ResearchPad - lebanon https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Prevalence of anti-hepatitis E virus IgG antibodies in sera from hemodialysis patients in Tripoli, Lebanon]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15713 Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an important global public health concern. Several studies reported a higher HEV prevalence in patients undergoing regular hemodialysis (HD). In Lebanon, the epidemiology of HEV among HD patients has never been investigated previously. In this study, we examine the seroprevalence of HEV infection among 171 HD patients recruited from three hospital dialysis units in Tripoli, North Lebanon. Prevalence of anti-HEV IgG antibodies was evaluated in participant’s sera using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The association of socio-demographic and clinical parameters with HEV infection in patients was also evaluated. Overall, 96 women and 75 men were enrolled in this study. Anti-HEV IgG antibodies were found positive in 37/171 HD patients showing a positivity rate of 21.63%. Among all examined variables, only the age of patients was significantly associated with seropositivity (P = 0.001). This first epidemiological study reveals a high seroprevalence of HEV infection among Lebanese HD patients. However, further evaluations that enroll larger samples and include control groups are required to identify exact causative factors of the important seropositivity rate in this population.

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<![CDATA[Perceived impact of community kitchens on the food security of Syrian refugees and kitchen workers in Lebanon: Qualitative evidence in a displacement context]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e670d5eed0c484ef31b2

Community kitchens (CKs) have been recommended as public health strategies with social and nutritional health benefits for low-income participants and their families in different settings. The benefit of CKs in improving the food security status of participants in the context of conflict and displacement is less conclusive. This study aimed to qualitatively explore the impact of CKs on the food security status of community kitchen workers (CWs) and Syrian refugee (SR) families in Lebanon. An exploratory qualitative descriptive approach was adopted. Focus group discussions were conducted with 15 CWs and 49 SRs, and transcripts were analyzed thematically. Emerging themes included: motivation to join the CKs (CWs only), perception towards CKs, impact of these CKs, and their sustainability (both groups). Motivating factors for CWs included financial, internal and societal drivers, and the favorable type of work in kitchens. The perception towards CKs was overall positive among CWs and SR beneficiaries. Both groups reported the positive impact of CKs on their food security and financial status, which in turn affected positively their psychological health. At the social level, CWs indicated that the kitchen’s friendly atmosphere increased social cohesion and companionship between Syrians and Lebanese within the kitchen. In addition, CWs reported increased sense of empathy towards SRs benefiting from the CK services. According to study participants, the positive impact of the CKs was almost completely reversed when their operation and services were interrupted for two months. Both CWs and SRs identified facilitators and barriers that can affect the sustainability of the kitchens, including financial and entrepreneurial skills. In conclusion, findings from this study highlight that CKs can be promising programs to improve the food security and livelihoods of participants, while also increasing social cohesion and integration of refugees within host communities in protracted crisis contexts.

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<![CDATA[Epidemiology and treatment patterns of rheumatoid arthritis in a large cohort of Arab patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c23f27ed5eed0c484046fb1

Objectives

There is limited information on the epidemiology and treatment patterns of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) across the Arab region. We aim in this study to describe the demographic characteristics, clinical profile, and treatment patterns of patients of Arab ancestry with RA.

Methods

This is a cross sectional study of 895 patients with established rheumatoid arthritis enrolled from five sites (Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and United Arab Emirates). Demographic characteristics, clinical profile, and treatment patterns are compared between the five countries.

Results

The majority of our patients are women, have an average disease duration of 10 years, are married and non-smokers, with completed secondary education. We report a high (>80%) ever-use of methotrexate (MTX) and steroids among our RA population, while the ever-use of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and TNF-inhibitors average around 67% and 33%, respectively. There are variations in RA treatment use between the five country sites. Highest utilization of steroids is identified in Jordan and KSA (p-value < 0.001), while the highest ever-use of TNF-inhibitors is reported in KSA (p-value < 0.001).

Conclusion

Disparities in usage of RA treatments among Arab patients are noted across the five countries. National gross domestic product (GDP), as well as some other unique features in each country likely affect these. Developing treatment guidelines specific to this region could contribute in delivering standardized therapies to RA patients.

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<![CDATA[Surveillance for Coronaviruses in Bats, Lebanon and Egypt, 2013–2015]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bc6042f40307c7d0432fede ]]> <![CDATA[Rotavirus Genotypes and Vaccine Effectiveness from a Sentinel, Hospital-Based, Surveillance Study for Three Consecutive Rotavirus Seasons in Lebanon]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da47ab0ee8fa60b8bfde

Introduction

Globally, rotavirus (RV) is the leading cause of gastroenteritis (GE) in children. Longitudinal data about changes in RV genotype distribution and vaccine effectiveness (VE) are scarce. This study was conducted in Lebanon over 3 consecutive RV seasons to estimate the rate of RVGE hospitalization, identify RV genotypes, determine the seasonal and geographical variations, and calculate RV VE.

Materials and Methods

This prospective, multicenter, hospital-based surveillance study was conducted between 2011 and 2013 and enrolled children (<5 years) admitted for GE. Socio-demographic and clinical data about the current episode of GE at admission were collected. Genotypes were determined from stool samples testing positive for RV by PCR.

Results

Of 1,414 cases included in the final analysis, 83% were <2 years old and 55.6% were boys. Median duration of hospitalization was 4 days and 91.6% of GE cases were severe (Vesikari score ≥11). PCR testing showed that 30.3% of subjects were RV-positive of which 62.1% had fever versus 71.1% of RV-negative subjects (P = 0.001). RV was predominantly detected in the cold season from November till March (69.9%). G and P genotype pairs for all RV-positive stool specimens showed a predominance of G1P[8] in 36% (n = 154) of specimens, G9P[8] in 26.4% (n = 113), and G2P[4] in 17.8% (n = 76). RV-negative subjects were more likely to be RV-vaccinated (21%) compared to the RV-positive subjects (11.3%) (P<0.001), with a vaccine breakthrough rate of 18.8%. The ratio of RV1-vaccinated for each RV5-vaccinated subject was 7.8 and VE against RV disease was 68.4% (95%CI, 49.6%-80.2%).

Conclusion

RV is a major cause of GE requiring hospitalization of children under 5 years of age in Lebanon. A few genotypes predominated over the three RV seasons studied. Mass RV vaccination will likely decrease the burden of hospitalization due to RV. VE is similar to what has been observed for other middle-income countries.

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<![CDATA[Does published research on non-communicable disease (NCD) in Arab countries reflect NCD disease burden?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be02b5

Objectives

To review trends in non-communicable (NCD) research output in the Arab region, in terms of quantity and quality, study design, setting and focus. We also examined differences by time and place, and assessed gaps between research output and NCD burden.

Methods

A scoping review of a total of 3,776 NCD-related reports published between 2000 and 2013 was conducted for seven Arab countries. Countries were selected to represent diverse socio-economic development levels in the region: Regression analyses were used to assess trends in publications over time and by country. Research gaps were assessed by examining the degree of match between proportionate literature coverage of the four main NCDs (CVD, cancer, DM, and COPD) and cause-specific proportional mortality rates (PMR).

Results

The annual number of NCD publications rose nearly 5-fold during the study period, with higher income countries having the higher publication rates (per million populations) and the most rapid increases. The increase in the publication rate was particularly prominent for descriptive observational studies, while interventional studies and systematic reviews remained infrequent (slope coefficients = 13.484 and 0.883, respectively). Gap analysis showed a mismatch between cause-specific PMR burden and NCD research output, with a relative surplus of reports on cancer (pooled estimate +38.3%) and a relative deficit of reports on CVDs (pooled estimate -30.3%).

Conclusion

The widening disparity between higher and lower-income countries and the discordance between research output and disease burden call for the need for ongoing collaboration among Arab academic institutions, funding agencies and researchers to guide country-specific and regional research agendas, support and conduct.

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<![CDATA[A content analysis of nature photographs taken by Lebanese rural youth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf6e3

‘Living in Harmony with Nature’ is a 2050 vision put forth by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which takes into consideration culture and locality of perceptions of nature and aspirations for its use. Considering that 54% of the world population lives in cities, where nature has been decimated, the role of rural communities, living within or in proximity of natural and semi natural areas, will effectively influence the fate of the ‘remaining’ nature while they engage in local development. Reconciling between growth and development on the one hand, and nature conservation on the other, necessitates an understanding of how rural communities, especially the youth, imprint their own ideas on landscapes and develop ownership over natural spaces. In order to extend the understanding of how harmony with nature is perceived in different parts of the world, this paper presents the findings of primary research involving a group of young people who live in rural areas in Lebanon, a country in the Arab Middle East. Participatory research based on photovoice methodology was conducted with 77 young people aged 7–16 and residing in five rural villages located in different parts of Lebanon. Photographs taken by participants indicated that for many, nature was not perceived literally i.e. woodlands, forests, plants, animals, etc…. Instead, the participants saw nature as part of agriculture and local culture. Nature was also seen as symbolic expression of the participants’ inner state of mind. Narratives written to explain the photographs shed light on the perception of harmony with nature which focused on positive family experiences and relayed personal emotions, abstract, and holistic yet functional view of nature. Another recurring theme that emerged from photographs and narratives was the role of family members, in particular grandparents, as having a strong influence on the positive perceptions of nature.

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<![CDATA[Unlocking the Karyological and Cytogenetic Diversity of Iris from Lebanon: Oncocyclus Section Shows a Distinctive Profile and Relative Stasis during Its Continental Radiation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3fab0ee8fa60b89815

Despite being an important target of conservation concern and horticultural interest, Lebanese irises yet have a confusing taxonomic history and species’ delimitation is often considered problematic, more especially among royal irises (Iris section Oncocyclus). Indeed, these irises of exceptionally large and spectacular flowers have radiated across Caucasus and eastern Mediterranean giving rise to a number of strict endemic taxa, many of them being considered under threat. Whilst efforts have mostly focused on clarifying the evolutionary relationships in the group based on morphological and molecular data, karyological and cytogenetic characters have been comparatively overlooked. In this study, we established for the first time the physical mapping of 35S rDNA loci and heterochromatin, and obtained karyo-morphological data for ten Lebanese Iris species belonging to four sections (Iris, Limniris, Oncocyclus and Scorpiris). Our results evidenced distinctive genomic profiles for each one of the sections, where Oncocyclus irises, while having the lowest chromosome numbers, exhibit both the highest number of 35S loci and CMA3+ sites. The continental radiation of royal irises has been accompanied by a relative karyological and cytogenetic stasis, even though some changes were observed regarding karyotype formula and asymmetry indexes. In addition to that, our results enabled taxonomic differentiation between I. germanica and I. mesopotamica–two taxa currently considered as synonyms–and highlighted the need for further studies on populations of I. persica and I. wallasiae in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

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