Publications.

Zhani K.,University of Sfax | Ben Bacha H.,King Saud University
Desalination and Water Treatment | Year: 2010

This paper tackles an optimization approach in order to boost the fresh water production of the SMCEC (Solar Multiple Condensation Evaporation Cycle) unit which is located at Sfax's engineering national school in Tunisia. This optimization approach is based upon the above mentioned design's improvement through adding into it a flat plate solar air collector and a humidifier. Then, the humidification dehumidification (HD) developed process is essentially composed of five components: a flat plate solar air collector, a flat plate solar water collector, a humidifier, an evaporation tower and a condensation tower. A global mathematical model based on heat and mass transfers is developed to investigate both the effect of different operating modes and that of the variation of functioning parameters and weather conditions on the fresh water production. The fresh water production of the most effective operating mode is compared to the SMCEC unit and as a result, it transpires that the fresh water production of the most effective operating mode has increased with comparison to the SMCEC production. © 2010 Desalination Publications.

Hawkins C.L.,University of Sfax | Davies M.J.,Heart Research Institute
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects | Year: 2014

Background: Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy (also known as electron spin resonance, ESR, spectroscopy) is widely considered to be the "gold standard" for the detection and characterisation of radicals in biological systems. Scope of review: The article reviews the major positive and negative aspects of EPR spectroscopy and discusses how this technique and associated methodologies can be used to maximise useful information, and minimise artefacts, when used in biological studies. Consideration is given to the direct detection of radicals (at both ambient and low temperature), the use of spin trapping and spin scavenging (e.g. reaction with hydroxylamines), the detection of nitric oxide and the detection and quantification of some transition metal ions (particularly iron and copper) and their environment. Major conclusions: When used with care this technique can provide a wealth of valuable information on the presence of radicals and some transition metal ions in biological systems. It can provide definitive information on the identity of the species present and also information on their concentration, structure, mobility and interactions. It is however a technique that has major limitations and the user needs to understand the various pitfalls and shortcoming of the method to avoid making errors. General significance: EPR remains the most definitive method of identifying radicals in complex systems and is also a valuable method of examining radical kinetics, concentrations and structure. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Current methods to study reactive oxygen species - pros and cons and biophysics of membrane proteins. Guest Editor: Christine Winterbourn. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Soudani N.,University of Sfax
Journal of physiology and biochemistry | Year: 2011

Excess chromium (Cr) exposure is associated with various pathological conditions including hematological dysfunction. The generation of oxidative stress is one of the plausible mechanisms behind Cr-induced cellular deteriorations. The efficacy of selenium (Se) to combat Cr-induced oxidative damage in the erythrocytes of adult rats was investigated in the current study. Female Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups of six each: group I served as controls which received standard diet, group II received in drinking water K(2)Cr(2)O(7) alone (700 ppm), group III received both K(2)Cr(2)O(7) and Se (0.5 Na(2)SeO(3) mg/kg of diet), and group IV received Se (0.5 mg/kg of diet) for 3 weeks. Rats exposed to K(2)Cr(2)O(7) showed an increase of malondialdehyde and protein carbonyl levels and a decrease of sulfhydryl content, glutathione, non-protein thiol, and vitamin C levels. A decrease of enzyme activities like catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase activities was also noted. Co-administration of Se with K(2)Cr(2)O(7) restored the parameters cited above to near-normal values. Therefore, our investigation revealed that Se was a useful element preventing K(2)Cr(2)O(7)-induced erythrocyte damages.

Cross W.M.,University of Sfax | Bloomer M.J.,Monash University
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing | Year: 2010

We are often confronted with the dilemmas of interacting with people from different cultural backgrounds. How do we ensure that we meet their needs, if they have some barriers to communicating those needs? This project explores the communication mechanisms used by mental health clinicians, to explore how they modify their communication to reconcile cultural differences and promote self-disclosure. It also identifies the practical experiences that have enlightened clinicians' practice when interacting with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups. Through focus groups, mental health clinicians were probed about their experiences with CALD groups and the methods used to facilitate communication. Clinicians were working in either acute adult inpatient or community settings in a large metropolitan health service. Fifty-three clinicians formed 7 focus groups. In the focus groups, clinicians were asked about their perceptions of communication with CALD clients. Guided questions were used. All focus groups were audio-taped and transcribed. Two distinct themes emerged. They were 'respect' and 'cultural understanding'. The clinicians recognized that showing and maintaining respect for the CALD client, and their families significantly impacted on the development of a therapeutic relationship. Showing cultural understanding and acceptance for difference also enhanced communication. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.

Syx E.,University of Sfax
European Journal of Health Law | Year: 2014

Although the electronic cigarette was invented in 2004, only recently the product has started to provoke discussion. On the one hand, the electronic cigarette is characterized by scientific uncertainties. It is not clear whether the device can be used in smoking cessation therapy, whether the use induces non-smokers-including minors-to start smoking and whether the vaporized substances and the act of vaporizing itself (which is smoking an electronic cigarette) is harmful. On the other hand, there is no harmonised European legal framework and different Member States attribute a different legal status to the e-cigarette. In this article, the author analyses how the e-cigarette should be qualified according to the current European legislation and ECJ case law and describes how the e-cigarette is qualified in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Peinado J.R.,University of Sfax | Pardo M.,Complejo Hospitalario Universitario Of Santiago Chus | Pardo M.,CIBER ISCIII | De la Rosa O.,Cellerix TM | And 2 more authors.
Proteomics | Year: 2012

The original concept of adipose tissue as an inert storage depot for the excess of energy has evolved over the last years and it is now considered as one of the most important organs regulating body homeostasis. This conceptual change has been supported by the demonstration that adipose tissue serves as a major endocrine organ, producing a wide variety of bioactive molecules, collectively termed adipokines, with endocrine, paracrine and autocrine activities. Adipose tissue is indeed a complex organ wherein mature adipocytes coexist with the various cell types comprising the stromal-vascular fraction (SVF), including preadipocytes, adipose-derived stem cells, perivascular cells, and blood cells. It is known that not only mature adipocytes but also the components of SVF produce adipokines. Furthermore, adipokine production, proliferative and metabolic activities and response to regulatory signals (i.e. insulin, catecholamines) differ between the different fat depots, which have been proposed to underlie their distinct association to specific diseases. Herein, we discuss the recent proteomic studies on adipose tissue focused on the analysis of the separate cellular components and their secretory products, with the aim of identifying the basic features and the contribution of each component to different adipose tissue-associated pathologies. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Abdi M.N.,University of Sfax | Khemakhem M.,King Abdulaziz University
Pattern Recognition | Year: 2015

Rapid movement generation models are described in the literature as an efficient tool to apprehend the handwriting behavior. Fields of application are diverse, including handwriting description, regeneration, and more recently OCR. In this paper, we propose a grapheme-based approach to offline Arabic writer identification and verification. Rather than extracting naturel graphemes from a training corpus using segmentation and clustering, it synthesizes its own graphemes based on the beta-elliptic model. Originality lies in the independence of the grapheme codebook from any training process, and the use of a model instead. One full and four partial codebooks are generated and tested. Using feature selection, raw codebooks are reduced in size with respect to FDR, FDR and cross-correlation, and random subsampling criteria. A total of 60 feature vectors are extracted using template matching, and evaluated with 411 individual writers from the IFN/ENIT database. The results presented in this study demonstrated the wide representativity and the good generalization capability of synthetic codebooks. We obtained a top1 rate=90.02% and a top5 rate=96.35% for writer identification, and an EER=2.1% for writer verification. Our approach showed better properties than most of the surveyed techniques in terms of supported corpus size and identification rates. To the best of our knowledge, this study is among the first to exploit the concept of model-based synthetic codebooks in writer identification and verification. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Mohd Salih P.A.K.,University of Sfax
Medical Journal of Malaysia | Year: 2011

This study was conducted to describe corneal endothelial cell density and morphology in Malay eyes. Non-contact specular microscopy was performed in 125 eyes of 125 Malay volunteers, aged 20-87 years. Studied parameters included endothelial cell density (CD), mean cell area (MCA), coefficient of variation (CV) in cell area, as well as hexagonal appearance of the cells. Mean endothelial cell density in the study population was 2648 ± 310 cell/mm 2. Mean CA, CV and percentage of hexagonal cells were 382.8 ± 47.7μm 2, 58.1 ± 22.6, 44.3% ± 11.5% respectively. There was a statistically significant decrease in endothelial cell density (correlation - 0.300, P = 0.001) and CV in cell size (correlation-0.208, P = 0.02) with age. There was a statistically significant increase in mean cell area (correlation 0.300, P = 0.001) with increasing age. The correlation between age and percentage of hexagonal cells was insignificant (correlation 0.074, P = 0.41). In conclusion, a consistent decrease was noted in the endothelial cell density with increasing age. The differences in endothelial cell density between genders were statistically insignificant.

Gabriel A.,University of Calgary | Violato C.,University of Sfax
Journal of Affective Disorders | Year: 2010

Background: Non-adherence to treatment can result from forgetting, carelessness, stopping the drug when feeling worse, or stopping the drug when feeling better. Objective: To develop and psychometrically assess a brief instrument that can be easily used in clinical practice to measure adherence to antidepressants. Method: We developed the Antidepressants Adherence Scale (AAS); a self report rating scale including four items to assess the degree to which forgetting, carelessness, and stopping due to feeling worse or feeling better interfere with adherence in the last 4 weeks. Our proposed four-item adherence instrument was developed based on previous research and theory. Participants: Experts in mood disorders (n = 12) participated in the formal validity assessment of the instrument, and the developed instrument was administered to patients who were prescribed antidepressants (n = 63). All patients also completed a multiple choice question instrument to measure knowledge of depression, and a Likert self report questionnaire to assess attitudes towards depression and its treatment. Results: There was 90% agreement among experts that the items were highly relevant providing strong evidence for content validity. Also, there was empirical evidence for validity. There were significant correlations (p < 0.05) between knowledge and attitude subscales and adherence items. The internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's alpha) was 0.66 for the instrument Conclusion and significance: Knowledge of and attitudes to depression and its treatment may have significant impact on the adherence to antidepressants. The AAS can be used in clinical settings (2-3 min to administer) to evaluate patients' adherence to antidepressants. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Andres P.,University of Sfax
Computational Statistics and Data Analysis | Year: 2014

Recently, the Dynamic Conditional Score (DCS) or Generalized Autoregressive Score (GAS) time series models have attracted considerable attention. This motivates the need for a software package to estimate and evaluate these new models. A straightforward to operate program called the Dynamic Score (DySco) package is introduced for estimating models for positive variables, in which the location/scale evolves over time. Its capabilities are demonstrated using a financial application. © 2014 The Author. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Rascol O.,University of Sfax | Fitzer-Attas C.J.,Teva Pharmaceutical Industries | Hauser R.,Parkinsons Disease and Movement Disorders Center | Jankovic J.,Baylor College of Medicine | And 9 more authors.
The Lancet Neurology | Year: 2011

Background: The ADAGIO study investigated whether rasagiline has disease-modifying effects in Parkinson's disease. Rasagiline 1 mg per day, but not 2 mg per day, was shown to be efficacious in the primary analysis. Here, we report additional secondary and post-hoc analyses of the ADAGIO study. Methods: ADAGIO was a placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicentre, delayed-start study, in which 1176 patients with untreated early Parkinson's disease were randomly assigned to receive rasagiline 1 mg or 2 mg per day for 72 weeks (early-start groups) or placebo for 36 weeks followed by rasagiline 1 mg or 2 mg per day for 36 weeks (delayed-start groups). We assessed the need for additional antiparkinsonian therapy and changes in non-motor experiences of daily living and fatigue scales (prespecified outcomes) and changes in unified Parkinson's disease rating scale (UPDRS) scores and subscores in placebo and active groups (post-hoc outcomes). The ADAGIO study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00256204. Findings: The need for additional antiparkinsonian therapy was reduced with rasagiline 1 mg (25 of 288 [9%] patients) and 2 mg (26 of 293 [9%]) versus placebo (108 of 593 [18%]; odds ratio for 1 mg rasagiline vs placebo 0·41, 95% CI 0·25-0·65, p=0·0002; 2 mg rasagiline vs placebo 0·41, 0·26-0·64, p=0·0001). At week 36, both doses significantly improved UPDRS motor subscores compared with placebo (1 mg rasagiline mean difference -1·88 [SE 0·35]; 2 mg rasagiline -2·18 [0·35]; both p<0·0001) and activities of daily living subscores (ADL; 1 mg rasagiline -0·86 [0·18]; 2 mg rasagiline -0·88 [0·18]; both p<0·0001), and 1 mg rasagiline significantly improved UPDRS mentation subscore (-0·22 [0·08]; p=0·004). At week 72, the only significant difference between early-start and delayed-start groups was for ADL subscore with the 1 mg dose (-0·62 [0·29]; p=0·035). When assessed for the effect on non-motor symptoms at week 36, both doses showed benefits on the Parkinson fatigue scale versus placebo (1 mg rasagiline mean difference -0·14 [SE 0·05], p=0·0032; 2 mg rasagiline -0·19 [0·05], p<0·0001), and the 1 mg dose showed benefits on the scale for non-motor experiences of daily living compared with placebo (mean difference -0·33 [0·17]; p=0·049). The rate of progression of total UPDRS score for patients in the placebo group was 4·3 points [SE 0·3] over 36 weeks, with extrapolation to about 6 units per year. In the placebo group, patients with the lowest quartile of baseline UPDRS scores (≤14; n=160) progressed more slowly than did those with highest scores (>25·5; n=145; mean difference -3·46 [SE 0·77]; p<0·0001). Interpretation: These findings show that rasagiline delayed the need for symptomatic antiparkinsonian drugs and emphasise the contribution of the UPDRS ADL in the response of the rasagiline 1 mg per day early-start versus delayed-start group. The rate of UPDRS deterioration was less than was anticipated from previous studies and correlated with baseline severity. Understanding of the pattern of UPDRS deterioration is essential to assess disease modification. Funding: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and H Lundbeck A/S. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Serpytis M.,University of Sfax
Scandinavian Journal of Urology and Nephrology | Year: 2012

Enterobius vermicularis is one of the most common intestinal parasites found in humans. They commonly infest the terminal ileum and large intestine, and are usually considered an innocuous parasite that can be easily eradicated with proper treatment. However, extraintestinal migration of worms, although very rare, may lead to severe health disorders or even death. This article, reports the first fatal case of ectopic enterobiasis known to the authors, which developed in an adult patient with E. vermicularis infection, causing perforation of the large intestine and generalized bacterial peritonitis. Despite emergency laparotomy, the patient died from septic shock on the day after surgery. During pathological examination, worms were found not only in the large intestine, but also in the renal parenchyma; worm eggs were found deposited in the lungs as well. © 2012 Informa Healthcare.

Schafer U.,Asklepios Clinics Sankt Georg | Ho Y.,Imperial College London | Frerker C.,Asklepios Clinics Sankt Georg | Schewel D.,Asklepios Clinics Sankt Georg | And 7 more authors.
JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions | Year: 2012

Objectives: This study questioned whether transaxillary transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is feasible as a true percutaneous approach using percutaneous closure devices. Background: Transaxillary TAVI is gaining increasing acceptance as an alternative to the transfemoral route; however, the access has always been done via surgical cutdown so far. Methods: Between August 2010 and September 2011, a total of 24 high-risk patients with severe aortic valvular stenosis underwent a percutaneous TAVI procedure by direct puncture of the axillary artery without surgical cutdown. For safety reasons and as a target for the puncture, a wire was advanced via the ipsilateral brachial artery. Moreover, a balloon was placed into the subclavian artery via the femoral artery for temporary vessel blockade before percutaneous vessel closure. Vascular closure was performed using either the ProStar XL system (Abbott Vascular Devices, Redwood City, California) or 2 ProGlide systems (Abbott Vascular Devices). Results: The true percutaneous approach was successfully completed in all patients (14 left and 8 right axillary artery cases). Overall mortality at 30 days was 8.3%. Acute vascular closure device success was achieved in 17 patients (71%). Vascular closure device success rate was 100% for the ProGlide device and 37% for the ProStar device, respectively. Seven patients (29%) with failing closure devices were treated by endovascular stent graft implantation without the need for surgical repair. For the last 12 treated patients, direct closure was achieved in 11 patients. Conclusions: Direct puncture of the axillary artery for TAVI is feasible and safe if a wire is placed into the subclavian artery via the ipsilateral brachial artery. © 2012 American College of Cardiology Foundation.

Khangtragool A.,University of Sfax
Advanced Materials Research | Year: 2012

This work compares the ophthalmic delivery of vancomycin 50 mg/ml eye drops using 5 different vehicles, namely: 0.3% w/v chitosan, 0.3% and 0.4% w/v HPMC (Methocel E4M), Tears Naturale™II and 0.9% w/v sodium chloride solution. In vitro and in vivo studies were carried out and the results evaluated in terms of viscosity, compatibility, stability, clarity, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and pharmacokinetics. The viscosity of Tears Naturale™II was comparable with that of HPMC (0.3% pH 7.1) but was higher than 0.3% w/v chitosan. The percent labeled amounts and MIC of vancomycin 50 mg/ml in all of the vehicles were stable for 30 days at 2-8 °C, while the clarity in 0.3% w/v chitosan, 0.3% and 0.4% HPMC (pH 7.1), Tears Naturale™II and 0.9% sodium chloride solution was stable for 30, 14, 1 and 3 days respectively at 2-8 °C. In vivo pharmacokinetic determinations of the AUC of tear film reciprocal of minimum inhibitory titer showed that vancomycin 50 mg/ml in 0.3% w/v chitosan, 0.3% and 0.4% w/v HPMC pH 7.1 and Tears Naturale™II were significantly different from 0.9% sodium chloride solution. At the present time, chitosan is undergoing clinical trials in Thailand with a view to its use in ophthalmology, while HPMC (0.3% w/v) in pH 7.1 has already been approved for use as a vehicle in ophthalmology for the delivery of vancomycin 50 mg/ml in extemporaneous eye drops. © (2012) Trans Tech Publications.

Barthel index consisting 10 items is used to estimate physical dependence of elderly and physically disabled. A shorter version with 5 items has been developed and it is more suitable as a rapid screening tool of physical dependence. To assess the measurement agreement between 10-item Barthel index and 5-item shorter version. The 10-item Barthel index was translated to Sinhala, adhering to the standard protocols and validated among 286 patients with varying degree of physical disability selected by stratified quota system. From the same data sheets, scores given for bathing, transfer, toileting, walking and climbing steps were used to make the shorter version. The 5-item Barthel index showed a high internal consistency (global Cronbach's alpha = 0.93). The 10-item version also showed a similar internal consistency (global Cronbach's alpha = 0.92) while its item-total correlations varied between 0.64- 0.90 for all items except for the urinary and bladder functions. In the factor analysis, urinary and bowel functions factored together and independent to other items and these two factors accounted for 73% variation of the score. The total scores of the 10-item and 5-item versions showed a high correlation (r = 0.9, p<0.001). In the Bland-Altman plot, more than 95% of data points were within the +/- 1.96 SD tolerance limits. This analysis illustrates the reliability and validity of the Sinhala version of 10-item Barthel index in estimating physical activities of daily living and the high measurement concordance between the standard 10-item and 5-item shorter versions.

Poirel L.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Benouda A.,University of Sfax | Hays C.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Nordmann P.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy | Year: 2011

Objectives: To analyse the mechanisms responsible for multidrug resistance in three carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates recovered from two hospitalized patients and an outpatient from the same hospital in Rabat, Morocco. Methods: PCR and sequencing were used to search for beta;-lactamase genes. Clonal relationships between the isolates were analysed by multilocus sequence typing and PFGE. Results: A history of prior hospitalization in the same ward was determined for two of the three patients. The three isolates of K. pneumoniae belonged to the same sequence type (ST), ST15, and were clonally related. All three isolates carried the blaNDM-1 gene and co-expressed the extended-spectrum β-lactamases CTX-M-15 and SHV-5, as well as the narrow-spectrum β-lactamases SHV-1, OXA-1, OXA-9 and TEM-1. The blaNDM-1 gene was located on an ~250 kb non-typeable plasmid co-harbouring the blaOXA-1 and blaCTX-M-15 genes. No link with the Indian subcontinent could be established for the three patients. Conclusions: This work further emphasizes the spread of NDM-1 producers worldwide. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.

Hammad F.T.,University of Sfax | Balakrishnan A.,Dubai Hospital
Journal of Endourology | Year: 2010

Background: Few studies have addressed the effect of skin-to-stone distance (SSD) on the success of extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (SWL). Nevertheless, the effect of the two components of SSD, that is, the fat SSD (FSSD) and nonfat SSD (NFSSD) components, was not previously investigated. Methods: In this prospective study, all patients (n=113) who had single radio-opaque kidney stones and underwent SWL for the first time between January 2006 and June 2007 were recruited. SSD, FSSD, and NFSSD were measured by noncontrast CT scan at 0°, 45°, and 90° and the average was calculated. The outcome was defined as successful (completely stone free or residual fragments ≤3mm) or unsuccessful (residual fragments >3mm or complete failure of fragmentation). Results: Sixty-nine (61%) patients had successful treatment. On univariate analysis, SSD, FSSD, and NFSSD were significantly lower in the successful group compared with those with unsuccessful outcome (71.9±13.3 vs. 86.2±25.1mm [p=0.001], 27.2±10.3 vs. 36.1±17.3mm [p=0.011], and 44.7±7.2 vs. 50.1±13.9mm [p=0.02], respectively). The muscle component of the NFSSD was also lower in the successful group (21.5±4.1 vs. 25.2±10.0mm [p=0.01]). On multivariate analysis, factors that independently predicted treatment success were SSD, stone attenuation, and stone size but not the FSSD or NFSSD. Conclusions: Although the total SSD appeared to be a significant predictor of SWL success, its fat and nonfat components did not independently predict the final outcome and only appeared to be important through their contribution to the total SSD. Copyright 2010, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Ansari A.A.,University of Sfax | Ali S.K.,Aga Khan University | Donnon T.,University of Calgary
Academic Medicine | Year: 2013

Purpose: To conduct a meta-analysis of published studies to determine the construct and criterion validity of the mini-clinical evaluation exercise (mini-CEX) to measure clinical performance. Method: The authors included all peer-reviewed studies published from 1995 to 2012 that reported the relationship between participants' performance on the mini-CEX and on other standardized academic and clinical performance measures. Moderator variables and performance and standardized exam measures were extracted and reviewed independently using a standardized coding protocol. RESULTS: Performance measures from 11 studies were identified. A random-effects model of weighted mean effect size differences (d) resulted in:(1) construct validity coefficients for the mini-CEX on the trainees' performance across different residency year levels ranging from d = 0.25 (95% confidence intervals [CI]: 0.04-0.46) to d = 0.50 (95% CI: 0.31-0.70), and(2) concurrent validity coefficients for the mini-CEX based on personnel ratings ranging from d = 0.23 (95% CI: 0.04-0.50) to d = 0.50 (95% CI: 0.34-0.65).Also, a random-effects model of weighted correlation effect size differences (r) resulted in predictive validity coefficients for the mini-CEX on trainees' performance across different standardized measures ranging from r = 0.26 (95% CI: 0.16-0.35) to r = 0.85 (95% CI: 0.47-0.96). Conclusions: The construct and criterion validity of the mini-CEX was supported by small to large effect size differences based on measures between trainees' achievement and clinical skills performance, indicating that it is an important instrument for the direct observation of trainees' clinical performance.

Srimuninnimit V.,University of Sfax
Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand = Chotmaihet thangphaet | Year: 2012

The aim of the present prospective study was to evaluate the correlation between the change of serum c-reactive protein (CRP) levels and response to chemotherapy in patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. Patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer who received the first line chemotherapy were measured serum CRP levels prior to treatment. Chemotherapy regimen was given to patients according to physicians and radiologic imaging was evaluated after two or three cycles of treatment. Serum CRP levels were measured first time at pre-treatment and second time in patients who had pre-treatment serum CRP levels greater than normal range (3 mg/l) at the time of response assessment or clinical progression. The primary endpoint was the correlation between change of serum CRP levels and radiologic response. The secondary endpoint was the prevalence of elevated CRP levels in advanced NSCLC patients and correlation between initial CRP levels and progression free survival (PFS). Fifty four patients were enrolled. Prevalence of elevated CRP levels in advanced NSCLC was 76%. Thirty patients had serial serum CRP measured. There was correlation between change in serum CRP levels and response to treatment (r = 0.43, p = 0.018, spearman rank). There was significant correlation between response to treatment and decrease in CRP levels greater than 50% (p = 0.009, Fisher's exact test). In contrast there was no correlation between progression and increase in CRP levels (p = 0.640, Fisher's exact test). All patients with serial CRP levels decreased to normal range (< 3 mg/ l) had response to chemotherapy. High pre-treatment CRP levels (> 100 mg/l) correlated with poor PFS. Median PFS for patients with pre-treatment CRP levels of 3-30 mg/l, 30-100 mg/l and >100 mg/l was 23.0 weeks, 13.0 weeks and 6.3 weeks, respectively. Patients with serial CRP levels less than 3 mg/l had greater PFS than patients with serial CRP levels higher than 3 mg/l (p = 0.026, log rank test). The present study suggested that high levels of pre-treatment serum CRP and persistent CRP in serum was a poor prognostic factor. The decrease in CRP levels greater than 50% was a simple method to predict the response to treatment in patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small lung cancer.

Tka E.,University of Monastir | Cherif K.,University of Monastir | Dhahri J.,University of Monastir | Dhahri E.,University of Sfax
Journal of Alloys and Compounds | Year: 2011

La0.57Nd0.1Sr0.33Mn1-xAl xO3 (LNSMAO) compounds were prepared for x = 0.0 to 0.3 by solid-state route. The X-ray powder diffraction has shown that all our synthesized samples are a single phase and have crystallized in the hexagonal symmetry with R 3̄ c space group. It is also worth mentioning that the unit cell volume decreases along with an increasing aluminum (Al) content. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has shown smooth and densified structures, clean and pure images. The magnetization and electrical measurements vs. temperature proved that all our samples exhibit a ferromagnetic to paramagnetic transition and a metallic to semiconductor one when the temperature increases. The substitution of Mn by aluminum (Al) leads to a continuous decrease of both the Curie temperature TC (from 342 K for x = 0.0 to 238 K for x = 0.3) and the resistivity transition temperature TP (from 338 K for x = 0.0 to 208 K for x = 0.3). When analyzing the electrical resistivity data, it has been concluded that the metallic (ferromagnetic) part of the resistivity (ρ) (below TP) can be explained by the following equation ρ = ρ0 + ρ2T2 + ρ4.5T 4.5, signifying the importance of the grain/domain boundary, electron-electron and two magnon scattering processes. However, at a higher temperature (T > TP) the paramagnetic semiconducting regime, the adiabatic small polaron and Variable Range Hopping models are found to fit well. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Valenzuela R.,University of Sfax | Videla L.A.,University of Chile
Food and Function | Year: 2011

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most important cause of chronic liver disease that is characterized by hepatocyte triacylglycerol accumulation (steatosis), which can progress to inflammation, fibrosis, and cirrhosis (steatohepatitis). Overnutrition triggers the onset of oxidative stress in the liver due to higher availability and oxidation of fatty acids (FA), with development of hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance (IR), and n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated FA (n-3 LCPUFA) depletion, with enhancement in the n-6/n-3 LCPUFA ratio favouring a pro-inflammatory state. These changes may lead to hepatic steatosis by different mechanisms, namely, (i) IR-dependent higher peripheral lipolysis and FA flux to the liver, (ii) n-3 LCPUFA depletion-induced changes in DNA binding activity of sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c (SREBP-1c) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPAR-α) favouring lipogenesis over FA oxidation, and (iii) hyperinsulinemia-induced activation of lipogenic factor PPAR-γ. Supplementation with n-3 LCPUFA appears to reduce nutritional hepatic steatosis in adults, however, other histopathologic features of NAFLD remain to be studied. This journal is © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Guo M.,University of Sfax
Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: Bartonella quintana infection is commonly associated with alcohol abuse and homelessness and can be a cause of blood culture-negative infective endocarditis. Bartonella endocarditis has a subacute clinical course and can cause severe valvular disruption with potentially fatal outcomes. Its diagnosis requires a high index of suspicion in the clinical scenario of culture-negative endocarditis and may require serological testing, western blotting, or culture in specialized media. 16S RNA amplification sequencing analysis and histopathological examination may be helpful if a surgical specimen is available. We present a case of blood culture-negative infective endocarditis in the context of active pulmonary tuberculosis; endocarditis caused by Mycobacteria tuberculosis is extremely rare so another cause of the endocarditis was sought. Bartonella quintana was confirmed as the cause by molecular detection done on the vegetation. Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Hatem K.,University of Sfax
International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering | Year: 2011

We present a review of numerical models and related (CFD) simulations for the so-called RESS process (rapid expansion of supercritical solutions), which has been attracted with so much attention in the literature for the potential applications related to the production of microparticulates of selected materials with controllable morphology and narrow-size distributions (using supercritical fluids, especially the carbon dioxide). The numerical computation of supercritical fluid flows in general is extremely challenging because of the complexity of the involved physical processes and the different space and time scales. The aim of this study is the focused analysis of advanced mathematical modeling of the supercritical fluid expansion in the RESS process with the specific intent of delineating a possible strategy for optimizing operating parameters. In particular, temperature, pressure, composition, flow rate and reactor dimensions are considered as variables potentially impacting the transport and growth of crystallized particles. Copyright ©2011 The Berkeley Electronic Press. All rights reserved.

Abadi A.R.,University of Sfax | Hedayati M.,Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences
Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases | Year: 2011

Background and aims: Recent studies suggest that calcium metabolism and perhaps other components of dairy products may contribute to shifting the energy balance and thus play a role in weight regulation. We compared the effects of cows' milk, calcium fortified soy milk and calcium supplement on weight and body fat reduction in premenopausal overweight and obese women. Methods and Results: In this clinical trial, 100 healthy overweight or obese premenopausal women were randomized to one of the following dietary regimens for 8 weeks: (1) a control diet providing a 500. kcal/day deficit, with 500-600. mg/day dietary calcium; (2) a calcium-supplemented diet identical to the control diet with 800. mg/day of calcium as calcium carbonate; (3) a milk diet providing a 500. kcal/day deficit and containing three servings of low-fat milk; (4) a soy milk diet providing a 500. kcal/day deficit and containing three servings of calcium fortified soy milk. At baseline and after 8 weeks, weight, waist circumference, and hip circumference were measured. Three 24-h dietary records and physical activity records were also taken. Comparing the mean differences in weight, waist circumference, body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) using repeated measure of variance analysis showed that changes in waist circumference and WHR were significant among the four groups (p = 0.029 and p = 0.015, respectively). After adjustment for baseline values, changes in weight and BMI were also significant (p = 0.017 and p = 0.019, respectively). Weight reductions in high milk, soy milk, calcium supplement and control groups were 4.43 ± 1.93. (kg), 3.46 ± 1.28. (kg), 3.89 ± 2.40. (kg) and 2.87 ± 1.55. (kg), respectively. The greatest changes were seen in the high dairy group in all variables. Conclusion: Increasing low fat milk consumption significantly reduces the general and central obesity beyond a low calorie diet. © 2009 Elsevier B.V.

Shel F.,University of Sfax
Journal of Dynamical and Control Systems | Year: 2015

In this paper, we consider a network of elastic and thermoelastic Euler-Bernoulli beams. Our main result is to show that under certain conditions, the thermoelastic dissipation over some edges is sufficient to stabilize the whole system. Precisely, we establish the exponential stability of the network. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Guermazi A.,ISET Sfax | Abid M.,University of Sfax
Procedia Computer Science | Year: 2011

This paper deals with an efficient key distribution scheme which is useful to secure data-centric routing protocols in Wireless Sensor Networks. Similar to these routing protocols, the proposed scheme bootstraps secure key distribution with a centralized process which gives a multi-level hierarchical organization to WSNs. The originality of this work is to permit to use local key distribution process to establish Group Key and Pairwise Key. These two types of keys are useful to secure respectively data request diffusion and data forwarding through multi-hop routing paths. Moreover, when the WSN topology changes, the proposed scheme allows secure WSN reorganization. Security analysis explains that our proposed scheme can withstand several possible attacks against WSNs. A comparison to other solutions based on one KDC shows that the proposed scheme is significantly more efficient and scalable. This is well verified through simulations with TOSSIM under TinyOS using NesC language © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Sahraoui M.,University of Carthage | Bichioui Y.,University of Carthage | Halouani K.,University of Sfax
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy | Year: 2013

A three dimensional two phase flow model is proposed to study transport phenomena in a PEMFC. In order to capture the effects of liquid water on the performance of the fuel cell, all regions are modeled from the anode to the cathode as having finite thickness. The geometry of the bipolar plate is modeled in detail to capture the effect of liquid water accumulation under the channel rib. This model takes into account the effect of temperature and inlet RH of both the anode and cathode. The three-dimensional model uses the finite volume method to solve the equations of mass conservation, momentum, energy, species transfer and protonic potential. These equations include the effect of liquid water on the transport properties as well as the electrochemical source. The effects of water on ohmic losses are presented for different humidity conditions of the anode and cathode at various fuel cell temperatures. © Copyright © 2012, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Stolic R.,University of Sfax
Medical Hypotheses | Year: 2010

The results of numerous investigations on the impact of obesity on renal insufficiency conducted in recent years introduce certain dilemmas about their mutual agreement. Some studies suggest that obesity is negatively correlated with the terminal phase of renal failure. On the other hand, other research has shown that reducing the index of body weight of patients with renal disease improves glomerular filtration. Even more confusion comes from findings indicating that metabolic syndrome in non-diabetic renal disease sufferers increases the risk of occurrence and progression of chronic renal disease.However, some research results suggest that obesity is positively correlated with survival of patients on dialysis, i.e., the higher the index of body weight the lower the mortality rate, especially with extremely obese patients. Reverse epidemiology is a term for the medical hypothesis which holds that the influence of obesity and high body weight indexes may be protective and associated with greater survival of obese patients on haemodialysis.A high serum creatinine concentration is a direct consequence of low rates of glomerular filtration and is inversely correlated with mortality rate. However, observations that high creatinine concentrations before haemodialysis treatment are a predictor of survival may be explained by the fact that they are also the direct consequence of increased muscle mass and a higher dietary protein intake. Thus, improvement of their nutritive state might delay progression and diminish the complications expected for patients suffering from kidney insufficiency. The requirements for daily protein intake by dialysis patients are not clear enough, while a hyperprotein diet may be a significant source of uraemic toxins, phosphate and H +-ion, which would be detrimental for their health.Some research has indicated that obesity of dialysis patients is not linked to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases in contrast to the general population. On the other hand, a low body mass index and additional parameters of malnutrition are strong independent indicators of mortality rate in dialysis patients.Although, there is a substantial amount of data that support a protective role for obesity, some authors question the existence of the obesity paradox. They do not oppose the results of that research, but suggest that obese individuals are actually protected in the short-term while later on they are liable to higher mortality risks than people of normal body weight.The role of obesity is undisputed as a significant mortality factor in the general population. Nevertheless, some well-designed studies have confirmed that obesity has a protective influence on patients treated by chronic dialysis procedures. This is not to suggest that obesity is recommended as a model for a higher survival rate in those patients, but the role of 'uraemic adipose tissue' and probable additional factors that might result in a lower mortality rate should be considered. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Boufi S.,University of Sfax | Vilar M.R.,University Paris Diderot | Ferraria A.M.,University of Lisbon | Botelho do Rego A.M.,University of Lisbon
Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects | Year: 2013

Silver and gold nanoparticles (NPs) were generated via a mild wet-chemistry process in aqueous chitosan solutions. Gold and silver NPs were created in situ in presence of chitosan through the addition of the corresponding salt solution under a subsequent UV irradiation. Gold and silver NPs were also created by using a sequence of gold and then silver and vice versa. The amine function existing in the chain monomer operates as the anchoring centre of the metal NP, enabling thus a selective generation of the metal NPs through their nucleation followed by their growth. Ensuing hybrid systems were characterized by UV/vis spectroscopy, X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Grazing Incident X-ray Diffraction (GIXRD). The NPs average sizes ranges from 10 to 40. nm for gold and 20 to 100. nm for silver. XPS studies on NPs generation through a sequence of gold followed by silver solutions suggest that gold cores enveloped by silver shells with some discontinuities exist. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Anane S.,University of Sfax
Journal de Mycologie Medicale | Year: 2012

Introduction: Epidemiological investigation of keratinophilic fungi in soil has been carried out in different parts of the world. However, our knowledge of the present occurrence and distribution of keratinophilic fungi in Tunisian soils remains unknown. This study was carried out to evaluate the epidemiological characteristics of keratinophilic fungi in the soils collected in Djerba (South of Tunisia). Material and methods: One hundred and forty one soil samples were collected from various sites in Djerba and screened for the presence of keratinophilic fungi and related dermatophytes using hair-baiting technique. Fungi were identified using macro- and micro-morphological features. Results: Among them, 29 (20.6%) soil samples were positive. Seven species were isolated in the following order of dominance: Chrysosporium keratinophilum (48.3%), Microsporum gypseum (41.4%), C. tropicum (10.4%), C. parvum (3.45%), C. anamorph of Anixiopsis stercoraris (3.45%), C. anamorph of Arthroderma cuniculi (3.45%) and Chaetomium sp. (3.45%). The association of M. gypseum and C. keratinophilum was detected in 13.8% of positive soils. Sixty-nine percent of fungi were found in organic matter rich soil. Our results revealed a higher prevalence of keratinophilic fungi in the regions far from the sea (33.3%) than in those near the sea (11.1%) with a statistically significant difference (P=0.001). All keratinophilic fungi were isolated from soils with pH ranging from 6.2 to 7.6. Conclusion: Our study showed that keratinophilic fungi were present in the various soils of Djerba. They may represent a risk to human health. © 2012 Elsevier Masson SAS.

Polly P.,Inflammation and Infection Research Center | Polly P.,University of Sfax | Tan T.C.,Inflammation and Infection Research Center | Tan T.C.,Massachusetts General Hospital
Frontiers in Physiology | Year: 2014

Myopathy is a feature of many inflammatory syndromes. Chronic inflammation has been linked to pathophysiological mechanisms which implicate 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-(OH)2D3)-mediated signaling pathways with emerging evidence supporting a role for the vitamin D receptor (VDR) in contractile and metabolic function of both skeletal and cardiac muscle. Altered VDR expression in skeletal and cardiac muscle has been reported to result in significant effects on metabolism, calcium signaling and fibrosis in these tissues. Elevated levels of serum inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-6, TNF-α and IFNγ, have been shown to impact myogenic and nuclear receptor signaling pathways in cancer-induced cachexia. The dysregulation of nuclear receptors, such as VDR and RXRα in muscle cells, has also been postulated to result in myopathy via their effects on muscle structural integrity and metabolism. Future research directions include generating transcriptome-wide information incorporating VDR and its gene targets and using systems biology approaches to identify altered molecular networks in human tissues such as muscle. These approaches will aid in the development of novel therapeutic targeting strategies for inflammation-induced myopathies. © 2014 Polly and Tan.

Triki A.,University of Sfax
Acta Mechanica | Year: 2016

Water-hammer control strategies constitute an essential and critical task for both hydraulic designers and manufacturers to ensure the global economic efficiency and safety operations of hydraulic utilities. The primary objective of this paper is to present an alternative strategy to control water-hammer up- and down-surges, induced into a steel piping system. The proposed technique is based on replacing a short-section of the transient sensitive regions of the existing piping system by another one made of polymeric material. Two types of polymeric materials, used for the short-section and including high- or low-density polyethylene (HDPE) or (LDPE), are addressed in this study. The 1-D pressurized-pipe flow model is used to describe the hydraulic system, along with the Ramos formulation, based on two decay coefficients being used for considering the pipe-wall viscoelastic behavior and unsteady friction effects. Numerical computations were performed using the fixed-grid method of characteristics. The efficiency of the numerical model is first verified against experimental data available from the literature. Thereafter, critical flow scenarios relating to water-hammer up- and down-surges, including a cavitating flow, are revealed and discussed to point out the efficiency of the used protection technique. From the case studied, it is found that such a technique could mitigate critical water-hammer surges and, hence, might greatly enhance the reliability of the industrial hydraulic systems and urban water utilities, while safeguarding operators. Despite the available protection measures, the utilized technique can substantially soften both up- and down-surge waves induced by severe water-hammer events. It is also found that the amortization of pressure rise and pressure drop is slightly more important for the case of a short-section made of LDPE polymeric material than that using an HDPE polymeric material. It is also observed that other factors contributing to the damping rate depended upon the short-section length and diameter. In fact, the examination of the pressure peak magnitude sensitivity, with the short-section length and diameter being the controlling variables, provides optimum values of these parameters for sizing the replacedpolymeric short-section. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Wien.

Hcini S.,University of Monastir | Zemni S.,University of Monastir | Triki A.,University of Sfax | Rahmouni H.,Laboratoire Of Physique Des Materiaux Et Nanomateriaux Appliques Lenvironnement | Boudard M.,CNRS Materials and Physical Engineering Laboratory
Journal of Alloys and Compounds | Year: 2011

We have studied the effect of size mismatch on the structural, magnetic and electrical properties of Pr0.67Ba0.33MnO3 (PBMO) and Pr0.67Sr0.33MnO3 (PSMO) perovskites with considerable difference in their variance σ2 values. Samples were prepared by ceramic route at 1200 °C. Morphological study, microstructure and chemical composition were examined by scanning electron microscopy, EDX analyses and Rietveld structure refinement. Both compounds exhibit single orthorhombic Pnma crystalline phase and with strongly connected and larger grains for PSMO than for PBMO that gives a beginning of single crystal growth in PSMO case. PBMO with higher variance exhibits distinct intrinsic (due to grains) and extrinsic (due to grain boundaries) transitions in the resistivity behaviour, and with higher transition temperatures than those usually reported in the literature. Extrinsic effects, however, are not observed in the lower σ2 PSMO sample. Both compounds exhibit Curie temperature (TC) values significantly higher than those reported in the literature, and with higher TC for PSMO due to its larger bandwidth W. The experimental paramagnetic effective moment for PSMO is very close to the theoretical one, whereas there is a significant difference between these moments for PBMO sample, probably due to the considerable size mismatch effect between Pr and Ba, and to the ferromagnetic correlations in the paramagnetic state. Ferromagnetic-metallic regime in the two compounds seems to emanate from the electron-(phonon, magnon) scattering processes with a larger effect for PBMO than that for PSMO, due to the prominent role of the grain boundary in PBMO. Above paramagnetic-insulating transition temperature the data were well fitted by both variable range hopping (VRH) and small polaron hopping (SPH) models giving higher density state, and lower activation energy and Mott temperature T0 for PSMO than those for PBMO, essentially due to their considerable difference in their variance values. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Rigane A.,University of Sfax | Gourmelen C.,University of Maine, France
Journal of African Earth Sciences | Year: 2011

The present-day architecture of the Saharan Atlas in Tunisia can be defined by two principal models: (1) The first model emphasizes a general SW-NE geological structure in the North forming successive and parallel bands (the Tellian zone, the diapir zone) and the central Atlas, which are cut by the southern Atlas ranges located within a NW-SE corridor. These zones are bordered to the East by the " North-South Axis" (2) The second model defines the Tunisian Atlas in terms of an E-W strike-slip corridor, which initially controls the sedimentary facies distribution during the Meso-Cenozoïc, and which then generates elongate en echelon folds in the sedimentary cover by dextral shearing.In this study, we aim to show that the Saharan Atlas in Tunisia appears today as a triangular megablock, that we call the Tunisian Block (TB), bounded by three structural trends (N-S, SW-NE and NW-SE) belonging to the African strike-slip fault network: (1) The eastern boundary appears as a complex faulted and folded corridor limiting the folded zone of the central Atlas in the West and the depressed zone of the Sahel in the East: it corresponds to the " North-South Axis" as defined classically in the literature. (2) The southern boundary also corresponds to a faulted belt (Gafsa-Negrine-Tozeur corridor), which cuts off the continuation of the North-South axis southward into the Gabès region; it corresponds to the Southern Saharan Atlas, delimited by the Gafsa fault in the North and the Negrine-Tozeur fault in the South. (3) The northern boundary, trending SW-NE, appears rather in the form of a reverse tectonic bundle, facing SE or S (oblique convergence), whose major feature corresponds to the El Alia-Téboursouk fault. This northern boundary cuts across and delimits the N-S corridor towards the North, in such a way that its extension is limited at both extremities. Finally, the inner part of the TB actually corresponds to a mosaic of second-order blocks, each of which contains an arrangement of widely spaced SW-NE trending anticlines forming the main relief separated by vast plains very often occupied by sebkhas. The paleogeographic and structural evolution of this region during the Mesozoic and Palaeogene shows that the TB, along with its limits as defined here, developed an increasingly distinct identity at a very early stage, being characterized by an extensive and/or transtensive tectonic regime. Finally, the Tunisian Atlas Chain defines a triangular domain that owes its origin and particular character precisely because of the paleogeographic and structural history of this paleoblock. The boundaries of this paleoblock remain mobile, thus tectonically controlling the geometry and morphology of a typical intracontinental basin. The extension directions and the frequent changes of stress regime (or rotations) are related to the existence of two active basins: the strike-slip margin of the western branch of Tethys and the Mesogea oceanic basin, with tectonic activity becoming alternately dominant in one or other of the basins at different times. In this context, the Tunisian basin is characterized by rhythmic sedimentation, composed of a succession of filling sequences linked to the continuing tectonic instability of the sedimentary floor associated with two major crises: one at the end of the Aptian and the other at the end of the Ypresian. The vertical movements related to the extension and/or transtension of the blocks is accentuated by Triassic salt tectonics, giving rise to linear (salt axes) or point (salt domes) structures that lead to the formation of shoal zones during development of the basin, thus enhancing the vertical tectonics. The diapirism developed slowly and gradually from late Triassic through to Langhian times, leading to numerous sedimentary wedges on the flanks of the structures. The uprise of the diapirs exhibits three pauses corresponding to the end-Aptian, end-Ypresian and pre-Burdigalian. The vertical tectonics is characterized by abundant drape folds giving rise to an extensional fault-related folding and strike-slip/dip-slip faults creating frequent unconformities that are nevertheless always localized.Finally, the folded chain results from the structural inversion of this paleoblock from Tortonian times onward. We can only account for the various folds-axis directions in the context of an intracontinental chain where the pre-existing major vertical faults are able to develop on the surface as draped-folds in a transpressive regime by the local reorientation of stresses in crustal-scale faults. In detail, the structures produced by this vertical tectonic activity, which are profoundly controlled by inheritance, display a highly original style at very shallow levels in the crust. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Rychetnik L.,University of Sydney | Rychetnik L.,Center for Values | Carter S.M.,Center for Values | Abelson J.,McMaster University | And 7 more authors.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute | Year: 2013

Cancer screening is widely practiced and participation is promoted by various social, technical, and commercial drivers, but there are growing concerns about the emerging harms, risks, and costs of cancer screening. Deliberative democracy methods engage citizens in dialogue on substantial and complex problems: especially when evidence and values are important and people need time to understand and consider the relevant issues. Information derived from such deliberations can provide important guidance to cancer screening policies: citizens' values are made explicit, revealing what really matters to people and why. Policy makers can see what informed, rather than uninformed, citizens would decide on the provision of services and information on cancer screening. Caveats can be elicited to guide changes to existing policies and practices. Policies that take account of citizens' opinions through a deliberative democracy process can be considered more legitimate, justifiable, and feasible than those that don't. © 2013 The Author.

Hakimi A.,University of Sfax | Hamdi H.,Aix - Marseille University
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2016

The aim of this research is to investigate the possible economic impacts of the trade liberalization on the environmental quality in Tunisia and Morocco. Specifically, the paper inspects whether or not liberalization of the trade sector has harmed the quality of the environment in both countries. To this end, we conduct various econometric models: a VECM and cointegration techniques for single country case study and a Panel VECM and Panel cointegration when using data of both countries as a group. We also include a dummy variable in each model to see the real impact of trade liberalization for both countries. In the empirical section, we found bidirectional causality between FDI and CO2. This implies that the nature of FDI inflows to Morocco and Tunisia are not clean FDI. These results show that trade liberalization has a negative impact on the environment. The paper concludes that although trade liberalization boosted the economies of both countries by creating new employment opportunities, liberalization has harmed the environment. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Habib G.S.,University of Sfax | Saliba W.,Emek Medical Center | Nashashibi M.,Carmel Medical Center
Clinical Rheumatology | Year: 2010

Intra-articular corticosteroid injection (IACI) is a very popular procedure. In this review, we wanted to review all that had been published about local effects of IACIs. English literature search was made through PubMed using the terms intra-articular and local effect. Effects on subjective, functional, structural, cellular, humoral, molecular, and imaging aspects were included. Also, all local adverse effects were documented. The main beneficial effect of IACI is pain relief. The duration of this effect is variable and depends on underlying disease, type of disease, amount of structural damage, type of IACI, dose of IACI, presence of joint effusion, level of inflammatory mediators, emptiness of joint effusion, availability of imaging, and others. At large, inflammatory problems had higher rate of favorable response in terms of pain and function. IACI at the knee joint in juvenile idiopathic arthritis patients resulted in remission for >6 months in >80% of the patients with a mean duration of ∼1.2 years, while in the osteoarthritic knee there was a pain relief for 3 weeks only and in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) knee for 8 weeks. There was no joint space loss at the knee joint following multiple IACI in osteoarthritis and also no increase in cartilage or bone erosions in RA following a single IACI. IACI guide imaging is important in achieving better results in particular joints. Joint infection rate is very low. Other adverse effects included intra-articular and periarticular calcifications, cutaneous atrophy, cutaneous depigmentation, avascular necrosis, rapid destruction of the femoral head, acute synovitis, Charcot's arthropathy, tendinopathy, Nicolau's syndrome, and joint dislocation. IACI is associated with a wide range of local effects. Subjective and functional favorable response is prominent mainly in juvenile idiopathic arthritis patients. Adverse effects are either rare or insignificant. © 2010 Clinical Rheumatology.

Mahersi E.,University of Monastir | Khedher A.,University of Sfax | Mimouni M.F.,University of Monastir
International Journal of Renewable Energy Research | Year: 2013

This paper deals with dynamic simulation of a directly driven wind generator with a full scale converter as interface to the grid. Using the Permanent Magnet Synchronous Generator (PMSG), the system is controlled by two control strategies. I the first step, we have consider the vector (VC) strategy and in the second one, we have applied the sliding mode control (SMC) strategy. Simulation results investigate good performances of both proposed non linear approaches.

Nishizono A.,University of Sfax
Uirusu | Year: 2012

The family Rhabdoviridae has a non-segmented single stranded negative-sense RNA and its genome ranges in size from approximately 11 kb to almost 16 kb. It is one of the most ecologically diverse families of RNA viruses with members infecting a wide range of organisms. The five structural protein genes are arranged in the same linear order (3'-N-P-M-G-L-5') and may be interspersed with one more additional accessory gene. For many years, a full of knowledge of the rhabdoviridae has been established on extensive studies of two kinds of prototype viruses; vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and rabies virus (RABV). Among them, the genus Lyssavirus includes RABV and rabies-related viruses naturally infect mammals and chiropterans via bite-exposure by rabid animals and finally cause fatal encephalitis. In this review, we describe the sketch of the various virological features of the Rhabdoviridae, especially focusing on VSV and RABV.

Srimuninnimit V.,University of Sfax | Sriuranpong V.,Chulalongkorn University | Suwanvecho S.,Bumrungrad International Hospital
Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology | Year: 2014

Aims: Currently, the only standard systemic treatment for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma is sorafenib monotherapy. The study was conducted to assess the efficacy and safety of the novel combination of sorafenib and gemcitabine in the treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Methods: Between March 2008 and October 2010, patients with advanced pathologically proven hepatocellular carcinoma who had not received previous systemic therapy and had Child-Pugh liver function class A or B received sorafenib plus gemcitabine. Treatment included 4-week cycle of gemcitabine (1000mg/m2 days 1, 8, 15) to the maximum of six cycles together with sorafenib (400mg twice daily). Patient continued sorafenib until disease progression or withdrawal from other reasons. The primary end point is progression-free survival. Results: Forty-five patients were enrolled in this study. The median progression-free survival was 3.7 months (95% CI 3.5-3.8). The overall response rate was 4% with no complete responses and the disease control rate was 66%. The median overall survival (OS) was 11.6 months (95% CI 7.4-15.9). The median time to progression was 3.6 months (95% CI 3.4-3.7). The most frequently reported grade 3/4 treatment-related adverse events included thrombocytopenia 33%, neutropenia 16% and hand-foot skin reaction 13%. The study regimen was well tolerated. Conclusion: The combination of sorafenib and gemcitabine in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma is generally well tolerated and has modest clinical efficacy. The median OS is up to 1 year. However, well-designed randomized controlled trials with a sorafenib alone comparator arm are needed to confirm this finding. © 2014 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

Santic Z.,University of Sfax
Medicinski arhiv | Year: 2010

The aim of this study was to examine trends of the number of suicides in four municipalities of West-Herzegovina Canton (Siroki Brijeg, Ljubuski, Grude, Posusje) during the period 1984 through 2008, as well as case distribution by gender, age and how the suicides were committed. Study results showed the total number of cases during the studied period was 134. Number of suicide cases in the prewar period during 8 years (1984-1991) was 33. During the war period (1992-1995) the number of cases dropped to 15. Statistically significant growth of number of suicides (86 cases) in 12 postwar years (1996-2008), compared to prewar and war figures, is interesting. Gender distribution research results showed presence of statistically significant difference in number of cases with males and females, with 106 and 28, respectively (p < 0.01). Age distribution research showed that suicide cases are more frequent with two age groups (20-29 and over 60 years), with statistically significant difference compared to figures for the other groups. Breakdown of manner how suicide was committed is the following: hanging (32%), fire weapon (22.8%), drowning in water storage cisterns (11.2%) and other manners (14.60%). Significant growth of suicide number in postwar period indicates the need for further research of socio-economic determinants of health and war traumas with the objective of putting some light on etiological factors of this cause of death.

Fourati L.C.,University of Sfax
Proceedings - 2014 IEEE International Conference on Healthcare Informatics, ICHI 2014 | Year: 2014

Nowadays, interests in Healthcare Monitoring System (HMS) based on Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN) have grown considerably due to the increasing aging population. HMS expected to reduce healthcare expenses by enabling the continuous monitoring of patient health remotely during their daily activities. From a medical point of view, WBAN will emerge as a key technology in providing real-time health monitoring and diagnoses of many life threatening diseases. Accordingly, several studies have been done in this area and already various journal and conference papers focusing either on WBAN or on healthcare services. Nevertheless, there is no extensive coverage on the HMS based on WBAN. This tutorial will focus on the WBAN in terms of emerging wireless technologies (supporting infrastructure and technology), HMS architecture and its applications (Continuous Monitoring and Assisted Living) and challenge design issues related to WBAN (PHY, MAC and routing layers as well as security, mobility and patient localization) and HMS (services). Furthermore, this tutorial can be considered as a deep technical overview of the state-of-the-art in the WBAN and HMS fields. © 2014 IEEE.

Yannoutsos A.,University of Sfax
Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2016

OBJECTIVE:: Despite adequate glycemic and blood pressure control, diabetic hypertensives remain at increased cardiovascular risk. Aortic stiffness and pulse pressure (PP) amplification may provide complementary information to correct cardiovascular risk. We aim to determine whether these hemodynamic parameters are interrelated or not and to explore the factors related to pressure pulsatility. METHODS:: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 351 patients, involving controls, hypertensives without diabetes and diabetic patients with or without hypertension. Hemodynamic parameters were determined by applanation tonometry. Multivariate regression analyses evaluated the interest of therapeutic strategies. RESULTS:: Aortic stiffness and PP amplification were not interrelated (P?=?0.32) in multivariate-adjusted analysis and were both independently associated with previous cardiovascular events. Although disproportionately increased aortic stiffness in diabetic hypertensives (P?

Abbes T.,University of Sfax | Bouhoula A.,University of Carthage | Rusinowitch M.,French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation
International Journal of Security and Networks | Year: 2010

Pattern matching is a crucial factor for deriving efficient intrusion detection. However Network Intrusion Detection Systems (NIDSs) frequently ignore data semantics of captured packets and have to consider the whole payloads leading to false positives if attacks signatures are found in incorrect positions. Therefore NIDSs have to investigate in packets contents in order to determine how application layer protocols are used. We propose a combination of pattern matching and protocol analysis to better detect intrusions. While the first detection method relies on a multi-pattern matching algorithm, the second one benefits from a decision tree to select in each analysis step, the efficient test. Copyright © 2010 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Zhani K.,University of Sfax
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2013

The present paper deals with a theoretical and experimental study of a new generation of water desalination unit by solar energy using the humidification and dehumidification (HD) principle is constructed at the national engineering school of Sfax (34N, 10E), Tunisia. The good quality of distilled water obtained by this new concept favours its use for producing water for drinking and irrigation. A mathematical model based on heat and mass transfers in each component of the unit is developed. The resulting ordinary differential systems of equations are transformed into a system of algebraic equations using the orthogonal collocation method (OCM) and simulated using C++ software in a steady state regime. The numerical model is used to investigate the thermal performance of this kind of installation exposed to a variation of the control parameters. The thermal performance was evaluated by the gained output ratio (GOR) and the efficiency of the water solar collector. A series of experiments was conducted and compared with the simulation results to validate the developed models. As a result, the proposed models can be used for sizing and testing the behaviour of such a type of desalination unit. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Ruslami R.,Padjadjaran University | Aarnoutse R.E.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Alisjahbana B.,Padjadjaran University | Alisjahbana B.,University of Sfax | And 2 more authors.
Tropical Medicine and International Health | Year: 2010

Objectives To review the current knowledge about tuberculosis (TB) and diabetes, assessing the implication of the global increase of diabetes for TB control and patient care. Methods Systematic literature review. Results Using public databases, it can be estimated that 12.6% (95% CI 9.2-17.3%) of new TB cases in the 10 countries with the highest TB burden will be attributable to TB in 2030, a relative increase of 25.5% compared to 2010. Diabetes is associated with a higher age and body weight among patients with TB, but probably not with a specific clinical presentation of TB. Rifampicin hampers glycemic control by increasing the metabolism of most oral antidiabetic drugs, while diabetes patients may have lower concentrations of anti-TB drugs. This might be one factor contributing to higher TB treatment failure rates. Conclusions The global epidemic of diabetes has implications for control and treatment of TB. Prospective studies are needed to improve prevention, early detection and treatment of concomitant diabetes and TB, especially in developing countries. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Halwani R.,King Saud University | Al-Muhsen S.,King Saud University | Hamid Q.,King Saud University | Hamid Q.,University of Sfax
Chest | Year: 2013

T helper 17 (Th17) cytokines are now widely believed to be critical for the regulation of various chronic immune diseases. Investigations have revealed a signifi cant role for IL-17 cytokines in regulating infl ammation and modulating lung and airway structural cells in asthma and COPD. In this review, our current understanding of the role of Th17-associated cytokines in airway diseases is summarized. Therapeutic approaches targeting IL-17 during asthma and COPD are also discussed. CHEST 2013; 143 ( 2 ): 494 - 501 © 2013 American College of Chest Physicians.

Abedelmalek S.,University of Sfax | Chtourou H.,Research Laboratory Sports Performance Optimization | Aloui A.,Research Laboratory Sports Performance Optimization | Souissi N.,Research Laboratory Sports Performance Optimization | Souissi N.,Manouba University
European Journal of Applied Physiology | Year: 2013

The present study was designed to evaluate the effect of time of day and partial sleep deprivation (PSD) on short-term maximal performance and level of interleukin-6 (IL-6) in trained subjects. In a randomized order, 12 football players were asked to perform a 30-s Wingate test during which we measured the peak (PP) and mean (MP) powers. Measurements were performed at 0800 and 1800 hours, after two nocturnal regimens: (1) a reference normal sleep night (RN) and (2) 4 h of PSD caused by an early awakening. Plasma IL-6 concentrations were measured before (P1), immediately after (P2), and 60 min after the exercise (P3). PP and MP improved significantly from the morning to the afternoon after RN (P < 0.05) and from the afternoon to the morning after PSD (P < 0.05). Compared to RN, PP and MP were not affected by PSD the following morning. However, there was a significant decrease in PP and MP (P < 0.001) after the PSD at 1800 hours. In all conditions, IL-6 and resting core temperature were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in the afternoon than in the morning. In all sessions, IL-6 levels increased significantly from P1 to P2 (P < 0.01) and remained elevated in the afternoon during the recovery period after PSD (P < 0.05). However, no significant difference was observed in IL-6 between P1 and P3 during RN and PSD at 0800 hours. In conclusion, a short-term high-intensity exercise may increase the IL-6 concentrations in the morning and the afternoon. Moreover, IL-6 remained elevated during the recovery period in the afternoon after the PSD at the end of the night. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Objective: To compare the tobacco products use patterns of known diabetics and non diabetics. Material and Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study using STEPwise approach among adults using a multistage, stratified, cluster random sample. Data was collected using a questionnaire which included sociodemographics; tobacco products use habits, history of diabetes, biochemical and anthropometric measurements. Results: Of the total of 4654 subjects who participated in the study, 1016 (21.8%) were ever smoked tobacco products users and 65 (1.4%) were ever smokeless tobacco products users. Known Diabetes prevalence was 15.3% (712 known diabetics). There were no significant differences in diabetic status and smokeless tobacco products use for both ever and current use. For smoked products diabetics are fewer in current smokers and more in ex smokers. Diabetics started smoking significantly older, smoked for longer duration and higher intensity than non diabetics. Conclusion: Diabetes appears to be associated with smoked but not smokeless tobacco products use. © Trakya University Faculty of Medicine.

Sreenivasan J.,University of Sfax | Mohd Noor M.N.,University Technology of MARA
WSEAS Transactions on Information Science and Applications | Year: 2010

The aim of this conceptual paper is to investigate the mobile commerce acceptance among Malaysian consumers. With mobile commerce or m-commerce technology, consumers can use mobile phones, Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) and laptop computers to access the internet, send and receive messages and make transactions at any time from any places without having tied to a particular location. This new electronic marketing concept has broadened the scope of service and offer great experience to consumers. On the other hand, marketers are able to obtain numerous benefits related to customization of products and services based on the location of the consumer. However, with the abundance of access to information system and high frequency of exposure to mass media, consumers are now becoming more concerned about the fraudulent issues that appear in electronic marketing. Therefore, considerations must be given to the implications of privacy and trust in m-commerce, if utilization and mutual benefits is to be derived on a lasting basis between consumers and marketers. It is very important to examine the privacy and trust elements to understand the acceptance and use of m-commerce according to Malaysian context thus enrich the model of m-commerce acceptance and use behavior. This conceptual paper is also engrossed to examine the influence of purchasing power on behavioral intent and specifies an extension model for the acceptance and use of m-commerce. By reading this paper, readers will be able to obtain clearer picture about conducting future research in order to understand the behavior of Malaysian consumers related to location, privacy, trust and purchasing power.

Recessive mutations of F13A gene are reported to be responsible of FXIIIA subunit deficiency (FXIIIA). In all, some intronic nucleotide changes identified in this gene were investigated by in-silico analysis and occasionally supported by experimental data or reported in some cases as a polymorphism. To determine the molecular defects responsible of congenital factor XIII deficiency in Libyan patient, molecular analysis was performed by direct DNA sequencing of the coding regions and splice junctions of the FXIIIA subunit gene (F13A). A splicing minigene assay was used to study the effect of this mutation. Bioinformatics exploration was fulfilled to conceive consequences on protein. A 12-bp duplication straddling the border of intron 9 and exon 10 leads to two 3′ acceptor splice sites, resulting in silencing of the downstream wild 3′ splice site. It caused an in-frame insertion of 12 nucleotides into mRNA and four amino acids into protein. Bioinformatic analysis predicts that the insertion of four amino acids affects the site 3 of calcium binding site, which disturbs the smooth function of the FXIIIA peptide causing the factor XIII deficiency. This study showed that a small duplication seems to weaken the original 3′ splice site and enhance the activation of a new splice site responsible for an alternative splicing. It would be interesting to examine the underlying molecular mechanism involved in this rearrangement. Copyright © 2016 YEAR Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ouerfelli N.,Tunis el Manar University | Iulian O.,Polytechnic University of Bucharest | Bouaziz M.,University of Sfax
Physics and Chemistry of Liquids | Year: 2010

Viscosity deviation Δη has been investigated by using density and kinematic viscosity measurements for dioxane + water mixtures over the entire range of mole fractions at atmospheric pressure and in five temperatures (293.15, 298.15, 302.15, 306.15 and 309.15 K). This system exhibited very large positive values of Δη due to increased hydrogen bounding interactions between unlike molecules in the cluster formation region and to very large differences between the molar volumes of the pure components. The results were fitted with the Redlich-Kister equations and the recently proposed Herraez equation. This last model was improved by fixing the first constant of the corresponding exponential function. Competition between the two models at different parameter numbers is discussed. We note that, in this system, where the viscosity versus molar fraction of dioxane presents a maximum, experimental data are in agreement with the two models when more than three parameters are employed. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

Ben Jmaa Derbel H.,Research Unit on Renewable energies and Electrical Vehicles RELEV | Ben Jmaa Derbel H.,University of Sfax | Kanoun O.,TU Chemnitz
Applied Thermal Engineering | Year: 2010

In this paper, an experiment has been conducted in order to record the ground temperature at different depths during 2006 in a suburb of Sfax (Tunisia) which represents an example of the South-Mediterranean climate. The temperature of the soil has also been calculated using a thermal model taking into account properties of the soil and meteorological conditions. Experimental results are compared with theoretical predictions. In order to estimate the influence of the soil properties on the ground temperature, different soil thermal conductivities are tested. A simplified model of an earth pipe system is developed. The cooling and heating capabilities produced by such a system are evaluated. This model is validated against an other published experimental model. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Eliakim R.,Chaim Sheba Medical Center | Magro F.,University of Sfax
Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology | Year: 2014

The assessment of extent and severity of IBD is crucial for directing treatment decisions. Clinical symptoms alone are neither sensitive nor specific for the assessment of lesion severity in IBD. Cross-sectional imaging techniques, as well as small-bowel capsule endoscopy (SBCE) and device-assisted enteroscopy, have a high accuracy for assessing the extent of mucosal lesions, and are reliable alternatives to ileocolonoscopy. New endoscopic techniques and devices are emerging for improved follow-up and surveillance. In this Review, we discuss different imaging techniques that are used to assess IBD activity and to survey patients with IBD, and highlight the latest developments in each area. Moreover, technical improvements and new tools that aim to measure intestinal fibrosis, postoperative recurrence, activity indices and endoscopic features are analysed. All of these imaging techniques are aimed at changing the paradigm from symptom-driven to lesion-driven treatment of IBD.

de Freitas R.M.,Federal University of Piaui | do Nascimento K.G.,Federal University of Ceara | Ferreira P.M.P.,Federal University of Piaui | Jordan J.,University of Sfax
Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior | Year: 2010

Using the epilepsy model obtained by systemic administration of pilocarpine in rats in the present study we investigated the changes caused by seizures on content and species of gangliosides and phospholipids, as well as on cholesterol concentration, glutathione reduced contents, Na+, K+-ATPase activity and lipid peroxidation levels in rat hippocampus. Wistar rats received pilocarpine hydrochloride (400 mg/kg, i.p., pilocarpine group), and other group received 0.9% saline (i.p., control group). Results showed that seizures significantly decreased the total content of lipids and glutathione reduced concentration in rat hippocampus. We also observed that seizures significantly reduced the absolute quantity of the major brain gangliosides (GM1, GD1a, GD1b and GT1b) and phospholipids (sphingomyelin, phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine). Our data also showed a decreased Na+, K+-ATPase activity and an increased TBARS levels in hippocampus of seized rats. If confirmed in human beings, these data could suggest that the alteration in lipid composition, Na+, K+-ATPase activity, glutathione reduced content and TBARS levels caused by seizures might contribute to the neurophysiopathology of seizures observed in epileptic patients. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Siupsinskiene N.,Klaipeda University | Siupsinskiene N.,Kaunas Medical University Hospital | Lycke H.,University of Sfax
Journal of Voice | Year: 2011

Objectives: This prospective cross-sectional study examines the effects of voice training on vocal capabilities in vocally healthy age and gender differentiated groups measured by voice range profile (VRP) and speech range profile (SRP). Methods: Frequency and intensity measurements of the VRP and SRP using standard singing and speaking voice protocols were derived from 161 trained choir singers (21 males, 59 females, and 81 prepubescent children) and from 188 nonsingers (38 males, 89 females, and 61 children). Results: When compared with nonsingers, both genders of trained adult and child singers exhibited increased mean pitch range, highest frequency, and VRP area in high frequencies (P < 0.05). Female singers and child singers also showed significantly increased mean maximum voice intensity, intensity range, and total VRP area. The logistic regression analysis showed that VRP pitch range, highest frequency, maximum voice intensity, and maximum-minimum intensity range, and SRP slope of speaking curve were the key predictors of voice training. Age, gender, and voice training differentiated norms of VRP and SRP parameters are presented. Conclusions: Significant positive effect of voice training on vocal capabilities, mostly singing voice, was confirmed. The presented norms for trained singers, with key parameters differentiated by gender and age, are suggested for clinical practice of otolaryngologists and speech-language pathologists. © 2011 The Voice Foundation.

Surachatkumtonekul T.,University of Sfax
Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand = Chotmaihet thangphaet | Year: 2012

To evaluate the causes and the treatment outcomes of third, fourth and sixth cranial nerve palsy Medical records of 157 cases with extra-ocular muscle palsy from third, fourth or sixth cranial nerve palsy between January 1995 and December 2009 were reviewed. Demographic data, age, causes of extra-ocular muscle palsy and treatment outcomes were record and analyzed. The patients who were followed-up less than 6 months, myasthenia gravis and extra-ocular muscles fibrosis were excluded from the present study. One hundred and fifty-seven cases from 600 cases were included in the present study. The most common cranial nerve palsy was the sixth cranial nerve with 63 cases (40.1%). Of 157 cases, the causes were trauma 41 cases (26.1%), microvascular occlusion cause 34 cases (21.7%) and congenital cause 21 cases (13.4%). Cranial nerve palsy patients from microvascular occlusion cause spontaneously improved 25 of 34 cases (73.50%) in 6 months. All patients (21 cases)from congenital cranial nerve palsy had extra-ocular muscle surgery and 17 patients (80.9%) were successful. Sixth cranial nerve palsy was the most common cranial nerve palsy. Most patients with cranial nerve palsy from vascular cause spontaneously improved in 6 months. Congenital cranial nerve palsy patients need extra-ocular muscle surgery and most cases were successful

To evaluate the effectiveness of medical and health education checklist according to ACC/AHA guidelines for improving compliance in the patients with coronary heart disease who underwent percutanoeus coronary intervention (PCI). This study was a prospective cohort study between control group (historical coronary artery disease (CAD) cases who underwent PCI between October 2008 and May 2009) and a case group (CAD cases who underwent PCI between May 2009 and January 2010) at Her Majesty Cardiac Center floor 8th and Cardiac Care Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University. In the control group, basic care proceed. In the case group, usual cares plus medical and health educational checklists proceed at 24 hours Post PCI, before discharge and at 6 months follow-up at PCI clinic. The study consisted of 160 patients, 79 patients in the control group and 81 patients in the case group. In the case group, patient received more frequent use of in-hospital ACE-I (100% vs. 72%, p < 0.001), beta blockers (100% vs. 61.5%, p < 0.001). At 6 month follow-up, the use of ACE-I (100% vs. 84.6%, p < 0.001) and beta blockers (100% vs. 82.1%, p < 0.001), remain higher in the case group. Comparing case group and control group,using the applied post PCI medical checklist correlated with more frequent use of in hospital angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (100% vs. 71.8%, p < 0.001), beta blockers (100% vs. 61.5%, p < 0.001). When looking at the quality of care indicators between two groups at 6 month followup, the patients with DM, CKD in the case group have better blood pressure control according to the guidelines (64.5% vs. 35.1%, p < 0.001). Six-month readmission rates were higher in control group as compared to case group (12.7% versus 5.2%, p < 0.005). We found that applied medical and health educational checklists improve both adhering to the best practice guideline and clinical outcome in the patients with CAD underwent PCI.

Burazeri G.,Maastricht University | Burazeri G.,University of Sfax | Kark J.D.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Addictive Behaviors | Year: 2010

Objective: Our aim was to assess alcohol consumption and its correlates in Albania, a predominantly Muslim though largely secular Southeast European republic in transition from rigidly structured socialism to a market-oriented system. Methods: A population-based sample of Tirana residents aged 35-74. years was interviewed and examined in 2003-2006 (450 men and 235 women with data on alcohol intake, 65.5% response). Multivariable-adjusted logistic regression was used to assess the association of drinking frequency, quantity and type of drink with socioeconomic, psychosocial and coronary risk characteristics. Results: 30.6% (95%CI = 26.3%-34.9%) of men, age-standardized to the 2005 census, and 5.6% (95%CI = 2.6%-8.6%) of women reported almost daily intake of alcohol, whereas 17.0% (95%CI = 13.4%-20.5%) of men and 46.6% (95%CI = 40.2%-53.1%) of women abstained. In men, frequent drinking was positively associated with age and not receiving financial support from close family emigrants, and was strongly inversely related to religious observance in both Muslims and Christians. In women it was associated with smoking and upward social mobility. Alcohol intake was not associated with religious affiliation in either sex. In men, intake of spirits (predominantly raki) and beer were associated with lower socioeconomic indices, smoking and obesity (beer only), whereas wine intake was associated with financial security, being secular, and not smoking. Among men, 11.3% (95%CI = 8.3%-14.3%) reported high intakes (≥210. g of pure alcohol/week) and 6.0% (95%CI = 3.8%-8.3%) very high intakes (≥420. g/week). High intakes were associated with frequent, rather than episodic, drinking. Conclusions: Our study may be the first to provide information on alcohol intake and its characteristics in an Albanian population sample, one of the few predominantly Muslim countries in Europe. Alcohol consumption in women was extremely low. However, consistent very heavy intake of alcohol appears to be more frequent among Albanian men than in many former communist countries in Europe, and is cause for concern. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Sato A.,Hiroshima University | Yamamoto H.,Hiroshima University | Sakane H.,Hiroshima University | Koyama H.,Hiroshima University | And 2 more authors.
EMBO Journal | Year: 2010

Wnt5a regulates multiple intracellular signalling cascades, but how Wnt5a determines the specificity of these pathways is not well understood. This study examined whether the internalization of Wnt receptors affects the ability of Wnt5a to regulate its signalling pathways. Wnt5a activated Rac in the b-catenin-independent pathway, and Frizzled2 (Fz2) and Ror1 or Ror2 were required for this action. Fz2 was internalized through a clathrin-mediated route in response to Wnt5a, and inhibition of clathrindependent internalization suppressed the ability of Wnt5a to activate Rac. As another action of Wnt5a, it inhibited Wnt3a-dependent lipoprotein receptor-related protein 6 (LRP6) phosphorylation and b-catenin accumulation. Wnt3a-dependent phosphorylation of LRP6 was enhanced in Wnt5a knockout embryonic fibroblasts. Fz2 was also required for the Wnt3a-dependent accumulation of b-catenin, and Wnt5a competed with Wnt3a for binding to Fz2 in vitro and in intact cells, thereby inhibiting the b-catenin pathway. This inhibitory action of Wnt5a was not affected by the impairment of clathrin-dependent internalization. These results suggest that Wnt5a regulates distinct pathways through receptor internalization dependent and -independent mechanisms. © 2010 European Molecular Biology Organization.

Chan T.Y.K.,University of Sfax | Chan T.Y.K.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Marine Drugs | Year: 2015

In the present review of 23 published case studies, the main objective is to report the emergence and epidemiology of ciguatera in the coastal cities of southern China. There was a sudden surge in ciguatera outbreaks in 2004. Ciguatera mostly occurred in the Guangdong Province. In Shenzhen, the incidence of ciguatera in 2004 was estimated to be over 7.5 per million people. In Foshan and Zhongshan, three large outbreaks each affecting over 100-200 subjects (caused by tiger grouper served at banquets) accounted for the much higher incidence of ciguatera in 2004 (>48.7 and >129.9 per million people). Humphead wrasse and areolated coral grouper were the other important ciguatoxic fish. In some subjects, risk factors for increased likelihood of (severe) ciguatera were present, namely concomitant alcohol consumption and ingestion of large reef fishes and CTX-rich fish parts. To prevent large outbreaks and severe illness, large apex predators from coral reefs should never be served at banquets and the public should realize the increased risk of severe symptoms due to ingestion of CTX-rich fish parts with alcohol. The systematic collection of accurate details, implementation of risk assessment process and continuing education for the public on prevention are of obvious importance. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Fernando S.D.,University of Colombo | Rodrigo C.,University of Colombo | Rajapakse S.,University of Sfax
Malaria Journal | Year: 2010

Background: The burden of post-malaria cognitive impairment is often overlooked. Given the large number of infections occurring worldwide, the magnitude of the problem is likely to be substantial. The objectives of this paper are; (i) to assess the evidence on post malarial cognitive impairment or impact on school education; (ii) to assess the possible positive impact of malaria drug prophylaxis on cognition; and (iii) to suggest recommendations on minimizing the burden of post-malarial cognitive impairment. Methods. PUBMED and SCOPUS were searched for all articles with the key word 'Malaria' in the title field and 'cognitive impairment' in any field. Google Scholar was searched for the same keywords anywhere in the article. The search was restricted to articles published in English within the last 15 years (1995-2010). After filtering of abstracts from the initial search, 44 papers had research evidence on this topic. Results & Discussion. Cognitive abilities and school performance were shown to be impaired in sub-groups of patients (with either cerebral malaria or uncomplicated malaria) when compared with healthy controls. Studies comparing cognitive functions before and after treatment for acute malarial illness continued to show significantly impaired school performance and cognitive abilities even after recovery. Malaria prophylaxis was shown to improve cognitive function and school performance in clinical trials when compared to placebo groups. The implications of these findings are discussed. © 2010 Fernando et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Keeratijarut A.,University of Sfax
The Southeast Asian journal of tropical medicine and public health | Year: 2013

Human pythiosis is a life-threatening infectious disease caused by the oomycete Pythium insidiosum. Diagnosis of pythiosis relies on culture identification, serodiagnosis, and molecular-based assay. Preparation of a serodiagnostic test requires culture filtrate antigen (CFA) extracted from the live pathogen. A 74-kDa immunoreactive protein of P. insidiosum, is encoded by the exo-1,3-beta-glucanase gene (PinsEXO1). PinsEXO1 protein is recognized by sera from pythiosis patients but not by sera from uninfected patients; therefore, this protein could be used to detect anti-P. insidiosum antibodies. In this study we aimed to: identify, synthesize, and evaluate an antigenic determinant (epitope) of PinsEXO1 to be used to serodiagnose pythiosis based on peptide ELISA, and to compare the diagnostic performance of that test with the current CFA-based ELISA. Two antigenic determinants of PinsEXO1 (Peptide-A and -B) were predicted using the PREDITOP program. The sera from 34 pythiosis patients and 92 control subjects were evaluated. Peptide-A, Peptide-B, and CFA-based ELISAs all had a specificity of 100%. Peptide-B ELISA had a sensitivity of 91% and an accuracy of 98% and both Peptide-A and CFA-based ELISAs had a sensitivity of 100% and an accuracy of 100%. Peptide-A is a more efficient epitope than Peptide-B, and can be used as an alternative antigen to develop a serodiagnostic assay for pythiosis.

Salhi R.,University of Sfax | Deschanvres J.-L.,Stendhal University
Journal of Luminescence | Year: 2016

Erbium doped yttrium oxide films (Er:Y2O3) upconversion layers were prepared by aerosol-UV assisted metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) at 410C and annealed at 800 °C. The effect of erbium concentration on their structure and optical properties were investigated using scanning electron microscope, X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. By using 488 nm laser, the properties of upconversion luminescence and energy transfer processes were studied in detail for the different concentration of erbium. The remarkable decrease of upconverted emission intensity and the quenching of the 2P3/2→4I9/2 and 2H9/ 2→4I13/2 transitions were observed in the Er:Y2O3 films with high erbium concentration. The absolute Up-Conversion Quantum Yield (UC-QY) of each film was measured for the UC emissions centered at 530 and 560 nm at varying excitation power densities. UC-QY analysis has revealed that 2 mol.% Er:Y2O3 film possess the highest total quantum yield of 4.07±0.1% with a power density of 15.3 W/cm2. Moreover, the Er3+ luminescence analyzed in the IR region, shows 4I13/2 lifetimes was found to be 6.7 ms for film deposited with 2 mol% erbium. These results show that this film is promising as an efficient up-conversion layer suitable for many photonic applications. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Cukusic M.,University of Sfax
Educational Technology and Society | Year: 2011

This paper presents a comprehensive usability study conducted within the context of a Europe-wide project. The design of the evaluated e-learning platform is based on an innovative approach to the education of young Europeans by integrating into the curricula of a Europe-wide network of 14 schools different state-of-the-art technologies in e-learning. The evaluation methodology brings together end-user assessments and expert inspections, thus providing a detailed students', teachers' and experts' feedback. User testing integrates six empirical methods into a laboratory-based test. Usability inspection ascertains usability problems by means of recognized heuristics and enables an "educational evaluation" of the platform by means of three sets of criteria. The paper aims to present the effectiveness of the engaged evaluation methods as applied to e-learning platforms. It offers implications from the empirical findings of the user-based methods together with a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the employed inspection methods. Special attention is given to the aspect of educational evaluation. The conducted critical usability examination of a large-scale e-learning system across several countries in Europe revealed which of the chosen assessment methods should be combined to provide constructive and valuable improvement suggestions. A more significant contribution of this research is that the used evaluation approach proved successful, providing some general findings and know-how from the experience and could be reused by other researches because of its thorough structure. As there are relatively few existing accounts of usability assessment in the e-learning context, this paper adds to the body of knowledge. © International Forum of Educational Technology & Society (IFETS).

Zaidi N.,University of Punjab | Lupien L.,Norris Cotton Cancer Center | Kuemmerle N.B.,Norris Cotton Cancer Center | Kuemmerle N.B.,White River Junction Veterans Administration Medical Center | And 3 more authors.
Progress in Lipid Research | Year: 2013

One of the most important metabolic hallmarks of cancer cells is enhanced lipogenesis. Depending on the tumor type, tumor cells synthesize up to 95% of saturated and mono-unsaturated fatty acids (FA) de novo in spite of sufficient dietary lipid supply. This lipogenic conversion starts early when cells become cancerous and further expands as the tumor cells become more malignant. It is suggested that activation of FA synthesis is required for carcinogenesis and for tumor cell survival. These observations suggest that the enzymes involved in FA synthesis would be rational therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. However, several recent reports have shown that the anti-tumor effects, following inhibition of endogenous FA synthesis in cancer cell lines may be obviated by adding exogenous FAs. Additionally, high intake of dietary fat is reported to be a potential risk factor for development and poor prognosis for certain cancers. Recently it was reported that breast and liposarcoma tumors are equipped for both de novo fatty acid synthesis pathway as well as LPL-mediated extracellular lipolysis. These observations indicate that lipolytically acquired FAs may provide an additional source of FAs for cancer. This review focuses on our current understanding of lipogenic and lipolytic pathways in cancer cell progression. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Kontos C.K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Khabir A.,University of Sfax | Scorilas A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
BMC Cancer | Year: 2013

Background: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a highly metastatic epithelial malignancy showing high prevalence in Southeast Asia and North Africa. The BCL2-associated X (BAX) gene encodes the most important pro-apoptotic member of the BCL2 family. We have recently shown that BCL2 and BCL2L12, two other members of the same apoptosis-related family, possess significant prognostic value in NPC. The objective of the current study was to analyze BAX mRNA expression in nasopharyngeal biopsies of NPC patients, and to assess its prognostic potential in this disease.Methods: Total RNA was isolated from 88 malignant and 9 hyperplastic nasopharyngeal biopsies, resected from Tunisian patients. After cDNA synthesis by reverse transcription of polyadenylated RNA, BAX mRNA expression was analyzed using a highly sensitive quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) method.Results: Lower BAX mRNA levels were detected in NPC biopsies than in hyperplastic nasopharyngeal samples. BAX mRNA expression status was associated with low tumor extent, negative regional lymph node status, and absence of distant metastases. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis demonstrated that patients with BAX mRNA-positive NPC have significantly longer disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). In accordance with these findings, Cox regression analysis revealed that BAX mRNA expression can be considered as a favorable prognostic indicator of DFS and OS in NPC, independent of their gender, age, tumor histology, tumor extent, and nodal status. Furthermore, NPC patients without distant metastases are less likely to relapse when their primary tumor is BAX mRNA-positive, compared to metastasis-free patients with a BAX-negative nasopharyngeal malignancy.Conclusion: This is the first study examining the potential clinical utility of BAX as a prognostic tumor biomarker in NPC. We provide evidence that BAX mRNA expression can be considered as an independent favorable prognostic indicator of DFS and OS in NPC. © 2013 Kontos et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Husain E.H.,University of Sfax | Al-Rashid M.,Amiri Hospital
Indian Pediatrics | Year: 2011

We report a 2-month-old infant with E. coli urinary tract infection, who did not respond to antibiotic therapy. She later developed clinical features fulfilling criteria of Kawasaki disease (KD), and was treated with intravenous immunolglobulin and aspirin. KD should be considered in the differential diagnosis in patients who present with infection and do not respond to antibiotic therapy.

Galvan D'Alessandro L.,University of Lille Nord de France | Kriaa K.,University of Lille Nord de France | Kriaa K.,University of Sfax | Nikov I.,University of Lille Nord de France | Dimitrov K.,University of Lille Nord de France
Separation and Purification Technology | Year: 2012

Ultrasound assisted extraction (UAE) of antioxidant polyphenols from Aronia melanocarpa berries was studied. The influence of various parameters (time and temperature of extraction, solvent composition, solid-solvent ratio, particle size, and ultrasonic irradiations) on the extraction kinetics and yields was evaluated. Very clear effect of ultrasound was observed (up to 85% increase of the yield of extracted polyphenols). High temperature and the presence of ethanol in the solvent improved also greatly the extraction process. The high antioxidant activity of the extracts determined by DPPH tests confirmed suitability of UAE for the preparation of antioxidant-rich plant extracts. A very good correlation between the concentration of polyphenols in the extracts and the corresponding antioxidant activity was observed. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Ghanmi B.,University of Sfax
Mathematical Methods in the Applied Sciences | Year: 2015

In this paper, we present a practical exponential stability result for impulsive dynamic systems depending on a parameter. Stability theorem and converse stability theorem are established by employing the second Lyapunov method. These theorems are used to analyze the practical exponential stability of the solution of perturbed impulsive systems and cascaded impulsive systems, depending on a parameter. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Alahmad G.,King Abdullah International Medical Research Center | Dierickx K.,University of Sfax
Developing World Bioethics | Year: 2012

Protecting confidentiality is an essential value in all human relationships, no less in medical practice and research. Doctor-patient and researcher-participant relationships are built on trust and on the understanding those patients' secrets will not be disclosed. However, this confidentiality can be breached in some situations where it is necessary to meet a strong conflicting duty. Confidentiality, in a general sense, has received much interest in Islamic resources including the Qur'an, Sunnah and juristic writings. However, medical and research confidentiality have not been explored deeply. There are few fatwas about the issue, despite an increased effort by both individuals and Islamic medical organizations to use these institutional fatwas in their research. Infringements on confidentiality make up a significant portion of institutional fatwas, yet they have never been thoroughly investigated. Moreover, the efforts of organizations and authors in this regard still require further exploration, especially on the issue of research confidentiality. In this article, we explore medical and research confidentiality and potential conflicts with this practice as a result of fatwas released by international, regional, and national Islamic Sunni juristic councils. We discuss how these fatwas affect research and publication by Muslim doctors, researchers, and Islamic medical organizations. We argue that more specialized fatwas are needed to clarify Islamic juristic views about medical and research confidentiality, especially the circumstances in which infringements on this confidentiality are justified. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Dhahri N.,University of Monastir | Dhahri J.,University of Monastir | Hlil E.K.,CNRS Neel Institute | Dhahri E.,University of Sfax
Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials | Year: 2012

The critical properties of perovskite manganite La0.67Pb 0.33Mn1-xCoxO3 (0≤x≤0.08) around the paramagneticferromagnetic phase transition are investigated through various techniques such as the modified Arrott plot, KouvelFisher method and critical isotherm analysis. Though the nature of this transition was found to be in second order, the estimated critical exponents β (0.233≤β≤0. 368), γ (1.03≤γ≤1.40) and δ (4.32≤δ≤5.54) are in between the theoretically predicted values for three-dimensional Heisenberg and tricritical mean-field model. This model suggests the coexistence of the short-range and long-range ferromagnetic orders around the critical temperature. The values of the critical exponents obtained from different methods and the well-obeyed scaling behavior confirm that the calculated exponents are unambiguous and purely intrinsic to the system. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Pochyla M.,University of Sfax
Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Strategic Management and Its Support by Information Systems 2015, SMSIS 2015 | Year: 2015

This paper is focused on a survey of technologies, standards and research challenges for Internet of Things (IoT) regarding enterprises. The Internet of Things is a widely accepted concept which has its roots in various networks, data and information processing approaches. The Internet of Things is going to change the world, including our development and IT strategies for building many types of applications. These changes are very close to all enterprise departments and customers. While much of the future for IoT ecosystem is still unknown, we are now starting to see an early adopters of emerging products and the new challenges associated with building them. These challenges are important for hardware and software companies. Main aim of the article is to collect all necessary information for further steps and decision making inside enterprise departments.

Shaker O.G.,University of Sfax | Sadik N.A.H.,Cairo University
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia) | Year: 2012

Background and Aim: Recently, it has been suggested that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in some cytokine genes may influence the production of the associated cytokines that affect the host immune response to pegylated interferon-α (Peg-IFN-α) with ribavirin (RBV) in hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible role of the SNPs of IL-10 and Il-28B and their serum levels in predicting the response to treatment of HCV-4. Methods: Egyptian patients were treated with Peg-IFN-α/RBV. A total of 100 HCV genotype 4-infected patients and 80 healthy control subjects were included in the present study. SNPs in the IL-10 (-592 A/C and -819 T/C) and IL-28B (rs8099917 T/G and rs12979860 C/T) genes and their serum levels were assessed. The IL-10-592-CC, IL-28-rs8099917-TT and IL-28-rs12979860-CC genotypes were significantly higher in responders than in non-responders. Results: Interestingly, the serum levels of IL-10 were significantly increased; in contrast, the serum levels of Il-28B were significantly decreased in HCV patients compared with normal patients. Polymorphisms in IL-28B are more sensitive (P<0.001) than those in IL-10-592 (P=0.03). However, the serum level of IL-10 is higher than that of IL-28, and this difference can serve as a prognostic marker using a receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analysis. Conclusions: It can be concluded that SNPs in IL-28B and the serum levels of Il-10 and IL-28 may be promising predictors for HCV therapy. © 2012 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

Krysko O.,Catholic University of Leuven | Bottelbergs A.,Catholic University of Leuven | Veldhoven P.V.,University of Sfax | Baes M.,Catholic University of Leuven
Molecular Genetics and Metabolism | Year: 2010

The metabolic factors causing cortical neuronal migration defects, hypotonia and malformation of cerebellum in patients and mice with severe peroxisome biogenesis disorders are still not identified. In the present investigation, we tested the hypothesis that the combined inactivity of peroxisomal β-oxidation and ether lipid biosynthesis could be at the origin of these pathologies. Double MFP2/DAPAT knockout mice were generated and their postnatal phenotypes were compared with single knockouts and control mice. Cortical neuronal migration was not affected in DAPAT knockouts and only mildly in double MFP2/DAPAT knockout mice. The latter mice were severely hypotonic and usually died in the postnatal period. Both DAPAT and MFP2 single knockout mice exhibited delays in the formation of cerebellar folia. We conclude that the combined defect of peroxisomal β-oxidation and ether lipid synthesis does not solely account for the typical cortical neuronal migration defect of mice with peroxisome biogenesis disorders but contributes to their hypotonia. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Dominelli G.S.,University of Sfax | Koehle M.S.,University of British Columbia | Mckenzie D.C.,University of British Columbia
Journal of Physiology | Year: 2013

The purpose of this study was to characterize exercise-induced arterial hypoxaemia (EIAH), pulmonary gas exchange and respiratory mechanics during exercise, in young healthy women. We defined EIAH as a >10 mmHg decrease in arterial oxygen tension () during exercise compared to rest. We used a heliox inspirate to test the hypothesis that mechanical constraints contribute to EIAH. Subjects with a spectrum of aerobic capacities (n= 30; maximal oxygen consumption () = 49 ± 1, range 28-62 ml kg-1 min-1) completed a stepwise treadmill test and a subset (n= 18 with EIAH) completed a constant load test (~85%) with heliox gas. Throughout exercise arterial blood gases, oxyhaemoglobin saturation (), the work of breathing (WOB) and expiratory flow limitation (EFL) were assessed. Twenty of the 30 women developed EIAH with a nadir and ranging from 58 to 88 mmHg and 87 to 96%, respectively. At maximal exercise, was inversely related to (r=-0.57, P < 0.05) with notable exceptions where some subjects with low aerobic fitness levels demonstrated EIAH. Subjects with EIAH had a greater (51 ± 1 vs. 43 ± 2 ml kg-1 min-1), lower end-exercise (93.2 ± 0.5 vs. 96.1 ± 0.3%) and a greater maximal energetic WOB (324 ± 19 vs. 247 ± 23 J min-1), but had similar resting pulmonary function compared to those without EIAH. Most subjects developed EIAH at submaximal exercise intensities, with distinct patterns of hypoxaemia. In some subjects with varying aerobic fitness levels, mechanical ventilatory constraints (i.e. EFL) were the primary mechanism associated with the hypoxaemia during the maximal test. Mechanical ventilatory constraints also prevented adequate compensatory alveolar hyperventilation in most EIAH subjects. Minimizing mechanical ventilatory constraints with heliox inspiration partially reversed EIAH in subjects who developed EFL. In conclusion, healthy women of all aerobic fitness levels can develop EIAH and begin to do so at submaximal intensities. Mechanical ventilatory constraints are a primary mechanism for EIAH in some healthy women and prevent reversal of hypoxaemia in women for whom it is not the primary mechanism. © 2013 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2013 The Physiological Society.

Triki A.,University of Sfax
Journal of Applied Mechanics, Transactions ASME | Year: 2013

Based on the finite element method, the numerical solution of the shallow-water equation for one-dimensional (1D) unsteady flows was established. To respect the stability criteria, the time step of the method was dependent on the space step and flow velocity. This method was used to avoid the restriction due to the wave celerity variation in the computational analysis when using the method of characteristics. Furthermore, boundary conditions are deduced directly from the scheme without using characteristics equations. For the numerical solution, a general-purpose computer program, based on the finite element method (FEM), is coded in FORTRAN to analyze the dynamic response of the open channel flow. This program is able to handle rectangular, triangular, or trapezoidal sections. Some examples solved with the finite element method are reported herein. The first involves routing a discharge hydrograph down a rectangular channel. The second example consists of routing a sudden shutoff of all flow at the downstream end of a rectangular channel. The third one deals with routing a discharge hydrograph down a trapezoidal channel. These examples are taken from the quoted literature text book. Numerical results agree well with those obtained by these authors and show that the proposed method is consistent, accurate, and highly stable in capturing discontinuities propagation in free surface flows. Copyright © 2013 by ASME.

Alaya M.B.,Tunis el Manar University | Saidi S.,University of Sfax | Zemni T.,Tunis el Manar University | Zargouni F.,Tunis el Manar University
Environmental Earth Sciences | Year: 2014

The multilayered Djeffara aquifer system, south-eastern Tunisia, has been intensively used as a primary source to meet the growing needs of the various sectors (drinking, agricultural and industrial purposes). The analysis of groundwater chemical characteristics provides much important information useful in water resources management. Detailed knowledge of the geochemical evolution of groundwater and assessing the water quality status for special use are the main objective of any water monitoring study. An attempt has been made for the first time in this region to characterize aquifer behavior and appreciate the quality and/or the suitability of groundwater for drinking and irrigation purposes. In order to attend this objective, a total of 54 groundwater samples were collected and analyzed during January 2008 for the major cations (sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium), anions (chloride, sulfate, bicarbonate), trace elements (boron, strontium and fluoride), and physicochemical parameters (temperature, pH, total dissolved salts and electrical conductivity). The evolution of chemical composition of groundwater from recharge areas to discharge areas is characterized by increasing sodium, chloride and sulfate contents as a result of leaching of evaporite rock. In this study, three distinct chemical trends in groundwater were identified. The major reactions responsible for the chemical evolution of groundwater in the investigated area fall into three categories: (1) calcite precipitation, (2) gypsum and halite dissolution, and (3) ion exchange. Based on the physicochemical analyses, irrigation quality parameters such as sodium absorption ratio (SAR), percentage of sodium, residual sodium carbonate, residual sodium bicarbonate, and permeability index (PI) were calculated. In addition, groundwater quality maps were elabortaed using the geographic information system to delineate spatial variation in physico-chemical characteristics of the groundwater samples. The integration of various dataset indicates that the groundwater of the Djeffara aquifers of the northern Gabes is generally very hard, brackish and high to very high saline and alkaline in nature. The water suitability for drinking and irrigation purposes was evaluated by comparing the values of different water quality parameters with World Health Organization (WHO) guideline values for drinking water. Piper trilinear diagram was constructed to identify groundwater groups where the relative major anionic and cationic concentrations are expressed in percentage of the milliequivalent per liter (meq/l), and it was demonstrated that the majority of the samples belongs to SO4-Cl-Ca-Na, Cl-SO4-Na-Ca and Na-Cl hydrochemical facies. As a whole, all the analyzed waters from this groundwater have revealed that this water is unsuitable for drinking purposes when comparing to the drinking water standards. Salinity, high electric conductivity, sodium adsorption ratio and sodium percentages indicate that most of the groundwater samples are inappropriate for irrigation. The SAR vary from medium (S2) to very high (S4) sodicity. Therefore, the water of the Djeffara aquifers of the northern Gabes is dominantly of the C4-S2 class representing 61.23 % of the total wells followed by C4-S3 and C4-S4 classes at 27.27 and 11.5 % of the wells, respectively. Based on the US Salinity Classification, most of the groundwater is unsuitable for irrigation due to its high salt content, unless certain measures for salinity control are undertaken. © 2013 The Author(s).

Kehinde E.O.,University of Sfax
Medical Principles and Practice | Year: 2013

The objective of this review article was to examine current and prospective developments in the scientific use of laboratory animals, and to find out whether or not there are still valid scientific benefits of and justification for animal experimentation. The PubMed and Web of Science databases were searched using the following key words: animal models, basic research, pharmaceutical research, toxicity testing, experimental surgery, surgical simulation, ethics, animal welfare, benign, malignant diseases. Important relevant reviews, original articles and references from 1970 to 2012 were reviewed for data on the use of experimental animals in the study of diseases. The use of laboratory animals in scientific research continues to generate intense public debate. Their use can be justified today in the following areas of research: basic scientific research, use of animals as models for human diseases, pharmaceutical research and development, toxicity testing and teaching of new surgical techniques. This is because there are inherent limitations in the use of alternatives such as in vitro studies, human clinical trials or computer simulation. However, there are problems of transferability of results obtained from animal research to humans. Efforts are on-going to find suitable alternatives to animal experimentation like cell and tissue culture and computer simulation. For the foreseeable future, it would appear that to enable scientists to have a more precise understanding of human disease, including its diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic intervention, there will still be enough grounds to advocate animal experimentation. However, efforts must continue to minimize or eliminate the need for animal testing in scientific research as soon as possible. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Feki A.,University of Sfax | Ishak A.B.,University of Tunis | Feki S.,University of Houston
Expert Systems with Applications | Year: 2012

This paper presents methods of banks discrimination according to the rate of NonPerforming Loans (NPLs), using Gaussian Bayes models and different approaches of multiclass Support Vector Machines (SVM). This classification problem involves many irrelevant variables and comparatively few training instances. New variable selection strategies are proposed. They are based on Gaussian marginal densities for Bayesian models and ranking scores derived from multiclass SVM. The results on both toy data and real-life problem of banks classification demonstrate a significant improvement of prediction performance using only a few variables. Moreover, Support Vector Machines approaches are shown to be superior to Gaussian Bayes models. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Sdiri A.,University of Tsukuba | Higashi T.,University of Tsukuba | Chaabouni R.,University of Sfax | Jamoussi F.,National Center for Material science
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution | Year: 2012

A batch sorption method was used to study the removal of few toxic metals onto the Late Cretaceous clays of Aleg formation (Coniacian-Lower Campanian system), Tunisia, in single, binary and multi-component systems. The collected clay samples were used as adsorbents for the removal of Pb(II), Cd(II), Cu(II) and Zn(II) from aqueous solutions. Results show that the natural clay samples were mainly composed of silica, alumina, iron and magnesium oxides. N 2-adsorption measurements indicated mesoporous materials with modest specific surface area of <71 m 2/g. Carbonate minerals were the most influencing parameters for heavy metal removal by natural clays in both single and multi-element systems. The affinity sequence was Pb(II)>Cu(II) >Zn(II)>Cd(II) due to the variable physical properties of the studied metals. The maximum adsorption capacity reached 131.58 mg/g in single systems, but decreased to <50.10 mg/g in mixed systems. In single, binary and muti-element systems, the studied clay samples removed substantial amounts of heavy metals, showing better effectiveness than the relevant previous studies. These results suggest that the studied clay samples of the Late Cretaceous clays from Tunisia can be effectively used as natural adsorbents for the removal of toxic heavy metals in aqueous systems. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011.

Benabdallah A.,University of Sfax
Kybernetika | Year: 2015

In this paper, we establish a separation principle for a class of time-delay nonlinear systems satisfying some relaxed triangular-type condition. Under delay independent conditions, we propose a nonlinear time-delay observer to estimate the system states, a state feedback controller and we prove that the observer-based controller stabilizes the system.

Fujimoto M.,University of Sfax
Clinical and Experimental Neuroimmunology | Year: 2012

Idiopathic inflammatory myopathies including dermatomyositis (DM) and polymyositis (PM) are a heterogeneous group of disorders with varying degrees of muscle disease, cutaneous manifestations and internal organ involvement. Myositis-specific autoantibodies (MSA) are useful tools, as they further define more homogeneous subsets. Anti-Mi-2 antibodies have been shown to represent a distinct DM phenotype with a low risk of interstitial lung disease (ILD) or cancer. Anti-aminoacyl tRNA synthetase antibodies, such as anti-Jo-1, anti-PL-7, anti-PL-12, anti-EJ, anti-OJ and anti-KS antibodies, identify patients who share similar clinical features including ILD and myositis, which are referred to as "anti-synthetase syndrome". Anti-155/140 antibodies and anti-CADM140 antibodies have recently been described, and are considered as serological markers for cancer-associated DM and clinically amyopathic DM with rapidly progressive ILD, respectively. In addition, recent studies have revealed anti-NXP-2 autoantibodies that are one of the predominant MSA in juvenile-onset DM and anti-small ubiquitin-like modifier activating enzyme (SAE) antibodies that are also associated with a distinct phenotype. These autoantibodies are also associated with the distinct phenotype of skin manifestations. Thus, identification of the autoantibody profile in an individual patient is beneficial for management and therapy. Despite the clinical utility of MSA, these autoantibodies are unlikely to have direct pathogenic roles in the development of the disease. Findings suggest that the production of these antibodies reflects changes in autoantigen expression within the tissue targeted by the immune response. Furthermore, the nature of several autoantigens suggests their potential roles in tumor immunity and infection. © 2012 Japanese Society for Neuroimmunology.

Jerbi B.,Institute Superieur Of Gestion Of Gabes | Masmoudi L.,University of Sfax
Computers and Industrial Engineering | Year: 2015

This paper studies the problem of scheduling elective surgery patients in the orthopedic surgery division of Habib Bourguiba hospital in Tunisia. Two types of resources are considered: Operating Rooms (OR) and Recovery Beds (RB). The problem consists of optimizing the assignment of surgeries to OR's and planning the recoveries in order to avoid them in the OR's when no bed is available in the recovery room. The proposed solution takes into account the uncertainty in surgery and recovery durations and the capacity of resources. In a first phase, an additive slack was given to the total duration of each surgery in the waiting list. Then a knapsack model is proposed to choose operations to be scheduled in the selected day. The selected operations are assigned to the different operating rooms using a mixed integer programming model with the aim of wisely using the operating rooms' time and minimizing the makespan. In a second phase, a discrete event simulation model is suggested to compare the new model and the head surgeon actual practise to evaluate the global performance of the proposed model. The efficiency of the suggested solution is then validated by an illustrating example which shows that a substantial amount of operations and hence cost can be saved. Larger instances with sizeable waiting lists are solved to convince surgery schedulers of the utility of the approach. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Fersi G.,University of Sfax
Procedia Computer Science | Year: 2015

The great breakthrough in technological devices has lead to the migration of actual Internet to the Internet of Things. There are merely trillions of smart dynamic objects that will be connected to the Internet and that interact and collaborate together independently from any physical location. This progress necessitates the proposal of an adequate architecture and routing process. In this paper, we propose a novel design and overlay architecture that fulfills the Internet of Things requirements. This approach is mainly based on Distributed Hash Table protocols to afford the required flexiblity and to handle efficiently mobility and churn cases. We present also a formal study that proves the efficiency of our proposed architecture. © 2015 The Authors.

Eissa S.,Ain Shams University | Swellam M.,National Research Center of Egypt | Shehata H.,Ain Shams University | El-Khouly I.M.,Ain Shams University | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Urology | Year: 2010

Purpose: Urinary tumor markers that help in the early detection of bladder cancer promise a significant improvement in sensitivity, specificity and convenience over conventional, invasive diagnostic tests. We assessed the diagnostic efficacy of hyaluronidase (HYAL1) and survivin for early bladder cancer detection. Materials and Methods: The study included 166 patients diagnosed with bladder carcinoma, 112 with benign bladder lesions and 100 healthy volunteers who served as controls. All underwent serological assessment of schistosomiasis antibody, urine cytology, and hyaluronidase (HYAL1) and survivin RNA estimation by qualitative and semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction in urothelial cells from voided urine. Results: Positivity rates of HYAL1 RNA and survivin RNA on qualitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction were significantly different among the 3 groups. Mean rank using semiquantitative method was increased in the malignant vs the other groups. The best cutoff for HYAL1 and survivin RNA was 0.25 each. Using these cutoffs HYAL1 and survivin RNA sensitivity was 91% and 75%, respectively, with absolute specificity. HYAL1 RNA detected all patients with stages 0 and I bladder cancer (p <0.037). Urine cytology sensitivity improved when combined with hyaluronidase or survivin RNA on semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Conclusions: The detection of urinary HYAL1 and survivin RNA is a promising noninvasive test for bladder cancer early detection. HYAL1 RNA was more sensitive and specific than urine cytology. Semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction is favored for its high sensitivity and specificity. © 2010 American Urological Association.

Fakhfakh M.,University of Sfax | Pierzchala M.,Wroclaw University of Technology
Microelectronics Journal | Year: 2013

This paper proposes a new approach for the systematic synthesis of active inductors via signal-flow graphs (SFGs). The basic idea consists of proposing and using SFG stamps of active basic building blocks (ABBs) to construct the equivalent SFG of a classical inductor. We show that a large number of active inductors can be thus synthesized; twelve are proposed, most of them are novel. Known ABBs, as well as newly proposed ones are used, namely current conveyors (CC), operational transconductance amplifiers (OTA), current conveyor transconductance amplifiers (CCII-TA), current feedback operational amplifiers (CFOA), operational transresistance amplifiers (OTRA), current backward transconductance amplifiers (CBTA), current feedback transconductance amplifiers (CFTA) and voltage differencing inverting buffered amplifiers (VDIBA). SPICE simulations are given to show the viability of the proposed technique. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Viardot A.,Garvan Institute of Medical Research | Heilbronn L.K.,University of Adelaide | Samocha-Bonet D.,Garvan Institute of Medical Research | Mackay F.,University of Sfax | And 2 more authors.
Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews | Year: 2012

Background: Obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus are characterized by insulin resistance and 'low-grade inflammation'; however, the pathophysiological link is poorly understood. To determine the relative contribution of obesity and insulin resistance to systemic 'inflammation', this study comprehensively characterized circulating immune cells in different grades of obesity. Methods: Immune cell phenotypes and activation status were analysed by flow cytometry cross-sectionally in morbidly obese (n=16, body mass index (BMI) 42.2±5.4kg/m2), overweight (n=13, BMI 27.4±1.6kg/m2) and normal weight (n=12, BMI 22.5±1.9kg/m2) subjects. Results: Obese, but not overweight subjects, had increased activation marker expression on neutrophils, monocytes, T-lymphocytes and polarization of T helper cells towards a pro-inflammatory type 1-phenotype (Th1). Th1 numbers correlated positively with the degree of insulin resistance (homeostasis model assessment, p<0.05). Lymphocytes from obese subjects showed reduced insulin-stimulated AKT-phosphorylation in vitro. Supra-physiological insulin concentrations did not affect T-cell differentiation, which under normal circumstances would promote an anti-inflammatory T helper type 2-phenotype. Conclusions: These results show that morbid obesity is characterized by circulating immune cells that are activated and insulin resistant, with the T-cell balance polarized towards a pro-inflammatory Th1 phenotype. The loss of insulin-induced suppression of inflammatory phenotypes in circulating immune cells could contribute to the systemic and adipose tissue inflammation found in morbid obesity. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Brodin P.,Karolinska Institutet | Brodin P.,Stanford University | Jojic V.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Gao T.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | And 10 more authors.
Cell | Year: 2015

There is considerable heterogeneity in immunological parameters between individuals, but its sources are largely unknown. To assess the relative contribution of heritable versus non-heritable factors, we have performed a systems-level analysis of 210 healthy twins between 8 and 82 years of age. We measured 204 different parameters, including cell population frequencies, cytokine responses, and serum proteins, and found that 77% of these are dominated (>50% of variance) and 58% almost completely determined (>80% of variance) by non-heritable influences. In addition, some of these parameters become more variable with age, suggesting the cumulative influence of environmental exposure. Similarly, the serological responses to seasonal influenza vaccination are also determined largely by non-heritable factors, likely due to repeated exposure to different strains. Lastly, in MZ twins discordant for cytomegalovirus infection, more than half of all parameters are affected. These results highlight the largely reactive and adaptive nature of the immune system in healthy individuals. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Chang C.-Y.,Purdue University | Picotti P.,ETH Zurich | Huttenhain R.,ETH Zurich | Heinzelmann-Schwarz V.,University of Zurich | And 5 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Proteomics | Year: 2012

Selected reaction monitoring (SRM) is a targeted mass spectrometry technique that provides sensitive and accurate protein detection and quantification in complex biological mixtures. Statistical and computational tools are essential for the design and analysis of SRM experiments, particularly in studies with large sample throughput. Currently, most such tools focus on the selection of optimized transitions and on processing signals from SRM assays. Little attention is devoted to protein significance analysis, which combines the quantitative measurements for a protein across isotopic labels, peptides, charge states, transitions, samples, and conditions, and detects proteins that change in abundance between conditions while controlling the false discovery rate. We propose a statistical modeling framework for protein significance analysis. It is based on linear mixed-effects models and is applicable to most experimental designs for both isotope label-based and label-free SRM workflows. We illustrate the utility of the framework in two studies: one with a group comparison experimental design and the other with a time course experimental design. We further verify the accuracy of the framework in two controlled data sets, one from the NCI-CPTAC reproducibility investigation and the other from an in-house spike-in study. The proposed framework is sensitive and specific, produces accurate results in broad experimental circumstances, and helps to optimally design future SRM experiments. The statistical framework is implemented in an open-source R-based software package SRMstats, and can be used by researchers with a limited statistics background as a standalone tool or in integration with the existing computational pipelines. © 2012 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Lejoyeux M.,Hospital Bichat Claude Bernard | Lejoyeux M.,University Paris Diderot | Lehert P.,University of Sfax | Lehert P.,University of Melbourne
Alcohol and Alcoholism | Year: 2011

Aims: To examine the predictors and correlates of depression in alcoholic patients following detoxification and during outpatient treatment, and the role of acamprosate. Method: The international research program of acamprosate has involved 6500 patients in randomized, placebo-controlled trials. Extensive baseline and follow-up data were documented for each patient. An individual patient data meta-analysis was conducted on a partial database. Results: From 3354 patients in 11 studies (10 countries), we found 1120 (33.4% confidence intervals: 31.8-35.0) depressed patients (DPs). Among alcohol patients, the profile of DPs can be defined by five predictors: being female, younger, unemployed and living alone and being an episodic drinker. Compared with non-depressed patients (NDPs), their motivation to start a treatment and the compliance to treatment were lower. DPs performed less than NDPs in achieving abstinence. The acamprosate effect in increasing abstinence was similar for both DPs and NDPs patients. Abstinence during the trial was the key factor of depression remission: DPs were 7.58 times more likely to become NDPs if they were continuously abstinent. Conclusion: Our results justify the need to systematically identify depression among alcohol-dependent patients, but to treat the alcohol dependence as a first step, because enhancing abstinence will often involve remission of the depressive disorder. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Medical Council on Alcohol. All rights reserved.

Chtourou H.,Research Laboratory Sports Performance Optimization National Center | Chtourou H.,University of Sfax | Chaouachi A.,Research Laboratory Sports Performance Optimization National Center | Hammouda O.,Research Laboratory Sports Performance Optimization National Center | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Sports Medicine | Year: 2012

The purpose of this investigation was to assess the effects of listening to music while warming-up on the diurnal variations of power output during the Wingate test. 12 physical education students underwent four Wingate tests at 07:00 and 17:00h, after 10min of warm-up with and without listening to music. The warm-up consisted of 10min of pedalling at a constant pace of 60rpm against a light load of 1kg. During the Wingate test, peak and mean power were measured. The main finding was that peak and mean power improved from morning to afternoon after no music warm-up (p<0.001 and p<0.01, respectively). These diurnal variations disappeared for mean power and persisted with an attenuated morning-evening difference (p<0.05) for peak power after music warm-up. Moreover, peak and mean power were significantly higher after music than no music warm-up during the two times of testing. Thus, as it is a legal method and an additional aid, music should be used during warm-up before performing activities requiring powerful lower limbs muscles contractions, especially in the morning competitive events. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart - New York.

Ziedchaari M.,University of Sfax
International Journal of Applied Engineering Research | Year: 2014

The purpose of this paper is to develop a new feeding technique to wireless energy harvesting designed for charging battery of robot Crawler. The wireless Power Transfer (WPT)mechanism is composed of a transmitter and a receiver.This technique is intend to realize system can to convertor microwave energy to DC current. On the principle of transfer of microwave energy insidethrough-the pipeline.We present the system is base to harvesting microwave energy propagation inside circular waveguides (pipeline) for charging battery of robot crawler. Receiving and converting RF energy into electrical energy that is a conical hornantenna with electronic convertor circuit. This paper presents several RF-to-DC converter topologies according with conical horn antenna and compares theirperformances based on measurements made on fabricated prototypes. © 2014 Research India Publications.

Saleh F.S.,Tokyo Institute of Technology | Saleh F.S.,University of Sfax | Mao L.,CAS Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular | Ohsaka T.,Tokyo Institute of Technology
Analyst | Year: 2012

A new type of dehydrogenase-based amperometric glucose biosensor was constructed using glucose dehydrogenase (GDH) which was immobilized on the edge-plane pyrolytic graphite (EPPG) electrode modified with poly(phenosafranin)-functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes (PPS-SWCNTs). The PPS-SWCNT-modified EPPG electrode was prepared by electropolymerization of phenosafranin on the EPPG electrode which had been previously coated with SWCNTs. The performance of the GDH/PPS-SWCNT/EPPG bioanode was evaluated using cyclic voltammetry and amperometry in the presence of glucose. The GDH/PPS-SWCNT/EPPG electrode possesses promising characteristics as a glucose sensor: a wide linear dynamic range of 50 to 700 μM, low detection limit of 0.3 μM, fast response time (1-2 s), high sensitivity (96.5 μA cm -2 mM -1), and anti-interference and anti-fouling abilities. Moreover, the performance of the GDH/PPS-SWCNT/EPPG bioanode was tested in a glucose/O 2 biofuel cell. The maximum power density delivered by the assembled glucose/O 2 biofuel cell could reach 64.0 μW cm -2 at a cell voltage of 0.3 V with 40 mM glucose. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Jeribi A.,University of Sfax
Spectral Theory and Applications of Linear Operators and Block Operator Matrices | Year: 2015

Examining recent mathematical developments in the study of Fredholm operators, spectral theory and block operator matrices, with a rigorous treatment of classical Riesz theory of polynomially-compact operators, this volume covers both abstract and applied developments in the study of spectral theory. These topics are intimately related to the stability of underlying physical systems and play a crucial role in many branches of mathematics as well as numerous interdisciplinary applications. By studying classical Riesz theory of polynomially compact operators in order to establish the existence results of the second kind operator equations, this volume will assist the reader working to describe the spectrum, multiplicities and localization of the eigenvalues of polynomially-compact operators. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015.

Khemakhem S.,University of Sfax
International Journal of Internet Manufacturing and Services | Year: 2015

Recent advancements in mobile devices and wireless technologies have produced a successful relation between mobile devices and web services where a mobile device can be a service provider or a consumer. However finding relevant web services in a mobile environment that match requests remain a major hindrance to its booming. As the numbers of web services are increasing constantly, web service matching becomes more important to match usable web services in an effective and efficient manner. It is more difficult to select a high quality web service that meets user requirements because traditional service reputation evaluation approaches cannot ensure the authenticity and reliability of user ratings. Thus, this research aims to propose a semantic approach for web service discovery in a mobile environment based on their functional and non-functional properties. © Copyright 2015 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Bougatef A.,University of Sfax
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2013

Today, there is an increasing demand for fish proteolytic enzymes in food industries. During processing, large quantities of waste are generated and discarded. These wastes, which represent an environmental problem to the fishing industry, constitute an important source of proteolytic enzymes and protein. The most important digestive enzymes from fish and aquatic invertebrate viscera are trypsins. These enzymes have a high activity over a wide range of pH and temperature conditions and exhibit high catalytic activity at relatively low concentration. These characteristics have made them suitable for different applications in many food processing operations. Considering the specific characteristics of these enzymes, fish processing by-products are currently used for trypsins extraction. This review describes the characteristics and various applications of fish trypsins in detergents, carotenoproteins extraction from shrimp waste, and protein hydrolysates production. Considering their biological significance and their increasing importance in biotechnology, a thorough understanding of fish trypsins functioning is needed.

Fendri A.,Sfax Biotechnology Center | Kontos C.K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Khabir A.,University of Sfax | Mokdad-Gargouri R.,Sfax Biotechnology Center | Scorilas A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Molecular Medicine | Year: 2011

BCL2-like 12 (BCL2L12) is a new member of the apoptosis-related BCL2 gene family, members of which are implicated in various malignancies. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is a highly metastatic, malignant epithelial tumor, with a high prevalence in Southeast Asia and North Africa. The purpose of the current study was to quantify and investigate the expression levels of the BCL2L12 gene in nasopharyngeal carcinoma biopsies and to assess its prognostic value. Total RNA was isolated from 89 malignant and hyperplastic nasopharyngeal biopsies from Tunisian patients. After testing the quality of the extracted RNA, cDNA was prepared by reverse transcription. A highly sensitive real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method for BCL2L12 mRNA quantification was developed using SYBR® Green chemistry. GAPDH served as a reference gene. Relative quantification analysis was performed using the comparative CT (2-ΔΔCT) method. Higher BCL2L12 mRNA levels were detected in undifferentiated carcinomas of the nasopharynx, rather than in nonkeratinizing nasopharyngeal tumors (P = 0.045). BCL2L12 expression status was also found to be positively associated with the presence of distant metastases (P = 0.014). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis demonstrated that patients with BCL2L12-positive nasopharyngeal tumors have significantly shorter disease-free survival (P = 0.020). Cox regression analysis showed BCL2L12 expression to be an unfavorable and independent prognostic indicator of short-term relapse in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (P = 0.042). Our results suggest that mRNA expression of BCL2L12 may constitute a novel biomarker for the prediction of short-term relapse in nasopharyngeal carcinoma. © 2011 The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.

In Nunavut, 60-80% of pregnant women report smoking in pregnancy, a rate five times the Canadian average. Nunavut also has the highest rates of preterm birth and low birth weight infants in Canada. The present study assessed whether the number of cigarettes smoked per day, as recorded in the first trimester, influenced birth outcomes. Maternal-newborn charts were reviewed for infants born between 1 January 2003 and 31 December 2005 to at least one Inuit parent in the Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin) region of Nunavut. Smoking data, as reported by the mother at an early prenatal visit, were extracted from the prenatal record. Birth outcomes including birth weights (for term births), low birth weight, small for gestational age births and rates of preterm birth, were analysed according to category of reported number of cigarettes smoked (0, 1-5, 6-10, and >10 per day). Maternal age, alcohol and street drug use were also assessed for each category of smokers. Statistical analysis among groups was carried out. Of 918 births meeting the study criteria, more than 80% of women reported smoking. For 80% of those, the amount smoked per day was available. Non-smokers and women smoking less than 5 cigarettes daily had perinatal outcomes equal to or better than Canadian averages for low birth weight, small for gestational age, and preterm birth. Furthermore, average birth weights at term significantly decreased from 3681 g for non smokers to 3310 g for those smoking more than 10 cigarettes per day. Compared with non-smokers, women in the highest smoking category (>10 cigarettes daily) had a six-fold increase in low birth weight infants (OR 6.7, 95% CI 2.3-19.6), almost a four-fold increase for small for gestational age births (OR 3.7, 95% CI 1.6-8.8) and twice the chance of a premature birth compared with non-smokers (OR 2.14, 95% CI 1.1-4.2). Those in the highest smoking category were also most likely to report alcohol and other substance use. Inuit women who reported not smoking, or smoking less than 5 cigarettes per day had birth outcomes equal or superior to average Canadian outcomes in each category evaluated. Those women reporting smoking more than 10 cigarettes daily had significantly increased risk for preterm birth, low birth weight and small for gestational age infants. Because those in the highest smoking category also reported the highest rates of alcohol and other substance use, it is likely that a combination of factors assessed in this study influenced the outcomes. Along with public health preventative measures to reduce smoking directed to this high risk group, other contributing factors for adverse birth outcomes need to be assessed more fully to understand the complex interactions that lead to increased smoking, substance use and, therefore, adverse birth outcomes. Furthermore, evidence from this study suggests that smoking more than 10 cigarettes per day, reported at first prenatal visit, may provide a marker for those women at highest risk of poor outcomes, which could provide direction for focused public health efforts.

Saleem S.N.,University of Sfax | Hawass Z.,Ministry of State for Antiquities
Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography | Year: 2014

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to study the role of multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) in the analysis of foreign objects found within or on the royal Egyptian mummies. METHODS: We studied MDCT images of 15 royal Egyptian mummies (1493-1156 BC) for the presence of foreign objects. We studied each found object for its location, morphology, dimensions, and density in correlation with the archeologic literature. RESULTS: We detected 14 objects in 6 mummies: a heart amulet, 3 Eye of Horus, 4 Sons of Horus, a crowned-Osiris amulet, 2 bracelets, 2 sets of beads/stones, and an arrowhead that may be linked to injury. The MDCT images suggested the material of the objects to be metal (n = 6), semiprecious stone (n = 1), quartzlike (faience) (n = 2), and fired clay (n = 5). Placement of an amulet within the heart supports our knowledge that its funeral purpose was meant for the purpose of protection. CONCLUSIONS: Multidetector computed tomography offers a detailed noninvasive analysis of objects on/in mummies and differentiates funerary objects from those that may be related to cause of death. © 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Kasule O.H.,University of Sfax
Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences | Year: 2014

The health problems of adolescents (aged 13-19 years) are discussed from the perspective of the five purposes of the Law, maqasid al shari'at. The purpose of protecting diin, maqsad hifdh al ddiin, is related to adolescent identity crises, role ambiguity and marginalizing spirituality. The purpose of protecting life, maqsad hifdh al nafs, is related to protecting and promoting the physical health of adolescents. This purpose is also related to the limited competence of adolescents in making medical decisions, because of their immature brains. The purpose of protecting progeny, maqsad hifdh al nasl, is related to the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents. The purpose of protecting the mind, maqsad hifdh al 'aql, is related to adolescent problems of depression, suicide, para-suicide, addiction (nicotine, alcohol and drugs) and juvenile delinquency. The paper suggests practical social engineering measures for dealing with adolescent problems, consisting of cognitive approaches, faith (iman) therapy, early marriage with contraception, living in an extended family for psychological support and enhancing esteem. © 2014 Taibah University. Production and hosting by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

El-Bahi R.,University of Sfax
European Physical Journal D | Year: 2012

The dynamical behavior of relativistic electron governed by the combination of a realistic helicalwiggler free-electron laser (FEL) with a uniform axial guide magnetic field is investigated by the consideration of the effect of the relativistic electrons self-fields. The electron beam is assumed to have uniform density. In Raman regime, a three-dimensional Hamiltonian approach is derived in detail. The consideration of the additional scalar potential Φ s represents the basic feature of the analysis. The approach recognized the two usual constants of motion: one concerns the total energy while the other is the canonical axial angular momentum P̂ z′ . After some tedious algebra, the dynamical variables problems are solved analytically to study stable and unstable fixed point. The additional scalar potential Φ s changes the nature of groups, in group II orbits reversed field configuration near ?̂0 = 0 converted to a simple group II. At the time of the variation of ∈ the energetic interaction zones are discussed. The stability zones of fixed points that allow an excellent interaction between the electron and the existing fields are limited. To validate our model, we apply it to the well-known experience of Conde and Bekefi [Phys. Lett. 67, 3082 (1991)] and get some encouraging results. © EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag 2012.

Monshi M.M.,University of Liverpool | Monshi M.M.,University of Sfax | Faulkner L.,University of Liverpool | Gibson A.,University of Liverpool | And 10 more authors.
Hepatology | Year: 2013

The role of the adaptive immune system in adverse drug reactions that target the liver has not been defined. For flucloxacillin, a delay in the reaction onset and identification of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B*57:01 as a susceptibility factor are indicative of an immune pathogenesis. Thus, we characterize flucloxacillin-responsive CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from patients with liver injury and show that naive CD45RA+CD8+ T cells from volunteers expressing HLA-B*57:01 are activated with flucloxacillin when dendritic cells present the drug antigen. T-cell clones expressing CCR4 and CCR9 migrated toward CCL17 and CCL 25, and secreted interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), T helper (Th)2 cytokines, perforin, granzyme B, and FasL following drug stimulation. Flucloxacillin bound covalently to selective lysine residues on albumin in a time-dependent manner and the level of binding correlated directly with the stimulation of clones. Activation of CD8+ clones with flucloxacillin was processing-dependent and restricted by HLA-B*57:01 and the closely related HLA-B*58:01. Clones displayed additional reactivity against β-lactam antibiotics including oxacillin, cloxacillin, and dicloxacillin, but not abacavir or nitroso sulfamethoxazole. Conclusion: This work defines the immune basis for flucloxacillin-induced liver injury and links the genetic association to the iatrogenic disease. © 2012 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Naumkin F.Y.,University of Sfax
Computational and Theoretical Chemistry | Year: 2013

A series of small carbon-doped silver clusters CAg. n are studied computationally at a DFT level. Structures and stabilities are compared for a few isomers of each cluster size, with the lowest-energy systems predicted to be 3D core-shell species for n≥. 5. Shape alterations are tracked upon electronic excitation, ionization, and electron attachment, indicating a range from a relatively weak to a strong change. Trends in the variations of the corresponding energies, as well as in the dissociation energies for different channels, with cluster size are investigated and compared with those of pure silver counterparts. Related potential applications of such systems are discussed. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

The incidence of both acute and chronic kidney diseases is persistently increasing and is reaching epidemic proportions. Early therapeutic intervention may significantly decrease the morbidity and mortality rates among these patients. However, the lack of early non-invasive biomarkers has hampered our ability to diagnose kidney diseases as early as possible, and subsequently, to initiate timely, effective, and appropriate treatment. Until recently, no biomarker for kidney disease, except for creatinine was available to clinicians in general and nephrologists in particular. Unfortunately, creatinine is an unreliable indicator during acute and chronic changes in kidney function, since serum creatinine concentrations can vary widely with age, gender, muscle mass, muscle metabolism, medications and hydration status. Secondly, serum creatinine concentrations may not change until a significant amount of kidney function (50-60%) has already been lost. In the last few years various specific biomarkers for kidney diseases were discovered and the most reliable representative is neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), which is the focus of this review. Several studies have demonstrated that plasma and urinary NGAL levels increase two hours after the induction of acute kidney injury (AKI) in several clinical situations such as cardiac surgery, radiocontrast nephropathy, kidney transplantation, hemolytic uremic syndrome and critically ill patients in intensive care unit. Serum and urine concentrations of NGAL increase before those of creatinine, making this biomarker a powerful tool for early detection of renal disease, thus hopefully to reduce the high mortality rate among patients with AKI.

Levin L.,University of Sfax
Quintessence international (Berlin, Germany : 1985) | Year: 2012

To evaluate the effect of toothbrush design on brushing skills and plaque removal among young healthy adults. A population of 200 healthy young adults was approached. Patients were randomly assigned to one of two research groups: one used a manual single-headed toothbrush, while the other used a manual triple-headed toothbrush. At the start of the study, participants were asked to brush their teeth using the provided toothbrush with no prior guidance or instructions. Plaque Index (PI) was measured. Immediately afterward, participants were personally instructed on how to brush their teeth using the provided toothbrush. Toothbrushing performance skill was evaluated and scored using the toothbrushing performance skill index (TB-PS-I/Ashkenazi index) following the first brushing, as well as on a recall visit 1 week later. Following the first, uninstructed brushing, PI values ranged from 0.41 to 1.33, with higher plaque scores for the single-headed toothbrush group. One week after receiving brushing instructions, PI decreased in the both toothbrush groups and ranged between 0.12 and 0.81, with higher PI scores for the single-headed toothbrush group. Following the first, uninstructed brushing, total TB-PS-I scores, as well as component scores ("reaching" and "staying") showed no difference between the two toothbrush groups. One week after receiving brushing instructions, the TB-PS-I in the triple-headed toothbrush group was significantly higher than that in the single-headed toothbrush group. The triple-headed toothbrush was found to promote easier toothbrushing and plaque removal both before and after receiving toothbrushing instructions.

Ranasinghe H.M.,University of Colombo | Ranasinghe N.,University of Colombo | Rodrigo C.,University of Colombo | Seneviratne R.D.A.,University of Sfax | Rajapakse S.,University of Colombo
BMC Public Health | Year: 2013

Background: Breast cancer is the commonest cancer in women worldwide. Although programmes promoting breast cancer awareness are being carried out throughout Sri Lanka, few have targeted school students. We conducted this study to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding breast cancer with reference to screening, services available, breast self-examination, and sources of information, among adolescent schoolgirls in the Colombo District of Sri Lanka. Methods: The knowledge, attitudes and practices related to breast cancer were assessed among 859 adolescent girls in schools within the Colombo District, using a self-administered questionnaire. Classes and students were selected using multi-stage stratified cluster sampling. Results: Of the total sample, approximately 60% of respondents identified 'history of breast lump', 'family history of breast cancer' & 'exposure to irradiation' as risk factors for breast cancer. Although most were aware that the presence of a breast lump was an important warning sign, awareness of other warning signs was poor. Only 35.6% identified mammogram as an effective screening method. One third of the sample maintained that they are unaware of symptoms, diagnostics and treatment of breast cancer. Of those who were aware, 90.6% named surgery as a treatment option for breast cancer, 79.4% were unaware that chemotherapy is used. Of the total sample, 17.1% knew how to perform breast self-examination, and only 9.4% were aware of currently available breast cancer screening services. Knowledge was significantly better among students who had a relative with breast cancer. Conclusions: There were significant deficiencies in knowledge, attitudes and practices on breast cancer in the study population. In particular, knowledge on breast self examination was poor. There is a need for awareness programs aimed specifically at this important target group. © 2013 Ranasinghe et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Krebs S.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Omer T.N.,University of Sfax | Omer B.,Yale University
Phytomedicine | Year: 2010

Suppression of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and other interleukins by wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) extracts were reported recently in in vitro studies. The aim of the present study was to find out if this effect can be also be observed in Crohn's Disease (CD) patients where TNF-α appears to play an important role. In a controlled trial, 10 randomly selected patients suffering from CD were given in addition to their basic CD therapy 3×750 mg dried powdered wormwood for 6 weeks. Ten patients, also randomly selected who met the inclusion criteria served as control group. Minimum score of 200 on Crohn's Disease Activity Index (CDAI) was required at baseline for inclusion in each group. Patients who received infliximab or similar were excluded from the trial. TNF-α level in serum were measured at baseline, and after three and six weeks. During this period all concomitant CD medications was maintained at the baseline dose levels. Average serum TNF-α level fell from 24.5±3.5 pg/ml at baseline to 8.0±2.5 pg/ml after six weeks. The corresponding levels in the control group were 25.7±4.6 (week 0), and 21.1±3.2 (week 6). On the clinical side, CDAI scores fell from 275±15 to below 175±12 in wormwood group with remission of symptoms in eight patients (CDAI score below 170 or reduction by 70 points), compared to only two in the placebo group (CDAI of placebo group 282±11 at baseline and 230±14 on week 6). IBDQ also reflected accelerated clinical response with wormwood. Of clinical significance were the findings that wormwood also improved mood of the CD patients, as reflected in Hamilton's Depression Scale. These findings provide a base to test wormwood in clinical conditions thought to be mediated by increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α. © 2009.

Rajindrajith S.,University of Sfax | Devanarayana N.M.,University of Kelaniya
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition | Year: 2010

Objectives: Fecal incontinence (FI) has a great effect on quality of life of children with the condition. Epidemiological data related to FI from developing countries are sparse. Studies differentiating functional nonretentive and retentive (constipation-associated) FI are not available. Patients and Methods: This was an island-wide, cross-sectional study. Information was collected from children (ages 10-16 years) from 5 randomly selected schools in 3 geographically and socioeconomically different provinces in Sri Lanka, using a validated, self-administered questionnaire. FI was defined as defecation into places inappropriate to the social context, at least once per month, for a minimum period of 2 months. Constipation was diagnosed using Rome III criteria. Results: A total of 2770 questionnaires were distributed and 2686 (97.0%) were included in the analysis. Of them, 55 (2.0%) had FI (mean age 11.96 years, SD 1.59 years, 43 [78.2%] boys). Forty-five (81.8%) had constipationassociated FI and 10 (18.2%) had nonretentive FI. The highest prevalence of FI was seen in children aged 10 years (5.4%). A significant negative correlation was observed between age and the prevalence of FI (r=-0.893, P=0.007). FI was significantly higher in boys (boys 3.2%, girls 0.9%), those exposed to recent school- and family-related stressful life events, and those from lower social classes (P<0.05). Conclusions: FI is not uncommon among children and adolescents of 10 to 16 years of age in Sri Lanka with a male predilection. Some predisposing factors, such as exposure to stressful life events and being bullied at school, which are similar to those described in the literature for FI, could be clearly recognized. Copyright © 2010.

M'Nassri R.,Kairouan University | M'Nassri R.,University of Monastir | Chniba-Boudjada N.,CNRS Neel Institute | Cheikhrouhou A.,University of Sfax
Journal of Alloys and Compounds | Year: 2015

The structure, critical exponents and magnetocaloric effect (MCE) of Pr0.4Eu0.2Sr0.4MnO3 were investigated in detail. A solid state reaction method was used in the preparation phase. Phase purity, structure, size, and crystallinity were investigated using XRD and SEM. The Reitveld refinement of XRD pattern shows that the sample adopts an orthorhombic structure with Pnma space group. Analyzing temperature and field dependences of magnetization around the ferromagnetic-paramagnetic transition reveals the sample undergoing the second-order magnetic phase transition with the critical parameters TC ∼ 238 K, β = 0.310(3), γ = 1.264(1) and δ = 4.761(9).The exponents are close to 3D-Ising values. This reflects an existence of ferromagnetic short-range order in our sample. With these values one can scale the magnetization below and above TC following a single equation of state. However, it is noteworthy that the scaling relations are obeyed indicating renormalization of interactions around the TC. Temperature variation in effective exponents βeff and γeff resemble with those for disordered ferromagnet. In the vicinity of TC, the magnetic entropy change ΔS reached maximum values of 2.80 and 5.32 J/kg K under magnetic field variations of 2 and 5 T, respectively. The field dependence of the magnetic entropy changes are also analyzed, which show power law dependence ΔSMmax≈aμ0Hn at transition temperature. The critical exponent analysis related to magnetocaloric effect is described. Moreover, the temperature dependence of the exponent n for a different magnetic field is also studied. The values of n obey to the Curie Weiss law above the transition temperature. In particularly, n can be related to the critical exponents β, γ and δ at the magnetic transition. We used the scaling hypotheses to scale the magnetic entropy change and heat capacity changes to a single universal curve respectively for Pr0.4Eu0.2Sr0.4MnO3 sample. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Al-Naggar R.A.,University of Sfax | Bobryshev Y.V.,University of New South Wales
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention | Year: 2013

The objective of this study was to determine the knowledge and associated factors regarding colorectal cancer screening among university students in Malaysia. The questionnaire consisted of three parts: socio-demographic characteristics, lifestyle practice and knowledge of colorectal screening. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 300 students (21.3±1.4 years old). The majority of the participants were Malay with a monthly family income of less than 5,000 Ringgit Malaysia (equal to 1,700 USD) (67.0% and 76.0%, respectively). Regarding their lifestyle practices, the majority were non-smokers and had never consumed alcohol (83.7%, and 88.0%, respectively). The majority of the participants had no knowledge of digital rectal examination, colonoscopy, barium enema and fecal occult blood screening (63.3%, 60.7%, 74.0% and 62.3%, respectively). Univariate and multivariate analysis revealed that their age and the discipline which the studentswere studying significantly influenced their level of knowledge about colorectal screening. The present study results indicate that education campaigns about colorectal cancer should be promoted.

Lopez J.P.,University of Girona | Boufi S.,University of Sfax | El Mansouri N.E.,University of Girona | Mutje P.,University of Girona | Vilaseca F.,University of Girona
Composites Part B: Engineering | Year: 2012

In the present work, polypropylene-based composites reinforced with three types of randomly distributed short lignocellulosic fibers, namely mechanical pulp (MP), deinked pulp (DIP), and jute strands, were prepared and analyzed. Addition of 6% (wt/wt) of MAPP resulted in a significant enhancement in the tensile strength in line with the improvement of the fiber-matrix interfacial adhesion making more effective the transfer of stress from the matrix to the rigid reinforcement. The mechanical properties of these composites were analyzed in terms of Bowyer-Bader and Hirsch models to fit the obtained experimental data. From the stress/strain curves and the fiber length distributions, it was possible to access to the orientation factor, the interfacial shear strength, the intrinsic tensile strength and the modulus of the fibers. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Lesage F.-X.,Cognition | Berjot S.,Cognition | Deschamps F.,University of Sfax
Occupational Medicine | Year: 2012

Background: Clinicians increasingly require short, efficient methods for assessing distress, both in applied research and clinical settings. Most of the available questionnaires are unsuitable for busy clinical settings. The visual analogue scale (VAS) is widely but empirically used to assess perceived stress. Aims: To provide evidence on two of the psychometric properties of the VAS: its discriminative sensitivity (capacity to highlight a difference between groups) and its interconcept validity (the relationship between VAS stress assessment and the assessment of different, but similar concepts). Methods: Employees attending occupational health centres were randomly selected and completed the VAS and also either the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) or the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Analyses of variance were performed to study group effects (age, sex, marital status, parental status, occupational status) on stress scores (PSS and VAS). Results: In total, 763 employees participated of whom 501 completed the PSS and 262 the HADS. P-values obtained for the effects of sex, age and occupational status were lower with the VAS than with the PSS. Correlations between the VAS and the anxiety subscale, depression subscale and total score of the HADS were 0.66, 0.45 and 0.65, respectively. Other tools used to assess aspects of psychological distress are known to have similar correlations. Conclusions: Our findings provide evidence that the VAS is at least as discriminating as a questionnaire when it comes to highlighting differences in stress levels between two groups, and the observed correlations with related constructs support its construct validity. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Occupational Medicine. All rights reserved.

Masmoudi A.,Tunis el Manar University | Ben Ouezdou M.,Tunis el Manar University | Bouaziz J.,University of Sfax
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2012

Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) is an advanced composite material that has been identified as a potential new construction material. Since it is a non-corrosive material it may be used as reinforcement in concrete member. However, there is limited experience with the design and construction of GFRP reinforced concrete structures. This paper presents an investigation of reinforced concrete beams with Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP). Six concrete beams reinforced with GFRP and steel bars were cast and tested to study their flexural behavior. The results of this investigation proposed a reinforcement ratio and should guide structural engineers to a cost-effective design of GFRP reinforced concrete members. In addition, comparisons with steel reinforced concrete section were also investigated. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Al-Naggar R.A.,University of Sfax
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention | Year: 2013

Background: The objective of this study was to determine the practice of skin cancer prevention among Malaysian road traffic police officers. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study involved 202 Malaysian Road Police Traffic officers. Inclusion criteria were those officers who work wearing white uniform regulating traffic. The survey took place at the Police Traffic Station, Jln Tun H.S. Lee, Kuala Lumpur, the main Head Quarters of Malaysian's Traffic Department where almost 600 police traffic officers are employed. The police traffic officers are given the task to take care of the traffic from the main office of the police station, then, according to the task, the officers drive to their given location for their duty. Each task is approved by the Chief Traffic Inspector of Kuala Lumpur. Data collected in this study were analyzed using SPSS 13, with the T-test for univariate analysis and multiple linear regression for multivariate analysis. Results: A total of 202 road traffic police officers participated. The majority were older than 30 years of age, male, Malay, married, with secondary education, with monthly income more than 2000 Ringgit Malaysia (66.3%, 91.1%, 86.6%, 84.7%, 96%, 66.3%; respectively). Regarding the practice of skin cancer prevention, 84.6% of the study participants were found to wear hats, 68.9% sunglasses and 85.6% clothing that covering most of the body but only 16.9% used a sunscreen when they were outdoors. When analysis of the factors that influenced the practice of skin cancer prevention was performed, univariate analysis revealed that gender, age and monthly income significantly influenced the practice of skin cancer prevention. For multivariate analysis, gender, monthly income and race significantly influenced the practice of using sunscreen among road traffic police officers (p < 0.001, p=0.019, p=0.027; respectively). Conclusions: The practice of skin cancer prevention among the traffic police officers showed good practices in terms of wearinga hat, sun glasses and clothing that covers most of the body. However, the study revealed a poor practice of the use of sunscreen. The factors that influence the practice of sunscreen use were found to be gender, income, and race. The study suggests that more awareness campaign among traffic police officers is needed. Providing sunscreen for free for police traffic officers should be considered by the Police authorities.

M'Nassri R.,Kairouan University | Chniba Boudjada N.,CNRS Neel Institute | Cheikhrouhou A.,University of Sfax
Journal of Alloys and Compounds | Year: 2014

This article covers the detailed study on the magnetic and magnetocaloric properties of Pr0.5Eu0.1Sr0.4MnO3 samples. The materials were synthesized through the sol-gel using nitrate-citrate route method by sintering at four different temperatures starting from 600 to 1000 °C. Phase purity, structure, size, and crystallinity were investigated using XRD and SEM. The structure, magnetic properties and magnetocaloric effect of Pr0.5Eu0.1Sr0.4MnO3 ceramics with different particle sizes have been investigated. Regardless of the sintering temperature, the orthorhombic crystal structure with the Pnma space group is stable. XRD analysis showed that the particle size increases with the increase in sintering temperature. The Curie temperature shifted from 90 K to 270 K. Magnetization, magnetic entropy change (ΔS), and relative cooling power (RCP) also increased with size in the nanocrystalline samples. The magnetic entropy changes were about 0.89 J/kg K, 2.75 J/kg K, 3.34 J/kg K, and 3.82 J/kg K for the samples sintered at 600 °C, 800 °C, 900 °C and 1000 °C, respectively when a magnetic field of 5 T was applied. It is shown that for Pr0.5Eu0.1Sr0.4MnO3 the magnetic entropy change follows a master curve behavior. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Tanwandee T.,University of Sfax
Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand = Chotmaihet thangphaet | Year: 2011

The low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDL-R) has been proposed to function as a receptor for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) entry. Polymorphism of LDL-R gene may influence the clearance of virus and response to treatment. This study was conducted to evaluate the association of LDL-R gene polymorphism and the response to antiviral treatment in patients with chronic HCV infection. A total of 112 naïve patients with HCV genotype 3 were enrolled in the study. All patients were treated with a combination of pegylated interferon and ribavirin for 24 weeks. Polymerase chain reaction combined with restriction fragment length polymorphism was used to detect the polymorphism at the LDL-R gene intron 11 loci, including intron1, intron 3.1, intron 3.2, intron 4, intron 6, exon 8, intron 11, intron 13, intron 14 and 3'UTR-2 SNPs in intron 16 region. Comparisons of genotype and allele frequency between responders and nonresponders were analyzed. Patients had a mean age of 54 years and 43% were male. Mean HCVRNA viral load and alanine aminotransferase level were 6.3 log, IU/mL and 100 IU/L, respectively. Sustained virological response, relapse and no response were documented in 68.7%, 17.9% and 13.4%, respectively. Baseline characteristics including age, sex, body weight, aminotransferase levels and HCV RNA viral load were similar between responders and nonresponders. No statistical difference was found for either genotype distribution or allele frequency among responders and nonresponders. This study did not provide the evidence for a role of LDL-R polymorphism the response to antiviral treatment in patients with HCV genotype 3. This indicates that a genetic component via the LDL-R may not control HCV treatment outcome in HCV genotype 3

The present research builds upon the Bagozzi's self-regulation framework, the uses and gratifications theory, and the emotional exhaustion research in order to deeply explore the enablers and inhibitors of continuance intention regarding mobile social networking sites. SmartPLS 2.0 M3 is used in order to analyze the data based on 729 usable responses. The results show that satisfaction has a positive impact on continuance intention, while emotional exhaustion has a negative effect. In addition, escapism, exhibitionism, voyeurism, voluntarism, and mobility gratifications determine satisfaction. Furthermore, information overload and social overload affect emotional exhaustion. The findings provide theoretical and practical implications. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Montironi R.,Marche Polytechnic University | Lopez-Beltran A.,University of Sfax | Cheng L.,Indiana University | Galosi A.B.,Murri Hospital | And 2 more authors.
European Urology | Year: 2014

The morphological features and immunohistochemical findings of two cases of clear cell renal cell carcinoma with extensive hemangioblastoma-like features are described. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first description of such a pattern, the differential diagnosis being with renal hemangioblastoma, a rare tumor that could be considered a diffuse hemangioblastoma-like change in a clear cell renal cell tumor. Even though the clinical significance and therapeutic implications are not yet known, the hemangioblastoma-like pattern could have favorable prognostic significance based on the fact that the renal hemangioblastomas described so far have benign behavior. © 2014 European Association of Urology.

Amar A.B.,Gafsa University | Mnif M.,University of Sfax
Mathematical Methods in the Applied Sciences | Year: 2010

Motivated by the study of a general radiative transfer problem, we state some new variants of Leray-Schauder type fixed point theorems for weakly sequentially continuous operators. Further, we apply our results to establish some new existence and locality principles for a source problem in L1-setting with generally boundary conditions. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Fakhfakh M.,University of Sfax
Circuits, Systems, and Signal Processing | Year: 2014

Symbolic analysis is a powerful tool which accelerates the electronic design process by providing insight about the behavior of a circuit. Recently, the analysis and synthesis of electronic circuits with nullors have received considerable attention. This is due to the fact that nullors are very flexible and versatile active elements. Very efficient analysis methods, such as nodal analysis, Coates flow graphs, and two-graphs are proposed in the literature and are widely used. It has arguably been reported (because it does not generate vanishing terms in the symbolic network functions) that the last cited analysis method may be considered as the most promising. Actually, using the two-graph method, symbolic transfer functions can be calculated via either signal flow graphs and Mason's formula, without any restriction on the type of the sources (dependent and independent), or the spanning tree enumeration method for RLC circuits with nullor equivalent circuits of independent voltage sources and all types of controlled sources. In this paper we propose a new method for symbolic analysis of circuits with nullors using the two-graph method in both versions, i.e. signal flow graphs and enumeration of spanning trees. This new method helps us to see distinctly the relationships between various circuit components (for the method using the signal flow graph) and enables us to calculate the symbolic network functions without the excess terms (for the method using the enumeration of spanning trees). © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Sai K.,University of Sfax | Taleb L.,CNRS Material Physics Group | Cailletaud G.,MINES ParisTech Center of materials
Computational Materials Science | Year: 2012

In this work, the anisotropic mechanical behavior of 2017 aluminum alloy at room temperature is investigated. An updated version of the multi-mechanism model type devoted to the description of the material anisotropy is then proposed. The prediction of the model is evaluated by considering strain controlled tests under proportional and non-proportional loadings. A special attention was paid to the identification of the material parameters related to the description of the anisotropy and of the isotropic hardening material parameters devoted to the proportional and non-proportional hardening. The proposed multi-mechanism model successfully describes the anisotropic behavior of the material under proportional and non-proportional loading. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Peretz B.,University of Sfax | Nuni E.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Journal of the Canadian Dental Association | Year: 2012

A simple appliance to replace an 8-year-old's central incisor, which was decoronated after a trauma, is described. A natural tooth cantilevered pontic bonded to the adjacent central incisor may be an immediate solution. This appliance may be used when clinical conditions do not allow for the use of a conservative removable or fixed partial denture.

Drira F.,University of Sfax | Lebourgeois F.,INSA Lyon
Proceedings - International Workshop on Frontiers in Handwriting Recognition, IWFHR | Year: 2012

Textual document image denoising is the main issue of this work. Therefore, we introduce a comparative study between two state-of-the-art denoising frameworks : local and non-local smoothing filters. The choice of both of these frameworks is directly related to their ability to deal with local data corruption and to process oriented patterns, a major characteristic of textual documents. Local smoothing filters incorporate anisotropic diffusion approaches where as nonlocal filters introduce non-local means. Experiments conducted on synthetic and real degraded document images illustrate the behaviour of the studied frameworks on the visual quality and even on the optical recognition accuracy rates. © 2012 IEEE.

Krichen B.,University of Sfax
Acta Mathematica Scientia | Year: 2014

In this article, we introduce the concept of demicompactness with respect to a closed densely defined linear operator, as a generalization of the class of demicompact operator introduced by Petryshyn in [24] and we establish some new results in Fredholm theory. Moreover, we apply the obtained results to discuss the incidence of some perturbation results on the behavior of relative essential spectra of unbounded linear operators acting on Banach spaces. We conclude by characterizations of the relative Schechter's and approximate essential spectrum. © 2014 Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics.

Boucetta R.,University of Sfax
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2013

This paper presents the development of a generalized predictive controller applied to a flexible single-link manipulator robot to compare to a fuzzy supervisory controller in input tracking and end-point vibration suppression. A dynamic model of the flexible manipulator is derived using finite elements method and Lagrange's equations to determine dynamics behavior. A generalized predictive controller is then developed and introduced in the system closed-loop to minimize end-point residual vibrations. A fuzzy supervisory controller is also synthesized to compare simulation results between the two methods of control in terms of input tracking and disturbance rejection. © 2013 IFIP International Federation for Information Processing.

Ab initio calculations are employed to investigate attachment of Group II light metal atoms to hydrocarbon molecules with pairs of double carbon-carbon bonds. Comparison of the atom attachment to one and between two such bonds reveals cooperative binding for some cases, with some counter-intuitive features. Dependence of its manifestation on the system composition and geometry is investigated for a series of metal-hydrocarbon complexes. Attachment-induced catalytic isomerisation of the system is considered at molecular level as well. The complexes are characterized and compared in terms of geometry, stability and various electronic properties. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Abid L.,University of Sfax
Saudi journal of kidney diseases and transplantation : an official publication of the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation, Saudi Arabia | Year: 2014

Conventional echocardiographic (ECHO) parameters of systolic and diastolic function of the left ventricular (LV) have been shown to be load dependent. However, the impact of pre-load reduction on tissue Doppler (TD) parameters of LV function is incompletely understood. To evaluate the effect of a single hemodialysis (HD) session on LV systolic and diastolic function using pulsed Doppler echocardiography and pulsed tissue Doppler imaging (TDI), we studied 81 chronic HD patients (40 males; mean age 52.4 ± 16.4 years) with these tools. ECHO parameters were obtained 30 min before and 30 min after HD. Fluid volume removed by HD was 1640 ± 730 cm3. HD led to reduction in LV end-diastolic volume (P <0.001), end-systolic volume (P <0.001), left atrium area (P <0.001), peak early (E-wave) trans-mitral flow velocity (P <0.001), the ratio of early to late Doppler velocities of diastolic mitral inflow (P <0.001) and aortic time velocity integral (P <0.001). No significant change in peak S velocity of pulmonary vein flow after HD was noted. Early and late diastolic (E') TDI velocities and the ratio of early to late TDI diastolic velocities (E'/A') on the lateral side of the mitral annulus decreased significantly after HD (P = 0.013; P = 0.007 and P = 0.008, respectively). Velocity of flow progression (Vp) during diastole was not affected by pre-load reduction. Pulmonary artery systolic pressure and the diameter of the inferior vena cava decreased significantly (P <0.001 and P <0.001, respectively) after HD. We conclude that most of the Doppler-derived indices of diastolic function are pre-load-dependent and velocity of flow progression was minimally affected by pre-load reduction in HD patients.

Bouchech Z.,University of Monastir | Chtioui H.,University of Sfax
Advanced Nonlinear Studies | Year: 2010

In this paper we consider the following nonlinear elliptic equation with Dirichlet boundary conditions: -δu = K(x)up, u > 0 in ω, u = 0 on 90, where ω is a smooth domain in ℝn, n ≤ 4 and p + 1 = 2n/n-2 is the critical Sobolev exponent. Using dynamical and topological methods involving the study of critical points at infinity we establish, under generic conditions on K, some existence and multiplicity results.

Gaddour O.,University of Sfax | Koubaa A.,Polytechnic Institute of Porto
Computer Networks | Year: 2012

IPv6 Routing Protocol for Low Power and Lossy Networks (RPL) is a routing protocol specifically designed for Low power and Lossy Networks (LLN) compliant with the 6LoWPAN protocol. It currently shows up as an RFC proposed by the IETF ROLL working group. However, RPL has gained a lot of maturity and is attracting increasing interest in the research community. The absence of surveys about RPL motivates us to write this paper, with the objective to provide a quick introduction to RPL. In addition, we present the most relevant research efforts made around RPL routing protocol that pertain to its performance evaluation, implementation, experimentation, deployment and improvement. We also present an experimental performance evaluation of RPL for different network settings to understand the impact of the protocol attributes on the network behavior, namely in terms of convergence time, energy, packet loss and packet delay. Finally, we point out open research challenges on the RPL design. We believe that this survey will pave the way for interested researchers to understand its behavior and contributes for further relevant research works. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Ismael H.N.,University of Miami | Thulesius O.,University of Sfax
Urology | Year: 2010

Objectives: To investigate the possible involvement of Rho-kinase in cooling-induced contraction of the detrusor muscle. The etiology of diabetic cystopathy is not clear. It may be due to various changes in bladder innervation and/or detrusor muscle dysfunction. Because cooling of urinary bladder smooth muscle normally is a potent stimulus to micturition due to increase in muscle tone, we studied the effects of cooling on normal and diabetic bladder specimens. Methods: Urinary detrusor muscle strips isolated from rats were suspended in organ baths containing Krebs solution for isometric tension recording. Tissue responses to stepwise cooling were examined from normal and 12-week streptozocin-induced diabetic rats. We examined the effects of calcium-free, ethylene glycol bis (β-aminoethylether)-N,N,N,N,-tetraacetic acid (1 mm)-containing Krebs solution, and the Rho-kinase inhibitor Y-27632 on the cooling responses. Results: Stepwise cooling from 37°C to 5°C induced a rapid and reproducible increase in basal tone, proportional to cooling temperature. This response was more pronounced in diabetic specimens. Cooling-induced contractions were significantly inhibited in calcium-free solutions in both control and diabetic bladders. Our investigation showed that the influx of extracellular calcium is important in inducing the cooling response. The Rho-kinase inhibitor Y-27632 (1 μm) inhibited cooling (20°C)-induced contraction. It reduced the response by 52.1% ± 10.0% in control and by 70.0% ± 12.0% in diabetic rats. Conclusions: Cooling-induced contractions in control and diabetic detrusor muscle preparations are highly calcium dependant. It also involves activation of Rho-kinase, which might be upregulated in the diabetic detrusor muscle. These results may help in the management of diabetes-induced incontinence due to involuntary detrusor muscle activity. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

This paper examines the interrelationships between energy consumption, foreign direct investment and economic growth using dynamic panel data models in simultaneous-equations for a global panel consisting of 65 countries. The time component of our dataset is 1990-2011 inclusive. To make the panel data analysis more homogenous, we also investigate this interrelationship for a number of sub-panels which are constructed based on the income level of countries. In this way, we end up with three income panels; namely, high income, middle income, and low income panels. In the empirical part, we draw on the growth theory and augment the classical growth model, which consists of capital stock, labor force and inflation, with foreign direct investment and energy. Generally, we show mixed results about the interrelationship between energy consumption, FDI and economic growth. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Ben Brahim F.,University of Sfax | Bulou A.,University of Maine, France
Materials Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2011

Ammonium dihydrogen orthophosphate (ADP) single crystals were grown with l-proline and l-arginine amino acids as additives at 4% molar concentrations. X-ray diffractograms, vibrational FT-IR, and Raman and NMR MAS of 31P and 1H spectra of pure and treated compounds were recorded at room temperature and interpreted. A shift of the wavenumbers of some internal modes of both PO 4 and NH 4 tetrahedrons species was observed. At the same time, some characteristic vibrational modes of N-H and C-H bonds of the organic molecules appeared in IR spectra. However, NMR results show a little shift of the resonance of the phosphorus and hydrogen nucleus, associated with some shoulders for this latter. These observations indicate that the host-additives interactions were achieved. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Tinnevelt R.,University of Sfax
Cooperation and Conflict | Year: 2012

Within contemporary legal and political philosophy there is nothing more unpopular than defending a world state. It seems food for thought for writers like Huxley or Wells, but not a topic that deserves serious philosophical reflection. Fortunately, there are exceptions to this general rule. Theorists such as Höffe, Cabrera, Deudney and Yunker defend a version of a multilayered minimal world state - a model based on the dual principles of federalism and subsidiarity. The focus of this article is on the very fragile balance that proponents of this model have to keep between a simultaneous need for centralization and decentralization. On the basis of a critical analysis of the work of these theorists, it is argued in this article that the safeguards these authors defend to prevent a bloating of government themselves contain a tendency to hierarchical centralization. While some form of world state might be necessary to cope with the challenges posed by globalization, it is essential to discuss the shape and competences of the world state much more critically and in more detail than has been the case in the past. © The Author(s) 2012.

Caldeira D.,Institute Medicina Molecular | Caldeira D.,University of Lisbon | Barra M.,University of Lisbon | Pinto F.J.,University of Sfax | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Neurology | Year: 2015

The new oral anticoagulants/non-vitamin K antagonists oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have recently reached the market and less is known about their safety in comparison to their efficacy. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) risk with NOACs, the most feared adverse event of anticoagulation treatment. This is a systematic review and meta-analysis of phase III randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing NOACs versus any control and reporting ICH events. Studies were searched through Medline and Cochrane Library (April 2014). Reviews and reference lists were also screened. Random effects’ meta-analysis was performed to derive pooled estimates expressed as relative risk (RR) and 95 % CI. Number needed to treat/harm (NNT/NNH) taking into account the baseline risk was also calculated. Heterogeneity was evaluated with I2 test. 18 RCTs evaluating 148,149 patients were included. NOAC significantly reduced ICH risk compared to vitamin K antagonists (VKA) (RR 0.44; 95 % CI 0.36–0.54; I2 = 37 %; NNT: 137 during 2 years) and to sequential treatment with low molecular weight heparin and VKA (RR 0.28; 95 % CI 0.12–0.65; I2 = 0 %; NNT: 463 patients during 7 months). Compared to placebo, NOACs were associated with an increased ICH risk (RR 3.31; 95 % CI 1.59–6.90; I2 = 0 %; NNH: 433 during 1 year). Results were similar for the different NOAC drugs and across the different clinical conditions. In patients requiring anticoagulation treatment, the risk of ICH is about half with the NOACs in comparison to standard antithrombotic treatment. This safer profile found in RCTs should be confirmed in real-world database studies. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Chaabouni S.,Institute Superieur Of Lelectronique Et Of Communication Of Sfax Isecs | Sellami N.,University of Sfax
IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology | Year: 2014

In this paper, we consider a bit interleaved coded modulation (BICM) scheme over a frequency-selective channel. At the receiver, a turbo detector composed of a maximum a posteriori (MAP) detector and a MAP decoder is used. We propose to optimize the mapping choice in this context since it is well known that it has a significant impact on the performance of iterative receivers. We consider fixed and Rayleigh fading channels. Based on the Gaussian approximation, we give an analytical upper bound of the bit error probability (BEP) at the output of the detector for fixed channels. Then, we derive an approximate analytical expression of the BEP for both fixed and Rayleigh fading channels when the a priori information provided by the decoder is reliable, and then, most errors at the output of the detector are isolated. We find that the mapping minimizing this expression corresponds to a move away from the symbols differing by only one bit, unlike the Gray mapping. Since an exhaustive search to find this mapping is complicated for high-order modulations, we propose to use the binary switching algorithm (BSA) to approach the solution. Then, based on these results, we propose to adapt the mapping according to the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the transmission. © 2013 IEEE.

Benabdallah A.,University of Sfax
International Journal of Systems Science | Year: 2010

In this article, we address the problem of stabilisation by output feedback for a class of uncertain systems. We consider uncertain systems with a nominal part which is affine in the control and an uncertain part which is norm bounded by a known function. We propose an output feedback such that the closed loop system is globally exponentially stable. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

Riskin A.,University of Sfax | Riskin A.,Bnai Zion Medical Center | Erez A.,University of Florida | Foulk T.A.,University of Florida | And 4 more authors.
Pediatrics | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Iatrogenesis often results from performance deficiencies among medical team members. Team-targeted rudeness may underlie such performance deficiencies, with individuals exposed to rude behavior being less helpful and cooperative. Our objective was to explore the impact of rudeness on the performance of medical teams. METHODS: Twenty-four NICU teams participated in a training simulation involving a preterm infant whose condition acutely deteriorated due to necrotizing enterocolitis. Participants were informed that a foreign expert on team reflexivity in medicine would observe them. Teams were randomly assigned to either exposure to rudeness (in which the expert's comments included mildly rude statements completely unrelated to the teams' performance) or control (neutral comments). The videotaped simulation sessions were evaluated by 3 independent judges (blinded to team exposure) who used structured questionnaires to assess team performance, information-sharing, and help-seeking. RESULTS: The composite diagnostic and procedural performance scores were lower for members of teams exposed to rudeness than to members of the control teams (2.6 vs 3.2 [P =.005] and 2.8 vs 3.3 [P =.008], respectively). Rudeness alone explained nearly 12% of the variance in diagnostic and procedural performance. A model specifying information-sharing and helpseeking as mediators linking rudeness to team performance explained an even greater portion of the variance in diagnostic and procedural performance (R2 = 52.3 and 42.7, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Rudeness had adverse consequences on the diagnostic and procedural performance of the NICU team members. Information-sharing mediated the adverse effect of rudeness on diagnostic performance, and help-seeking mediated the effect of rudeness on procedural performance. © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Eamsobhana P.,University of Sfax
Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand = Chotmaihet thangphaet | Year: 2012

The purpose of the present study was to describe the clinical and radiographic results obtained with the combined osteotomy in patients with severe Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. During 2000 to 2010 patients with Legg-Calve-Perthes disease who intervened with combined osteotomy at Siriraj Hospital were evaluated. Clinical evaluation was categorized by Ratliff classification and radiographic evaluation was performed by Moss index, Lloyd Roberts classification and Stulberg classification. Twenty patients intervened with combined osteotomy. There were nineteen males and one female with a mean age of 7.7 years. The average follow-up was 49 months. Nine had a Catterall III and eleven had a Catterall IV. According to Herring classification, fourteen patients were Herring B and six were Herring C. In accordance with the Ratliff classification, the postoperative clinical results: fifteen good, three fair and two poor. According to Mose scale, eight patients had good results, nine had fair results and three had poor results. According to the Lloyd-Roberts classification eight patients had good results, nine had fair results and three had poor results. Based on the Stulberg classification, there were ten patients in class II, nine in class III and one in class V. The surgical treatment for severe Perthes disease with the best expected outcome is still a challenge. According to the results reported here, the combined osteotomy is safe and effective procedure for patients with severe Perthes disease in whom the femoral head cannot be contained by conventional forms of treatment.

Eamsobhana P.,University of Sfax
Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand = Chotmaihet thangphaet | Year: 2012

The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the clinical and radiographic outcomes after open reduction and Z-lengthening technique with annular ligament reconstruction for the treatment of a chronic Monteggia fracture-dislocation. The authors postoperatively investigated the clinical and radiographic outcomes for ten children with a chronic Monteggia fracture. The present study group included seven boys and three girls mean age of nine years and one month at the time of open reduction. Each patient had been treated with open reduction of the radial head combined with ulna osteotomy and elongation, bending with z-plasty technique and annular ligament reconstruction. Clinical and radiographic outcomes were reviewed over a mean duration of follow-up of thirty-eight months. The postoperative Mayo Elbow Performance Index (MEPI) at the time of follow-up ranged from 95 to 100 and no poor results. The radial head remained in a completely reduced position in ten patients. In three patients, osteoarthritic changes were observed at the radiohumeral joint. Radiographically, there were seven good, three fair and no poor results. A fair radiographic result was obtained in the patients who had undergone open reduction more than three years after the injury and two patients was operation at the age of eleven and thirteen years old. Good clinical and radiographic outcomes can be expected if open reduction for the treatment of a chronic Monteggia fracture is performed when the patient is less than twelve years of age or within three years after the injury. Open reduction and Z-lengthening technique with annular ligament reconstruction for the treatment of a chronic Monteggia fracture-dislocation is safe with good clinical and radiologic outcomes without the need for bone graft. No nonunion is report in our series.

Eamsobhana P.,University of Sfax
Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand = Chotmaihet thangphaet | Year: 2012

To study the results of treatment of tibial hemimelia with limb salvage procedure in term of patient satisfaction, clinical results and complications. From 1993 to 2007 the authors treated six cases of tibial hemimelia with limb salvage procedures. Three legs of type Ia and four legs of type IV tibial hemimelia classified by Jones classification. The age at the operation ranged from 2 to 11 years. For type Ia cases, the Brown procedure,foot centralization and ilizarov lengthening of the fibula were used to correct limb length discrepancy. For type IV the foot centralization, soft tissue release and ilizarov lengthening were used to correct limb length discrepancy. The follow-up range from 4 to 10 years. In two patients with type Ia, one patient could bear weight without gait aids, the other walked with orthosis and axillary crutch because this patient had bilateral Ia type and knee instability with progressive flexion contracture due to weakness of the quadriceps muscle. All patients with type IV can walk independently without gait aids. Three patients were performed limb lengthening. One case was fibular lengthening following Brown procedure in Ia type. Two cases were tibial lengthening in type IV The mean lengthening was 5.1 cm. Mean lengthening index was 2.4. Satisfactory functional and cosmetic results were achieved in all patients with partial deficiency, whereas in patients with completely deficiency of the limbs, none of the 3 knees treated by fibular transfer achieved a satisfactory functional result because of insufficient quadriceps strength, progressive knee flexion contracture and persistent ligamentous instability. Nevertheless, in these 3 legs, all patients were ultimately able to withstand weight bearing. Patients and families were satisfied even though patients must have multiple surgery to correct deformities of the foot and the knee joint, as well as leg-length discrepancy and also a prolong treatment time. Limb salvage procedure in tibial hemimelia is appropriate in Thai culture because patients can weight with bare feet in the house and have sensation in the feet.

Kang G.,Southwest Jiaotong University | Bruhns O.T.,Ruhr University Bochum | Sai K.,University of Sfax
Computational Materials Science | Year: 2011

Based on a cyclic crystal visco-plastic model developed in previous work for face-centered cubic (FCC) single crystals, a new polycrystalline visco-plastic model is constructed to describe the ratchetting of 316L stainless steel. In the constructed model, a combined nonlinear kinematic hardening rule is employed to describe the resolved shear back stress of each active slip system, and a simplified version of Bassani-Wu latent hardening model is used to capture the interaction of dislocation slip. An explicit scale-transition rule is adopted to obtain the polycrystalline behavior of metal materials. Comparing the simulated results with the experimental ones shows that the developed cyclic polycrystalline visco-plastic model provides reasonable description for the uniaxial ratchetting of 316L stainless steel. The dependence of ratchetting deformation on crystallographic orientation in intra-granular scale can be also reflected correctly by the developed model, and the applicability of the model to multiaxial ratchetting is also discussed. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Hfaiedh N.,University of Sfax
General physiology and biophysics | Year: 2012

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the protective effects of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum L.) upon dieldrin-induced perturbations of haematological parameters and damages to liver and kidney of male Wistar rats. Under our experimental conditions, dieldrin poisoning resulted in 1) an alteration of several haematological parameters, 2) an oxidative stress evidenced by an increase of lipids peroxidation level associated with an increase of superoxide dismutase activity and a decrease of glutathione peroxidase and catalase activities in hepatic and renal tissues, 3) increased levels of glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides, creatinine, urea, uric acid and proteins in blood, 4) increased activities of lactate dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase and transaminases in blood. Previous administration of fenugreek was found to hinder these dieldrin-induced damages: all hematological, renal and hepatic biomarkers, level of lipids peroxidation and activities of catalase and glutathione-peroxidase in liver and kidney were kept close to control values. This protective effect is mainly attributed to antioxidant properties of fenugreek.

Petkovic I.,University of Sfax
SIISY 2010 - 8th IEEE International Symposium on Intelligent Systems and Informatics | Year: 2010

This work describes the main characteristics of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and the new environment where the CRM has been in use from for several years now: Cloud Computing. In the rest of the work the specific features of cloud CRM are described, trends and predictions in its usage, a new trend in development of cloud CRM: the binding thread with social networking, weakness and selection strategy, and the first benchmarks on many of different configurations available to cloud consumers. ©2010 IEEE.

Kari J.A.,University of Sfax
World Journal of Pediatrics | Year: 2012

Background: Pediatric nephrology is a growing subspecialty in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Pediatric nephrologists are challenged with a different spectrum of renal diseases. Moreover, there is a lack of epidemiological studies for most of these diseases. In this article, we discuss the spectrum of renal diseases in KSA and highlight the differences that exist between reports from KSA and those from other countries. Data sources: PubMed and MEDLINE databases were searched for articles on pediatric renal diseases. Results: Genetically mediated renal diseases are considerably high in KSA. Congenital and infantile nephrotic syndrome is higher in KSA than in other countries. Post-infectious glomerular pathology is rather common but is declining, while tropical infections such as schistosomiasis have been controlled. Neurogenic bladder caused by spinal lesion is an important cause of chronic kidney disease among pediatric patients. Renal stones are also more frequent in KSA than in other countries. Conclusions: The spectrum of pediatric renal diseases in KSA is rather different from that reported from Western countries. More epidemiological studies are required to understand the actual incidence and nature of these diseases. © Children's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, China and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012.

Ben Salem F.,University of Sfax
International Journal of Modelling, Identification and Control | Year: 2015

This work is aimed at looking into potential advantages of direct torque control (DTC) strategies for position regulation applications. Of particular interest is the capability exhibited by DTC strategies to develop the maximum torque at standstill. Within this background, the paper is devoted to the presentation of a comparison study between three DTC strategies dedicated to position control of an induction motor, such that: 1) the basic DTC strategy; 2) the DTC strategy with a look-up table including only active voltage vectors; 3) the DTC-SVM strategy with hysteresis controllers and imposed commutation frequency. Following simulation works, it has been found that the third strategy offers the lower torque ripples. Furthermore, it exhibits a high capability to reject the demagnetisation problem which penalises the stator flux regulation at low speeds in the Takahashi basic strategy. However, the DTC-SVM requires a control system with higher CPU frequencies in such a way its implementation scheme is more complex than the basic DTC strategy. Copyright © 2015 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Koubaa K.,University of Sfax
12th International Multi-Conference on Systems, Signals and Devices, SSD 2015 | Year: 2015

Power converters are known to exhibit border collision bifurcation and chaos. In this paper, we consider the example of a two-cell DC/DC buck converter controlled with a dynamic feedback controller. We use a simplified discrete model to analyze the complex dynamics in the converter. Then, we give theoretical conditions of stability according to the values of the parameters. Toggling between different modes in the circuit influences the appearance of switching-sliding bifurcation and undesirable saturating regimes. Numerical simulations confirm the analytical results and explain the complex dynamics and the strange phenomena encountered in the two-cell converter. © 2015 IEEE.

Dunn W.B.,University of Manchester | Wilson I.D.,University of Sfax | Nicholls A.W.,Glaxosmithkline | Broadhurst D.,University of Alberta
Bioanalysis | Year: 2012

The metabolic investigation of the human population is becoming increasingly important in the study of health and disease. The phenotypic variation can be investigated through the application of metabolomics; to provide a statistically robust investigation, the study of hundreds to thousands of individuals is required. In untargeted and MS-focused metabolomic studies this once provided significant hurdles. However, recent innovations have enabled the application of MS platforms in large-scale, untargeted studies of humans. Herein we describe the importance of experimental design, the separation of the biological study into multiple analytical experiments and the incorporation of QC samples to provide the ability to perform signal correction in order to reduce analytical variation and to quantitatively determine analytical precision. In addition, we describe how to apply this in quality assurance processes. These innovations have opened up the capabilities to perform routine, large-scale, untargeted, MS-focused studies. © 2012 Future Science Ltd.

In this paper we use the notion of measure of non-strict-singularity to give some results on Fredholm operators and we establish a fine description of the Schechter essential spectrum of a closed densely defined linear operator. © 2012 Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics.

Charfi S.,University of Sfax
Transport Theory and Statistical Physics | Year: 2012

This article is concerned with the spectral properties of a transport operator with diffuse reflection boundary condition arising in L1-spaces. Furthermore, a practical way to study asymptotic behavior of the solution of the transport operator without restriction on the initial data is given. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Devanarayana N.M.,University of Sfax | Rajindrajith S.,University of Kelaniya
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition | Year: 2011

Objectives: Bowel habits vary depending on food consumption and genetic factors. The knowledge regarding this physiological phenomenon is limited. Thorough understanding of normal bowel habits is essential for correct diagnosis of defecation disorders. This study evaluated the normal bowel habits of Sri Lankan children. Patients and Methods: Children ages 10 to 16 years were randomly selected from 5 schools in 4 districts. Those without defecation disorders were recruited. Details regarding their bowel habits during previous 2 months were collected using a validated, self-administered questionnaire. Results: A total of 2273 children were enrolled (mean age 13.2 years, SD 1.7 years, boys 49.7%). Of them, 1748 (76.9%) opened bowels once daily, whereas 149 (6.6%) and 11 (0.5%) had <3/week and >3/day defecations, respectively. Stool consistency was normal in 1997 (87.9%), hard in 86 (3.8%), and changing consistency in 163 (7.1%). Straining was present in 639 (28.1%), painful defecation in 241 (10.6%), and bleeding in 49 (2.2%). One hundred six (4.7%) children reported stool withholding. Bulky stool was present in 158 (7.0%). Straining, bulky stools, and withholding posture were more common in boys, whereas painful defecation and bleeding were reported more often in girls (P<0.05). Defecation frequency was lower in those from a poor socioeconomic background and war-affected areas (P < 0.05). Bowel frequency < 3/week, bulky stools, painful defecation, straining, and withholding posture were more common in those exposed to stressful life events (P < 0.05). Conclusions: The present study provides data on normal bowel habits of Sri Lankan schoolchildren and provides a firm platform to evaluate defecation disorders in them. Copyright © 2011 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition.