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Published Journal Articles


Retrospective Analysis of Pediatric Sepsis and The Burden of Antimicrobial Resistance in Duhok, Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Front. Pharmacol. (Issue : 15) (Volume : 15)
Sepsis is a life-threating complication among pediatric patients. This study aims primarily to investigate sepsis causative bacteria, their antimicrobial resistance profile, and to check the change of antimicrobial resistance trend for some selected bacteria.In addition, to evaluate the incidence of sepsis and related mortality rate. Besides, to evaluate the effectiveness and outcome of the treatment regimes in sepsis pediatric patients. A retrospective analysis was conducted on a four-year data (2018)(2019)(2020)(2021) collected from three Intensive Care Units of Hevi Pediatric Teaching Hospital. Sepsis screening involved clinical detection and confirmed by blood culture. A total of 520 out of 1098 (47.35%) blood samples showed positive microbial growth. Sepsis rate's reduction noticed during COVID-19 pandemic period. Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci (CoNS) and Klebsiella pneumonia were the most common isolated bacteria. A notable variation of antimicrobial resistance trend observed among sepsis causing bacteria. Obviously, the sepsis empirical treatment recommended by WHO was ineffective, as certain bacteria exhibited 100% resistance to every antibiotic tested. The mortality rate significantly increased from 1.3% in 2018 to 16.5% in 2021.The antimicrobial resistance profile for sepsis causing bacteria sending an alarm for expecting the worst. Thus, to avoid treatment failure, it is essential to monitor antimicrobial resistance in pediatric patient.

Chinese medicine, Qijudihuang pill, mediates cholesterol metabolism and regulates gut microbiota in high-fat-diet fed mice, implication for age-related macular degeneration

Frontiers in Immunology (Issue : 1274401) (Volume : 14)
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used for thousands of years but without any sound empirical basis. One TCM preparation is the Qijudihuang pill (QP), a mixture of eight herbs, which has been used in China for the treatment of various conditions including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of blindness in the elderly population. In order to explain the mechanism behind the effect of QP, we used an AMD model of high-fat diet (HFD) fed mice to investigate cholesterol homeostasis, oxidative stress, inflammation, and gut microbiota. Cholesterol levels in the retina, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), liver, and serum were determined as was the expression of enzymes involved in cholesterol metabolism, inflammation, and oxidative stress. In the majority of the lipid determinations, analytes were elevated by HFD but this was reversed by QP. Cholesterol metabolism, including the enzymes of bile acid (BA) formation, was suppressed by HFD but again this was reversed by QP. Bas play a major role in signaling between host and microbiome and this is disrupted by HFDs, resulting in major changes in the composition of colonic bacterial communities. Associated with these changes are predictions of the metabolic pathway complexity and abundance of individual pathways. These concerned substrate breakdowns, energy production, and the biosynthesis of pro-inflammatory factors but were changed back to control characteristics by QP. We propose that the ability of QP to reverse these effects is related to mechanisms acting to lower cholesterol levels, oxidative stress, and inflammation and those that modulate gut microbiota.

Incidence of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) Recovered from Patients with Urinary Tract Infections in Zakho City/ Kurdistan-Iraq

SJUOZ (Issue : 2663) (Volume : 11)
ABSTRACT The prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) among patients with urinary tract infections (UTIs) has become a significant cause of morbidity in all age groups. The aim of the current study was to identify S. aureus with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Moreover, it aimed to determine their antimicrobial susceptibility patterns and to detect the presence of the mecA, lukPV and icaA genes in isolated S. aureus among UTIs patients. A total of 402 urine samples were collected from patients diagnosed with UTIs aged (less than 80 years) at Zakho General Hospital in Zakho City, from August 2021 to March 2022. From these samples, a total of 37 (12.6%) S. aureus was identified and molecularly confirmed by the nuc gene. A high prevalence of MRSA 28 (75.7%) was identified from these isolates S. aureus by Oxacillin sensitive test and confirmed by mecA gene. Females were highly infected with UTIs than males, and most cases were in chronic condition and married. In addition, 18 (64.3%) and 21 (75%) of these isolates S. aureus were harbored luk-PV and icaA genes, respectively. There were widespread of antimicrobial resistance patterns for these bacteria. Isolated MRSA were highly sensitive to Imipenem. Interestingly, a significant positive correlation between mecA and both virulence marker genes (luk-PV and icaA) found in MRSA with UTIs. Conclusion, the data demonstrated, for the first time, alarming emergence of multidrug-resistant MRSA isolated from UTIs of community-acquired in Kurdistan Region-Iraq. Further studies are required in other cities to report whether or not MRSA is the cause of UTI patients in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Molecular Characterization of Extended Spectrum β-Lactamase (ESBL) and Virulence Gene-Factors in Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) in Children in Duhok City, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Antibiotics (Issue : 11) (Volume : 14)
Background: The presence of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing bacteria among uropathogens is significantly increasing in children all over the world. Thus, this research was conducted to investigate the prevalence of E. coli and their antimicrobial susceptibility pattern, and both genes of ESBL-producing E. coli resistant and virulence factor in UTIs patients among children in Duhok Province, Kurdistan, Iraq. Method: a total of 67 E. coli were identified from 260 urine samples of pediatric patients diagnosed with UTIs aged (0–15 years) which were collected from Heevi Pediatric Teaching Hospital, from August 2021 to the end of February 2022. Result: a high proportion of UPEC infections at ages <5 years and the rates among girls (88%) were significantly higher than those among the boys. A wide variety of E. coli are resistant to most antibiotics, such as Amoxicillin, Ampicillin and Tetracycline, and 64% of them were positive for ESBL. Interestingly, the presence of both the ESBL marker genes (blaTEM, and blaCTX-M) as well as both virulence marker genes (pai and hly) were detected in above 90% of E. coli. Conclusion: the data illustrate an alarming increase in UPEC with ESBL production and the emergence of multidrug-resistant drugs in the early age of children. The public health sectors should further monitor the guidelines of using antibiotics in Kurdistan, Iraq.

In silico analysis of bacterial metabolism of glutamate and GABA in the gut in a rat model of obesity and type 2 diabetes

Bioscience of Microbiota, Food and Health, 2022 (Issue : 25.2022) (Volume : 2021.075)
Dysbiosis of gut microbiota has adverse effects on host health. This study aimed to determine the effects of changes of faecal microbiota in obese and diabetic rats on the imputed production of enzymes involved in the metabolism of glutamate, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and succinate. The levels of glutamate decarboxylase, GABA transaminase, succinate-semialdehyde dehydrogenase, and methylisocitrate lyase were reduced or absent in diabetic rats compared with controls and obese rats. Glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) was significantly reduced in obese rats compared with control rats, while the other enzymes were unaltered; different bacterial taxa are suggested to be involved. Levels of bacterial enzymes were inversely correlated with the blood glucose level. These findings suggest that the absence of GABA and reduced succinate metabolism from gut microbiota contribute to the diabetic state in rats.

Prevalence and Hemato-biochemical Studies on Theileriosis in Naturally Infected Cattle in Erbil Province

Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences (Issue : 1) (Volume : 10)
This research aimed to find out the prevalence of theileriosis by Giemsa stained blood films and to deal with hemato-biochemical changes in naturally infected cattle. The overall prevalence rates were 32.75% (95/290) for Theileria infection by Giemsa stained blood smears. Clinical examination of infected cattle showed signs of fever, anorexia, congested mucous membranes, corneal opacity, emaciation, enlargement of superficial lymph nodes, pale mucous membrane, respiratory signs, yellowish diarrhea and brown coffee urine were common clinical findings. There was no significant difference associated with prevalence between gender and age (P < 0.05). The hematological parameter revealed the microcytic anemia which was associated with large reductions in RBCs (4.48±0.11) 1012/l, Hb (7.15±0.18) g/dl, PCV (17.63±0.40) %, MCV (39.69±0.58) fl, MCHC (36.98±0.67) g/l and neutrophils (3.21±0.203) %. While a significant increase in the WBCs (13.24±0.32)109 /l and lymphocytes (61.42±1.84) % were found. The biochemical parameter revealed a significant increase in active serum enzyme AST (87.60± 0.12), ALT (21.70±0.07), ALP (119±0.06), and total serum bilirubin (1.13±0.01); whereas, a significant decrease in the total serum protein (6.10±0.03), albumin (2.70±0.03), calcium (7.40±0.02) and glucose (19.9±0.05) were recorded. According to the findings of this study, bovine theileriosis is a serious infectious disease in Erbil province. A more effective control program should be created to confine and manage the disease’s prevalence in the area

Effect of a TSPO ligand on retinal pigment epithelial cholesterol homeostasis in high-fat fed mice, implication for age-related macular degeneration

Experimental Eye Research (Issue : 108625) (Volume : 208)
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of sight impairment in the elderly with complex aetiology involving genetics and environment and with limited therapeutic options which have limited efficacy. We have previously shown in a mouse-model of the condition, induced by feeding a high fat diet, that adverse effects of the diet can be reversed by co-administration of the TSPO activator, etifoxine. We extend those observations showing improvements in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells with decreased lipids and enhanced expression of cholesterol metabolism and transport enzymes. Further, etifoxine decreased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in RPE and inflammatory cytokines in RPE and serum. With respect to gut microbiome, we found that organisms abundant in the high fat condition (e.g. in the genus Anaerotruncus and Oscillospira) and implicated in AMD, were much less abundant after etifoxine treatment. The changes in gut flora were associated with the predicted production of metabolites of benefit to the retina including tryptophan and other amino acids and taurine, an essential component of the retina necessary to counteract ROS. These novel observations strengthen earlier conclusions that the mechanisms behind improvements in etifoxine-induced retinal physiology involve an interaction between effects on the host and the gut microbiome.

Transcriptome-wide changes associated with the reproductive behaviour of male guppies exposed to 17α-ethinyl estradiol☆

Environmental Pollution (Volume : 270)
Although many pharmaceutical compounds (and their metabolites) can induce harmful impacts at the molecular, physiological and behavioural levels, their underlying mechanistic associations have remained largely unexplored. Here, we utilized RNA-Seq to build a whole brain transcriptome profile to examine the impact of a common endocrine disrupting pharmaceutical (17α-ethinyl estradiol, EE2) on reproductive behaviour in wild guppies (Poecilia reticulata). Specifically, we annotated 16,791 coding transcripts in whole brain tissue in relation to the courtship behaviour (i.e. sigmoid display) of EE2 exposed (at environmentally relevant concentration of 8 ng/L for 28-days) and unexposed guppies. Further, we obtained 10,960 assembled transcripts matching in the non-coding orthologous genomes. Behavioural responses were assessed using a standard mate choice experiment, which allowed us to disentangle chemical cues from visual cues. We found that a high proportion of the RNAseq reads aligned back to our de novo assembled transcriptome with 80.59% mapping rate. Behavioural experiments showed that when males were presented only with female visual cues, there was a significant interaction between male treatment and female treatment in the time spent in the preference zone. This is one of the first studies to show that transcriptome-wide changes are associated with the reproductive behaviour of fish: EE2 exposed male guppies that performed high levels of courtship had a gene profile that deviated the most from the other treatment groups, while both non-courting EE2 and control males had similar gene signatures. Using Gene Ontology pathway analysis, our study shows that EE2-exposed males had gene transcripts enriched for pathways associated with altered immunity, starvation, altered metabolism and spermatogenesis. Our study demonstrates that multiple gene networks orchestrate courting behaviour, emphasizing the importance of investigating impacts of pharmaceuticals on gene networks instead of single genes.

Characterisation of gut microbiota of obesity and type 2 diabetes in a rodent model

Bioscience of Microbiota, Food and Health. (Volume : 40)
Various studies have suggested that the gut microbiome interacts with the host and may have a significant role in the aetiology of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). It was hypothesised that bacterial communities in obesity and T2D differ from control and compromise normal interactions between host and microbiota. Obesity and T2D were developed in rats by feeding a high-fat diet or a high-fat diet plus a single low-dose streptozotocin administration, respectively. The microbiome profiles and their metabolic potentials were established by metagenomic 16S rRNA sequencing and bioinformatics. Taxonomy and predicted metabolism-related genes in obesity and T2D were markedly different from controls and indeed from each other. Diversity was reduced in T2D but not in Obese rats. Factors likely to compromise host intestinal, barrier integrity were found in Obese and T2D rats including predicted, decreased bacterial butyrate production. Capacity to increase energy extraction via ABC-transporters and carbohydrate metabolism were enhanced in Obese and T2D rats. T2D was characterized by increased proinflammatory molecules. While obesity and T2D show distinct differences, results suggest that in both conditions Bacteroides and Blautia species were increased indicating a possible mechanistic link.

Etifoxine reverses weight gain and alters the colonic bacterial community in a mouse model of obesity

Biochemical Pharmacology (Volume : 180)
Obesity is intimately associated with diet and dysbiosis of gut microorganisms but anxiolytics, widely used in treatment of psychiatric conditions, frequently result in weight gain and associated metabolic disorders. We are interested in effects of the anxiolytic etifoxine, which has not been studied with respect to weight gain or effects on gut microorganisms. Here we induced obesity in mice by feeding a high-fat diet but found that intraperitoneal administration of etifoxine resulted in weight loss and decreased serum cholesterol and triglycerides. Obese mice had increased hepatic transcripts associated with lipid metabolism (cyp7a1, cyp27a1, abcg1 and LXRα) and inflammatory factors (TNFα and IL18) but these effects were reversed after etifoxine treatment other than cyp7a1. Taxonomic profiles of the organisms from the caecum were generated by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and Obese and etifoxine mice show differences by diversity metrics, Differential Abundance and functional metagenomics. Organisms in genus Oscillospira and genera from Lachnospiraceae family and Clostridiales order are higher in Control than Obese and at intermediate levels with etifoxine treatment. With respect to community metabolic potential, etifoxine mice have characteristics similar to Control and particularly with respect to metabolism of butanoate, sphingolipid, lipid biosynthesis and xenobiotic metabolism. We suggest mechanisms where-by etifoxine influences processes of host, such as on bile acid synthesis, and microbiota, such as signalling from production of butanoate and sphingosine, resulting in decreased cholesterol, lipids and inflammatory factors. We speculate that the indirect effect of etifoxine on microbial composition is mediated by microbial β-glucuronidases that metabolise excreted etifoxine glucuronides.

Identification of Escherichia coli O157 in sheep and goats using PCR technique.

Journal of Agriculture and Veterinary Science, (Volume : 6)
A total of 41 sorbitol non fermentative E. coli from previous work were used in this study. Among these isolates 5 were positive serologically by anti-O157 serum. All isolates were tested by PCR technique. No E. coli O157 were detected in all isolates by PCR. The results revealed that gene based method such as PCR technique is more reliable than biochemical and serological tests for diagnosis of E. coli O157

Detection of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia Coli O157 in Sheep and Goats Using Fluorogenic and Chromogenic Culture Media.

Journal of University of Zakho (JUOZ) (Issue : 1) (Volume : 1)
This study was carried out for the first time to investigate the occurrence of E. coliO157 in sheep and goats in Duhok province, Iraq. A total of 320 samples were collected from April to July2009 as following: 100 fecal samples from sheep, 100 fecal samples from goats, 60 samples from sheep milk and 60 samples from goat milk. E coliO157 was isolated from 3 (3%) sheep fecal samples and 2 (2%) from goat fecal samples, while no E. coliO157 was detected in the milk samples from sheep and goats. E. coliO157 was detected only among E. coli isolates which were sorbitol non fermentative but MUG positive, while no E. coliO157 was detected among E. coli isolates which were negative for both sorbitol and MUG. All E. coliO157 isolates were resistant to 6 among 12 antimicrobial agents used in vitro drug sensitivity test.

Isolation of Salmonella from slaughtered animals and sewage at Zakho abattoir, Kurdistan Region, Iraq.

Research Opinions in Animal & Veterinary Sciences, (Issue : 1) (Volume : 3)
This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of Salmonella species in slaughtered animals and abattoir sewage from Zakho Abattoir, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. A total of 500 samples were collected including 200 from healthy sheep (100 rectal swabs and 100 gallbladder contents), 100 from healthy goats (50 rectal swabs and 50 gallbladder contents), 100 from cattle (50 rectal swabs and 50 gallbladder contents), and 100 sewage samples from the abattoir drains. From the total of 400 animals examined, 9 (2.25%) were positive for Salmonella spp., in which 5 (2.5%) were from sheep [ 2 (2%) from rectal swabs and 3 (3%) from gallbladder], 2 (2%) were from rectal swabs of goats, and 2 (2%) were from cattle [1 (2%) from rectal swabs and 1 (2%) from gallbladder]. Whereas, only 3 (3%) were positive for Salmonella spp., obtained from 100 sewage samples. Only three serotypes of Salmonella were detected in 12 (2.4%) samples from the total 500 samples. The isolated Salmonella serotypes were Salmonella hato 8 (66.66%), Salmonella anatum 3 (25%), and Salmonella enteritidis 1 (8.33%). The antimicrobial sensitivity test of all 12 isolates against 13 antibiotics was studied. Results revealed that all isolates were 100% sensitive to amoxicillin, amikacin, gentamicin, and ciprofloxacin, and 100% resistant to clindamycin, rifampin, vancomycin, cephalothin, lincomycin, and trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole, chloramphinicol, doxycycline and tetracycline except S. hato. Collapse

Determination of Some Chemical Constituents in Muscle of Different Fish Species from Tigris River in North of Iraq

Al-Mustansiriyah Journal of Science, Univ. of Al-Mustansiriyah Baghdad, Iraq (Issue : 2) (Volume : 23)
The objective of the current study involved determination chemical composition (including lipid, protein ash, moisture and glycogen) in four fish species from Tigris River in North of Iraq. The chemical analysis revealed that the lipids in muscles of four fish species Carassius carassius, Mastacembleus mastacembleus, Barbas luteus and Silurus triostegus were 8.573 ±0.841 %, 7.715±0.736 %, 8.532± 0.685 %, and 14.650±0.554 % respectively. Proteins content in Carassius carassius, Mastacembleus mastacembleus, Barbas luteus and Silurus triostegus were 310.4 ± ٣.٦٤٩ mg/g, 380.5 ± ٢.٥٣٠ mg/g, 305.1 ± ١.٨٠٠ mg/g and 321.7 ± 3.٥٨٧ mg/g of the fresh weight, respectively. The study also shows that ash content and moisture ranged from 1.55±٠.٠٧٨ and 2.99±٠.٣٦٣ %, 76.05±٠.٥٤٠ and 80.73±٠.١٤٧ % of the fresh weight, correspondingly. The concentrations of protein in the fishes were significantly different among the species. Concentration of protein was the highest in muscle of Mastacembleus mastacembleus and lowest in the muscle of Barbas luteus. The highest concentrations of glycogen was found in the Carassius carassius among the four species (p<0.001).

Isolation and pathological study of Branchiomycosis from the commercial pond of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) fish, in Governorate of Duhok/Iraq

The Iraqi Journal of Veterinary Medicine (Issue : 1609) (Volume : 35)
Branchiomycosis is a fungal disease that infects fish gills. It was identified by isolation and histopathological changes of examined gills in common carp fish (Cyprinus carpio) which, were obtained from fish farm in Duhok Governorate, Iraq. The infected fish were suffering from respiratory disorders; gulping air at the water surface, rapid movement of operculum and massive mortality, which resulted in the loss of 95% of fish pond. The gills appear marbled appearance with necrotic areas on the localized damage gills. The causal pathogen was identified as Branchiomyces sanguinis, in which the diameter of spores and non-septated hyphae are 5-7 µm and 12 – 20 µm, respectively. In histopathological preparation, the spores and the non-septated hyphae have been shown to be embedded in the gill tissues contained undivided and sporulating stages.

Isolation of Aeromonas hydrophila from kidneys and livers tissue of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) fish.

Journal of Agriculture and Vet. Medicine/University of Duhok (Iraq).
Isolation of Aeromonas hydrophila from kidneys and livers tissue of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) fish.