Publications by authors named "Abdel-Raouf Abou El-Azm"

10 Publications

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Reduced fitness of the mosquito Culex pipiens (Diptera: Culicidae) after feeding on a blood meal with hepatitis C virus.

J Invertebr Pathol 2022 03 24;189:107719. Epub 2022 Jan 24.

Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Tanta University, Tanta 31527, Egypt.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a blood-borne virus. Given that mosquitoes can take blood meals from HCV patients, we aimed to test whether HCV in the blood meal can induce alterations in the biology of Culex pipiens. To address this aim, Cx. pipiens females were fed HCV-negative blood from healthy individuals or HCV-positive fresh blood samples harvested from viremic HCV patients. Replication of HCV in mosquitoes was confirmed by negative strand-specific RT-PCR and sequencing of RNA extracted from the mosquito bodies 7 days post-feeding. In addition, several parameters that determine the fitness of the mosquitoes were measured. Virus acquisition was associated with alterations in the architecture of the gut microvilli and the immune response, indicated by an increase in phenol oxidase activity. Interestingly, the mosquitoes that were fed the HCV-positive blood meal showed shorter median longevity (8 days) and laid fewer eggs than the control mosquitoes. Furthermore, the offspring of females fed the HCV-positive blood meal demonstrated a lower emergence rate than the controls. In sum, the results indicate that feeding on HCV by Cx. pipiens decreases fitness, which may, in turn, affect its potential as a vector.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jip.2022.107719DOI Listing
March 2022

WITHDRAWN: Reduced fitness of the mosquito Culex pipiens (Diptera: Culicidae) after feeding on a blood meal with hepatitis C virus.

J Invertebr Pathol 2021 Jan 28:107522. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Tanta University, Tanta 31527, Egypt.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jip.2020.107522DOI Listing
January 2021

Hemodynamic Changes of Hepatic & Renal Vessels in Systemic Bacterial Infection with Fever in HCV Related Cirrhosis.

Infect Disord Drug Targets 2020 ;20(4):511-516

Department of Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt.

Objectives: To study the hemodynamic changes of hepatic & renal vessels in systemic bacterial infection with fever in HCV related cirrhosis with possible complications.

Methods: Three groups of patients with systemic bacterial infection with fever were included in the study; group І included 15 patients with decompensated cirrhosis, group ІІ included 15 patients with compensated cirrhosis and group ІІІ included 10 patients without liver affection. Laboratory parameters and Doppler US of hepatic and renal vessels were evaluated during and after subsidence of fever in all patients.

Results: Forty patients were enrolled in this prospective study. There were 22 male and 18 female patients. We found that the direction of blood flow in the portal and splenic veins was hepatopetal and the veins were non pulsatile in all cases with no change during and after subsidence of infection. There was no significant difference in portal or splenic vein diameters during and after subsidence of infection in the three studied groups. However, the mean values of portal and splenic veins peak velocities were significantly lower during infection in cirrhotic groups. The mean value of hepatic artery resistive index during fever was significantly higher than after fever in cirrhotic groups. Renal resistive and pulsatility indices were significantly higher during fever in cirrhotic groups.

Conclusion: Systemic bacterial infection with fever can affect hepatic haemodynamics leading to aggravation of portal hypertension and increasing the risk of complications as variceal bleeding and hepatic encephalopathy and can also affect renal haemodynamics with increased risk of renal impairment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1871526519666190506102703DOI Listing
May 2021

IFN-α-based treatment of patients with chronic HCV show increased levels of cells with myeloid-derived suppressor cell phenotype and of IDO and NOS.

Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol 2017 Aug 4;39(4):188-198. Epub 2017 May 4.

f City of Scientific Research and Technological Applications , Pharmaceutical and Fermentation Industries Development Center , New Burg El Arab , Egypt.

Introduction: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection causes chronic hepatitis, which is often associated with suppressed anti-HCV immune responses. We have recently reported accumulation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and suppressed immunity in cancer patients.

Aim: The main aim of this study was to determine whether chronic HCV patients harbor high of MDSCs in general and in nonresponders to IFN-based therapy in particular as well as to analyze the immune suppressive molecules.

Methods: Peripheral blood samples withdrawn from 154 patients with chronic HCV infection and were categorized into responders and nonresponders based on viral titer upon IFN-α treatment.

Results: The relative and absolute numbers of MDSCs defined as Lin/HLA-DR/CD33/CD11b increased in all HCV patients, where they were higher in nonresponders than in responders. Additionally, the levels of MDSCs after 4-6 months of treatment in responders were lower than during the course of treatment. The responders also showed higher levels of IL-2 coincided with increased numbers of dendritic cells (DCs), CD4 and CD8 T cells. The levels of total NOS and IDO were also higher in nonresponders as compared to responders and healthy controls, while the expression levels of CD3ζ was lower in responders as compared to nonresponders and healthy volunteers.

Conclusion: Chronic HCV patients harbor high numbers of MDSCs, which are higher in nonresponders than in responders. The higher numbers of MDSCs associated with increases in the suppressing factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08923973.2017.1320670DOI Listing
August 2017

Colonic mucosal expression of heat-shock proteins may have a potential prognostic value in ulcerative colitis.

Arab J Gastroenterol 2015 Mar 18;16(1):20-4. Epub 2015 Mar 18.

Department of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt. Electronic address:

Background And Study Aims: Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a lifelong, chronic, progressive, and relapsing inflammatory disease. Endoscopy with biopsies is the mainstay in diagnosis and assessment. The development of biomarkers is important for the diagnosis and follow-up of UC. We investigated the expression of molecular chaperones/heat-shock proteins (HSP70 and HSP90) in relation to the grades of inflammation and dysplasia in patients with UC before and after treatment.

Patients And Methods: A total of 104 naïve patients with UC of varying severity were admitted to the Department of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Tanta University Hospital. Ten biopsies from the healthy mucosa of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) served as a control. Disease activity was assessed clinically using the Mayo score system. Endoscopic mucosal biopsies were taken at diagnosis and 6 months after treatment. Histopathological activity was graded for inflammation and dysplasia. Immunohistochemistry was used to determine the percentage of cells positive for HSPs. The results were expressed in a semiquantitative scale.

Results: The expression of both HSP70 and HSP90 increased in patients with UC at the time of disease activity, and it decreased after treatment and remission. There was a significant correlation between the expression of both proteins and the grades of dysplasia as well as inflammation (P < 0.05). Strong expression of HSPs that persisted after treatment has been associated with cases of true dysplasia.

Conclusions: The results indicated that HSP70 and HSP90 had the potential for assessment of the activity and prognosis of UC. They can also predict the presence of dysplasia and differentiate it from reactive atypia. Larger studies are needed to confirm this diagnostic and prognostic value of HSPs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajg.2015.02.005DOI Listing
March 2015

New insights on non-B non-C hepatocellular carcinoma in mid Delta Region, Egypt.

J Gastrointest Cancer 2014 Sep;45(3):276-83

Department of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt,

Purpose: The rate of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is increasing worldwide, including in Egypt. Hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) viruses are major risks. Non-B non-C HCC was reported in some countries. We investigated non-B non-C HCC-independent risk factors and associated profiles in viral hepatitis endemic region.

Methods: In a consecutive series, 281 patients were diagnosed with HCC and received for management, at Tanta University Hospitals, within the past 3 years. Demographic variables and environmental exposures were recorded by direct application of a modified questionnaire. Sera were tested for HCV (antibodies by ELISA and RNA by RT-PCR) and HBV (HBs Ag by ELISA and HBV DNA). Antinuclear antibody, serum copper, and iron were assessed in non-viral HCC. Liver biopsy was performed for HCC diagnosis and grading and liver tissue in all patients by histopathological and immunohistochemical methods to assess HBV and/or HCV etiology.

Results: Non-B non-C HCC patients were 13.87% of the total and were associated with multiple risks, predominantly pesticides (100%, p < 0.001) and super phosphate and ammonium sulfate fertilizers (94.87%, p < 0.001) with significant exposure in industry, farming, and residence. Their tumors were mainly solitary, smaller sizes, and of lower alpha-fetoprotein titers. The study showed insignificant increase in prevalence of non-B non-C HCC and had special characters. Multivariate analysis showed significance of pesticides and smoking as independent risks for non-B non-C HCC.

Conclusions: Pesticides and smoking heavy exposure can be considered as primary risks for non-B non-C HCC. Phosphate and ammonium sulfate fertilizers were associations. The study will increase awareness for better prevention and management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12029-013-9573-8DOI Listing
September 2014

Serum anti-P53 antibodies and alpha-fetoprotein in patients with non-B non-C hepatocellular carcinoma.

Springerplus 2013 Dec 25;2(1):69. Epub 2013 Feb 25.

Faculty of Medicine, Egypt and president of the Egyptian Society of Liver and Environment, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt.

The rate of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is increasing worldwide including Egypt. Non-B non-C HCC was reported in some countries. We aimed to investigate P53 antibodies and alpha-fetoprotein in patients with non-B non-C HCC in our region. In a case series study, included 281 patients with HCC and 20 patients with liver cirrhosis of matched age, sex and social factors were received for management at Tanta University Hospitals. Sera were tested for HCV and HBV markers by ELISA/PCR, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) level and anti-p53 antibody were evaluated by ELISA. Antinuclear antibody, serum copper and iron were assessed in non-viral HCC. Liver scanning and biopsy were evaluated. Non-B non-C HCC patients were 13.87% of total. P53 antibody serum level in non-B non-C HCC patients showed insignificant difference (p>0.05) as compared to viral-associated HCC, while significant as compared to cirrhosis. They had significant decrease in serum AFP level (p<0.001) as compared to viral-associated HCC. Their tumors were mainly solitary, and have smaller-sizes. Sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV and accuracy test of anti P53 antibody positive patients were 91.52%, 84.63%, 90.34%, 80.2% and 74.8% respectively. It correlates positively with AFP, tumor size and staging, MELD score and Child-Pugh score. Non-B non-C HCC showed high serum prevalence of anti-p53 as viral-associated HCC suggesting an evidence of high onchogenecity. It appears of much benefit in diagnosis, follow up and differentiation from cirrhosis in presence of low levels of alpha-fetoprotein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/2193-1801-2-69DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3601255PMC
December 2013

Can brucellosis influence the course of chronic hepatitis C in dual infection?

Arch Virol 2013 Mar 3;158(3):543-7. Epub 2012 Nov 3.

Department of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta 31527, Egypt.

Hepatitis C and brucellosis are infectious diseases that occur worldwide, and both are endemic in Egypt. Co-infection with both agents is possible, and this can involve the liver in various ways. In this study, we investigated serum tissue inhibitor metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1), viral load, and liver functions in patients co-infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) before and after brucellosis treatment. Over 3 years, 241 consecutive HCV patients (before interferon therapy was received) with recurrent fever who had occupational contact with animals were tested for brucellosis co-infection by a standard tube agglutination test. In patients with dual infection, viraemia (RT-PCR), TIMP-1 measured by ELISA, and liver functions were assessed and re-evaluated 2 months after brucellosis treatment. The number of patients with HCV/brucellosis co-infection was 32 out of 241 (13.3%). TIMP-1, viraemia, AST, ALT and bilirubin showed significant decrease (improvement) after brucellosis treatment (p < 0.001) but an insignificant difference (p > 0.05) with regard to serum albumin and prothrombin concentration. The study revealed that brucellosis is an important infection in HCV-infected patients and can aggravate the course of disease, suggesting that early treatment and prevention are important.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00705-012-1524-3DOI Listing
March 2013

Correlation of viral load with bone marrow and hematological changes in pale patients with chronic hepatitis C virus.

Arch Virol 2012 Aug 9;157(8):1579-86. Epub 2012 May 9.

Department of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt.

Liver is considered the target of hepatitis C virus (HCV), which has marked tropism for hepatocytes. In this study, we investigated changes in bone marrow (BM) and blood and their correlation with viremia level in 30 pale patients with chronic HCV who were selected before antiviral therapy. Patients with BM positive for HCV RNA (53.33 %) showed moderate to high viremia, while patients with BM negative for RNA (46.67 %) had low viremia. There was no significant difference in the liver histopathology between patients with HCV-RNA-negative and positive BM. Patients with BM positive for HCV RNA showed significant changes in BM cells, including the degree of immune complex deposition and alterations in peripheral blood counts compared to patients with BM negative for RNA and healthy controls, suggesting that BM changes could be a sequel or a reservoir for HCV viremia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00705-012-1321-zDOI Listing
August 2012

The potential use of Toll-like receptor agonists to restore the dysfunctional immunity induced by hepatitis C virus.

Cell Immunol 2010 6;262(2):96-104. Epub 2010 Mar 6.

Surgery Department and Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major public health concern with approximately 3% of the world's population is infected, posing social, economical and health burden. Less than 20% of the infected individuals clear the virus during the acute infection, while the rest develop chronic infection. The treatment of choice for HCV infection is pegylated interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) in combination with ribavarin. Despite the cost and side effects of this treatment regimen, many patients fail this therapy and develop persistent HCV infection, leading to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Although the mechanisms underlying the failure to resolve HCV infection are poorly understood, the incapability of patients to develop effective anti-HCV immunity is a potential cause. We hypothesize that the dysfunctional anti-HCV immunity is due to the emergence of immunosuppressive cells coinciding with a decrease in the stimulatory dendritic cells (DCs) and natural killer (NK) cells. We further hypothesize that applying agents that can correct the imbalance between the immunosuppressive cells and stimulatory cells can results in resolution of chronic HCV. In this review article, we will discuss potential approaches, focusing on the use of Toll-like receptor agonists, to block the suppressive effects of the regulatory cells and restore the stimulatory effects of DCs and NK cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cellimm.2010.03.002DOI Listing
May 2010
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