Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Search results for: Ghassen Kharroubi

11 Infection of Phlebotomus Sergenti with Leishmania Tropica in a Classical Focus of Leishmania Major in Tunisia

Authors: Kaouther Jaouadi, Jihene Bettaieb, Amira Bennour, Ghassen Kharroubi, Sadok Salem, Afif Ben Salah

Abstract:

In Tunisia, chronic cutaneous leishmaniasis due to Leishmania (L) tropica is an important health problem. Its spreading has not been fully elucidated. Information on sandfly vectors, as well as their associated Leishmania species, is of paramount importance since vector dispersion is one of the major factors responsible for pathogen dissemination. In total, 650 sandflies were captured between June and August 2015 using sticky paper traps in the governorate of Sidi Bouzid, a classical focus of L. major in the Central-West of Tunisia. Polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the internal transcribed spacer 1 and sequencing were used for Leishmania detection and identification. Ninety-seven unfed females were tested for the presence of Leishmania parasite DNA. Six Phlebotomus sergenti were found positive for L. tropica. This finding enhances the understanding of the cycle extension of L. tropica outside its original focus of Tataouine in the South-East of the country.

Keywords: cutaneous leishmaniasis, Leishmania tropica, sandflies, Tunisia

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10 Influenza Vaccination Acceptance and Refusal Reasons among Tunisian Elderly

Authors: Ghassen Kharroubi, Ines Cherif, Leila Bouabid, Adel Gharbi, Aicha Boukthir, Margaret McCarron, Nissaf Ben Alaya, Afif Ben Salah, Jihene Bettaieb

Abstract:

Influenza vaccination (IV) is recommended for elderly persons, especially those with underlying conditions. In countries where IV rates in the elderly remain unsatisfactory, exploring attitudes of older persons toward the flu vaccine could be useful to identify barriers and facilitators to IV. The aim of this study was to determine the reasons for IV acceptance or decline in the Tunisian elderly. A national cross-sectional study was conducted in 2019, among persons aged 60 years and over with chronic disease. Data were collected using a standard administered questionnaire. Of the 1191 older persons included, 19.4% received the influenza vaccine in the 2018-2019 flu season. The two main reasons that may lead to refusal of vaccination were concerns that the vaccine could cause side effects (71.5%) and a belief that the vaccine was ineffective (33.9%). The main reason that may lead to accepting vaccination was a doctor’s recommendation (41.1%). Doctors were by far the most trusted source for information regarding influenza vaccine (91.5%) followed by pharmacists (17.6%). Our results highlighted the important role that doctors could play in promoting IV among the Tunisian elderly. Physicians should correct misconceptions about adverse events and the efficiency of the vaccine. In fact, influenza vaccines are generally effective and safe among older persons.

Keywords: attitudes, influenza vaccination, older persons, Tunisia

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9 Seroprevalence of Hepatitis a Virus Infection among General Population in Central-West Tunisia

Authors: Jihene Bettaieb, Kaouther Ayouni, Ghassen Kharroubi, Rym Mallekh, Walid Hammemi, Afif Ben Salah, Henda Triki

Abstract:

In Tunisia, the hepatitis A virus (HAV) represents a public health concern. Due to the progress in sanitation and socio-economic conditions, the epidemiology of HAV has shown dynamic changes over the past years. This study aimed to investigate the current seroprevalence of HAV antibodies (anti-HAV) among the residents of Thala, a rural setting in central-west Tunisia, to determine the age-specific seroprevalence for HAV infection and co-infection with hepatitis C and B virus. A total of 1379 subjects (mean age: 25.0 ± 17.3 years, 555 males/ 824 females) were recruited between January and June 2014. The study population included 95 individuals previously known as hepatitis C positive. Serum samples were collected and screened for the detection of IgG anti-HAV, HBsAg, and HBcAb by the Elisa Test. The overall anti- HAV seroprevalence was about 84.7%. There was no statistically significant difference between males and females. On the 1379 tested individual, 219 were positive for HBcAb, and 67 were positive for HBsAg. IgG anti- HAV were positive in 80.6% of HBsAg-positive patients (54 out of 67), 81.3% of HBcAb-positive patients (178 out of 219), and in 95.8% of HCV-positive patients (91 out of 95). HBV infection and HCV infection were statistically associated with a greater risk of positive anti-HAV antibody (p < 0.001). Our study revealed that Thala represents an intermediate endemicity level and that the introduction of vaccination against HAV in this region is recommended, especially for the hepatitis B or C infected person seronegative for HAV.

Keywords: coinfection, hepatitis A, seroprevalence, Tunisia

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8 Epidemiological, Clinical and Bacteriological Profile of Human Brucellosis in the District of Tunis

Authors: Jihene Bettaieb, Ghassen kharroubi, Rym mallekh, Ines Cherif, Taoufik Atawa, Kaouther Harrabech

Abstract:

Brucellosis is a major worldwide zoonosis. It is a reportable condition in Tunisia where the disease remains endemic, especially in rural areas. The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiological, clinical, and bacteriological profile of human brucellosis cases notified in the district of Tunis. It was a retrospective descriptive study of cases reported in the district of Tunis through the national surveillance system between the 1st January and 31th December 2017. During the study period, 133 brucellosis confirmed cases were notified. The mean age was 37.5 ± 18.0 years, and 54.9% of cases were males. More than four-fifths (82.7%) of cases were reported in spring and summer with a peak in the month of May (36 cases). Fever and sweats were the most common symptoms; they occurred in 95% and 72% of cases, respectively. Osteoarticular complications occurred in 10 cases, meningitis in one case and endocarditis in one other case. Wright agglutination test and Rose Bengale test were positive in 100% and 91% of cases, respectively. While blood culture was positive in 9 cases and PCR in 2 cases. Brucella melitensis was the only identified specie (9 cases). Almost all cases (99.2%) reported the habit of consuming raw dairy products. Only 5 cases had a suspect contact with animals; among them, 3 persons were livestock breeders. The transmission was essentially due to raw dairy product consumption. It is important to enhance preventive measures to control animal Brucellosis and to educate the population regarding the risk factors of the disease.

Keywords: brucellosis, risk factors, surveillance system, Tunisia

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7 Influenza Vaccine Uptake Among Tunisian Physicians in the 2018-2019 Influenza Season

Authors: Ines Cherif, Ghassen Kharroubi, Leila Bouabid, Adel Gharbi, Aicha Boukthir, Margaret Mccarron, Nissaf Ben Alaya, Afif Ben Salah, Jihene Bettaieb

Abstract:

Healthcare workers' flu vaccination prevents influenza disease among both patients and caregivers. We aimed in this study to assess influenza vaccine (IV) coverage in 2018-2019 among Tunisian physicians and to determine factors associated with IV receipt. A cross sectional study was carried out in Tunisian primary and secondary health care facilities in the 2018-2019 influenza season. Physicians with direct patient contact were recruited according to a self-weighted multistage sampling. Data were collected through a face to face questionnaire containing questions on knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding IV. Bivariate analysis was used in order to determine factors associated with IV receipt. A total of 167 physicians were included in the study with a mean age of 48.2 ± 7.7 years and a sex-ratio (M: F) of 0.37. Among participants, 15.1% (95% CI: [9.7%-20.3%]) were vaccinated against influenza in the 2018-2019 influenza season. Bivariate analysis revealed that previous flu immunization in the four years preceding the 2018-2019 influenza season (OR=32.3; p < 10-3), belief that vaccinating healthcare workers may reduce work absenteeism (OR=4.7, p=0.028), belief that flu vaccine should be mandatory to healthcare workers (OR=3.3, p=0.01) and high confidence towards IV efficacy in preventing influenza among caregivers (OR= 4.5, p=0.01) were associated with a higher IV receipt in 2018-2019 among physicians. Less than one fifth of Tunisian physicians were vaccinated against influenza in 2018-2019. Higher vaccine uptake was related to a higher belief in vaccine efficacy in preventing influenza disease among both patients and caregivers. This underscores the need for periodic educational campaigns to raise physicians' awareness about IV efficacy. The switch to an IV mandatory policy should also be considered.

Keywords: influenza vaccine, physicians, Tunisia, vaccination uptake

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6 Pilot Scale Deproteinization Study on Fish Scale Using Response Surface Methodology

Authors: Fatima Bellali, Mariem Kharroubi

Abstract:

Fish scale wastes are one of the main sources of production of value-added products such as collagen. The main aim of this study is to investigate the optimization conditions of the sardine scale deproteinization using response surface methodology (RSM) on a pilot scale. In order to look for the optimal conditions, a Box–Behnken-based design of experiment (DOE) method was carried out. The model predicted values of product coal ash content were in good agreement with the experiment values (R2 = 0.9813). Finally, model-based optimization was carried out to identify the operating parameters (reaction time=4h and the solid-liquid ratio= 1/10) and to obtain the lowest collagen content.

Keywords: pilot scale, Plackett and Burman design, fish waste, deproteinization

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5 Enzymatic Esterification of Sardine Oil Processed in Morocco

Authors: M. Kharroubi, Y. Rady, F. Bellali, S. Himmi

Abstract:

The global objective of this study is to upgrade the sardine oil processed in Morocco by using enzymatic solutions. The specific objective of this part of study is to optimize the various parameters involved in enzymatic deacidification of fish oil processed in Morocco: pressure, ratio of oil/novozymes 435, ratio of oil/glycerol, temperature. The best deacidification yields were obtained with: -A temperature of 70 °C; -A ratio -Oil/Glycerol: 2% (% P); -A ratio -Oil/Novozyme 435: 1% (% P); -A pressure: 15 to 25 mbar. On the other hand, the study of the effect of initial oil acidity showed that whatever the acidity of the oil studied (very acidic, or low acidic), the final yields are high. Acidity does not reduce the reaction efficiency. From an industrial point of view, this represents a competitive advantage to consider. This eco-friend enzymatic solution may allows Moroccan fish oil producers to achieve acid number values that meet the standard.

Keywords: sardine oil, enzymatic esterfication, desacidification, acid number

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4 A Framework for Secure Information Flow Analysis in Web Applications

Authors: Ralph Adaimy, Wassim El-Hajj, Ghassen Ben Brahim, Hazem Hajj, Haidar Safa

Abstract:

Huge amounts of data and personal information are being sent to and retrieved from web applications on daily basis. Every application has its own confidentiality and integrity policies. Violating these policies can have broad negative impact on the involved company’s financial status, while enforcing them is very hard even for the developers with good security background. In this paper, we propose a framework that enforces security-by-construction in web applications. Minimal developer effort is required, in a sense that the developer only needs to annotate database attributes by a security class. The web application code is then converted into an intermediary representation, called Extended Program Dependence Graph (EPDG). Using the EPDG, the provided annotations are propagated to the application code and run against generic security enforcement rules that were carefully designed to detect insecure information flows as early as they occur. As a result, any violation in the data’s confidentiality or integrity policies is reported. As a proof of concept, two PHP web applications, Hotel Reservation and Auction, were used for testing and validation. The proposed system was able to catch all the existing insecure information flows at their source. Moreover and to highlight the simplicity of the suggested approaches vs. existing approaches, two professional web developers assessed the annotation tasks needed in the presented case studies and provided a very positive feedback on the simplicity of the annotation task.

Keywords: web applications security, secure information flow, program dependence graph, database annotation

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3 Thermal and Radon-222 Appraisal in Geothermal Aquifer System, Southeastern Tunisia

Authors: Agoubi Belgacem, Adel Kharroubi

Abstract:

Geothermal groundwater is the main water source to supply various sectors in El Hamma city, southeastern Tunisia. This region was long the destination of thousands of people from Tunisia and neighboring countries for care and bathing. The main objective of this study is to understand the groundwater mineralization origins and factors that control. The second goal is the appraisal of radon in geothermal groundwater in the study area. For this aim, geothermal groundwater was sampled and collected from different locations (thermal baths and deep wells). Physical parameters were measured and major ions were analyzed. Results reveal three water types. The water first type has Na-Mg-Ca-SO4-Cl facies and T>55°C. The second water type dominated by Na-Ca-Cl-SO4 facies with a temperature < 45 °C. However the third water type is dominated by Ca-SO4-Na-Cl-Mg. The three water types may be controlled by depth and geology. The first represent groundwater from deep aquifer (lower cretaceous), the second type was the shallow aquifer and the first is mixed water from deep and shallow water with a temperature ranging from 45 to 55°C. Measured Radon shows that shallow aquifer has a higher 222Rn concentration (677 to 2903 Bq.m-3) than deep water (203 to 1100 Bq.m-3). R-222 in El Hamma thermal aquifer was controlled by structures, porosity and permeability of aquifers. Geostatistical analyses of hydrogeological data and radon activities confirm the vertical flow and communication between deep and shallow aquifers through vertical faults system.

Keywords: Radon-222, geothermal, water, environment, Tunisia

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2 Optimization of Extraction Conditions and Characteristics of Scale collagen From Sardine: Sardina pilchardus

Authors: F. Bellali, M. Kharroubi, M. Loutfi, N.Bourhim

Abstract:

In Morocco, fish processing industry is an important source income for a large amount of byproducts including skins, bones, heads, guts and scales. Those underutilized resources particularly scales contain a large amount of proteins and calcium. Scales from Sardina plichardus resulting from the transformation operation have the potential to be used as raw material for the collagen production. Taking into account this strong expectation of the regional fish industry, scales sardine upgrading is well justified. In addition, political and societal demands for sustainability and environment-friendly industrial production systems, coupled with the depletion of fish resources, drive this trend forward. Therefore, fish scale used as a potential source to isolate collagen has a wide large of applications in food, cosmetic and bio medical industry. The main aim of this study is to isolate and characterize the acid solubilize collagen from sardine fish scale, Sardina pilchardus. Experimental design methodology was adopted in collagen processing for extracting optimization. The first stage of this work is to investigate the optimization conditions of the sardine scale deproteinization on using response surface methodology (RSM). The second part focus on the demineralization with HCl solution or EDTA. Moreover, the last one is to establish the optimum condition for the isolation of collagen from fish scale by solvent extraction. The basic principle of RSM is to determinate model equations that describe interrelations between the independent variables and the dependent variables.

Keywords: Sardina pilchardus, scales, valorization, collagen extraction, response surface methodology

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1 Deproteinization of Moroccan Sardine (Sardina pilchardus) Scales: A Pilot-Scale Study

Authors: F. Bellali, M. Kharroubi, Y. Rady, N. Bourhim

Abstract:

In Morocco, fish processing industry is an important source income for a large amount of by-products including skins, bones, heads, guts, and scales. Those underutilized resources particularly scales contain a large amount of proteins and calcium. Sardina plichardus scales from resulting from the transformation operation have the potential to be used as raw material for the collagen production. Taking into account this strong expectation of the regional fish industry, scales sardine upgrading is well justified. In addition, political and societal demands for sustainability and environment-friendly industrial production systems, coupled with the depletion of fish resources, drive this trend forward. Therefore, fish scale used as a potential source to isolate collagen has a wide large of applications in food, cosmetic, and biomedical industry. The main aim of this study is to isolate and characterize the acid solubilize collagen from sardine fish scale, Sardina pilchardus. Experimental design methodology was adopted in collagen processing for extracting optimization. The first stage of this work is to investigate the optimization conditions of the sardine scale deproteinization on using response surface methodology (RSM). The second part focus on the demineralization with HCl solution or EDTA. And the last one is to establish the optimum condition for the isolation of collagen from fish scale by solvent extraction. The advancement from lab scale to pilot scale is a critical stage in the technological development. In this study, the optimal condition for the deproteinization which was validated at laboratory scale was employed in the pilot scale procedure. The deproteinization of fish scale was then demonstrated on a pilot scale (2Kg scales, 20l NaOH), resulting in protein content (0,2mg/ml) and hydroxyproline content (2,11mg/l). These results indicated that the pilot-scale showed similar performances to those of lab-scale one.

Keywords: deproteinization, pilot scale, scale, sardine pilchardus

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