Publications by authors named "Mahdi Rohani"

29 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Francisella tularensis survey among ranchers and livestock in western Iran.

Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 2021 Feb 25;74:101598. Epub 2020 Nov 25.

National Reference Laboratory for Plague, Tularemia and Q fever, Research Centre for Emerging and Reemerging infectious diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Akanlu, Kabudar-Ahang, Hamadan, Iran; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatics, Research Centre for Emerging and Reemerging infectious diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Tularemia is a zoonotic disease that transmitted to humans and domestic animals by wildlife, especially rodents. There are some evidences of the circulation of F. tularensis in rodents, livestock, human populations, and surface waters in western parts of Iran. In this study, we investigated the exposure of livestock and ranchers to F. tularensis in the endemic regions of western Iran. Blood samples were collected from 289 sheep, 103 cattle, and 51 ranchers in 2018. Animal sera were tested by standard tube agglutination method. The specific IgGs against F. tularensis were evaluated by ELISA in human sera. Moreover, the extracted DNAs from 50 sheep spleen samples were evaluated using TaqMan real-time PCR for the presence of ISFtu2 and FopA genes. All animal sera and spleen samples were negative for tularemia. Of the 51 human samples, two samples were seropositive and one sample showed a borderline status for tularemia. Serologic evidence of F. tularensis in the ranchers but negative results in the livestock indicates different transmission routes in human populations and domestic animals in western Iran. Therefore, drinking contaminated water, contact to wildlife or rodents and arthropod bite should be considered as probable routes in the suspicious areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cimid.2020.101598DOI Listing
February 2021

The effect of improved formulation of chitosan-alginate microcapsules of Bifidobacteria on serum lipid profiles in mice.

Microb Pathog 2020 Dec 17;149:104585. Epub 2020 Oct 17.

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Microbial Biotechnology Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Background: Probiotics have been associated with many beneficial effects in human digestive physiology. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of improved formulation of chitosan-alginate microcapsules of Bifidobacterium strains on serum triglycerides, cholesterol, HDL, and LDL in mice.

Methods: Five approved probiotic strains of Bifidobacterium were tested for anti-proliferative effect and interleukin-8 induction on HT-29 cell lines. Bifidobacterium strains plus five approved Lactobacillus were encapsulated in chitosan-alginate microcapsules and tested for its survival in simulated gastrointestinal conditions. These microcapsules were administered to 4 groups of mice (including 1. Bif (Bifidobacterium strains), 2. Lac (Lactobacillus strains), 3. Bif-Lac (Bifidobacterium plus Lactobacillus strains) and 4. Control) for 8 days. At eighth day, the blood of mice were taken and serum levels of triglycerides, cholesterol, HDL, and LDL of them were determined.

Results: All of the Bifidobacterium strains significantly (P < 0.001) reduced secretion of IL-8 in HT-29 cells as well as maximum antiproliferative effects (P < 0.001). In addition, all microcapsules showed impressive survival rate in bile (>%94.1) and gastrointestinal (>%78.28) conditions (P < 0.05). Only Bif-Lac group displayed significantly lower serum cholesterol and LDL levels than control group (P < 0.05). Besides, all groups indicate statistically significant weight loss of mice during the 8 days in comparison with the control group (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: The results of this study showed that the microencapsulated probiotics with alginate and chitosan had an effective mean of delivery of viable bacterial cells and non-pharmacological interventions use to reduce serum cholesterol and LDL levels in in-vivo condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micpath.2020.104585DOI Listing
December 2020

Infection of hard ticks in the Caspian Sea littoral of Iran with Lyme borreliosis and relapsing fever borreliae.

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2020 11 1;11(6):101500. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Research Centre for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran; National Reference Laboratory for Plague, Tularemia and Q Fever, Research Centre for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Akanlu, Kabudar Ahang, Hamadan, Iran.

The Caspian Sea littoral of Iran is home to various hard tick species, including Ixodes ricinus, the notorious vector of Lyme borreliosis (LB) in Eurasia. Here, in this area, we examined I. ricinus and other hard ticks, along with common rodents and small mammals for LB and relapsing fever (RF) borreliae infection. Ticks were collected from various mammalian hosts, including sheep, goats, cattle, camels, horses, dogs, donkeys, rodents, and hedgehogs. Rodents and small mammals were live-captured from different habitats. A real-time PCR for 16S rRNA sequence revealed borrelial DNA in 71 out of 501 (≈14 %) specimens belonging to I. ricinus and Rhipicephalus ticks. None of the rodents and small mammals showed borrelial infection in the viscera. PCR amplification and sequencing of a 600-bp sequence of the flaB identified Borrelia bavariensis, Borrelia garinii, Borrelia afzelii, and Borrelia valaisiana, and the RF Borrelia, B. miyamotoi in I. ricinus ticks. The RF-like Borrelia in Rhipicephalus ticks shared the highest identity (98.97 %) with an isolate infecting Haemaphysalis megaspinosa ticks in Japan. Our phylogeny and BLAST analysis suggest the range extension of the European I. ricinus-associated borreliae into the north of Iran.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2020.101500DOI Listing
November 2020

Cases of Mediterranean spotted fever in southeast of Iran.

Iran J Microbiol 2020 Jun;12(3):256-260

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Research Centre for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.

In this study the clinical manifestations, laboratory findings, and management of five patients diagnosed with Mediterranean spotted fever (MSF) from southeast of Iran are presented. All patients but one had recent tick-bite histories which were noticeable as black eschars (tache noire). Patients' samples were tested by real-time PCR and serology (IFA). The disease was confirmed by fourfold rising of IgG antibodies against . This is the first report of MSF cases in Iran.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7340602PMC
June 2020

The effect of selected Lactobacillus strains on dextran sulfate sodium-induced mouse colitis model.

Acta Microbiol Immunol Hung 2020 Jun 12;67(2):138-142. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

2Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) comprises two major illnesses: Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) mouse colitis model has been used in understanding the mechanism of IBD. This study was conducted to examine selected Lactobacillus spp. as potential IBD treatment in the DSS-induced animal model. Balb/c mice were used and colitis was induced by adding 5% dextran sodium sulfate into the drinking water for 8 days. Colon length, disease activity index (DAI) and histological analysis were measured as markers of inflammation in DSS colitis mice. The majority of the Lactobacillus species significantly prevented the shortening of the colon length compared with the DSS group. The DAI scores of mice were significantly reduced following usage of four Lactobacillus strains included: Lactobacillus plantarum 03 and 06, Lactobacillus brevis 02 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus 01. The histological analysis exhibited that oral administration of Lactobacillus strains had therapeutic effects on mice colitis. L. plantarum and L. brevis showed better therapeutic effect against DSS-induced acute colitis mice. The probiotic activities of these three isolates indicated that the probiotic effects were strain specific and none of these useful bacteria could exhibit all of the valued probiotic properties simultaneously.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/030.2020.00834DOI Listing
June 2020

Lactobacillus species inhibitory effect on colorectal cancer progression through modulating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.

Mol Cell Biochem 2020 Jul 17;470(1-2):1-13. Epub 2020 May 17.

Department of Microbiology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.

Probiotic bacteria are known to exert a wide range of anticancer activities on their animal hosts. In the present study, the anticancer effect of a cocktail of several potential probiotic Lactobacillus species (potential probiotic L.C) was investigated in vitro and in vivo. MTT and Flow cytometry tests results showed that administration of live potential probiotic L.C significantly decreased the HT-29 and CT-26 cells proliferation and induced late apoptotis in a time-dependent manner. In addition, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) results showed that exposure of potential probiotic L.C to both HT-29 and CT-26 cells during the incubation times resulted in the upregulation (apc and CSNK1ε for HT-29, CSNK1ε and gsk3β for CT-26) and downregulation (CTNNB1, CCND1, pygo2, axin2 and id2) of the Wnt/β- catenin pathway-related genes in a time-dependent manner. The significance of in vitro anticancer effect of potential probiotic L.C was further confirmed in an experimental tumor model. Data from the murine model of colorectal cancer (CRC) induced by Azoxymethane (AOM) and Dextran Sulfate Sodium (DSS) showed significantly alleviated inflammation and tumor development in AOM/DSS/L.C-injected mice compared to the AOM/DSS-injected mice. Tumor growth inhibition was accompanied by potential probiotic L.C-driven upregulation and downregulation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway-related genes, similar to the in vitro results. These results showed that potential probiotic L.C inhibited the tumor growth, and that its anticancer activity was at least partially mediated through suppressing the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Overall, the present study suggested that this probiotic could be used clinically as a supplement for CRC prevention and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11010-020-03740-8DOI Listing
July 2020

Anti-cancer effects of Bifidobacterium species in colon cancer cells and a mouse model of carcinogenesis.

PLoS One 2020 13;15(5):e0232930. Epub 2020 May 13.

Microbial Biotechnology Research Centre, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Introduction: Probiotics are suggested to prevent colorectal cancer (CRC). This study aimed to investigate the anticancer properties of some potential probiotics in vitro and in vivo.

Materials And Methods: Anticancer effects of the following potential probiotic groups were investigated in LS174T cancer cells compared to IEC-18 normal cells. 1. a single strain of Bifidobacterium. breve, 2. a single strain of Lactobacillus. reuteri, 3. a cocktail of 5 strains of Lactobacilli (LC), 4. a cocktail of 5 strains of Bifidobacteria (BC), 5. a cocktail of 10 strains from Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium (L+B). Apoptosis rate, EGFR, HER-2 and PTGS-2 (COX-2 protein) expression levels were assessed as metrics of evaluating anticancer properties. Effect of BC, as the most effective group in vitro, was further assessed in mice models.

Results: BC induced ~21% and only ~3% apoptosis among LS174T and IEC-18 cells respectively. BC decreased the expression of EGFR by 4.4 folds, HER-2 by 6.7 folds, and PTGS-2 by 20 folds among the LS174T cells. In all these cases, BC did not interfere significantly with the expression of the genes in IEC-18 cells. This cocktail has caused only 1.1 folds decrease, 1.8 folds increase and 1.7 folds decrease in EGFR, HER-2 and PTGS-2 expression, respectively. Western blot analysis confirmed these results in the protein level. BC significantly ameliorated the disease activity index, restored colon length, inhibited the increase in incidence and progress of tumors to higher stages and grades.

Conclusions: BC was the most efficient treatment in this study. It had considerable "protective" anti-cancer properties and concomitantly down regulated EGFR, HER-2 and PTGS-2 (COX-2), while having significant anti-CRC effects on CRC mice models. In general, this potential probiotic could be considered as a suitable nutritional supplement to treat and prevent CRC.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0232930PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7219778PMC
July 2020

Using Various Approaches of Design of Experiments for High Cell Density Production of the Functionally Probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum Strain RPR42 in a Cane Molasses-based Medium.

Curr Microbiol 2020 Aug 23;77(8):1756-1766. Epub 2020 Apr 23.

Department of Microbiology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.

Considering the economic importance of the probiotics, industrial production of their biomass became important. Cane molasses, as an industrial byproduct, was used in this study to design a medium for biomass overproduction of a functionally probiotic strain, designated as Lactobacillus plantarum strain RPR42. The results showed that strain RPR42 can be best grown anaerobically in 22.5% cane molasses solution. Also, the findings of the single variable at a time experiments and either factorial design indicated that the optimal growth of strain RPR42 can be observed when beef extract, casein hydrolysate, and yeast extract were added into the medium. The central composite design experiments suggested a medium which was designated as cane molasses medium (CMM). Eventually, this medium contained 21.9% cane molasses, 30.72 g/L of a combined mixture of nitrogenous compounds: 0.0754% of a 1:1:1 mixture of polysorbates 20, 60, and 80, and 18.53 gr/L of the combined minerals. Such an optimized cane molasses-based medium supported a significant biomass production since a considerably high cell density, 13.8 g/L/24 h of dry biomass, of the strain was produced. Hence, cane molasses can be regarded as a promising substrate for industrial production purposes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00284-020-01979-4DOI Listing
August 2020

Screening for efficient nitrogen sources for overproduction of the biomass of the functionally probiotic L. plantarum strain RPR42 in a cane molasses-based medium.

AMB Express 2020 Mar 17;10(1):53. Epub 2020 Mar 17.

Department of Microbiology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.

Nitrogen source has a vital role for the efficient growth of lactobacilli. The effects of cheese whey, corn steep liquor, and wheat germ extract on the growth of L. plantarum strain RPR42 in cane molasses-based media was evaluated using various approaches of design of experiments. Our results showed that such protein-rich agricultural by-products significantly increase the biomass production of the strain RPR42 in cane molasses-based media. The most affecting nitrogenous material was cheese whey followed by CSL and the minor effect was reported for wheat germ extract as revealed in factorial and Box-Behnken design experiments. The replacement of costly beef extract and yeast extract with a defined mixtures of the above nitrogenous agricultural by-products in cane molasses-based medium led to production of up to 12.64 g/L/24 h of dry biomass of strain RPR42. A detectable cell density of strain RPR42 (~ 9.81 × 10 CFU/mL 24 h) which was observed in such an economic medium showed that the large-scale production of the strain RPR42 tend to be feasible at significantly low costs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13568-020-00976-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7078425PMC
March 2020

Surveillance of Francisella tularensis in surface water of Kurdistan province, west of Iran.

Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 2020 Apr 8;69:101419. Epub 2020 Jan 8.

National Reference Laboratory for Plague, Tularemia and Q fever, Research Centre for Emerging and Reemerging infectious diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Akanlu, Kabudar-Ahang, Hamadan, Iran; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatics, Research Centre for Emerging and Reemerging infectious diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Background: The etiologic agent of tularemia, Francisella tularensis, is transmitted to humans via ingestion of contaminated water or food, arthropods bite, respiratory aerosols, or direct contact with infected animals body fluids or tissues. In the current study, due to the importance of water in transmitting the disease and the report of the disease in different regions of Iran, surface water of Kurdistan province were evaluated for the presence of F.tularensis.

Materials And Methods: Sampling was carried out in five-counties of Kurdistan province. Sixty-six specimens of surface water were collected. The detection was carried out by targeting ISFtu2 and fopA genes using TaqMan real-time PCR. Moreover, the samples were both cultured and inoculated into NMRI inbreed mice. Spleens of inoculated mice and bacterial isolates were tested by TaqMan real-time PCR.

Results: Despite the lack of isolation of F. tularensis, the results of the molecular testing indicate the presence of bacteria in surface water. Molecular positivity of one sample (1.51%) was confirmed using a real-time PCR for both ISFtu2 and fopA genes. Moreover, 4.54% of the samples were positive for ISFtu2.

Conclusion: Since the in vitro isolation of bacteria from environmental samples is associated with a very low success rate and depends on various environmental parameters, the use of molecular techniques for monitoring of the bacteria in the contaminated areas is fully recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cimid.2020.101419DOI Listing
April 2020

A serological and molecular study on Francisella tularensis in rodents from Hamadan province, Western Iran.

Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 2020 Feb 5;68:101379. Epub 2019 Nov 5.

National Reference Laboratory for Plague, Tularemia and Q Fever, Research Centre for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Kabudar Ahang, Hamadan, Iran; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Research Centre for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Introduction And Purpose: Tularemia is a zoonotic disease, the most important hosts of which are rodents. Endemic regions and reservoirs of F. tularensis are not well-researched areas in Iran. The present study aimed to study F. tularensis infection in the rodent populations of western Iran.

Materials And Methods: Samples were collected in different areas of Kabudar Ahang County in Hamadan province (west of Iran) from 2014 to 2017. Tularemia serological and molecular tests were conducted using the tube agglutination test and Real-time PCR method tracking the ISFtu2 gene. Positive serum samples were evaluated for cross-reactivity with brucellosis.

Results: A total of 433 rodents, collected from 33 localities, were included in the study. The most abundant species belonged to the Persian jird (Meriones persicus; 75.5%), and Libyan jird (Meriones libycus; 10.1%). Among the studied samples, three (0.74 %) were seropositive and five (1.15%) were PCR positive. Seropositive samples were two M. persicus and one M. libycus, and PCR positive rodents were four M. persicus and one M. vinogradovi. Tularemia seropositive samples showed no cross-reactivity with brucellosis.

Conclusion: Given the presence of infection in rodents with tularemia agent in the studied area, it is crucial to elucidate the risks of rodent exposure to tularemia for physicians, health personnel and the general population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cimid.2019.101379DOI Listing
February 2020

Inhibitory effects of Lactobacilli cocktail on HT-29 colon carcinoma cells growth and modulation of the Notch and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways.

Microb Pathog 2020 Feb 2;139:103829. Epub 2019 Nov 2.

Department of Microbiology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Probiotics could be considered as attractive candidates for preventing tumor growth through maintaining homeostasis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the inhibitory effect of a cocktail of five Lactobacillus species on human colorectal carcinoma cell line HT-29. The anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects of Lactobacilli cocktail were evaluated using MTT and flow cytometry tests, respectively. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was used to analyze the expression of several genes in the Notch (notch, hes1, msi1, and numb) and Wnt/β-catenin (CTNNB1 and CCND1) pathways, following the treatment of HT-29 cells with Lactobacilli cocktail. The treatment by Lactobacilli cocktail induced a significant anti-proliferative effect and late stage apoptosis among the cancer cells (p < 0.05). Compared to the untreated cells, Lactobacilli cocktail induced the down-regulation of notch, hes1, and msi1 genes and up-regulation of numb gene in the Notch pathway as well as the down-regulation of CTNNB1 and CCND1 genes in the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in a time-dependent manner (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Lactobacilli cocktail was shown to have beneficial anti-tumor effects on HT-29 cells by modulating the Notch and Wnt/β-catenin pathways; therefore, the use of Lactobacilli probiotics as nutritional supplements may prevent the incidence of colon cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micpath.2019.103829DOI Listing
February 2020

Q Fever Endocarditis in Iran.

Sci Rep 2019 10 24;9(1):15276. Epub 2019 Oct 24.

National Reference Laboratory for Plague, Tularemia and Q fever, Research Centre for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Akanlu, Kabudar Ahang, Iran.

Patients with the underlying valvular heart disease are at the high risk of developing sub-acute or chronic endocarditis secondary to Coxiella burnetii. Q fever endocarditis is the most common manifestation along with persistent the infection. There is some serologic and molecular evidence of C. burnetii infection in humans and livestock in Iran. As it is possible to observe chronic Q fever in Iran, it seems necessary to study the prevalence of Q fever endocarditis in this country. In the present study, Infective Endocarditis (IE) patients (possible or definite based on Duke Criteria) hospitalized in Rajaie Cardiovascular Medical and Research Center were enrolled from August 2016 to September 2018. Culture-negative endocarditis patients were evaluated by Raoult criteria for diagnosis Q fever endocarditis. The serological results for brucellosis were negative for all subjects. All blood and tissue samples including valve samples were tested for C. burnetii infection using serology and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). In this study, 126 patients who were admitted to the hospital were enrolled; of which 52 subjects were culture-negative IE. Among the participants, 16 patients (30.77%) were diagnosed with Q fever IE and underwent medical treatment. The mean age of patients was 46.6 years ranging from 23 to 69 years and 75% of them were male. Considering the high prevalence of Q fever IE, evaluation of the patients with culture-negative IE for C. burnetii infections was highly recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-51600-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6813299PMC
October 2019

Seroepidemiological study of Q fever, brucellosis and tularemia in butchers and slaughterhouses workers in Lorestan, western of Iran.

Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 2019 Oct 19;66:101322. Epub 2019 Jun 19.

National Reference Laboratory of Plague, Tularemia and Q Fever, Research Centre for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Akanlu, Kabudar-Ahang, Hamadan, Iran; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatics, Research Centre for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Most zoonoses are occupational diseases. Q fever, brucellosis and tularemia are major zoonotic diseases for butchers and slaughterhouse workers. However, little information is available about these infectious diseases in such professional populations in western of Iran. The aim of this study was to investigate the seroprevalence and risk factors associated with these three zoonoses among butchers and slaughterhouse workers in the Lorestan province of Iran. In 2017, 289 individuals (144 butchers or slaughterhouse workers, and 145 people from the general population) were enrolled in 11 different counties of this province. Collected serum samples were tested by ELISA for detection of IgG antibodies against Coxiella burnetii, Brucella spp. or Francisella tularensis antigens. The seroprevalence of Q fever, brucellosis and tularemia among all participants were 23.5%, 31.8% and 3.8%, respectively. The seroprevalence of brucellosis and Q fever among butchers and slaughterhouse workers (43.7% and 29.8%, respectively) were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those of the general population (20% and 17.2%, respectively). A contact history with small ruminants (sheep and goats) was associated with a higher risk of positive serology for all three studied zoonoses. The high seroprevalence for Q fever and brucellosis we found among butchers and slaughterhouse workers suggests that both diseases are common in these populations of the Lorestan province. Since these two infectious diseases are clinically unspecific, they must be systematically included in the etiological diagnosis of infectious diseases occurring in these at-risk populations. In addition, we recommend specific training programs as well as the use of personal protective equipment in these occupational groups to reduce the occurrence of these zoonotic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cimid.2019.06.003DOI Listing
October 2019

The prevalence of spp. in different natural surface water samples collected from northwest of Iran.

Iran J Microbiol 2019 Feb;11(1):19-24

National Reference Laboratory for Plague, Tularemia and Q Fever, Research Centre for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Akanlu, Kabudar Ahang, Hamadan, Iran.

Background And Objectives: has a wide distribution in northern hemisphere of the world. Up to now, there was little information about the spp. situation in the environmental samples in Iran. In this study we aimed to determine the prevalence of spp. in the environmental samples in northwest of Iran.

Materials And Methods: A total of 237 natural water samples from ponds, rivers, lakes, springs and other surface waters from north western provinces of Iran (Kurdistan and Western Azerbaijan) were collected from September to November 2015. All samples were cultured for and other bacterial species and Real Time TaqMan PCR was performed on the concentrated and DNA extracted samples. For detection of the presence of bacterial DNA in the samples, two different targets in the genome of , and were used.

Results: Among the tested surface water samples, 40 (17.09%; 95% CI: 12.67-22.33%) and 12 (5.13%; 95%CI: 2.81-8.56%) samples were positive for and respectively. None of them was positive in culture.

Conclusion: The prevalence of spp. in the environmental samples in the west of Iran is high and it is comparable with Turkey, Iran's neighboring country. Use of higher copy number genes or like could improve the detection of this organism in the environmental samples.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6462269PMC
February 2019

A case report of human tularemia from Iran.

Iran J Microbiol 2018 Aug;10(4):250-253

National Reference Laboratory for Plague, Tularemia and Q Fever, Research Centre for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Akanlu, Kabudar Ahang, Hamadan, Iran.

Tularemia is one of the most contagious bacterial infections. Here, we report a human case of glandular tularemia in Iran following the first report in 1980. The patient was a 6-year-old girl who had consumed a hunted hare in Kurdistan Province in western Iran.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6243145PMC
August 2018

Molecular Survey of Tularemia and Plague in Small Mammals From Iran.

Front Cell Infect Microbiol 2018 10;8:215. Epub 2018 Jul 10.

Department of Clinical Microbiology and the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Plague and tularemia are zoonoses and their causative bacteria are circulating in certain regions of Iran. This study was conducted to investigate potential disease reservoirs amongst small wildlife species in different regions of Iran. Rodents, insectivores and hares from 17 different provinces of the country were collected in 2014 and 2015. Samples were taken from the spleens of the animals and Real-time PCR was applied to detect nucleic acid sequences that are specific to and , respectively. Among 140 collected rodents, 25 distinct species were identified out of which five were the most common: (21% out of 140 rodents), (12%), (11%), (11%) and (10%). Seventeen insectivores were collected and identified as (82%) and (18%). Fifty-one hares were collected and identified as (57%), (14%) and sp. (29%). Three out of 140 explored rodents (1.91%) were positive for , an , a , and a collected from Golestan, Khuzestan and Razavi Khorasan provinces, respectively. Two hares (3.92%) were -positive, a from Khuzestan and a sp. from the Sistan and Baluchistan province. None of the tested animals were positive for . This is the first report of direct detection of in mammals of Iran and the first-time observation of the agent in a snow vole, worldwide. The results indicate that tularemia is more widespread in Iran than previously reported including the Northeast and Southwestern parts of the country. Future studies should address genetic characterization of positive DNA samples from Iran to achieve molecular subtyping and rule out assay cross-reactivity with near neighbor species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcimb.2018.00215DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6048195PMC
July 2019

Naringenin ameliorates learning and memory impairment following systemic lipopolysaccharide challenge in the rat.

Eur J Pharmacol 2018 May 6;826:114-122. Epub 2018 Mar 6.

Neurophysiology Research Center, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Systemic inflammation following infection is usually associated with long-term complications including cognitive deficit and dementia. Neuroinflammation and cognitive decline are also main hallmarks of several neurological conditions. Naringenin is a citrus flavanone with anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and antioxidant potential. In this study, the protective effect of naringenin against lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced cognitive decline was evaluated in the rat. LPS was daily injected at a dose of 167 μg/kg for 1 week and naringenin was administered p.o. at doses of 25, 50, or 100 mg/kg/day. Treatment of LPS-injected rats with naringenin dose-dependently improved spatial recognition memory in Y maze, discrimination ratio in novel object discrimination task, and retention and recall capability in passive avoidance test. Furthermore, naringenin lowered hippocampal malondialdehyde (MDA) as an index of lipid peroxidation and improved antioxidant defensive system comprising superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione (GSH) in addition to decreasing acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity. Additionally, naringenin was able to lower hippocampal nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB), toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) level and its immunoreactivity, and to elevate nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2). Taken together, naringenin could alleviate LPS-induced cognitive deficits and neuroinflammation, as was evident from attenuation of oxidative stress and AChE and modulation of Nrf2/NF-κB/TNFα/COX2/iNOS/TLR4/GFAP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2018.03.001DOI Listing
May 2018

Isolates of Lactobacillus plantarum and L. reuteri display greater antiproliferative and antipathogenic activity than other Lactobacillus isolates.

J Med Microbiol 2017 10 13;66(10):1416-1420. Epub 2017 Sep 13.

Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Purpose: Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have been associated with many beneficial effects in human digestive physiology. The aim of this study was to evaluate such effect, including attachment, antiproliferation and anti-pathogenic/antibacterial/antimicrobial properties of LAB isolated from healthy humans.

Methodology: Thirteen isolates, obtained from fecal samples of healthy individuals, were identified by phenotypic and molecular methods. Human colon adenocarcinoma cell line HT-29 and the cell proliferation kit II (XTT) assay were used for examination of the Lactobacillus adherence and antiproliferative activity, respectively. In addition, the inhibitory effect of Lactobacillus isolates against pathogenic bacteria was examined.

Results: Out of 13 Lactobacillus isolates, 5 (38 %) isolates were non-adhesive, 4 (31 %) were adhesive and 4 (31 %) were strongly adhesive. Amongst the isolated lactobacilli, L. reuteri showed the highest degree of inhibitory effect against the attachment of the enteropathogens. The XTT assay showed that 3 different isolates had the strongest antiproliferative activity with the maximum effect observed by L. plantarum isolates.

Conclusion: Our results described that different Lactobacillus species isolated from normal fecal samples had different degrees of antiproliferative and anti-pathogenic/antibacterial/antimicrobial activities. However, no isolates showed all of the examined properties concurrently, suggestive that a combination of Lactobacillus species is needed for an active biological defense system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jmm.0.000591DOI Listing
October 2017

Determination of Bacteriocin Genes and Antibacterial Activity of Lactobacillus Strains Isolated from Fecal of Healthy Individuals.

Int J Mol Cell Med 2017 28;6(1):50-55. Epub 2017 Feb 28.

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

species play a major role in gastrointestinal (GI) tract function, intestinal microbiota balance, and the immune system activity by exerting a strong activity against many intestinal pathogens. The aim of this study was to isolate species from fecal samples, investigate their antimicrobial properties, and characterize their bacteriocin encoding genes. 48 fecal samples were grown in MRS broth and then MRS agar. The colonies grown in MRS agar were selected and identified by PCR. 72 species were obtained from 434 lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains. Approximately 40% of all isolates had antimicrobial activity against one or more microorganisms and 17.4% of them were active against all four indicator bacteria. The frequency of bacteriocin encoding genes were 5 (6.9%), 3 (4.1%) and 5 (6.9%) for Gassericin A, Plantaricin S and Laf operon, respectively. pH alteration had no effect on antibacterial activity, but in the alkaline range these activities were reduced and the strains showed the highest antibacterial activity after 48 h incubation. These data indicate that the majority of isolates were susceptible to GI tract or belonged to other bacterial forms such as viable but nonculturable (VBNC). The detection of bacteriocin encoding genes in about only 6% of all isolates seems to be due to the existence of many other bacteriocin encoding genes in species which were not tested. Further study of the bacteriocin gene clusters, types, subtypes and the probiotic effect of these strains will contribute to a better characterization of these isolates.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5568192PMC
February 2017

A reliable combination method to identification and typing of epidemic and endemic clones among clinical isolates of Acinetobacter baumannii.

Infect Genet Evol 2017 10 19;54:501-507. Epub 2017 Aug 19.

Department of Bacteriology, Microbiology Research Center, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

The multi-drug resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii as an important nosocomial pathogen has emerged a global health concern in recent years. In this study, we applied three easier, faster, and cost-effective methods including PCR-based open reading frames (ORFs) typing, sequence typing of bla and RAPD-PCR method to rapid typing of A. baumannii strains. Taken together in the present study the results of ORFs typing, PCR-sequencing of bla genes and MLST sequence typing revealed there was a high prevalence (62%, 35/57) of ST2 as international and successful clone which detected among clinical isolates of multi-drug resistant A. baumannii with ORF pattern B and bla gene. Only 7% (4/57) of MDR isolates belonged to ST1 with ORF pattern A and bla gene. Interestingly, we detected singleton ST513 (32%, 18/57) that encoded bla and showed the ORF pattern H as previously isolated in Middle East. Moreover, our data showed RAPD-PCR method can detect divergent strains of the STs. The Cl-1, Cl-2, Cl-3, Cl-4, Cl-10, Cl-11, Cl-12, Cl-13 and Cl-14 belonged to ST2. While the Cl-6, Cl-7, Cl-8 and Cl-9 belonged to ST513. Only Cl-5 belonged to ST1. It seems that the combination of these methods have more discriminatory than any method separately and could be effectively applied to rapid detection of the clonal complex (CC) of A. baumannii strains without performing of MLST or PFGE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2017.08.018DOI Listing
October 2017

Probiotic characters of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are a result of the ongoing gene acquisition and genome minimization evolutionary trends.

Microb Pathog 2017 Oct 18;111:118-131. Epub 2017 Aug 18.

Department of Microbiology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are the main probiotic genera. Collectively, these two genera harbor over 200 species among which are many strains have been introduced as probiotics. These health-promoting microbes confer health benefits upon the host and so used in food productions and as supplements. Considering the economic importance of probiotics, the biochemistry, genomics, phylogeny and physiology of such genera have been exhaustively studied. According to the genomic data, the probiotic capabilities are strain specific which may be a result of the niche-specialization of the genomes of these bacteria to certain ecological niches like gastrointestinal tract of a diverse range of animals. These microbes have a wide distribution but the culture-based studies and either genomics data suggest selective affinity of some Lactobacillus and either Bifidobacterium species to certain ecological niches. An ongoing genome degradation, which is thought to be a result of passage through an evolutionary bottleneck, is the major trend in the evolution of lactobacilli. Further, evolutionary events resulted into two categories of lactobacilli: habitat generalists and habitat specialists. In place, the main trend in the evolution of bifidobacteria tend to be the gene acquisition. However, probiotic features are the results of a co-evolutionary relationship between these bacteria and their hosts and the aforementioned evolutionary tends have driven the evolution of these probiotic genera.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micpath.2017.08.021DOI Listing
October 2017

Bifidobacterium obtained from mother's milk and their infant stool; A comparative genotyping and antibacterial analysis.

Microb Pathog 2017 Oct 18;111:94-98. Epub 2017 Aug 18.

Department of Microbiology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Antibacterial activity of Bifidobacterium species has been considered as an important probiotic property for development of human gut immunity. This study was conducted to assess the genotypes and antibacterial activities of the native Bifidobacterium isolates obtained from the human's breast milk and the feces of their paired infants. Fifty-six samples from twenty-eight mothers' milk and paired infants feces were collected and cultured. Suspicious colonies were picked up and confirmed by phenotypic and molecular identifications. Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD-PCR) and antibacterial activity were carried out. Amongst 56 samples, 41 different Bifidobacterium species including 12 B. breve, 14 B. longum, and 15 B. bifidum were isolated. Out of which, 12 isolates including B. longum (6), B. breve (4) and B. bifidum (2) were shared between six mother-infant pairs. Only three strains of B. longum showed 100% similarity in their RAPD-PCR. No significant difference was observed in the antibacterial activity of the Bifidobacterium isolates, with the same or different RAPD-PCR profile, against the enteric bacteria. Overall, 29% of the Bifidobacteria species isolated from the mothers milk and their paired infants feces were shared. All species of Bifidobacteria showed the universal role of antipathogens activities irrespective of the host and the isolation site.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micpath.2017.08.014DOI Listing
October 2017

Highly Heterogeneous Probiotic Lactobacillus Species in Healthy Iranians with Low Functional Activities.

PLoS One 2015 8;10(12):e0144467. Epub 2015 Dec 8.

Department of Microbiology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.

Background: Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have been considered as potentially probiotic organisms due to their potential human health properties. This study aimed to evaluate both in vitro and in vivo, the potential probiotic properties of Lactobacillus species isolated from fecal samples of healthy humans in Iran.

Methods And Results: A total of 470 LAB were initially isolated from 53 healthy individual and characterized to species level. Of these, 88 (86%) were Lactobacillus species. Biochemical and genetic fingerprinting with Phene-Plate system (PhP-LB) and RAPD-PCR showed that the isolates were highly diverse consisted of 67(76.1%) and 75 (85.2%) single types (STs) and a diversity indices of 0.994 and 0.997, respectively. These strains were tested for production of adhesion to Caco-2 cells, antibacterial activity, production of B12, anti-proliferative effect and interleukin-8 induction on gut epithelial cell lines and antibiotic resistance against 9 commonly used antibiotics. Strains showing the characteristics consistent with probiotic strains, were further tested for their anti-inflammatory effect in mouse colitis model. Only one L. brevis; one L. rhamnosus and two L. plantarum were shown to have significant probiotic properties. These strains showed shortening the length of colon compared to dextran sulfate sodium and disease activity index (DAI) was also significantly reduced in mouse.

Conclusion: Low number of LAB with potential probiotic activity as well as high diversity of lactobacilli species was evident in Iranian population. It also suggest that specific strains of L. plantarum, L. brevis and L. rhamnosus with anti-inflammatory effect in mouse model of colitis could be used as a potential probiotic candidate in inflammatory bowel disease to decrease the disease activity index.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0144467PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4672925PMC
June 2016

Comparison of an interferon-gamma release assay and the tuberculin skin test for diagnosis of latent tuberculosis in homeless people in Iran: a cross-sectional study.

Infect Dis (Lond) 2015 Aug 2;47(8):536-41. Epub 2015 Apr 2.

From the Department of Epidemiology, Pasteur Institute of Iran , Tehran.

Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate of the concordance between the results of the tuberculin skin test (TST) and an interferon-γ release assay (QuantiFERON test, QFT-GIT) for diagnosis of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in homeless people in Tehran city, Iran.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from June to August 2012. Homeless people were eligible to participate in the study if they were 18-60 years old.

Results: Among 569 homeless people, 46.22% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 42.16-50.33%) and 20.39% (95% CI = 17.28-23.9%) were QFT-GIT and TST positive, respectively. Among these participants, the prevalence of LTBI with positivity of at least one of the tests was 52.2%. The overall agreement between QFT-GIT and TST was 62.21% (kappa = 0.21, 95% CI = 0.13-0.29, p < 0.001). Factors associated with positive results in QFT-GIT and TST were older age, being male, having a longer history of homelessness and having a history of incarceration in the last 10 years.

Conclusions: A high prevalence of LTBI was seen among homeless people in this study. There was a poor concordance between QFT-GIT and TST among this group. To better assess the utility of QFT-GIT in detection of LTBI further studies with a low prevalence of LTBI in this group are recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/23744235.2015.1026934DOI Listing
August 2015

Phenotypic Characteristics and Probiotic Potentials of Lactobacillus spp. Isolated From Poultry.

Jundishapur J Microbiol 2014 Sep 1;7(9):e17824. Epub 2014 Sep 1.

Department of Microbiology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, IR Iran.

Background: Lactic acid bacteria, especially Lactobacillus spp., have been considered as excellent probiotic microorganisms, because of their activities in reducing the enteric diseases and maintaining healthy poultry.

Objectives: The current study aimed to evaluate the phenotypic characteristics and the probiotic potentials of Lactobacillus spp. isolated from poultry.

Materials And Methods: A total of 168 lactic acid bacteria (LAB) were isolated from healthy six and twenty-one-day old chickens and their feed samples. The isolated bacteria were identified by morphological, biochemical, and molecular tests including Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Biochemical fingerprinting with Phene Plate system (Ph-P) was done and the acid and bile resistant lactobacilli were subjected to the antibiotic susceptibility test.

Results: Amongst all of the examined LAB, 30.3% were resistant to bile and acid. Most of the isolated LAB (57.1%) belonged to the genus Lactobacillus with Lactobacillus brevis (78.1%) as the dominant species followed by L. reuteri (16.6%), L. plantarum (3%), and L. vaginalis (2%). The remaining isolates were identified as Pediococcus spp. (42.9%). The Ph-P cluster analysis of 75 L. brevis and 16 L. reuteri strains showed high phenotypic diversity. Whilst the results of Ph-P typing from L. reuteri strains showed low phenotypic variations especially among the strains sensitive to acid and bile salts.

Conclusions: Overall, the results showed that some of the high potential probiotic LAB species existed in Iranian poultry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5812/jjm.17824DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4255382PMC
September 2014