Publications by authors named "Khalid Al-Ansari"

24 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Epidemiology Profile of Viral Meningitis Infections Among Patients in Qatar (2015-2018).

Front Med (Lausanne) 2021 16;8:663694. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Biomedical Research Center, QU Health, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar.

Little is known about the etiology of meningitis in the MENA region, including Qatar. Viral agents are considered the major cause for meningitis worldwide. Here, we present primary data about the etiology and clinical and demographic characteristics of viral meningitis (VM) in Qatar between 2015 and 2018. We retrospectively collected data from Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), which provides about 80% of healthcare services in Qatar. Data were collected for the period between 2015 and 2018. During this time period, 6,705 specimens were collected from patients with suspected meningitis attending HMC and primary healthcare centers. These specimens were tested for a panel of viruses using the "FTD Viral meningitis" multiplex real-time PCR kit that detects Adenovirus (ADV), Human herpesvirus 1&2 (HSV1 and HSV2), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Enteroviruses (EV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Varicella zoster virus (VZV), and Parechovirus (PV). Only 10.9% (732/6,705) of all suspected meningitis cases were caused by viral agents. 60.9% of the reported cases were males, compared to 39.1% in females. Most of the infections (73.9%) were reported in children younger than 10 years of age. EV were identified as the main causative agent (68.7%), followed by EBV (7.5%) and ADV (6.8%). Other viral agents including VZV, PV, HSV-1, and HSV-2 were also detected with a lower frequency. Confirmed VM were more prevalent among Qatari subjects compared to other nationalities. We observed no specific seasonality of viral agents, but a slight rise was recorded during the spring seasons (March to June). Fever (59.4%, 435/732) and acute central nervous system (CNS) infection (15.6%, 114/732) were initial symptoms of most cases. This is the first report about the molecular epidemiology of VM in Qatar. In line with the international records, our data showed that EV is responsible for 68.7% of Qatar's VM cases. Further studies are needed to genotype and serotype the identified viruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2021.663694DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8241925PMC
June 2021

Level of maternal respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) F antibodies in hospitalized children and correlates of protection.

Int J Infect Dis 2021 Jun 10;109:56-62. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Biomedical Research Center, Qatar University, Qatar; College of Health Sciences, Qatar University, Qatar. Electronic address:

Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of lower respiratory infection among children and no vaccine is available. The stabilized form of the fusion (F) protein - pre-F - is a leading vaccine candidate to target different populations, including pregnant women. This study aimed to determine the magnitude and nature of RSV-directed maternal antibodies (matAbs) in hospitalized children with RSV infection.

Methods: Sixty-five paired blood samples were collected from RSV-infected children aged <6 months and their corresponding mothers. All pairs were screened for levels of pre-F and post-F antibodies using ELISA. The neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) in both groups were measured in vitro against mKate RSV-A2 using H28 cells.

Results: It was found that 14% of matAbs (log 12.8) were present in infants at hospitalization, with an average log EP titer of 10.2 directed to both F-protein conformations. Additionally, 61.4% of maternal NAbs (log EC = 9.4) were detected in infants (log EC = 8.7), which were mostly pre-F exclusive (81%). Pre-F antibodies in children showed a positive correlation with matAbs titers and negative correlations with age and bronchiolitis score.

Conclusions: The maintenance of neutralizing activity in infants relative to maternal titers was greater than the maintenance of antibody binding based on ELISA, suggesting that higher-potency antibodies may have a longer half-life than weakly neutralizing antibodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2021.06.015DOI Listing
June 2021

Microbiome profiling of rotavirus infected children suffering from acute gastroenteritis.

Gut Pathog 2021 Mar 29;13(1):21. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Biomedical Research Center, Qatar University, P.O. Box 2713, Doha, Qatar.

Background: Rotavirus (RV) is a leading cause of pediatric diarrhea and mortality worldwide. The virus causes acute gastroenteritis characterized by moderate to severe vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and fever. Microbial dysbiosis caused by RV infection may significantly influence disease prognosis and the development of other chronic diseases. The gut microbiome plays a vital role in enteric immune response for rotavirus vaccine (RVV) that requires further elucidations. The current study evaluates the gut microbiome of RV positive children and compares gastroenteritis manifestation in children admitted to the Pediatric Emergency Centre, Hamad Medical Cooperation, Doha, Qatar. Stool samples were collected from thirty-nine RV positive and eight healthy control children. 16S rRNA sequence was performed using the Illumina MiSeq platform.

Results: The data demonstrated a significant increase in microbiome diversity denoted by higher relative abundances of phylum Proteobacteria (p = 0.031), Fusobacteria (p = 0.044) and genus Streptococcus (p ≤ 0.001) in the infected group relative to the control. Similarly, district clustering pattern (PERMANOVA p = 0.01) and higher species richness (Shannon entropy p = 0.018) were observed in the children who received two RVV doses compared with the non-vaccinated or single-dose groups. These microbiome changes were represented by over-abundance of phylum Bacteroidetes (p = 0.003) and Verrucomicrobia (p ≤ 0.001), and lower expression of family Enterobacteriaceae in two RVV doses group. However, microbiome composition was not associated with diarrhea, vomiting, and other parameters of gastroenteritis.

Conclusions: The observations assert significant microbial signatures of RVV, which is dose-dependent, and suggest manipulating these microbes as a novel approach for improving RVV efficacy. Further studies are warranted to investigate the immune status of these patients and mechanistic investigation to enhance RVV seroconversion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13099-021-00411-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8005861PMC
March 2021

Clinical manifestations associated with acute viral gastroenteritis pathogens among pediatric patients in Qatar.

J Med Virol 2021 Aug 19;93(8):4794-4804. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Department of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar.

Background: Acute gastroenteritis (AGE) remains a significant cause of diarrhea that affects children worldwide. It is usually caused by viral agents, including rotavirus (RV), norovirus (NoV), adenovirus (AdV), astrovirus (AstV), and sapovirus (SaV), and the disease severity varies accordingly. Here, we report the association of clinical severity among AGE-infected pediatrics caused by a single viral pathogen, coinfection (viral-viral), mixed infection (viral-bacterial), and AGE-negative samples.

Methods: A total of 901 pediatric patients were admitted with AGE to the Pediatric Emergency Center of Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar from June 2016 to June 2018. The age of the subjects ranged between 3 months and 14 years (median of 16 months). Virus antigens detection was performed by using Film Array Gastrointestinal (GI) Panel kit. AGE severity was assessed using the Vesikari Clinical Severity Scoring System. Multivariable multinomial logistic regression was used to model the five AGE viral agents' likelihood in relation to severity versus co-infection, mixed infection, and AGE-negative samples.

Results: AGE was most common in pediatrics aged 1-3 years (median age = 1.25 years) and more frequent in males than females, with a ratio of 1:0.8. About 19.2% of the infections were caused by NoV, followed by RV (18.2%), AdV (6.5%), SaV (2.3%), and AstV (1.8%). The majority of viral agents were detected higher in mixed infection (32.1%) than coinfection (4.9%). Based on the Vesikari score system, severe clinical illness was recorded among pediatrics infected with RV (82.2%) and NoV (75.7%). Further on multivariable analysis, compared to testing negative, the odds of detecting RV was three times significantly higher in children with severe symptoms relative to those with moderate (adjusted-odds ratio [a-OR] = 3.10; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.82-5.28). Similar results were observed when considering RV relative to co-infection and mixed infection (a-OR = 2.59; 95% CI = 1.23-5.48 and a-OR = 2.06; 1.28-3.30, respectively). About one-third of the study sample were Qatari children with AGE (33%), whereas 35% and 32% were pediatrics from the Middle East and North Africa region, excluding Qatari and nonregions.

Conclusion: This study underlines the association of disease severity among AGE-infected pediatrics in Qatar. The overall Vesikari median score was significantly high, followed by more frequent hospitalization among RV-infected pediatrics compared to others. There was no reduction in the disease severity among RV-infected regardless of the vaccine dose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmv.26859DOI Listing
August 2021

Epidemiological, molecular, and clinical features of rotavirus infections among pediatrics in Qatar.

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 2021 Jun 7;40(6):1177-1190. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Biomedical Research Center, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar.

Acute gastroenteritis (AGE) remains a major cause of diarrhea in developing and developed countries. Rotavirus (RV) is a leading cause of severe pediatric diarrhea worldwide. Here we report on the prevalence of circulating genotypes in association with demographics and clinical manifestations outcomes in Qatar. A total of 231 RV-positive fecal samples were collected from children suffering from AGE during 3 years study period between June 2016 and June 2019. The age of the subjects ranged between 2 months and 14 years (median of 16 months). The VP4 and VP7 were amplified and sequenced. Phylogenetic analyses were performed using MEGA7.0. Pearson's chi-squared test was used to determine significant differences for comparisons of general categorical variables. RV infections were most common in children between 1 and 3 years of age (49%), followed by those < 1 year and > 3 years of age (33% and 28%, respectively). RV infections were more frequent in males than females, with a ratio of 1.4:1. RV infections occurred throughout the year, with a noticeable increase in summer (42.8%) and a drop in winter (20.1%). RV genotypes G3P[8] (30.8%), G2P[8] (12.3%), G4P[8] (11.7%), and G1P[8] (10.4%) were the common genotypes during the study period. The G3P[8] strain detected in our study revealed similarities to the equine-like G3P[8] (10.3%; 24/231) (KT988229.1), Wa-like genomic constellation (9%; 21/231) (MF563894.1), and DS-1-like strains (6.4%; 15/231) (LC386081.1). Based on the Vesikari score system, severe clinical illness including diarrhea and vomiting (average frequency: 4 to 5 times/day) was recorded for G3P[8] group, followed by G9P[8], G4P[8], and G1P[8]. Higher incidence for G3P[8], G2P[8], G4P[8], and G1P[8] were reported in Qatari subjects compared to other nationalities. The multinational status of a small country explains the wide diversity of circulating RV genotypes in Qatar. The highest prevalence and severe illnesses were recorded to G3P[8], which is different from other surrounding countries/global levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10096-020-04108-yDOI Listing
June 2021

Molecular epidemiology of influenza, RSV, and other respiratory infections among children in Qatar: A six years report (2012-2017).

Int J Infect Dis 2020 Jun 9;95:133-141. Epub 2020 Apr 9.

Biomedical Research Center, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar; College of Health Sciences-QU health, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar. Electronic address:

Background: Studies on the etiology of respiratory infections among children in Qatar and surrounding countries are limited.

Objectives: To describe the prevalence and seasonality of RSV, influenza, and other respiratory pathogens among children in Qatar.

Methods: We retrospectively collected and analyzed data of 33,404 children (<15 years) presented with influenza-like illness from 2012 to 2017.

Results: At least one respiratory pathogen was detected in 26,138 (78%) of patients. Together, human rhinoviruses (HRV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and influenza viruses comprised nearly two-thirds of all cases, affecting 24%, 19.7%, and 18.5%, respectively. A prevalence of 5-10% was recorded for adenovirus, parainfluenza viruses (PIVs), human bocavirus (HboV), and human coronaviruses (HCoVs). Human metapneumovirus (HMPV), enteroviruses, M. pneumonia, and parechovirus had prevalences below 5%. While RSV, influenza, and HMPV exhibited strong seasonal activity in the winter, HRV was active during low RSV and influenza circulation. The burden of RSV exceeds that of influenza among young age groups, whereas influenza correlated positively with age. Further, HRV, adenovirus, influenza, and RSV infection rates varied significantly between male and females.

Conclusion: This comprehensive multi-year study provides insights into the etiology of ILI among children in Qatar, which represents the Gulf region. Our results reinforce the significance of active surveillance of respiratory pathogens to improve infection prevention and control strategies, particularly among children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2020.04.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7194828PMC
June 2020

Antibiotic resistance and virulence patterns of pathogenic Escherichia coli strains associated with acute gastroenteritis among children in Qatar.

BMC Microbiol 2020 03 6;20(1):54. Epub 2020 Mar 6.

Biomedical Research Center, Qatar University, P.O. Box 2713, Doha, Qatar.

Background: The treatment of Enterobacteriaceae family including diarrheagenic E. coli (DEC) has been increasingly complicated due to the emergence of resistant strains. Here we report on the phenotypic resistance profiles and ESBL genotype and virulence profiles of Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) and Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) isolated from children hospitalized with acute gastroenteritis in Qatar (AGE).

Results: E. coli were isolated and characterized from 76 diarrheagenic stool positive samples, collected from hospitalized children less than 10 years old. Isolates were tested for antibiotic susceptibility against eighteen clinically relevant antibiotics using E-test method. Conventional PCR was performed to detect genes encoding ESBL and virulence factors. Chi-square test was performed to compare the individual antibiotic resistance between EPEC and EAEC. A significant percentage (73.7%) of isolates were resistant to at least one antibiotic. Overall, high resistance (70%) was reported to the first-line antibiotics such as ampicillin, tetracycline (46.4%), and sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (42.9%). Further, 39.5% of the isolates were multidrug resistant (MDR), with 22.4% being ESBL producers. On the other hand, all isolates were susceptible to carbapenem, fosfomycin, amikacin and colistin. The incidences of resistance to the 18 antibiotics between EPEC and EAEC were not significantly different by Pearson chi -square test (P > 0.05). Genetic analysis revealed that 88.23% of ESBL production was bla (bla, bla) - encoded. Several different combinations of virulence markers were observed, however, there was no specific trend among the isolates apart from absence of the bundle-forming pilus (bfpA) gene, which encodes the type IV fimbriae in EPEC adherence factor (EAF) plasmid (pEAF), among all EPEC (atypical). 15% of the EAEC strains were positive for a combination of astA, aap & capU, while 10% were positive for three different combinations. The aap, aatA, capU and aggR virulence genes showed the highest frequency of 65, 60, 55 and 55% respectively. Others genes, east, astA, and aai, showed frequencies of 35, 30 and 20% respectively.

Conclusions: Atypical EPEC and EAEC were the primary etiological agents of diarrhea in children among DEC pathotypes. Our results indicated high rate of antimicrobial resistance pattern of DEC strains, which necessities the development of regulatory programs and reporting systems of antimicrobial resistance in DEC and other AGE-associated bacteria to insure effective control of diarrheal diseases. Results from this study demand a further research on identifying the phenotypic and genotypic profiles of more DEC pathotypes in various clinical samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12866-020-01732-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7060563PMC
March 2020

Acute severe paediatric asthma: study protocol for the development of a core outcome set, a Pediatric Emergency Reserarch Networks (PERN) study.

Trials 2020 Jan 13;21(1):72. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

Department of Paediatrics, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Clayton, Australia.

Background: Acute severe childhood asthma is an infrequent, but potentially life-threatening emergency condition. There is a wide range of different approaches to this condition, with very little supporting evidence, leading to significant variation in practice. To improve knowledge in this area, there must first be consensus on how to conduct clinical trials, so that valid comparisons can be made between future studies. We have formed an international working group comprising paediatricians and emergency physicians from North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Central America, Australasia and the United Kingdom.

Methods/design: A 5-stage approach will be used: (1) a comprehensive list of outcomes relevant to stakeholders will be compiled through systematic reviews and qualitative interviews with patients, families, and clinicians; (2) Delphi methodology will be applied to reduce the comprehensive list to a core outcome set; (3) we will review current clinical practice guidelines, existing clinical trials, and literature on bedside assessment of asthma severity. We will then identify practice differences in tne clinical assessment of asthma severity, and determine whether further prospective work is needed to achieve agreement on inclusion criteria for clinical trials in acute paediatric asthma in the emergency department (ED) setting; (4) a retrospective chart review in Australia and New Zealand will identify the incidence of serious clinical complications such as intubation, ICU admission, and death in children hospitalized with acute severe asthma. Understanding the incidence of such outcomes will allow us to understand how common (and therefore how feasible) particular outcomes are in asthma in the ED setting; and finally (5) a meeting of the Pediatric Emergency Research Networks (PERN) asthma working group will be held, with invitation of other clinicians interested in acute asthma research, and patients/families. The group will be asked to achieve consensus on a core set of outcomes and to make recommendations for the conduct of clinical trials in acute severe asthma. If this is not possible, the group will agree on a series of prioritized steps to achieve this aim.

Discussion: The development of an international consensus on core outcomes is an important first step towards the development of consensus guidelines and standardised protocols for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in this population. This will enable us to better interpret and compare future studies, reduce risks of study heterogeneity and outcome reporting bias, and improve the evidence base for the management of this important condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13063-019-3785-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6956506PMC
January 2020

Traditional cauterisation in an infant.

Arch Dis Child 2020 Oct 13;105(10):998. Epub 2019 Jun 13.

Emergency Medicine, Sidra Medical and Research Center, Doha, Qatar.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2019-317266DOI Listing
October 2020

Rebound stridor in children with croup after nebulised adrenaline: does it really exist?

Breathe (Sheff) 2019 Mar;15(1):e1-e7

Paediatric Emergency Dept, Sidra Medicine, Doha, Qatar.

http://ow.ly/aoOd30o5lEo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/20734735.0011-2019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6481985PMC
March 2019

Mixed Viral-Bacterial Infections and Their Effects on Gut Microbiota and Clinical Illnesses in Children.

Sci Rep 2019 01 29;9(1):865. Epub 2019 Jan 29.

Biomedical Research Center, Qatar University, Doha, 2713, Qatar.

Acute gastroenteritis remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality among young children worldwide. It accounts for approximately 1.34 million deaths annually in children younger than five years. Infection can be caused by viral, bacterial and/or parasitic microorganisms. Dysbiosis due to such infections could dramatically affect disease prognosis as well as development of chronic illness. The aim of this study was to analyze gut microbiome and clinical outcomes in young children suffering from viral or mixed viral-bacterial infection. We evaluated gut microbiota composition in children suffering from viral or mixed viral-bacterial infection with two major viruses rotavirus (RV) and norovirus (NoV) and two pathogenic bacteria [Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC), and Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC)]. We sequenced 16S ribosomal RNA (V4 region) genes using Illumina MiSeq in 70 hospitalized children suffering from gastroenteric infections plus nine healthy controls. The study summarized Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU) abundances with the Bray-Curtis index and performed a non-metric multidimensional scaling analysis to visualize microbiome similarities. We used a permutational multivariate analyses of variance to test the significance of group differences. We also analyzed the correlation between microbiome changes and clinical outcomes. Our data demonstrated a significant increase in the severity score in children with viral-bacterial mixed infections compared to those with virus infections alone. Statistical analysis by overall relative abundance denoted lesser proportions of Bacteroides in the infected children, whereas Bifidobacteriaceae richness was more prominent in the bacterial-viral mixed infections. Pairwise differences of gut microbiota were significantly higher in RV + EAEC (P = 0.009) and NoV + EAEC (P = 0.009) co-infections, compared to EPEC mixed infection with both, RV (P = 0.045) and NoV (P = 0.188). Shannon diversity index showed considerable more variation in microbiome diversity in children infected with RV cohort compared to NoV cohort. Our results highlight that richness of Bifidobacteriaceae, which acts as probiotics, increased with the severity of the viral-bacterial mixed infections. As expected, significant reduction of relative numbers of Bacteroides was characterized in both RV and NoV infections, with more reduction observed in co-infection pathogenic E. coli. Although mixed infection with EAEC resulted in significant microbiota differences compared to viral infection only or mixed infection with EPEC, the clinical condition of the children were worsened with both pathogenic E.coli co-infections. Further, in comparison with RV cohort, augmented number of differential abundant pathogenic OTUs were peculiarly noticed only with NoV mixed infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-37162-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6351549PMC
January 2019

Assessment of hepatitis B immunization programme among school students in Qatar.

East Mediterr Health J 2018 Oct 10;24(8):736-744. Epub 2018 Oct 10.

Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.

Background: In 2010, Qatar adopted the target of reducing hepatitis B prevalence to < 1% in children by 2015. The World Health Organization Region for the Eastern Mediterranean is identified with intermediate hepatitis B virus (HBV) endemicity, ranging from 2% to 7%. It is estimated that 4.3 million individuals are living with HBV infection in the Region.

Aims: This study was conducted to assess hepatitis B seroprevalence in children, hepatitis B vaccination coverage, potential exposure to risk factors, and knowledge among parents/guardians about hepatitis B infection.

Methods: We carried out this cross-sectional study in Qatar during the academic year 2015/16. Multistage cluster sampling was used to select a nationally representative sample of 2735 grade 1 school students aged ≥ 5 years. Blood was collected by finger prick and tested using the point-of-care test/rapid test. A self-administered, precoded questionnaire was used to assess parent/guardian knowledge about HBV and collect information on the child's HBV vaccination coverage.

Results: All blood samples were HBsAg negative. Qataris had a vaccination card and were totally vaccinated but 17.7% of non-Qataris did not hold a vaccination card and most parents/guardians were not aware of the vaccination status of their children. Children were exposed to various hepatitis B risk practices. Knowledge about hepatitis B among parents/ guardians was low.

Conclusions: Qatar has averted the hepatitis B threat and maintained high vaccination coverage for children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.26719/2018.24.8.736DOI Listing
October 2018

Molecular characterization of extended spectrum β -lactamases enterobacteriaceae causing lower urinary tract infection among pediatric population.

Antimicrob Resist Infect Control 2018 28;7:90. Epub 2018 Jul 28.

1Biomedical Research Center, Qatar University, P.O. Box 2713, Doha, Qatar.

Background: The β-lactam antibiotics have traditionally been the main treatment of Enterobacteriaceae infections, nonetheless, the emergence of species producing β- Lactamases has rendered this class of antibiotics largely ineffective. There are no published data on etiology of urinary tract infections (UTI) and antimicrobial resistance profile of uropathogens among children in Qatar. The aim of this study is to determine the phenotypic and genotypic profiles of antimicrobial resistant Enterobacteriaceae among children with UTI in Qatar.

Methods: Bacteria were isolated from 727 urine positive cultures, collected from children with UTI between February and June 2017 at the Pediatric Emergency Center, Doha, Qatar. Isolated bacteria were tested for antibiotic susceptibility against sixteen clinically relevant antibiotics using phoenix and Double Disc Synergy Test (DDST) for confirmation of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) production. Existence of genes encoding ESBL production were identified using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Statistical analysis was done using non-parametric Kappa statistics, Pearson chi-square test and Jacquard's coefficient.

Results: 201 (31.7%) of samples were confirmed as Extended Spectrum β -Lactamases (ESBL) Producing Enterobacteriaceae. The most dominant pathogen was 166 (83%) followed by 22 (11%). Resistance was mostly encoded by CTX-M (59%) genes, primarily CTX-MG1 (89.2%) followed by CTX-MG9 (7.7%). 37% of isolated bacteria were harboring multiple genes (2 genes or more). isolates were categorized into 11 clusters, while were grouped into five clonal clusters according to the presence and absence of seven genes namely TEM, SHV, CTX-MG1, CTX-MG2, CTX-MG8 CTX-MG9 CTX-MG25.

Conclusions: Our data indicates an escalated problem of ESBL in pediatrics with UTI, which mandates implementation of regulatory programs to reduce the spread of ESBL producing Enterobacteriaceae in the community. The use of cephalosporins, aminoglycosides (gentamicin) and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole is compromised in Qatar among pediatric population with UTI, leaving carbapenems and amikacin as the therapeutic option for severe infections caused by ESBL producers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13756-018-0381-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6064174PMC
September 2019

Human respiratory syncytial virus: pathogenesis, immune responses, and current vaccine approaches.

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 2018 Oct 6;37(10):1817-1827. Epub 2018 Jun 6.

Biomedical Research Center, Qatar University, 2713, Doha, Qatar.

Respiratory syncytial virus continues to pose a serious threat to the pediatric populations worldwide. With a genomic makeup of 15,200 nucleotides, the virus encodes for 11 proteins serving as envelope spikes, inner envelope proteins, and non-structural and ribonucleocapsid complexes. The fusion (F) and attachment (G) surface glycoproteins are the key targets for neutralizing antibodies. The highly variable G with altered glycosylations and the conformational alternations of F create challenges for vaccine development. The metastable F protein is responsible for RSV-host cell fusion and thus infectivity. Novel antigenic sites were identified on this form following its stabilization and solving its crystal structure. Importantly, site ø displays neutralizing activity exceeding those of post-F-specific and shared antigenic sites, such as site II which is the target for Palivizumab therapeutic antibody. Induction of high neutralizing antibody responses by pre-F immunization in animal models promoted it as a major vaccine candidate. Since RSV infection is more serious at age extremities and in individuals with undermining health conditions, vaccines are being developed to target these populations. Infants below three months of age have a suppressive immune system, making vaccines' immunogenicity weak. Therefore, a suggested strategy to protect newborns from RSV infection would be through passive immunity of maternal antibodies. Hence, pregnant women at their third trimester have been selected as an ideal target for vaccination with RSV pre-F vaccine. This review summarizes the different modes of RSV pathogenesis and host's immune response to the infection, and illustrates on the latest updates of vaccine development and vaccination approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10096-018-3289-4DOI Listing
October 2018

Molecular Analysis of the Enteric Protozoa Associated with Acute Diarrhea in Hospitalized Children.

Front Cell Infect Microbiol 2017 2;7:343. Epub 2017 Aug 2.

Department of Biomedical Science, College of Health Sciences, Biomedical Research Center, Qatar UniversityDoha, Qatar.

Pediatric diarrhea is a common cause of death among children under 5 years of age. In the current study, we investigated the frequency of intestinal parasites among 580 pediatric patients with chronic diarrhea. Parasitic protozoa (all species combined) were detected by molecular tools in 22.9% of the children and the most common parasite was spp. (15.1%). was detected in 4.7%, in 4%, in 1.7%, and in 0.17%. Protozoan infections were observed among all regional groups, but prevalence was highest among Qatari subjects and during the winter season. Typing of spp. revealed a predominance of in 92% of cases with mostly the IIdA20G1 subtype. Subtypes IIdA19G2, IIdA18G2, IIdA18G1, IIdA17G1, IIdA16G1, and IIdA14G1 were also detected. For , IbA10G2 and IbA9G3 subtypes were identified. This study provides supplementary information for implementing prevention and control strategies to reduce the burden of these pediatric protozoan infections. Further analyses are required to better understand the local epidemiology and transmission of spp. in Qatar.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcimb.2017.00343DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5539595PMC
April 2018

Flavored Intravenous Ondansetron Administered Orally for the Treatment of Persistent Vomiting in Children.

J Trop Pediatr 2016 08 16;62(4):288-92. Epub 2016 Mar 16.

Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Sidra Medical and Research Centre, Doha, Qatar Weill Cornell Medical College, Doha, Qatar

Objective: To study the serum level of ondansetron after oral administration of intravenous ondansetron, and test the palatability of the drug after being flavored.

Method: This is a single-center prospective study enrolling children aged 3-8 years with gastroenteritis treated for persistent vomiting; patients received single dose of flavored intravenous ondansetron orally. The primary outcome was ondansetron serum level at 4 hours. Secondary outcome was palatability of the drug.

Results: Forty previously healthy patients presenting with acute gastroenteritis were enrolled. The mean age was 4.86±1.37 years. Serum level at 4 h had a median of 26.23 ng/ml, range (8.3-52 ng/ml). Palatability of the drug had a mean of 3.23 (of 5) ± 0.80, based on score from visual analog scale.

Conclusions: Flavored intravenous ondansetron administered orally is a safe and an effective option and can be considered in the absence of the oral forms of the drug.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tropej/fmw009DOI Listing
August 2016

Neonatal visits to the pediatric emergency center and its implications on postnatal discharge practices in qatar.

J Clin Neonatol 2013 Jan;2(1):14-9

Neonatal Perinatal Medicine Division, Pediatric Emergency Center, Hamad Medical Corporation, Weill Cornel Medical Collage, Doha, Qatar.

Background: An early discharge from postnatal policy has been practiced at Women's Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation.

Aim: This observational cohort study was conducted to evaluate the effect of early postnatal discharge practice on neonatal morbidity in the State of Qatar.

Setting And Design: This is a data-based cohort study. All neonates ≤28 days visiting the Pediatric Emergency Centers (PEC) were evaluated for the need for re-hospitalization, referral for clinic appointments, or observation at the PEC setting.

Materials And Methods: Differences in outcome rates were compared in neonates who visited in the first 24 hours postnatal discharge (2-3 days of life) and those who visited after the third day of life.

Statistical Analysis: Crude differences in incidence rate assessed by χ(2) or Fisher exact test were applicable.

Results: Of 3528 PEC visits for 1915 neonates, 1.7% required admission (3.1% of neonates), 8.4% were observed, 1.1% were referred to a clinic, and the remaining were discharged home. There was no significant difference in re-hospitalization rates of neonates visiting PEC in the first 3 days and those visiting at a later age (OR 0.78, 95% CL 0.19-3.23, P=1). However, early presentations to PEC was more likely to result in periods of observation (OR 1.88, 95% CL 1.17-3.04, P=0.01), or clinic referral (OR 4.96, 95% CL 2.16-11.38, P=0.001) when compared to older neonates. Moreover, those who presented early were significantly more likely to revisit any of the PECs with in the 28 days period (OR 3.20, 95% CL 2.17-4.97, P<0.0001).

Conclusion: These results clearly demonstrate the need for a structured early post-discharge follow-up service that addresses the needs of all neonates and their families. The results, however, do not provide sufficient evidence that delaying postnatal discharges for apparently healthy neonates will provide significant health benefits to these neonates and their families.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/2249-4847.109238DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3761961PMC
January 2013

Metoclopramide versus ondansetron for the treatment of vomiting in children with acute gastroenteritis.

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2011 Aug;53(2):156-60

Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.

Objective: To compare the efficacy and safety of ondansetron versus less expensive metoclopramide in the treatment of children with persistent vomiting with acute gastroenteritis.

Materials And Methods: A double-blind trial including consecutive consented patients ages 1 to 14 years was conducted in an urban infirmary setting from June 2008 through December 2008. Children were randomized to receive a single dose of intravenous ondansetron or metoclopramide. The primary efficacy outcome was the proportion of patients with cessation of vomiting shortly after completion of the study medication infusion in each group. Observed adverse effects and diarrhea frequency during admission and in follow-up were recorded to assess safety.

Results: One hundred sixty-seven previously healthy children (median age 3 years) diagnosed as having acute gastroenteritis with persistent vomiting completed treatment and observation. Cessation of vomiting was achieved in 68/84 patients (81%) of the ondansetron and 60/83 (72%) of the metoclopramide groups, P = 0.14. Mean time to complete cessation of vomiting was 39 minutes (SD 111) for ondansetron, and 61 minutes (SD 110) for metoclopramide, P = 0.2. The mean length of infirmary stay was 550 minutes (SD 427) for ondansetron and 575 minutes (SD 449) for metoclopramide, P = 0.71. Revisit rate, readmissions rate, and frequency of diarrhea after discharge were similar in the 2 treatment groups. No adverse reaction or other safety concerns were identified.

Conclusions: In the sample size tested, intravenous metoclopramide therapy did not differ from ondansetron in the treatment of persistent vomiting for children with gastroenteritis admitted for intravenous fluid hydration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPG.0b013e3182132d8dDOI Listing
August 2011

Life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia after a single dose of nebulized epinephrine in pediatric emergency department.

J Trop Pediatr 2011 Dec 21;57(6):497-9. Epub 2011 Jan 21.

Cardiac adverse effects are not commonly reported complications of nebulized epinephrine therapy. We present a case of critical cardiac arrhythmia developed at the Pediatric Emergency Department in an otherwise healthy infant after receiving 3 mg of L-epinephrine (1:1000) nebulization over a 90 min period for a diagnosis of bronchiolitis. Unstable ventricular tachycardia was found after the nebulization therapy that required chemical cardioversion. Frequent premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) were found initially following the cardiac insult that was controlled with oral amiodarone, and disappeared during follow-up. Although epinephrine inhalation is generally safe, adverse life-threatening events could be unpredictable and may evolve even after a single dose of nebulized epinephrine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tropej/fmq123DOI Listing
December 2011

Nebulized 5% or 3% hypertonic or 0.9% saline for treating acute bronchiolitis in infants.

J Pediatr 2010 Oct 19;157(4):630-4, 634.e1. Epub 2010 Jun 19.

Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.

Objective: To compare the efficacy and safety of 5%, 3%, and 0.9% saline solution for treating acute bronchiolitis in the prehospital setting.

Study Design: This was a double-blind trial including consecutive infants aged <18 months treated in an urban urgent care setting. A total of 165 patients were randomized to receive nebulized 5%, 3%, or 0.9% (normal) saline with epinephrine every 4 hours. The primary efficacy outcome was bronchiolitis severity score improvement at 48 hours (chi2 analysis). Scores and oxygen saturation immediately before and after each treatment were recorded to assess safety.

Results: A total of 187 previously healthy infants (median age, 3.1 months) diagnosed with bronchiolitis were enrolled. Positivity for respiratory syncytial virus was similar in the 3 treatment groups (mean, 56%). At 48 hours, the mean severity score for the 5% saline group was 3.69+/-1.09, and that for the 0.9% saline group was 4.12+/-1.11 (P=.04; difference, 0.43, 95% confidence interval for the difference, 0.02-0.88). The mean severity score for the 3% saline group was intermediate at 4.00+/-1.22. Revisit rates after discharge were similar in the 3 treatment groups. No adverse reactions or other safety concerns were identified.

Conclusions: Nebulization with 5% hypertonic saline is safe, can be widely generalizable, and may be superior to current treatment for early outpatient treatment of bronchiolitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.04.074DOI Listing
October 2010

Nineteen cases of symptomatic neonatal hypocalcemia secondary to vitamin D deficiency: a 2-year study.

J Trop Pediatr 2010 Apr 21;56(2):108-10. Epub 2009 Jul 21.

Pediatric Department, Pediatric Emergency Center, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.

Vitamin D deficiency can develop very early in infancy, and be characterized by severe hypocalcemic symptoms. This study was done to determine the relation between symptomatic hypocalcemia and vitamin D deficiency in newborn infants and their mothers in the state of Qatar. This is a retrospective study for all newborns presented to the Pediatric Emergency Centers in Qatar with symptomatic hypocalcemia from 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2007. Nineteen newborn infants during the study period presented with symptomatic hypocalcemia. Vitamin D deficiency with or without relative hypoparathyroidism was the attributed cause. Vitamin D deficiency in newborn infants secondary to maternal vitamin D deficiency leading to hypocalcemic symptoms is not uncommon in the state of Qatar. Therefore, vitamin D supplementation in pregnant and lactating mothers in the state of Qatar should be considered after proper screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tropej/fmp063DOI Listing
April 2010

Analgesia and sedation practices for incarcerated inguinal hernias in children.

Clin Pediatr (Phila) 2008 Oct 19;47(8):766-9. Epub 2008 May 19.

Division of Emergency Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

In this study, the use of medications for analgesia and/or sedation for incarcerated inguinal hernia reductions in the emergency department was analyzed. A retrospective chart review was conducted for all patients presenting to a pediatric emergency department with incarcerated inguinal hernia from 2002 to 2005. A total of 99 children presented with incarcerated hernias during the study period. The median age was 11 months. Forty-four percent of children received medication for the procedure, of them 75% received parenteral and 25% oral or intranasal medications. Forty-five percent of children who received medication went through at least 1 hernia reduction attempt initially without medications. More than half the children with incarcerated inguinal hernias did not receive any medication for pain and/or sedation prior to hernia reduction. Guidelines for medication use for children with incarcerated inguinal hernias need to be developed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0009922808316990DOI Listing
October 2008

Minimally angulated pediatric wrist fractures: is immobilization without manipulation enough?

CJEM 2007 Jan;9(1):9-15

Division of Emergency Medicine, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Background: Emergency department (ED) manipulation of complete minimally angulated distal radius fractures in children may not be necessary, due to the excellent remodeling potential of these fractures.

Objectives: The primary objective of this study was to determine the proportion of minimally angulated distal radius fractures managed in the ED with plaster immobilization that subsequently required manipulation. Our secondary objective was to document, at follow-up, changes in angulation for each wrist fracture.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study reviewed consecutive records of all children with bi-cortical minimally angulated (
Results: Of 124 patients included in the analysis, none required manipulation after their ED visit. All but 14 (11.3%) fractures were angulated
Conclusions: Minimally angulated fractures of the distal metaphyseal radius managed in plaster immobilization without reduction in the ED are unlikely to require future surgical intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s1481803500014676DOI Listing
January 2007
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