Publications by authors named "Kourosh Azizi"

24 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Seroprevalence Study on West Nile Virus (WNV) Infection, a Hidden Viral Disease in Fars Province, Southern Iran.

J Arthropod Borne Dis 2020 Jun 30;14(2):173-184. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Background: West Nile Virus, a mosquito-borne flavivirus, causes a variety of symptoms in human, from asymptomatic infection to neuroinvasive disease. Several studies have been conducted on the seroprevalence of WNV infection in different areas from Iran. This study was performed to find the presence of antiviral antibodies in human serum among some high risk population and awareness of health care staff about symptom of the WNV infection.

Methods: Study performed in five geographical districts based on high population of immigrant and domestic birds and prevalence of the antiviral antibodies in horses which was reported previously. Totally 150 human blood samples were collected during 2018. The samples collected from patients referred to the clinics. The ELISA method used to detect IgG and IgM antibody against WNV. Logistic regression models used to analyze the effect of sex, age, keeping birds and urban/rural residence on the risk of infection. The awareness of health care staff about symptom of infection surveyed.

Results: From all blood donors, 41 samples (27.33%) showed positive to IgG antibody. From which 56.10% were males and remaining females. None of the mentioned factors had a significant relationship. Health care staff had less attention to the infection.

Conclusion: Although the prevalence of antibodies was relatively high, due to the similarity to other viral diseases, health care staff had less attention to the disease. The study showed that people in these areas have been exposed to the virus. Further research activities are recommended for control of this arbovirus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18502/jad.v14i2.3735DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7738928PMC
June 2020

Prevalence of allergenic arthropods in domestic dwellings of referrals to an asthma and allergy clinic in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

East Mediterr Health J 2020 May 21;26(5):586-593. Epub 2020 May 21.

Research Center for Health Sciences, Institute of Health, Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Health.

Background: Allergenic arthropods are crucial agents in inducing medically important respiratory diseases like asthma and the inflammation of the respiratory tract worldwide.

Aims: This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of all arthropods in the dwellings of people referred to the asthma and allergy clinic in Shiraz.

Methods: This was was a cross-sectional descriptive study. Participants were 100 allergic patients who had tested positive (roach- and mite-sensitive). Mites were collected from their houses using a vacuum cleaner; other arthropods were caught with sticky traps. Direct observation and flotation methods were used and the samples were stored in 70% ethanol. Morphological characteristics were identified using valid taxonomic keys.

Results: Overall, 624 specimens were identified belonging to 14 orders (4 orders of mites: Astigmata, Cryptostigmata, Prostigmata and Mesostigmata; and 10 other arthropod orders: Diptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Thysanura, Thysanoptera, Entomobryomorpha, Blattodea, Siphonaptera, Pscoptera and Isopoda). The 2 most numerous species collected were Musca domestica and Dermanyssus gallinae.

Conclusion: A small number of dwellings were infested with cockroaches; none were infested with the common house dust mites. The allergies induced in these patients could likely be attributed to other arthropods that are not considered main allergens in asthma and allergy clinics in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Health surveillance and prevention of infestation for these arthropods could have an immense impact on the control of the allergenic arthropod community, prevention of respiratory diseases, and personal health in Shiraz.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.26719/emhj.19.087DOI Listing
May 2020

Molecular characterization of the receptor in larvae.

AIMS Genet 2019 8;6(3):46-54. Epub 2019 Aug 8.

Research Center for Health Sciences, Institute of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Larval therapy with is a promising strategy in wound healing. Axon guidance molecules play vital roles during the development of the nervous system and also regulate the capacity of neuronal restoration in wound healing. , one of the proteins that larvae secrete, plays a useful role in cell migration and nerve tissue regeneration. The combines with a signal and transmits the signal from one side of the membrane to the other side, initiating a change in cell activity. In the current study, we identified the full length of the mRNA in using different sets of primers, including exon junction and specific region primers. The coding sequence (CDS) of the was sequenced and identified to include 633 base-pair nucleic acids, and BLAST analysis on its nucleotide sequence revealed 96% identity with the netrin-1 . The protein residue included 210 amino acids (aa) and coded for a protein with 24 kD weight. This gene lacked the signal peptide. Furthermore, the UPA domain is conserved in . It lied at the interval of 26-131 aa. We identified the CDS of in . It could be applied to research activities implementing a new essential component design in wound healing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3934/genet.2019.3.46DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6803787PMC
August 2019

Comparative efficacy of three pediculicides to treat head lice infestation in primary school girls: a randomised controlled assessor blind trial in rural Iran.

BMC Dermatol 2019 09 12;19(1):13. Epub 2019 Sep 12.

Research Center for Health Sciences, Institute of Health, Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Background: Head lice infestation (Pediculosis) is one of the most important health challenges particularly in primary school-aged children. It is often present among 6-11-year-old students in various tropical and temperate regions of the world. The aim of this study was to examine epidemiologic indices and comparative analysis of two pyrethroid-based and one non-chemical pediculicide products on head lice treatment of primary school girls in a rural setting of Fars province, south Iran, as part of a randomized controlled assessor blind trial.

Methods: Before treatment, infested students were screened using plastic detection combs to find live head lice. Three independent parallel groups, each with about 25 participants (#77) were eventually twice with a week apart treated with either 1% permethrin, 0.2% parasidose (d-phenothrin) or 4% dimeticone lotion preparations. In each case, a questionnaire form was completed on epidemiologic factors. Data were registered after a fortnight from primary scalp treatment and re-inspection on days 2, 6, 9 and 14. Data analyses were performed using Chi-square test with a P-value < 0.05 being taken as statistically significant.

Results: From 3728 inspected students, 87 (2.33%) girls were infested with head lice, Pediculus humanus capitis De Geer, 1778. Ten students dropped out pertaining to exclusion criteria. No significant correlation was found between head lice infestation level and hair length, hair style, itching, nationality, age, settlement site and baths; but there was a significant relationship between age and hair style (P = 0.027). The efficacy values on each of the above re-inspection days from each of the three treatments were 81, 74, 70 and 63% for permethrin; 83, 92, 100 and 100% for dimeticone; and 96, 88, 96 and 92% for d-phenothrin; respectively. A quartile difference in efficacy of permethrin relative to dimeticone on day 14 represented the scale of head lice resistance to permethrin treatment. There were significant statistical differences in case re-inspection days 9 (P = 0.008) and 14 (P = 0.003) post treatment. Only two dropout cases, one non-compliant and the other lost before the second-week treatment, from permethrin trial were observed following two applications a week apart.

Conclusions: Dimeticone lotion had the fullest efficacy (100%) among all treatments. This high cure rate was attributed to the low level of infestation and the extent of patients' involvement. Parasidose swiftly ameliorated the infested cases by the second day since initial treatment. Female third grade students were the most infested cohort.

Trial Registration: Current Controlled Trials- IRCT2016041627408N1 , Dated: 21-08-2017.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12895-019-0093-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6739928PMC
September 2019

The first detection of Amblyomma hebraeum (Acarina: Ixodidae) in Iran.

Vet Parasitol Reg Stud Reports 2019 04 19;16:100276. Epub 2019 Feb 19.

Research Center for Health Sciences, Institute of Health, Department of Medical Entomology, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Electronic address:

Amblyomma hebraeum (Koch, 1844), has been already reported from along the coast of South Africa, eastern Swaziland, southern Mozambique, eastern Botswana, and in southern and eastern regions of Zimbabwe. The aim of this study was to determine the ecto-parasites and the harmful arthropods of wildlife animals, collected from cages of Shiraz zoo in Fars province, southern Iran, in 2016. Accordingly, the Ticks collected from the white camels were identified as Amblyomma hebraeum. This species which was collected from white camel of Fars province, is reported for the first time from Iran. The presence of A. hebraeum poses a serious threat to the livestock industry in Iran and there is need to investigate the presence of this species in Iranian livestock.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vprsr.2019.100276DOI Listing
April 2019

Widespread circulation of West Nile virus, but not Zika virus in southern Iran.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2018 12 17;12(12):e0007022. Epub 2018 Dec 17.

Department of Clinical Virology, Clinical Microbiology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Namazi Hospital, Shiraz, Iran.

West Nile virus (WNV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) are mosquito-borne viral infections. Over the past few decades, WNV has been associated with several outbreaks involving high numbers of neuroinvasive diseases among humans. The recent re-emergence of ZIKV has been associated with congenital malformation and also with Guillain-Barre syndrome in adults. The geographic range of arthropod-borne viruses has been rapidly increasing in recent years. The objectives of this study were to determine the presence of IgG specific antibodies and the genome of WNV and ZIKV in human samples, as well as WNV and ZIKV genomes in wild-caught mosquitoes in urban and rural areas of the Hormozgan province, in southern Iran. A total of 494 serum samples were tested for the presence of WNV and ZIKV IgG antibodies using ELISA assays. One hundred and two (20.6%) samples were reactive for WNV IgG antibodies. All serum samples were negative for ZIKV IgG antibodies. Using the multivariable logistic analysis, age (45+ vs. 1-25; OR = 3.4, 95% C.I.: 1.8-6.3), occupation (mostly outdoor vs. mostly indoor; OR = 2.4, 95% C.I.: 1.1-5.2), and skin type(type I/II vs. type III/IV and type V/VI; OR = 4.3, 95% C.I.: 1.7-10.8 and OR = 2.7, 95% C.I.: 1.3-5.5 respectively, skin types based on Fitzpatrick scale) showed significant association with WNV seroreactivity. We collected 2,015 mosquitoes in 136 pools belonging to 5 genera and 14 species. Three pools of Culex pipiens complex were positive for WNV RNA using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rtRT-PCR). ZIKV RNA was not detected in any of the pools. All WNV ELISA reactive serum samples were negative for WNV RNA. In conclusion, we provided evidence of the establishment of WNV in southern Iran and no proof of ZIKV in serum samples or in mosquito vectors. The establishment of an organized arbovirus surveillance system and active case finding strategies seems to be necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6312345PMC
December 2018

Bionomics of phlebotomine sand flies species (Diptera: Psychodidae) and their natural infection with and in Fars province, southern Iran.

J Parasit Dis 2018 Dec 22;42(4):511-518. Epub 2018 Aug 22.

5Research Center for Health Sciences, Institute of Health, Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Phlebotominae sand flies are involved in human diseases, such as leishmaniasis, and cause a considerable number of deaths every year. Besides, some of them have been identified as allergen sources or the potential mechanical vectors related to nosocomial infections. The present study aimed to assess the monthly activity, fauna, and detection of protozoan agents in phlebotomine sand flies using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in re-emerging zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis foci of Shiraz and Kharameh in Fars province, southern Iran during 2016-2017. To determine the monthly activity, sand flies were caught from indoors and outdoors of both studied areas. Afterward, all female phlebotomine sand flies were processed for DNA extraction and PCR assays for and detections. During the study, 6975 sand flies of 16 species (eight and eight species) were caught in both foci. Sand flies' monthly activities started in early April and terminated in late November and October. Additionally, two active peaks of sand flies were observed in both foci; first in June and second in August to September. (47.1%) was the most dominant species in out/indoors of both Shiraz (31.1%) and Kharameh (16.0%). It was also the only species which was found infected with , indeed, 2.68% and 2.53% of were infected to in Kharameh and Shiraz, respectively. However, none of the female sand flies was positive for spp. Despite various control strategies, especially against , considerable cases of leishmaniasis are recorded from Iran every year. Phlebotomine plays the main role in transmission of in these foci. Therefore, further studies are needed to determine the role of different phlebotomine species in epidemiological aspects of leishmaniasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12639-018-1027-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6261151PMC
December 2018

Sandflies species composition, activity, and natural infection with , parasite identity in lesion isolates of cutaneous leishmaniasis, central Iran.

J Parasit Dis 2018 Jun 25;42(2):252-258. Epub 2018 Apr 25.

2Research Center for Health Sciences, Institute of Health, Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniosis (ZCL) is a crucial public health challenge in Iran. Sandflies feed on reservoir rodents' blood infected with parasite and transmit it to other hosts. This study was conducted to find out the composition and monthly activity of sandflies as well as to identify the protozoan pathogens (/) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in an emerging ZCL focus of Abarkooh, Yazd province, Iran, in 2016. A cross-sectional study was done in rural areas of Abarkooh. From April to November 2016, sticky traps were used indoor and outdoor to capture sandflies once every fortnight. Their composition and monthly activity were recorded. Following identification of sandflies and DNA extraction from them, PCR was used to identify their parasite and match it against samples taken from ZCL confirmed and suspected patients' lesions. After collection, a total of 2045 sandflies (779 indoor, 1266 outdoor) were identified to species level. Sandfly activity started early April in this area with two active peaks (one late May and the other late August) terminated about mid-November. Seven species and three species were identified. The most and the least abundant species were (40.1%) and (0.09%), respectively. Using PCR, only 6% (12:200) of sandflies were infected with parasite. No was detected in either sandflies or human lesions (176 specimen). Based on the highest abundance both indoor and outdoor of , this sandfly was considered the main vector of ZCL in this area. The capture of , , and from rodent burrows showed these species were likely involved in pathogen transmission in reservoir rodents' burrows.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12639-018-0994-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5962503PMC
June 2018

Species Composition of Sand Flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) and Modeling the Spatial Distribution of Main Vectors of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Hormozgan Province, Southern Iran.

J Med Entomol 2018 02;55(2):292-299

Deputy of Health, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran.

Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) is one of the main neglected vector-borne diseases in the Middle East, including Iran. This study aimed to map the spatial distribution and species composition of sand flies in Hormozgan Province and to predict the best ecological niches for main CL vectors in this area. A database that included all earlier studies on sand flies in Hormozgan Province was established. Sand flies were also collected from some localities across the province. Prediction maps for main vectors were developed using MaxEnt model. A total of 27 sand fly species were reported from the study area. Phlebotomus papatasi Scopoli, Phlebotomus sergenti s.l. Parrot, Phlebotomus alexandri Sinton, Sergentomyia sintoni Pringle, Sergentomyia clydei Sinton, Sergentomyia tiberiadis Adler, and Sergentomyia baghdadis Adler (Diptera: Psychodidae) had the widest distribution range. The probability of their presence as the main vectors of CL was calculated to be 0.0003-0.9410 and 0.0031-0.8880 for P. papatasi and P. sergenti s.l., respectively. The best ecological niches for P. papatasi were found in the central south, southeast, and a narrow area in southwest, whereas central south to northern area had better niches for P. sergenti s.l. The endemic areas are in Bandar-e Jask, where transmission occurs, whereas in Bastak, the cases were imported from endemic foci of Fars province. In conclusion, proven and suspected vectors of CL and VL were recorded in this study. Due to the existence of endemic foci of CL, and favorite ecological niches for its vectors, there is potential risk of emerging CL in new areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjx205DOI Listing
February 2018

Monitoring of Plasmodium infection in humans and potential vectors of malaria in a newly emerged focus in southern Iran.

Pathog Glob Health 2017 Feb 12;111(1):49-55. Epub 2017 Jan 12.

a Research Centre for Health Sciences, Institute of Health, Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Health , Shiraz University of Medical Sciences , Shiraz , Iran.

Despite control programs, which aim to eliminate malaria from Iran by 2025, transmission of malaria has not been removed from the country. This study aimed to monitor malaria from asymptomatic parasitaemia and clinical cases from about one year of active case surveillance and potential vectors of malaria in the newly emerged focus of Mamasani and Rostam, southern Iran during 2014-2015. Samples were collected and their DNAs were extracted for Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) assay using specific primers for detection of Plasmodium species. The Annual Parasite Incidence rate (API) was three cases per 1,000 population from 2,000 individuals in three villages. Parasites species were detected in 9 out of the 4,000 blood smear samples among which, 6 cases were indigenous and had no history of travels to endemic areas of malaria. Also, the prevalence rate of asymptomatic parasites was about 0.3%. Overall, 1073 Anopheles spp. were caught from 9 villages. Totally, 512 female samples were checked by PCR, which indicated that none of them was infected with Plasmodium. Despite new malaria local transmission in humans in Mamasani and Rostam districts, no infection with Plasmodium was observed in Anopheles species. Because of neighboring of the studied area to the re-emerged focus in Fars province (Kazerun) and important endemic foci of malaria in other southern provinces, such as Hormozgan and Kerman, monitoring of the vectors and reservoir hosts of Plasmodium species would be unavoidable. Application of molecular methods, such as PCR, can simplify access to the highest level of accuracy in malaria researches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20477724.2016.1271094DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5375612PMC
February 2017

Faunal Distribution and Seasonal Bio-Ecology of Naturally Infected Sand Flies in a New Endemic Zoonotic Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Focus of Southern Iran.

J Arthropod Borne Dis 2016 Dec 4;10(4):560-568. Epub 2016 Oct 4.

Research Centre for Health Sciences, Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Background: Cutaneous leishmaniasis is a major health problem in Iran in spite of implementation of control program. This infectious disease caused morbidity in less than 27000 people in 2010. This study was set to determine some ecological aspects of sand flies in Fasa district, Fars Province, southern Iran during 2011-2012.

Methods: A total of 4792 sand flies were captured by means of sticky paper and CDC miniature light traps in 10 selected villages from the beginning to the end of the active season, from which 1115 specimens were captured for abundance study and 3677 specimens captured for monitoring monthly activities in Fasa. After species identification, extracted DNA was processed for detection of parasite infection in sand flies.

Results: Twelve species (6 , 6 ) were identified. The most common sand fly was (82.4%) which represented 86.6% of sand flies from indoors and 82.7% from outdoors. The monthly activity of the species extended from April to the end of November. There were two peaks in the density curve of this species, one in June and the second in September. Natural infection to was detected in (25 out of 130 sand flies, 19.2%)

Conclusion: is considered as a main vector of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in Fasa, Fars Province, south of Iran.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5186746PMC
December 2016

Morphological and molecular characterization of Pratylenchoides persicus n. sp. (Nematoda: Merliniidae) and additional data on two other species of the genus from Iran.

Zootaxa 2016 Dec 9;4205(5):zootaxa.4205.5.4. Epub 2016 Dec 9.

Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zanjan, 45371-38791, Zanjan, Iran;.

Some nematologists recently placed the genus Pratylenchoides, ("Lesion Nematode-like") in the family Merliniidae. To investigate Pratylenchoides species diversity and their relationships with other Merliniidae genera, specimens were collected from various habitats in the northern and northwestern provinces of Iran. The morphological and molecular study yielded three species of the genus Pratylenchoides, including P. persicus n. sp. This new species is characterized by having lip region rounded or slightly flattened anteriorly with four or five fine but distinct annuli, pharyngeal glands off-set or slightly overlapping the intestine dorsally, all three gland nuclei located anterior to the pharyngo-intestinal valve and tail cylindrical with truncate to low rounded terminus. Morphologically, P. persicus n. sp. can be distinguished from the most closely related species, P. heathi by having shorter body and stylet length in females and males, as well as a shorter tail with different terminus in females. Pratylenchoides laticauda and P. cf. nevadensis are reported from Iran for the first time. Phylogenetic analysis based on the D2/D3 region of the large subunit of ribosomal DNA revealed Pratylenchoides as a monophyletic genus, and it supports the delineation of the new species, P. persicus n. sp.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4205.5.4DOI Listing
December 2016

Molecular detection of Leishmania parasites and host blood meal identification in wild sand flies from a new endemic rural region, south of Iran.

Pathog Glob Health 2016 Oct - Dec;110(7-8):303-309. Epub 2016 Nov 17.

a Research Centre for Health Sciences, Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control , School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences , Shiraz , Iran.

Zoonotic Cutaneous Leishmaniosis (ZCL) remains the most crucial vector-borne public health disease particularly in endemic rural parts of Iran. The main aim of this study is to identify wild sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae), determine their infection rate, and differentiate their host blood meal sources using the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) technique. Sand fly populations were caught with sticky paper traps from 10 different villages in the county of Darab, Fars province, southern Iran. Following their species identification, they were used in one step PCR to determine their infection with Leishmania spp. parasites. They were then subjected to PCR-RFLP protocol to identify and differentiate their blood meal sources. Two genera of Phlebotomus and Sergentomyia comprising 13 species of sand flies were identified in this region. From a total of 150 parous female sand flies, encompassing 4 different medically important species, 7 specimens (4.7%) including 6 Phlebotomus papatasi and 1 Phlebotomus bergeroti were infected with Leishmania major. Molecular data indicated that about 32% of female sand flies fed on man, while nearly 43% fed on rodent and canine hosts. Molecular detection is an efficient way of differentiating the source of blood meals in female sand flies feeding on different vertebrate hosts. It is suggested that P. papatasi is not highly anthropophagic and appears to be an opportunistic feeder on man. This species is, however, the primary vector of ZCL in this region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20477724.2016.1253530DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5189871PMC
June 2017

In vitro efficacy of ethanolic extract of Artemisia absinthium (Asteraceae) against Leishmania major L. using cell sensitivity and flow cytometry assays.

J Parasit Dis 2016 Sep 20;40(3):735-40. Epub 2014 Sep 20.

Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, Research Centre for Health Sciences, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 71645-111, Shiraz, Iran.

Leishmaniasis is one of the most neglected human diseases with an estimated global burden ranking second in mortality and fourth in morbidity among the tropical infections. Chemotherapy involving the use of drugs like glucantime is the mainstay treatment in endemic areas of Iran. Drug resistance is increasingly prevalent, so search for alternative therapy is gathering pace. Medicinal herbs, like wormwood Artemisia, have chemical compounds effective against a number of pathogens. In this study, the efficacy of ethanol extract from Artemisia absinthium (Asteraceae) against Leishmania major L. was investigated in vitro. The outcome of different effective doses (1-40 mg/ml) of ethanol extracts from this medicinal herb, A. absinthium, on a standard Iranian parasite strain of L. major was examined. The L. major promastigote cell sensitivity and mortality or viability effects due to the addition of herbal extract were measured using the MTT assay and the flow cytometry technique, respectively. There was complete agreement between the two assays. The lethal concentration (LC50) was measured as 101 mg/ml. Some contrasting relationships between the medicinal herb concentrations and the viability of parasites were observed; so that there was an increased multiplication of the parasite at low concentrations of the drug, but an anti-parasitic apoptotic effect was seen at high concentrations of A. absinthium. It was concluded that there might be one or more chemical constituents within the herbal extract of wormwood which at high concentration controlled cell division and affected the relevant activity within the only one giant mitochondrion in this flagellate parasite. At low doses, however, it showed the opposite effect of leading to mitotic cell divisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12639-014-0569-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4996182PMC
September 2016

Natural transovarial and transstadial transmission of Leishmania infantum by naïve Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks blood feeding on an endemically infected dog in Shiraz, south of Iran.

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 2016 07;110(7):408-13

Research Centre for Health Sciences, Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Background: The visceral leishmaniasis parasite, Leishmania infantum, is naturally transmitted through the bites of phlebotomine sand flies. Alternative routes of transmission are questioned. The main aim is to verify the passage of L. infantum kDNA in ticks, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, blood feeding on a parasitemic dog in Shiraz, south of Iran.

Methods: A total of 180 Leishmania-free ticks collected from fields and bred on lab rodents, were divided into eight groups and allowed to feed on a dog (Canis familiaris) for fixed periods of time. These and all third generation stages of ticks were checked for L. infantum kDNA using conventional PCR protocol.

Results: The infection rate was significantly higher in female than male ticks (p=0.043). The rates were higher among nymphs (25/60; 42%) than adult ticks (37/120; 30.8%). The kDNA of L. infantum was not detected in ticks 24 h post-feeding. It was, however, positive among the second to fourth groups of nymphs (4/10; 40%, 10/20; 50% and 11/20; 55%) and adult (12/30; 40%, 14/30; 46.6% and 11/30; 36.6%) ticks. Eggs and unfed larvae recovered from the third and fourth adult groups (2 weeks, 4 weeks) were 100% PCR-positive. The data revealed the passage of L. infantum kDNA in nymphs and adults of brown dog tick following fixed time intervals post blood feeding on an infected dog.

Conclusions: The natural transovarial and transstadial passage of kDNA through ticks was shown by PCR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/trstmh/trw041DOI Listing
July 2016

Faunal distribution of fleas and their blood-feeding preferences using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays from farm animals and human shelters in a new rural region of southern Iran.

J Parasit Dis 2016 Mar 25;40(1):169-75. Epub 2014 May 25.

Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 71645-111, Shiraz, Iran.

Blood sucking insects, such as fleas, are responsible for the transmission of many infectious disease-causing agents which impose an intolerable burden on the health of people living particularly in endemic parts of the world. Fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) are found in many parts of the world including Iran. Both adult male and female fleas are obligatory ectoparasites. They are one of the main public health concerns as a result of their nuisance or the potential to act as vectors of a number of medically-important pathogens. The current study was conducted to examine the geographical distribution and fauna of fleas and their anthropophagic index in part of Fars province, southern Iran. This study was the first to be done in Iran. A total of 20 villages were randomly selected. From October 2011 to May 2012, adult fleas were collected by direct hand catch from human to animal shelters. Overall 848 fleas, most of which were blood-fed, were captured from the floor or the body of farm animal hosts (cattle, sheep, goat and hens). Only two different genera of fleas were identified, the main species (99.76 %) was human flea, Pulex irritans. The village of Shamsabad was the most heavily infested area. P. irritans had an anthropophagic index of 15 % using indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). It could be concluded that P. irritans is widely distributed in this area. Based on their blood feeding activity, fleas thus posed a serious health threat to residents and their economically important livestock in this part of Iran.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12639-014-0471-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4815862PMC
March 2016

First phylogenetic analysis of a Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus genome in naturally infected Rhipicephalus appendiculatus ticks (Acari: Ixodidae).

Arch Virol 2015 May 6;160(5):1197-209. Epub 2015 Mar 6.

Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, Research Centre for Health Sciences, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 71645-111, Shiraz, Iran,

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a potentially fatal systemic viral disease in many parts of the world, including Iran. The nationwide incidence of human CCHF in endemic areas was 870 confirmed cases with 126 deaths (case fatality rate, CFR = 17.6 %) in the decade leading to 2012. The detection of the CCHF virus (CCHFV) genome in tick vectors is of fundamental importance for identifying these ticks as potential reservoirs of CCHFV infection. From May to October 2013, following detection of four new clinical cases resulting in two deaths in the city of Mashhad (northeast Iran), hard ticks were recovered from infested livestock in 40 villages in Khorasan-Razavi province and examined by the microscopic method for species identification. About a quarter of the ticks were then subjected to reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to detect the CCHFV genome. The PCR products were then sequenced, and their phylogenetic lineages were determined. A total of 407 hard ticks were captured, representing seven different species in two distinct genera. Members of the genus Hyalomma were widely distributed in all but two of the villages studied, and this was also the most frequent (83.3 %) tick genus. Of 105 adult ticks subjected to RT-PCR, four (3.8 %) ticks were found positive for the CCHFV genome. One brown ear tick, Rhipicephalus appendiculatus, was found to be naturally infected for the first time anywhere in the world. Ticks of Hyalomma asiaticum, Hyalomma marginatum, and Rhipicephalus turanicus were also found to be naturally infected with CCHFV. CCHFV found in these four different tick species were clustered in the same lineage with the Matin and SR3 strains from Pakistan and some other strains from Iran, indicating that these tick species were naturally infected with genetically closely related CCHFV in the region. The presence of CCHFV infection in four different hard tick species was confirmed using RT-PCR in northeast Iran. Part of this infection was attributed to Rh. appendiculatus, which is thus a potential new natural vector of CCHFV in Iran. It is also confirmed by phylogenetic analysis that CCHFV in this region is genetically closely related, even in the different tick species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00705-015-2379-1DOI Listing
May 2015

Comparison of differences in performance evaluation of faculty by students with faculty's self-assessment.

J Adv Med Educ Prof 2014 Jul;2(3):108-13

Medical entomology department, Health and Nutrition School, Health Sciences Research Centre, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran;

Introduction: The present study aimed to compare self-assessment forms of coursework taught in the school of public health at undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels and students' evaluation of the performance of the faculty members at these levels.

Methods: The subjects in this cross-sectional study were the faculty members and students of the School of Public Health and Nutrition, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. The data were collected using a socio-demographic information form and evaluation forms of professors prepared by the Educational Development Center (EDC). The faculty members were assessed by the students in undergraduate and graduate classes. Among the study subjects, 23 faculty members filled out the self-assessment forms which were then evaluated by 23 students. Then, the data were analyzed using the SPSS statistical 14. Paired t-test was used to compare the students' evaluation of the faculty members' performance and the professors' self-assessment.

Results: The mean score of self-assessment of the faculty members who taught undergraduate courses was 289.7±8.3, while that of the students' evaluation was 281.3±16.1; the difference was statistically significant (t=3.56, p=0.001). Besides, the mean score of the self-assessment of the faculty members who taught graduate courses was 269.0±9.7, while that of the students' evaluation was 265.7±14.6 but the difference was not statistically significant (t=1.09, p=0.28).

Conclusions: Teaching performance perceptions of the faculty were similar to those of the graduate students as compared to the undergraduate ones. This may reflect better understanding of coursework at this level compared to the undergraduate students. Faculty members may need to adjust teaching methods to improve students' performance and understanding especially in the undergraduate level.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4235548PMC
July 2014

Nested polymerase chain reaction and sequence- based detection of leishmania infection of sand flies in recently emerged endemic focus of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis, southern iran.

Iran J Med Sci 2013 Jun;38(2 Suppl):156-62

Department of Medical Entomology, Research Centre for Health Sciences, School of Health and Nutrition, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran;

Background: Geographical distribution of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ZCL) has continuously been extended in recent years in Iran. The Beiza District is one of the newly-emerged endemic foci of ZCL in southern Iran. The main aim of the present study was to detect the vector(s) of ZCL in this area.

Methods: To detect the fauna and vectors of ZCL in this district, sand flies were caught using sticky papers. Seventy randomly selected female sand flies out of 730 were molecularly investigated for Leishmania infection using species-specific nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay between April and October 2010.

Results: A total of 2543 sand flies were caught. The fauna was identified as 10 species (five Phlebotomus spp. and five Sergentomyia spp.). Phlebotomus papatasi was the most dominant species both indoors and outdoors (37.55% and 16.35 %, respectively). L. major was detected in 5 out of 48 investigated Phlebotomus papatasi (10.41%). Sequence-based characterization was carried out to confirm the PCR findings. The positive samples were shown to have 75-88% similarity with L. major sequences in GenBank.

Conclusion: According to the findings of the present study, similar to the other foci of ZCL in Iran, P. papatasi is the proven and primary vector of CL. This study could be drawn upon for future strategy planning in this newly emerged endemic focus.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3771217PMC
June 2013

Identification and frequency distribution of Leishmania (L.) major infections in sand flies from a new endemic ZCL focus in southeast Iran.

Parasitol Res 2012 Oct 11;111(4):1821-6. Epub 2012 Jul 11.

Department of Medical Entomology, School of Health and Nutrition, Research Centre for Health Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box: 71645-111, Shiraz, Iran.

Zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ZCL) is an important public health challenge in Iran. It is often caused by the protozoan parasite, Leishmania major. This pathogen is principally transmitted by the infectious bites of adult female phlebotomine sand flies which belong to the subgenus Phlebotomus (Phlebotomus) Rondani and Berte (Diptera: Psychodidae). A recent outbreak of clinical ZCL cases in the rural district of Jask, Hormozgan province, southern Iran prompted the identification of sand flies naturally infected with L. major using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). A total of 8,123 wild sand flies were caught using sticky paper traps indoors and outdoors in seven villages of Jask from March 2007 to February 2008. About 120 trap-nights per month were carried out during peak seasonal density. Eight sand fly species of two distinct genera were morphologically identified. The most abundant species, Phlebotomus papatasi (≈60%) and Phlebotomus salehi (17%), had simultaneous population peaks in May and October. The anthropophilic index of P. papatasi was approximately twice that of P. salehi. PCR reactivity of L. major infections in P. salehi was weaker than those in P. papatasi. This is discussed with regard to their role in the natural transmission cycle of ZCL. This study provided the first PCR and ELISA evidence on P. salehi as a vector of L. major parasites in a new endemic region of ZCL in southeast Iran.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-012-3029-0DOI Listing
October 2012

Molecular detection of Leishmania major kDNA from wild rodents in a new focus of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in an Oriental region of Iran.

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 2012 Oct 31;12(10):844-50. Epub 2012 May 31.

Department of Medical Entomology, School of Health and Nutrition, Research Centre for Health Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Human cutaneous leishmaniasis is one of the most challenging public health issues in many tropical and subtropical countries of the world, including Iran. More than half (54%) of the new zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ZCL) cases among the Eastern Mediterranean countries were reported from Iran in 2008. The detection of Leishmania parasites in rodents is essential to incriminate them as probable reservoir hosts of ZCL infection. As a result of the annual detection of about 200-250 clinical ZCL cases in the Jask district of southern Iran, feral rodents were trapped, identified to species level, and examined for Leishmania presence by preparing routine blood smears on microscopic slides from 2007 to 2008. Overall, 27 Tatera indica, 17 Gerbillus nanus, 29 Meriones persicus, 26 M. hurrianae, and 7 M. libycus were identified. Females of T. indica, M. hurrianae, and G. nanus appeared to be naturally infected with the protozoan parasite, L. major. This is the first report of microscopic and molecular detection of this trypanosomatid parasite infecting these three rodents reported from Hormozgan province in southeast Iran. More than three-quarters (82%) of the parasite-infected rodents came from the eastern plain of this province, but none of the other rodents were found to be smear-positive or kinetoplast DNA-positive by PCR. M. hurrianae, G. nanus, and T. indica are therefore incriminated as three potential reservoir hosts of L. major in Oriental parts of Iran.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2011.0872DOI Listing
October 2012

Reverse transcription PCR-based detection of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus isolated from ticks of domestic ruminants in Kurdistan province of Iran.

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 2012 Sep 31;12(9):794-9. Epub 2012 May 31.

Department of Medical Entomology, School of Health and Nutrition, Research Centre for Health Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a potentially fatal viral vector-borne zoonosis which has a mortality rate of up to 30% without treatment in humans. CCHF virus is transmitted to humans by ticks, predominantly from the Hyalomma genus. Following the report of two confirmed and one suspected death due to CCHF virus in Kurdistan province of Iran in 2007, this study was undertaken to determine the fauna of hard ticks on domestic ruminants (cattle, sheep, and goats) and their possible infection with CCHF virus using reverse transcription PCR technique. This is the first detection of CCHF virus in ticks from the Kurdistan province of Iran. Overall, 414 ixodid ticks were collected from two districts in this province. They represented four genera from which 10 separate species were identified. The Hyalomma genus was the most abundant tick genus (70%). It was the only genus shown to be infected with the CCHF virus using RT-PCR technique. The number of ticks positive for CCHF virus was 5 out of 90 (5.6%) adult ticks. The three remaining genera (Haemaphysalis, Rhipicephalus, and Dermacentor) were all negative following molecular survey. Four of the five virally-infected ticks were from cattle mainly in the Sanandaj district. We concluded that CCHF virus is present in the Hyalomma ticks on domestic ruminants (cattle) in Kurdistan province of Iran.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2011.0743DOI Listing
September 2012

Investigating composition and production rate of healthcare waste and associated management practices in Bandar Abbass, Iran.

Waste Manag Res 2012 Jun 18;30(6):601-6. Epub 2011 Sep 18.

Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

The objective of this study was to identify the composition and production rate of healthcare waste and associated management practices in healthcare centres in Bandar Abbas, southern Iran. A total of 90 centres, including 30 physician offices, 30 dental offices and 30 clinics were selected in random way. Two samples in summer and two samples in winter were taken and weighed from each selected centre at the end of successive working day on Mondays and Tuesdays. Results showed that the mean of daily production rate for each clinic, dental and physician office were 2125.3, 498.3 and 374.9 g, respectively. Domestic-type and potentially infectious waste had the highest and chemical and pharmaceutical waste and sharps had the lowest percentages in all centres. Questionnaire results indicated that there were no effective activity for waste minimization, separation, reuse and recycling in healthcare centres and management of sharps, potentially infectious and other hazardous waste was poor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0734242X11416037DOI Listing
June 2012

PCR-based detection of Leishmania major kDNA within naturally infected Phlebotomus papatasi in southern Iran.

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 2010 Jun 2;104(6):440-2. Epub 2010 Feb 2.

Department of Medical Entomology, Research Centre for Health Sciences, School of Health and Nutrition, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 71645-111, Shiraz, Iran.

The annual incidence of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) in Iran rose by 43% over a five year period, from 2002 to 2006; most of these cases were caused by Leishmania major. Two complementary standard and nested polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) were used to detect parasites within their natural vector, Phlebotomus papatasi. Twelve different sand fly species were morphologically identified. The most abundant species (31.3%) was P. papatasi. Leptomonads were found in nine (2.4%) phlebotomines. Twenty (5.3%) sand fly species were found positive for Leishmania-genus DNA using standard PCR. The infection rate of this species was 5% and 7% by microscopic and molecular methods, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trstmh.2010.01.008DOI Listing
June 2010