Publications

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2017
Sikkema, R. S., E. A. B. A. Farag, S. Himatt, A. K. Ibrahim, H. Al-Romaihi, S. A. Al-Marri, M. Al-Thani, A. M. El-Sayed, M. Al-Hajri, B. L. Haagmans, et al., "Risk Factors for Primary Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection in Camel Workers in Qatar During 2013-2014: A Case-Control Study.", The Journal of infectious diseases, vol. 215, issue 11, pp. 1702-1705, 2017. Abstract

The transmission routes and risk factors for zoonotic Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infections are still unknown. We used the World Health Organization questionnaire for MERS-CoV case-control studies to assess risk factors for human MERS-CoV seropositivity at a farm complex in Qatar. Nine camel workers with MERS-CoV antibodies and 43 workers without antibodies were included. Some camel-related activities may pose a higher risk of MERS-CoV infection, as may cross-border movements of camels, poor hand hygiene, and overnight hospital stays with respiratory complaints. The risk factors identified in this study can be used to develop infection prevention and control measures for human MERS-CoV infections.

2016
AK", "G., " Acute hematologic, hepatologic, and nephrologic changes after intraperitoneal injections of 18 nm gold nanoparticles in hamsters. ", Int J Nanomedicine.., vol. 10.2147/IJN.S102919. eCollection 2016., issue PMID: 27354788 , 2016.
Ansari, W. K., M. S. Parvej, M. E. El Zowalaty, S. Jackson, S. A. Bustin, A. K. Ibrahim, A. E. El Zowalaty, M. T. Rahman, H. Zhang, M. F. R. Khan, et al., "Surveillance, epidemiological, and virological detection of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza viruses in duck and poultry from Bangladesh.", Veterinary microbiology, vol. 193, pp. 49-59, 2016. Abstract

Avian influenza viruses (AIVs) continue to pose a global threat. Waterfowl are the main reservoir and are responsible for the spillover of AIVs to other hosts. This study was conducted as part of routine surveillance activities in Bangladesh and it reports on the serological and molecular detection of H5N1 AIV subtype. A total of 2169 cloacal and 2191 oropharyngeal swabs as well as 1725 sera samples were collected from live birds including duck and chicken in different locations in Bangladesh between the years of 2013 and 2014. Samples were tested using virus isolation, serological tests and molecular methods of RT-PCR. Influenza A viruses were detected using reverse transcription PCR targeting the virus matrix (M) gene in 41/4360 (0.94%) samples including both cloacal and oropharyngeal swab samples, 31 of which were subtyped as H5N1 using subtype-specific primers. Twenty-one live H5N1 virus isolates were recovered from those 31 samples. Screening of 1,868 blood samples collected from the same birds using H5-specific ELISA identified 545/1603 (34%) positive samples. Disconcertingly, an analysis of 221 serum samples collected from vaccinated layer chicken in four districts revealed that only 18 samples (8.1%) were seropositive for anti H5 antibodies, compared to unvaccinated birds (n=105), where 8 samples (7.6%) were seropositive. Our result indicates that the vaccination program as currently implemented should be reviewed and updated. In addition, surveillance programs are crucial for monitoring the efficacy of the current poultry vaccinations programs, and to monitor the circulating AIV strains and emergence of AIV subtypes in Bangladesh.

2015
Reusken, C. B. E. M., E. A. B. A. Farag, B. L. Haagmans, K. A. Mohran, G. - J. Godeke, S. Raj, F. Alhajri, S. A. Al-Marri, H. E. Al-Romaihi, M. Al-Thani, et al., "Occupational Exposure to Dromedaries and Risk for MERS-CoV Infection, Qatar, 2013-2014.", Emerging infectious diseases, vol. 21, issue 8, pp. 1422-5, 2015. Abstract

We determined the presence of neutralizing antibodies to Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus in persons in Qatar with and without dromedary contact. Antibodies were only detected in those with contact, suggesting dromedary exposure as a risk factor for infection. Findings also showed evidence for substantial underestimation of the infection in populations at risk in Qatar.

2014
Reusken, C. B., E. A. Farag, M. Jonges, G. J. Godeke, A. M. El-Sayed, S. D. Pas, V. S. Raj, K. A. Mohran, H. A. Moussa, H. Ghobashy, et al., "Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) RNA and neutralising antibodies in milk collected according to local customs from dromedary camels, Qatar, April 2014.", Euro surveillance : bulletin Europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin, vol. 19, issue 23, 2014. Abstract

Antibodies to Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) were detected in serum and milk collected according to local customs from 33 camels in Qatar, April 2014. At one location, evidence for active virus shedding in nasal secretions and/or faeces was observed for 7/12 camels; viral RNA was detected in milk of five of these seven camels. The presence of MERS-CoV RNA in milk of camels actively shedding the virus warrants measures to prevent putative food-borne transmission of MERS-CoV.

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