Publications by authors named "Gezahegn Bewket"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Helminth species specific expansion and increased TNF-alpha production of non-classical monocytes during active tuberculosis.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2021 Mar 2;15(3):e0009194. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Linköping University, Sweden.

Both Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and helminths may affect innate immune mechanisms such as differential effects on monocytes towards the non-classical and intermediate subsets that favor bacterial persistence. Our aim, was to investigate helminth species specific effects on the frequency and functional activity of monocyte subsets in patients with active tuberculosis and healthy subjects. HIV-negative patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) and community controls (CCs) in Gondar, Ethiopia were screened for helminth infection by stool microscopy. Flow cytometric analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and ex vivo stimulation with purified protein derivative (PPD) and helminth antigens were used to characterize the distribution of monocyte subsets and their function. A total of 74 PTB patients and 57 CCs with and without helminth infection were included. Non-classical monocytes were increased in PTB patients with Ascaris and hookworm infection but not in Schistosoma-infected patients. Ascaris had the strongest effect in increasing the frequency of non-classical monocytes in both PTB patients and CCs, whereas PTB without helminth infection did not affect the frequency of monocyte subsets. There was a helminth specific increase in the frequency of TNF-α producing non-classical monocytes in hookworm infected PTB patients, both with and without PPD-stimulation. Low-to-intermediate TB disease severity associated with increased frequency of non-classical monocytes only for helminth-positive PTB patients, and the frequency of TNF-α producing monocytes were significantly higher in intermediate and non-classical monocytes of helminth positive PTB patients with an intermediate disease score. Helminth infection affected the frequency of monocyte subsets and function both in TB patients and controls which was helminth species dependent in TB patients. The clinical role of this potential immunomodulatory effect needs further study and may affect the response and protection to tuberculosis in areas where helminth infections are endemic.
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March 2021

Evaluation of C-reactive protein and myxovirus resistance protein A to guide the rational use of antibiotics among acute febrile adult patients in Northwest Ethiopia.

Int J Infect Dis 2020 Dec 28;101:276-282. Epub 2020 Sep 28.

Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. Electronic address:

Objectives: In low-resource settings, treatment is often given empirically without knowledge of the aetiology due to a lack of diagnostics. In the search for reliable rapid tests to guide treatment work-up, this study was performed to determine whether two biomarkers could differentiate bacterial from non-bacterial infections in acute febrile patients.

Methods: Adults with acute fever were recruited at a referral hospital in Ethiopia. The QuikRead Go test was used to quantify C-reactive protein (qCRP) and the FebriDx test was used for combined qualitative detection of the bacterial CRP marker with myxovirus resistance protein A (MxA), a viral biomarker.

Results: Of the 200 patients included in this study, most presented with 2-3 days of fever, headache, and joint pain. Antibiotics were prescribed for 83.5% and antimalarials for 36.5%, while a bacterial infection was only confirmed in 5% and malaria in 11%. The median qCRP level for confirmed bacterial infections was 128 mg/l. The FebriDx and QuikRead Go test had an overall agreement of 72.0%.

Conclusions: An over-prescription of antibiotics for febrile patients was observed, even for those with low CRP levels and without a confirmed bacterial infection. The added value of the FebriDx was limited, while the combined use of rapid tests for qCRP and malaria should be considered for the management of acute febrile illness and antibiotic stewardship.
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December 2020

Latent tuberculosis infection and associated risk factors among people living with HIV and apparently healthy blood donors at the University of Gondar referral hospital, Northwest Ethiopia.

BMC Res Notes 2019 Aug 16;12(1):515. Epub 2019 Aug 16.

Department of Medical Microbiology, School of Biomedical and Laboratory Sciences, College of Medicine and Health Sciences (CMHS), The University of Gondar (UOG), P.O. box 196, Gondar, Ethiopia.

Objective: Immuno-compromised individuals with latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) are at an increased risk for tuberculosis reactivation compared with the general population. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLWH) and apparently healthy blood donors. Human Immunodeficiency Virus positive individuals and for the purpose of comparison apparently healthy blood donors were enrolled. Blood sample was collected and tested for LTBI using QuantiFeron-TB Gold In-Tube assay (QFT-GIT) and CD4+ T cell count was determined by using BD FACS count.

Results: The overall prevalence of LTBI regardless of HIV status was 46%. The prevalence of LTBI among PLWH was 44% and that of blood donors 48%. ART naïve HIV positive patients were three times more likely to have LTBI than patients under ART treatment (P = 0.04). Data also showed statistically significant negative association between previous or current preventive INH therapy and LTBI among HIV positive cases (P = 0.005). The proportion of LTBI was slightly lower among HIV positive individuals than apparently healthy blood donors. Nevertheless, HIV positive individuals should be screened for LTBI and take INH prophylaxis.
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August 2019