Publications by authors named "Alireza Mafi"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Circular RNAs; powerful microRNA sponges to overcome diabetic nephropathy.

Pathol Res Pract 2021 Nov 15;227:153618. Epub 2021 Sep 15.

Research Center for Biochemistry and Nutrition in Metabolic Diseases, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran; Department of Clinical Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran. Electronic address:

Diabetic nephropathy (DN), also known as diabetic kidney disease (DKD), is a drastic renal complication of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). Poorly controlled DM over the years, may disrupt kidneys' blood vessels, leading to the hypertension (HTN) and DN onset. During DN, kidneys' waste filtering ability becomes disturbed. Being on a healthy lifestyle and controlling both DM and HTN are now the best proceedings to prevent or at least delay DN occurrence. Unfortunately, about one-fourth of diabetic individuals eventually experience the corresponding renal failure, and thus it is critical to discover effective diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic strategies to combat DN. In the past few years, circular RNAs (circRNAs), as covalently closed endogenous non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), are believed to affect DN pathogenesis in a positive manner. CircRNAs are able to impact different cellular processes and signaling pathways by targeting biological molecules or various molecular mechanisms. Still, as a key regulatory axis, circRNAs can select miRNAs as their molecular targets, in which they are considered as miRNA sponges. In this way, circRNA-induced suppression of particular miRNAs may prevent from DN progression or promotes the DN elimination. Since the expression of circRNAs has also been reported to be increased in DN-associated cells and tissues, they can be employed as either diagnostic biomarkers or therapeutic targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prp.2021.153618DOI Listing
November 2021

Association of the serum apelin, but not ghrelin, with the presence and severity of coronary artery disease.

Indian Heart J 2021 Mar-Apr;73(2):214-217. Epub 2021 Jan 16.

Department of Cardiology, School of Medicine, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, I.R, Iran.

Increasing evidence suggests that apelin and ghrelin may participate in atherogenesis. We sought to investigate whether the serum levels of apelin and ghrelin are significantly different in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) compared to patients with nonsignificant coronary stenosis and determine the correlation between these adipokines and the severity of coronary stenosis. The study population included 31 stable CAD patients, 38 unstable CAD patients, and 39 non-CAD subjects. Serum levels of apelin and ghrelin, fasting blood glucose, lipid parameters, hs-CRP and hematological indices were determined in all groups using routine standard laboratory procedures. Serum apelin levels were significantly lower in patient with unstable CAD (0.354 ± 0.063 ng/mL) compared to stable CAD patients (0.401 ± 0.045 ng/mL, p = 0.003) and non-CAD subjects (0.415 ± 0.055 ng/mL, p<0.001). In addition, serum apelin levels were inversely correlated with the severity of coronary stenosis in CAD patients (p<0.05). However, there was no significant difference in ghrelin levels among the 3 groups. This data may suggest that the presence of unstable CAD may be associated with lower serum apelin which may indicate the potential role of this peptide in the progression and destabilization of coronary plaques.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ihj.2021.01.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8065357PMC
November 2021

Association between miRNAs Expression and Signaling Pathways of Oxidative Stress in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

Crit Rev Eukaryot Gene Expr 2020 ;30(4):359-368

Research Center for Biochemistry and Nutrition in Metabolic Diseases, Institute for Basic Sciences, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1615/CritRevEukaryotGeneExpr.2020028551DOI Listing
July 2021

Carnitine and chromium co-supplementation affects mental health, hormonal, inflammatory, genetic, and oxidative stress parameters in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol 2019 Mar 5:1-9. Epub 2019 Mar 5.

c Research Center for Biochemistry and Nutrition in Metabolic Diseases , Kashan University of Medical Sciences , Kashan , Iran.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the co-administration of carnitine and chromium on mental health, hormonal, inflammatory and genetic parameters in women with PCOS.

Methods: This randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted on 54 subjects, aged 18-40 years old. Subjects were randomly allocated to take either 1000 mg/d carnitine plus 200 µg/d chromium as chromium picolinate (n = 26) or placebo (n = 27) for 12 weeks.

Results: Carnitine and chromium co-supplementation, compared with the placebo, significantly improved beck depression inventory (β - 0.84; 95% CI, -1.51, -0.17; p = 0.01), general health questionnaire scores (β - 1.13; 95% CI, -2.13, -0.14; p = 0.02) and depression anxiety and stress scale scores (β - 0.96; 95% CI, -0.78, -0.14; p = 0.02). Participants who received carnitine plus chromium supplements had significantly lower total testosterone (β - 0.15 ng/mL; 95% CI, -0.24, -0.06; p = 0.002), hirsutism (β - 0.48; 95% CI, -0.91, -0.06; p = 0.02), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) (β - 1.02 mg/L; 95% CI, -1.79, -0.25; p = 0.01), and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels (β - 0.38 µmol/L; 95% CI, -0.56, -0.20; p < 0.001), and higher total antioxidant capacity (TAC) levels (β 107.18 mmol/L; 95% CI, 44.24, 170.12; p = 0.001) compared with the placebo. Moreover, carnitine and chromium co-supplementation upregulated gene expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6) (p = 0.02) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) (p = 0.02) compared with the placebo.

Conclusion: Overall, the co-administration of carnitine and chromium for 12 weeks to women with PCOS had beneficial effects on mental health parameters, serum total testosterone, mF-G scores, hs-CRP, TAC and MDA levels, and gene expression of IL-6 and TNF-α.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0167482X.2018.1557144DOI Listing
March 2019

The effects of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E co-supplementation on gene expression related to inflammation, insulin and lipid in patients with Parkinson's disease: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2019 01 8;176:116-121. Epub 2018 Dec 8.

Research Center for Biochemistry and Nutrition in Metabolic Diseases, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Islamic Republic of Iran. Electronic address:

Objective: This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E co-supplementation on gene expression related to inflammation, insulin and lipid in subjects with Parkinson's disease (PD).

Patients And Methods: This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was performed in 40 subjects with PD. Participants were randomly allocated into two groups to take either 1000 mg/day of omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed oil plus 400 IU/day of vitamin E supplements or placebo (n = 20 each group) for 12 weeks. Gene expression related to inflammation, insulin and lipid were quantified in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of PD patients with RT-PCR method.

Results: After the 12-week intervention, compared with the placebo, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E co-supplementation downregulated gene expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) (P = 0.002) in PBMC of subjects with PD. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E co-supplementation upregulated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ) (P = 0.03), and downregulated oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) (P = 0.002) in PBMC of subjects with PD compared with the placebo. We did not observe any significant effect of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E co-supplementation on gene expression of interleukin-1 (IL-1) and IL-8 in PBMC of patients with PD.

Conclusions: Overall, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E co-supplementation for 12 weeks in PD patients significantly improved gene expression of TNF-α, PPAR-γ and LDLR, but did not affect IL-1 and IL-8.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2018.12.006DOI Listing
January 2019

The Effects of Probiotic Supplementation on Genetic and Metabolic Profiles in Patients with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.

Probiotics Antimicrob Proteins 2019 12;11(4):1227-1235

Research Center for Biochemistry and Nutrition in Metabolic Diseases, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, I.R., Iran.

This study was carried out to evaluate the effects of probiotic supplementation on genetic and metabolic profiles in patients with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) who were not on oral hypoglycemic agents. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted in 48 patients with GDM. Participants were randomly divided into two groups to intake either probiotic capsule containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus fermentum (2 × 10 CFU/g each) (n = 24) or placebo (n = 24) for 6 weeks. Probiotic intake upregulated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (P = 0.01), transforming growth factor beta (P = 0.002) and vascular endothelial growth factor (P = 0.006), and downregulated gene expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha (P = 0.03) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of subjects with GDM. In addition, probiotic supplementation significantly decreased fasting plasma glucose (β, - 3.43 mg/dL; 95% CI, - 6.48, - 0.38; P = 0.02), serum insulin levels (β, - 2.29 μIU/mL; 95% CI, - 3.60, - 0.99; P = 0.001), and insulin resistance (β, - 0.67; 95% CI, - 1.05, - 0.29; P = 0.001) and significantly increased insulin sensitivity (β, 0.009; 95% CI, 0.004, 0.01; P = 0.001) compared with the placebo. Additionally, consuming probiotic significantly decreased triglycerides (P = 0.02), VLDL-cholesterol (P = 0.02), and total-/HDL-cholesterol ratio (P = 0.006) and significantly increased HDL-cholesterol levels (P = 0.03) compared with the placebo. Finally, probiotic administration led to a significant reduction in plasma malondialdehyde (P < 0.001), and a significant elevation in plasma nitric oxide (P = 0.01) and total antioxidant capacity (P = 0.01) was observed compared with the placebo. Overall, probiotic supplementation for 6 weeks to patients with GDM had beneficial effects on gene expression related to insulin and inflammation, glycemic control, few lipid profiles, inflammatory markers, and oxidative stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12602-018-9490-zDOI Listing
December 2019

Metabolic and genetic response to probiotics supplementation in patients with diabetic nephropathy: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Food Funct 2018 Sep;9(9):4763-4770

Research Center for Biochemistry and Nutrition in Metabolic Diseases, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, I.R. Iran.

This study was carried out to evaluate the effects of probiotics administration on the metabolic and genetic profiles in patients with diabetic nephropathy (DN). This was a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial with homeostasis model of assessment-estimated insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) as the primary and other metabolic profiles, and biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress as the secondary outcomes. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was performed on 60 patients with DN. The patients were randomly assigned into two groups to receive either 8 × 109 CFU day-1 probiotic supplements or placebo (n = 30 in each group) for 12 weeks. Fasting blood was collected at the baseline and end of intervention to measure glycemic control, lipid profiles, biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress. Multiple linear regression models were used to assess the treatment effects on the outcomes adjusting for confounding variables. Probiotics supplementation, compared with the placebo, resulted in a significant reduction in fasting plasma glucose (P = 0.01), serum insulin concentrations (P = 0.01) and HOMA-IR (P = 0.007), and a significant increase in the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (P = 0.04). Additionally, compared with the placebo, probiotic intake resulted in a significant reduction in triglycerides (P = 0.001) and total-/HDL-cholesterol ratio (P < 0.001), and a significant increase in HDL-cholesterol levels (P < 0.001). Supplementation with probiotics, compared with the placebo, was associated with a significant reduction in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (P = 0.001), malondialdehyde (P < 0.001) and advanced glycation end products (P < 0.001), and a significant elevation in plasma total glutathione (P < 0.001). Overall, our study indicated that probiotics supplementation had beneficial effects on glycemic control and markers of cardio-metabolic risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c8fo00888dDOI Listing
September 2018

The effects of expression of different microRNAs on insulin secretion and diabetic nephropathy progression.

J Cell Physiol 2018 01 4;234(1):42-50. Epub 2018 Aug 4.

Research Center for Biochemistry and Nutrition in Metabolic Diseases, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have recently become well-known efficacious biomarkers for the diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy (DN). MiRNAs, short noncoding RNAs, are posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression, which regulate several biological cell functions, including insulin production and secretion, as well as insulin resistance in tissues. Today, the focus of the medical world is centered on the role of miRNAs as mediators for different diseases, such as DN and end-stage renal diseases (ESRD). MiRNAs are stable and detectable in human biological fluids, so their detection for early diagnosis of different diseases is highly sensitive and specific. Previous reports have shown that the alteration of miRNA profiles significantly correlates with specific stages of DN, kidney fibrosis, and renal dysfunction. This review was aimed at assessing the pathway of different miRNA expressions responsible for insulin secretion disorder and DN progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.26895DOI Listing
January 2018

Clinical and metabolic response to probiotic administration in people with Parkinson's disease: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Clin Nutr 2019 06 1;38(3):1031-1035. Epub 2018 Jun 1.

Research Center for Biochemistry and Nutrition in Metabolic Diseases, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: The investigation was done to assess the impacts of probiotic supplementation on movement and metabolic parameters in individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD).

Methods: The study is randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, which was done in sixty people with PD. Individuals were randomly divided into two groups in order to take either 8 × 10 CFU/day probiotic or placebo (n = 30 each group) that lasted 12 weeks. The Movement Disorders Society-Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) was recorded at pre- and post-intervention.

Results: Compared with the placebo, consuming probiotic decreased MDS-UPDRS (-4.8 ± 12.5 vs. +3.8 ± 13.0, P = 0.01). Probiotic supplementation also reduced high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (-1.6 ± 2.5 vs. +0.1 ± 0.3 mg/L, P < 0.001) and malondialdehyde (-0.2 ± 0.3 vs. +0.1 ± 0.3 μmol/L, P = 0.006), and enhanced glutathione levels (+40.1 ± 81.5 vs. -12.1 ± 41.7 μmol/L, P = 0.03) in comparison with the placebo. Additionally, probiotic consumption resulted in a statistically significant reduction in insulin levels (-2.1 ± 3.4 vs. +1.5 ± 5.1 μIU/mL, P = 0.002) and insulin resistance (-0.5 ± 0.9 vs. +0.4 ± 1.2, P = 0.002), and a statistically significant rise in insulin sensitivity (+0.01 ± 0.02 vs. -0.006 ± 0.02, P = 0.01) in comparison with the placebo. Probiotic intake had no any significant impact on other metabolic profiles.

Conclusions: Our study evidenced that 12 weeks of probiotic consumption by individuals with PD had useful impacts on MDS-UPDRS and few metabolic profiles. Registered under ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier no. http://www.irct.ir: IRCT2017082434497N4.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2018.05.018DOI Listing
June 2019

The Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation on Biomarkers of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress Among Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

Horm Metab Res 2018 Apr 23;50(4):271-279. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

Research Center for Biochemistry and Nutrition in Metabolic Diseases, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran.

The current systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted to summarize the effect of vitamin D supplementation on biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress among women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Cochrane library, Embase, PubMed, and Web of Science database were searched to identify related randomized-controlled articles (RCTs) published up to November 2017. Two researchers assessed study eligibility, extracted data, and evaluated risk of bias of included RCTs, independently. To check heterogeneity Q-test and I statistics were used. Data were pooled by using the random-effect model and standardized mean difference (SMD) was considered as summary effect size. Seven RCTs were included into our meta-analysis. The findings showed that vitamin D supplementation in women with PCOS significantly decreased high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) (SMD -1.03; 95% CI, -1.58, -0.49; p <0.001) and malondialdehyde (MDA) (SMD -1.64, 95% CI -2.26 to -1.02, p <0.001), and significantly increased total antioxidant capacity (TAC) levels (SMD 0.86, 95% CI 0.08 to 1.64, p=0.03). Vitamin D supplementation had no significant effect on nitric oxide (NO) (SMD 0.11, 95% CI -0.44 to 0.66, p=0.69) and total glutathione (GSH) levels (SMD 0.54, 95% CI -0.20 to 1.28, p=0.15). Overall, the current meta-analysis demonstrated that vitamin D supplementation to women with PCOS resulted in an improvement in hs-CRP, MDA and TAC, but did not affect NO and GSH levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0044-101355DOI Listing
April 2018

The Influences of Chromium Supplementation on Glycemic Control, Markers of Cardio-Metabolic Risk, and Oxidative Stress in Infertile Polycystic ovary Syndrome Women Candidate for In vitro Fertilization: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.

Biol Trace Elem Res 2018 Sep 6;185(1):48-55. Epub 2018 Jan 6.

Research Center for Biochemistry and Nutrition in Metabolic Diseases, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, I.R, Iran.

This study was carried out to investigate the effects of chromium intake on glycemic control, markers of cardio-metabolic risk, and oxidative stress in infertile polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) women candidate for in vitro fertilization (IVF). This randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was done among 40 subjects with infertile PCOS candidate for IVF, aged 18-40 years old. Individuals were randomly allocated into two groups to take either 200 μg/day of chromium (n = 20) or placebo (n = 20) for 8 weeks. Biochemical parameters were assessed at baseline and at end-of-trial. Compared with the placebo, taking chromium supplements led to significant reductions in fasting plasma glucose (- 2.3 ± 5.7 vs. + 0.9 ± 3.1 mg/dL, P = 0.03), insulin levels (- 1.4 ± 2.1 vs. + 0.4 ± 1.7 μIU/mL, P = 0.004), homeostatic model of assessment for insulin resistance (- 0.3 ± 0.5 vs. + 0.1 ± 0.4, P = 0.005), and a significant increase in quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (+ 0.004 ± 0.008 vs. - 0.001 ± 0.008, P = 0.03). In addition, chromium supplementation significantly decreased serum triglycerides (- 19.2 ± 33.8 vs. + 8.3 ± 21.7 mg/dL, P = 0.004), VLDL- (- 3.8 ± 6.8 vs. + 1.7 ± 4.3 mg/dL, P = 0.004) and total cholesterol concentrations (- 15.3 ± 26.2 vs. - 0.6 ± 15.9 mg/dL, P = 0.03) compared with the placebo. Additionally, taking chromium supplements was associated with a significant increase in plasma total antioxidant capacity (+ 153.9 ± 46.1 vs. - 7.8 ± 43.9 mmol/L, P < 0.001) and a significant reduction in malondialdehyde values (-0.3 ± 0.3 vs. + 0.1 ± 0.2 μmol/L, P = 0.001) compared with the placebo. Overall, our study supported that chromium administration for 8 weeks to infertile PCOS women candidate for IVF had beneficial impacts on glycemic control, few variables of cardio-metabolic risk, and oxidative stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12011-017-1236-3DOI Listing
September 2018

Magnesium supplementation affects gene expression related to insulin and lipid in patients with gestational diabetes.

Magnes Res 2017 Aug;30(3):71-79

Research Center for Biochemistry and Nutrition in Metabolic Diseases, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran.

Magnesium is known to exert several beneficial effects, including antiglycemic and antilipidemic properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of magnesium supplementation on gene expression related to insulin and lipid metabolism in women with gestational diabetes (GDM) who were not on oral hypoglycemic agents. This randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted among 40 patients diagnosed with GDM, aged 18-40 years. Participants were randomly allocated into two groups to take either 250 mg/day of magnesium supplements in the form of magnesium oxide (n = 20) or placebo (n = 20) for 6 weeks. Gene expression related to insulin and lipid metabolism was assessed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of women with GDM using RT-PCR method. Compared with the placebo, magnesium supplementation to women with GDM resulted in a significant decrease in levels of fasting plasma glucose (FPG) (-9.7 ± 5.6 vs. -0.1 ± 8.5 mg/dL, P<0.001). Quantitative results of RT-PCR demonstrated that compared with the placebo, magnesium supplementation upregulated gene expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ) (P = 0.003) and glucose transporter 1 (GLUT-1) (P = 0.004) and downregulated gene expression of oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) (P = 0.001) in PBMCs of women with GDM. In addition, a trend toward a greater decrease in gene expression of lipoprotein (a) [LP(a)] was observed in the patients belonging to magnesium group compared to placebo group (P = 0.08). Overall, magnesium supplementation for 6 weeks in women with GDM significantly improved FPG levels, and gene expression of PPAR-γ, GLUT-1, and LDLR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1684/mrh.2017.0425DOI Listing
August 2017

Collaboration between tuberculosis control programs and the action plan for tackling antimicrobial resistance: An opportunity in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

Int J Mycobacteriol 2016 Dec 11;5 Suppl 1:S13. Epub 2016 Nov 11.

Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office, World Health Organization, Egypt.

Objective/background: Over-the-counter availability of antibiotics together with poor access to diagnostics is recognised to promote antimicrobial resistance (AMR) including generation of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB). In accordance with the End TB Strategy target of ending TB epidemic by 2030, efforts to control DR-TB are ongoing in Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) countries, a number of which have well-established facilities for diagnostics, disease care and prevention as well as surveillance. These could serve as models for AMR control. The United Nation's historic 2016 declaration recognises AMR as a threat to health, food production and development, and emphasises the need for global action. In view of this declaration, establishment of collaboration between the DR-TB and AMR activities would be mutually beneficial and lead to strengthening of both programs.

Methods: Available information on TB control and AMR programs in EMR was reviewed. To assist with policy and planning strategies for promoting collaboration between AMR and TB, control activities were explored.

Results: Review of available information suggests gaps in TB care in many countries in EMR, most of which are linked to limited access to resources. At the same time, the fledgling AMR programs have a lot to learn from the experiences, successes and challenges faced by TB control efforts. A logic model is presented to enhance interprogram collaboration.

Conclusions: Given the global commitment and potential availability of resources towards controlling AMR, collaboration between the two programs is discussed towards a more efficient use of resources in the region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmyco.2016.09.059DOI Listing
December 2016
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