Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 36

Search results for: Ridha Ben Cheikh

36 Modelling the Anaerobic Digestion of Esparto Paper Industry Wastewater Effluent in a Batch Digester Using IWA Anaerobic Digestion Model No. 1 (ADM1)

Authors: Boubaker Fezzani, Ridha Ben Cheikh, Tarek Rouissi


In this work the original ADM1, implemented in the simulation software package MATLAB/Simulink, was modified and adapted and applied to reproduce the experimental results of the mesophilic anaerobic digestion of Esperto paper industry wastewater in a batch digester. The data set from lab-scale experiment runs were used to calibrate and validate the model. The simulations’ results indicated that the modified ADM1 was able to predict reasonably well the steady state results of gas flows, methane and carbon dioxide contents, pH and total volatile fatty acids (TVFA) observed with all influents concentrations.

Keywords: anaerobic digestion, mathematical modelling, Simulation, ADM1, batch digester, esparto paper industry effluent, mesophilic temperature

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35 Mathematical Model to Quantify the Phenomenon of Democracy

Authors: Mechlouch Ridha Fethi


This paper presents a recent mathematical model in political sciences concerning democracy. The model is represented by a logarithmic equation linking the Relative Index of Democracy (RID) to Participation Ratio (PR). Firstly the meanings of the different parameters of the model were presented; and the variation curve of the RID according to PR with different critical areas was discussed. Secondly, the model was applied to a virtual group where we show that the model can be applied depending on the gender. Thirdly, it was observed that the model can be extended to different language models of democracy and that little use to assess the state of democracy for some International organizations like UNO.

Keywords: democracy, mathematic, modelization, quantification

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34 Effect of the Workpiece Position on the Manufacturing Tolerances

Authors: Rahou Mohamed , Sebaa Fethi, Cheikh Abdelmadjid


Manufacturing tolerancing is intended to determine the intermediate geometrical and dimensional states of the part during its manufacturing process. These manufacturing dimensions also serve to satisfy not only the functional requirements given in the definition drawing but also the manufacturing constraints, for example geometrical defects of the machine, vibration, and the wear of the cutting tool. The choice of positioning has an important influence on the cost and quality of manufacture. To avoid this problem, a two-step approach have been developed. The first step is dedicated to the determination of the optimum position. As for the second step, a study was carried out for the tightening effect on the tolerance interval.

Keywords: dispersion, tolerance, manufacturing, position

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33 Modeling and Simulation of Practical Metamaterial Structures

Authors: Ridha Salhi, Mondher Labidi, Fethi Choubani


Metamaterials have attracted much attention in recent years because of their electromagnetic exquisite proprieties. We will present, in this paper, the modeling of three metamaterial structures by equivalent circuit model. We begin by modeling the SRR (Split Ring Resonator), then we model the HIS (High Impedance Surfaces), and finally, we present the model of the CPW (Coplanar Wave Guide). In order to validate models, we compare the results obtained by an equivalent circuit models with numerical simulation.

Keywords: metamaterials, SRR, HIS, CPW, IDC

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32 A Nanoindentation Study of Thin Film Prepared by Physical Vapor Deposition

Authors: Dhiflaoui Hafedh, Khlifi Kaouther, Ben Cheikh Larbi Ahmed


Monolayer and multilayer coatings of CrN and AlCrN deposited on 100Cr6 (AISI 52100) substrate by PVD magnetron sputtering system. The micro structures of the coatings were characterized using atomic force microscopy (AFM). The AFM analysis revealed the presence of domes and craters which are uniformly distributed over all surfaces of the various layers. Nano indentation measurement of CrN coating showed maximum hardness (H) and modulus (E) of 14 GPa and 240 GPa, respectively. The measured H and E values of AlCrN coatings were found to be 30 GPa and 382 GPa, respectively. The improved hardness in both the coatings was attributed mainly to a reduction in crystallite size and decrease in surface roughness. The incorporation of Al into the CrN coatings has improved both hardness and Young’s modulus.

Keywords: CrN, AlCrN coatings, hardness, nanoindentation

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31 Numerical Prediction of Wall Eroded Area by Cavitation

Authors: Ridha Zgolli, Ahmed Belhaj, Maroua Ennouri


This study presents a new method to predict cavitation area that may be eroded. It is based on the post-treatment of URANS simulations in cavitant flows. The most RANS calculations with incompressible consideration are based on cavitation model using mixture fluid with density (ρm) calculated as a function of liquid density (ρliq), vapour or gas density (ρvap) and vapour or gas volume fraction α (ρm = αρvap + (1-α) ρliq). The calculations are performed on hydrofoil geometries and compared with experimental works concerning flows characteristics (size of pocket, pressure, velocity). We present here the used cavitation model and the approach followed to evaluate the value of α fixing the shape of pocket around wall before collapsing.

Keywords: flows, CFD, cavitation, erosion

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30 Comparative Study of Scheduling Algorithms for LTE Networks

Authors: Samia Dardouri, Ridha Bouallegue


Scheduling is the process of dynamically allocating physical resources to User Equipment (UE) based on scheduling algorithms implemented at the LTE base station. Various algorithms have been proposed by network researchers as the implementation of scheduling algorithm which represents an open issue in Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard. This paper makes an attempt to study and compare the performance of PF, MLWDF and EXP/PF scheduling algorithms. The evaluation is considered for a single cell with interference scenario for different flows such as Best effort, Video and VoIP in a pedestrian and vehicular environment using the LTE-Sim network simulator. The comparative study is conducted in terms of system throughput, fairness index, delay, packet loss ratio (PLR) and total cell spectral efficiency.

Keywords: LTE, multimedia flows, scheduling algorithms, mobile computing

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29 Mechanical Behavior of PVD Single Layer and Multilayer under Indentation Tests

Authors: K. Kaouther, D. Hafedh, A. Ben Cheikh Larbi


Various structures and compositions thin films were deposited on 100C6 (AISI 52100) steel substrate by PVD magnetron sputtering system. The morphological proprieties were evaluated using an atomic force microscopy (AFM). Vickers microindentation tests were performed with a Shimadzu HMV-2000 hardness testing machine. Hardness measurement was carried out using Jonsson and Hogmark model. The results show that the coatings topography was dominated by domes and craters. Mechanical behavior and failure modes under microindentation were depending of coatings structure and composition. TiAlN multilayer showed exception in the microindentation resistance compared to TiN single layer and TiAlN/TiAlN nanolayer. Piled structure provides an increase of failure resistance and a decrease in cracks propagation.

Keywords: PVD thin films, multilayer, microindentation, cracking, damage mechanisms

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28 Numerical Modeling the Cavitating Flow in Injection Nozzle Holes

Authors: Ridha Zgolli, Hatem Kanfoudi


Cavitating flows inside a diesel injection nozzle hole were simulated using a mixture model. A 2D numerical model is proposed in this paper to simulate steady cavitating flows. The Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations are solved for the liquid and vapor mixture, which is considered as a single fluid with variable density which is expressed as function of the vapor volume fraction. The closure of this variable is provided by the transport equation with a source term TEM. The processes of evaporation and condensation are governed by changes in pressure within the flow. The source term is implanted in the CFD code ANSYS CFX. The influence of numerical and physical parameters is presented in details. The numerical simulations are in good agreement with the experimental data for steady flow.

Keywords: cavitation, injection nozzle, numerical simulation, k–ω

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27 A Novel Multi-Block Selective Mapping Scheme for PAPR Reduction in FBMC/OQAM Systems

Authors: Laabidi Mounira, Zayani Rafk, Bouallegue Ridha


Filter Bank Multicarrier with Offset Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (FBMC/OQAM) is presently known as a sustainable alternative to conventional Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) for signal transmission over multi-path fading channels. Like all multicarrier systems, FBMC/OQAM suffers from high Peak to Average Power Ratio (PAPR). Due to the symbol overlap inherent in the FBMC/OQAM system, the direct application of conventional OFDM PAPR reduction scheme is far from being effective. This paper suggests a novel scheme termed Multi-Blocks Selective Mapping (MB-SLM) whose simulation results show that its performance in terms of PAPR reduction is almost identical to that of OFDM system.

Keywords: FBMC/OQAM, multi-blocks, OFDM, PAPR, SLM

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26 Mathematical Modeling of Carotenoids and Polyphenols Content of Faba Beans (Vicia faba L.) during Microwave Treatments

Authors: Ridha Fethi Mechlouch, Ahlem Ayadi, Ammar Ben Brahim


Given the importance of the preservation of polyphenols and carotenoids during thermal processing, we attempted in this study to investigate the variation of these two parameters in faba beans during microwave treatment using different power densities (1; 2; and 3W/g), then to perform a mathematical modeling by using non-linear regression analysis to evaluate the models constants. The variation of the carotenoids and polyphenols ratio of faba beans and the models are tested to validate the experimental results. Exponential models were found to be suitable to describe the variation of caratenoid ratio (R²= 0.945, 0.927 and 0.946) for power densities (1; 2; and 3W/g) respectively, and polyphenol ratio (R²= 0.931, 0.989 and 0.982) for power densities (1; 2; and 3W/g) respectively. The effect of microwave power density Pd(W/g) on the coefficient k of models were also investigated. The coefficient is highly correlated (R² = 1) and can be expressed as a polynomial function.

Keywords: microwave treatment, power density, carotenoid, polyphenol, modeling

Procedia PDF Downloads 136
25 Room Level Indoor Localization Using Relevant Channel Impulse Response Parameters

Authors: Raida Zouari, Iness Ahriz, Rafik Zayani, Ali Dziri, Ridha Bouallegue


This paper proposes a room level indoor localization algorithm based on the use Multi-Layer Neural Network (MLNN) classifiers and one versus one strategy. Seven parameters of the Channel Impulse Response (CIR) were used and Gram-Shmidt Orthogonalization was performed to study the relevance of the extracted parameters. Simulation results show that when relevant CIR parameters are used as position fingerprint and when optimal MLNN architecture is selected good room level localization score can be achieved. The current study showed also that some of the CIR parameters are not correlated to the location and can decrease the localization performance of the system.

Keywords: mobile indoor localization, multi-layer neural network (MLNN), channel impulse response (CIR), Gram-Shmidt orthogonalization

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24 Improved Active Constellation Extension for the PAPR Reduction of FBMC-OQAM Signals

Authors: Mounira Laabidi, Rafik Zayani, Ridha Bouallegue, Daniel Roviras


The Filter Bank multicarrier with Offset Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (FBMC-OQAM) has been introduced to overcome the poor spectral characteristics and the waste in both bandwidth and energy caused by the use of the cyclic prefix. However, the FBMC-OQAM signals suffer from the high Peak to Average Power Ratio (PAPR) problem. Due to the overlapping structure of the FBMC-OQAM signals, directly applying the PAPR reduction schemes conceived for the OFDM one turns out to be ineffective. In this paper, we address the problem of PAPR reduction for FBMC-OQAM systems by suggesting a new scheme based on an improved version of Active Constellation Extension scheme (ACE) of OFDM. The proposed scheme, named Rolling Window ACE, takes into consideration the overlapping naturally emanating from the FBMC-OQAM signals.

Keywords: ACE, FBMC, OQAM, OFDM, PAPR, rolling-window

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23 Antioxidant Activities, Chemical Components, Physicochemical, and Sensory Characteristics of Kecombrang Tea (Etlingera elatior)

Authors: Rifda Naufalin, Nurul Latifasari, Siti Nuryanti, Muna Ridha Hanifah


Kecombrang is a Zingiberaceae plant which has antioxidant properties. The high antioxidant content in kecombrang flowers has the potential to be processed as a functional beverage raw material so that it can be used as an ingredient in making herbal teas. The purpose of this study was to determine the chemical components, physicochemistry, antioxidant activity and sensory characteristics of kecombrang tea. The research methodology was carried out by using a completely randomized design with processing factors of kecombrang tea namely blanching and non-blanching, fermentation and non-fermentation, and the optimal time for drying kecombrang tea. The best treatment combination based on the effective index method is the treatment of the blanching process followed by drying at a temperature of 50ᵒC until the 2% moisture content can produce kecombrang tea with a total phenol content of 5.95 mg Tannic Acid Equivalent (TAE) / gram db, total flavonoid 3%, pH 4.5, and antioxidant activity 82.95%, red color, distinctive aroma of tea, fresh taste, and preferred by panelists.

Keywords: kecombrang tea, blanching, fermentation, total phenol, and antioxidant activity

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22 Analytical Downlink Effective SINR Evaluation in LTE Networks

Authors: Marwane Ben Hcine, Ridha Bouallegue


The aim of this work is to provide an original analytical framework for downlink effective SINR evaluation in LTE networks. The classical single carrier SINR performance evaluation is extended to multi-carrier systems operating over frequency selective channels. Extension is achieved by expressing the link outage probability in terms of the statistics of the effective SINR. For effective SINR computation, the exponential effective SINR mapping (EESM) method is used on this work. Closed-form expression for the link outage probability is achieved assuming a log skew normal approximation for single carrier case. Then we rely on the lognormal approximation to express the exponential effective SINR distribution as a function of the mean and standard deviation of the SINR of a generic subcarrier. Achieved formulas is easily computable and can be obtained for a user equipment (UE) located at any distance from its serving eNodeB. Simulations show that the proposed framework provides results with accuracy within 0.5 dB.

Keywords: LTE, OFDMA, effective SINR, log skew normal approximation

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21 Correlation of IFNL4 ss469415590 and IL28B rs12979860 with the Hepatitis C Virus Treatment Response among Tunisian Patients

Authors: Khaoula Azraiel, Mohamed Mehdi Abassi, Amel Sadraoui, Walid Hammami, Azouz Msaddek, Imed Cheikh, Maria Mancebo, Elisabet Perez-Navarro, Antonio Caruz, Henda Triki, Ahlem Djebbi


IL28B rs12979860 genotype is confirmed as an important predictor of response to peginterferon/ribavirin therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC). IFNL4 ss469415590 is a newly discovered polymorphism that could also affect the sustained virological response (SVR). The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of IL28B and IFNL4 genotypes with peginterferon/ribavirin treatment response in Tunisians patients with CHC and to determine which of these SNPs, was the stronger marker. A total of 120 patients were genotyped for both rs12979860 and ss469415590 polymorphisms. The association of each genetic marker with SVR was analyzed and comparison between the two SNPs was calculated by logistic regression models. For rs12979860, 69.6% of patients with CC, 41.8% with CT and 42.8% with TT achieved SVR (p = 0.003). Regarding ss469415590, 70.4% of patients with TT/TT genotype achieved SVR compared to 42.8% with TT/ΔG and 37.5% with ΔG /ΔG (p = 0.002). The presence of CC and TT/TT genotypes was independently associated with treatment response with an OR of 3.86 for each. In conclusion, both IL28B rs12979860 and IFNL4 ss469415590 variants were associated with response to pegIFN/RBV in Tunisian patients, without any additional benefit in performance for IFNL4. Our results are different from those detected in Sub-Saharan Africa countries.

Keywords: Hepatitis C virus, IFNL4, IL28B, Peginterferon/ribavirin, polymorphism

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20 Neural Machine Translation for Low-Resource African Languages: Benchmarking State-of-the-Art Transformer for Wolof

Authors: Cheikh Bamba Dione, Alla Lo, Elhadji Mamadou Nguer, Siley O. Ba


In this paper, we propose two neural machine translation (NMT) systems (French-to-Wolof and Wolof-to-French) based on sequence-to-sequence with attention and transformer architectures. We trained our models on a parallel French-Wolof corpus of about 83k sentence pairs. Because of the low-resource setting, we experimented with advanced methods for handling data sparsity, including subword segmentation, back translation, and the copied corpus method. We evaluate the models using the BLEU score and find that transformer outperforms the classic seq2seq model in all settings, in addition to being less sensitive to noise. In general, the best scores are achieved when training the models on word-level-based units. For subword-level models, using back translation proves to be slightly beneficial in low-resource (WO) to high-resource (FR) language translation for the transformer (but not for the seq2seq) models. A slight improvement can also be observed when injecting copied monolingual text in the target language. Moreover, combining the copied method data with back translation leads to a substantial improvement of the translation quality.

Keywords: backtranslation, low-resource language, neural machine translation, sequence-to-sequence, transformer, Wolof

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19 Secure Distance Bounding Protocol on Ultra-WideBand Based Mapping Code

Authors: Jamel Miri, Bechir Nsiri, Ridha Bouallegue


Ultra WidBand-IR physical layer technology has seen a great development during the last decade which makes it a promising candidate for short range wireless communications, as they bring considerable benefits in terms of connectivity and mobility. However, like all wireless communication they suffer from vulnerabilities in terms of security because of the open nature of the radio channel. To face these attacks, distance bounding protocols are the most popular counter measures. In this paper, we presented a protocol based on distance bounding to thread the most popular attacks: Distance Fraud, Mafia Fraud and Terrorist fraud. In our work, we study the way to adapt the best secure distance bounding protocols to mapping code of ultra-wideband (TH-UWB) radios. Indeed, to ameliorate the performances of the protocol in terms of security communication in TH-UWB, we combine the modified protocol to ultra-wideband impulse radio technology (IR-UWB). The security and the different merits of the protocols are analyzed.

Keywords: distance bounding, mapping code ultrawideband, terrorist fraud, physical layer technology

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18 Structural and Optical Properties of RF-Sputtered ZnS and Zn(S,O) Thin Films

Authors: Ould Mohamed Cheikh, Mounir Chaik, Hind El Aakib, Mohamed Aggour, Abdelkader Outzourhit


Zinc sulfide [ZnS] and oxygenated zinc sulfide Zn(O,S) thin films were deposited on glass substrates, by reactive cathodic radio-frequency (RF) sputtering. The substrates power and percentage of oxygen were varied in the range of 100W to 250W and from 5% to 20% respectively. The structural, morphological and optical properties of these thin films were investigated. The optical properties (mainly the refractive index, absorption coefficient and optical band gap) were examined by optical transmission measurements in the ultraviolet-visible-near Infrared wavelength range. XRD analysis indicated that all sputtered ZnS films were a single phase with a preferential orientation along the (111) plane of zinc blend (ZB). The crystallite size was in the range of 19.5 nm to 48.5 nm, the crystallite size varied with RF power reaching a maximum at 200 W. The Zn(O,S) films, on the other hand, were amorphous. UV-Visible, measurements showed that the ZnS film had more than 80% transmittance in the visible wavelength region while that of Zn(O,S is 85%. Moreover, it was observed that the band gap energy of the ZnS films increases slightly from 3.4 to 3.52 eV as the RF power was increased. The optical band gap of Zn(O,S), on the other hand, decreased from 4.2 to 3.89 eV as the oxygen partial pressure is increased in the sputtering atmosphere at a fixed RF-power. Scanning electron microscopy observations revealed smooth surfaces for both type of films. The X-ray reflectometry measurements on the ZnS films showed that the density of the films (3.9 g/cm3) is close that of bulk ZnS.

Keywords: thin films Zn(O, S) properties, Zn(O, S) by Rf-sputtering, ZnS for solar cells, thin films for renewable energy

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17 Sterilization Incident Analysis by the Association of Litigation and Risk Management Method

Authors: Souhir Chelly, Asma Ben Cheikh, Hela Ghali, Salwa Khefacha, Lamine Dhidah, Mohamed Ben Rejeb, Houyem Said Latiri


The hospital risk management department is firstly involved in the methodological analysis of grade zero sterilization incidents. The system is based on a subsequent analysis process in compliance with the ongoing requirements of the Haute Autorité de santé (HAS) for a reactive approach to risk, allowing to identify failures and start the appropriate preventive and corrective measures. The use of the association of litigation and risk management (ALARM) method makes easier the grade zero analysis and brings to light the team or institutional, organizational, temporal, individual factors representative of undesirable effects. Two main factors come out again from this analysis, pre-disinfection step of the emergency block unsupervised instrumentalist intern was poorly done since she did not remove the battery from micro air motor. At the sterilization unit, the worker who was not supervised by the nurse did the conditioning of the motor without having checked it if it still contained the battery. The main cause is that the management of human resources was inadequate at both levels, the instrumental trainee in the block who was not supervised by his supervisor and the worker of the sterilization unit who was not supervised by the responsible nurse. There is a lack of research help, advice, and collaboration. The difficulties encountered during this type of analysis are multiple. The first is based on its necessary acceptance by the various actors of care involved, which should not perceive it as a tool leading to individual punishment, but rather as a means to improve their practices.

Keywords: ALARM (Association of Litigation and Risk Management Method), incident, risk management, sterilization

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16 Nurses' Knowledge and Attitudes toward the Use of Physical Restraints

Authors: Fatema Salman, Ridha Hammam, Fatima Khairallah, Fatima Aradi, Nafeesa Abdulla, Mohammed Alsafar


Purpose: This study aims at measuring the extent of nurses’ knowledge and attitudes toward the use of physical restraints in different hospital wards at Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC). Background: The habitual use of physical restraint is a widespread practice among nurses working in the clinical settings. Restraints inflict many deleterious consequences on patients physically and psychologically which in turn increases their morbidity and mortality risk and jeopardizes care quality. Nurses’ knowledge and attitudes toward physical restraints are crucial determinants of the persistence of this practice. Literature review: the evidence of lack of knowledge among nurses regarding the use of physical restraints is overwhelming in various clinical settings, especially in two main areas which are the negative consequences and the available alternatives to physical restraints. Studies explored nurses’ attitudes toward physical restraints yielded inconsistent findings. Equally comparable, some studies found that nurses hold positive attitudes toward the use of physical restraints while some others reported just the opposite. Methods: Self-administered knowledge and attitudes scales to 106 nurses working in the SMC. Findings: nurses hold the moderate level of knowledge about restraints (M=58%) with weak negative attitudes (M = -20%) toward using it. Significant moderately-strong negative correlation (r= -0.57, r2= 0.32, p= 0.000) was uncovered between nurses knowledge and their attitudes which provided an empirical explanation of this phenomenon (use of physical restraints). Recommendations: Induction of awareness program that especially focuses on the negative consequences and encourages the use of alternatives is an evident need. This effort necessarily should be adjoined with policy and procedure adjustments.

Keywords: attitudes, knowledge, nurses, restraints

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15 Perceived Structural Empowerment and Work Commitment among Intensive Care nurses in SMC

Authors: Ridha Abdulla Al Hammam


Purpose: to measure the extent of perceived structural empowerment and work commitment the intensive care unit in SMC have in their work place. Background: nurses’ access to power structures (information, recourses, opportunity, and support) directly influences their productivity, retention, and job satisfaction. Exploring nurses’ level and sources of work commitment (affective, normative, and continuance) is very essential to guide nursing leaders making decisions to improve work environment to facilitate effective nursing care. Both concepts (Structural Empowerment and Work Commitment) were never investigated in our critical care unit. Methods: a sample of 50 nurses attained from the Intensive Care Unit (Adult). Conditions for Workplace Effectiveness Questionnaire and Three-Component Model Employee Commitment Survey were used to measure the two concepts respectively. The study is quantitative, descriptive, and correlational in design. Results: the participants reported moderate structural empowerment provided by their work place (M=15 out of 20). The sample perceived high access to opportunity mainly through gaining more skills (M=4.45 out of 5) where the rest power structures were perceived with moderate accessibility. The participants’ affective commitment (M=5.6 out of 7) to work in the ICU overweighed their normative and continuance commitment (M=5.1, M=4.9 out of 7) implying a stronger emotional connection with their unit. Strong positive and significant correlations were observed between the participants’ structural empowerment scores and all work commitment sources. Conclusion: these results provided an insight on aspects of work environment that need to be fostered and improved in our intensive care unit which have a direct linkage to nurses’ work commitment and potentially to their quality of care they provide.

Keywords: structural empowerment, commitment, intensive care, nurses

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14 Linking Temporal Changes of Climate Factors with Staple Cereal Yields in Southern Burkina Faso

Authors: Pius Borona, Cheikh Mbow, Issa Ouedraogo


In the Sahel, climate variability has been associated with a complex web of direct and indirect impacts. This natural phenomenon has been an impediment to agro-pastoral communities who experience uncertainty while involving in farming activities which is also their key source of livelihood. In this scenario, the role of climate variability in influencing the performance, quantity and quality of staple cereals yields, vital for food and nutrition security has been a topic of importance. This response of crops and subsequent yield variability is also a subject of immense debate due to the complexity of crop development at different stages. This complexity is further compounded by influence of slowly changing non-climatic factors. With these challenges in mind, the present paper initially explores the occurrence of climate variability at an inter annual and inter decadal level in South Burkina Faso. This is evidenced by variation of the total annual rainfall and the number of rainy days among other climatic descriptors. Further, it is shown how district-scale cereal yields in the study area including maize, sorghum and millet casually associate variably to the inter-annual variation of selected climate variables. Statistical models show that the three cereals widely depict sensitivity to the length of the growing period and total dry days in the growing season. Maize yields on the other hand relate strongly to the rainfall amount variation (R2=51.8%) showing high moisture dependence during critical growth stages. Our conclusions emphasize on adoption of efficient water utilization platforms especially those that have evidently increased yields and strengthening of forecasts dissemination.

Keywords: climate variability, cereal yields, seasonality, rain fed farming, Burkina Faso, rainfall

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13 Detection of JC Virus DNA and T-Ag Expression in a Subpopulation of Tunisian Colorectal Carcinomas

Authors: Wafa Toumi, Alessandro Ripalti, Luigi Ricciardiello, Dalila Gargouri, Jamel Kharrat, Abderraouf Cherif, Ahmed Bouhafa, Slim Jarboui, Mohamed Zili, Ridha Khelifa


Background & aims: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common malignancies throughout the world. Several risk factors, both genetic and environmental, including viral infections, have been linked to colorectal carcinogenesis. A few studies report the detection of human polyomavirus JC (JCV) DNA and transformation antigen (T-Ag) in a fraction of the colorectal tumors studied and suggest an association of this virus with CRC. In order to investigate whether such an association of JCV with CRC will hold in a different epidemiological setting, we looked for the presence of JCV DNA and T-Ag expression in a group of Tunisian CRC patients. Methods: Fresh colorectal mucosa biopsies were obtained from 17 healthy volunteers and from both colorectal tumors and adjacent normal tissues of 47 CRC patients. DNA was extracted from fresh biopsies or from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections using the Invitrogen Purelink Genomic DNA mini Kit. A simple PCR and a nested PCR were used to amplify a region of the T-Ag gene. The obtained PCR products revealed a 154 bp and a 98 bp bands, respectively. Specificity was confirmed by sequencing of the PCR products. T-Ag expression was determined by immunohistochemical staining using a mouse monoclonal antibody (clone PAb416) directed against SV40 T-Ag that cross reacts with JCV T-Ag. Results: JCV DNA was found in 12 (25%) and 22 (46%) of the CRC tumors by simple PCR and by nested PCR, respectively. All paired adjacent normal mucosa biopsies were negative for viral DNA. Sequencing of the DNA amplicons obtained confirmed the authenticity of T-Ag sequences. Immunohistochemical staining showed nuclear T-Ag expression in all 22 JCV DNA- positive samples and in 3 additional tumor samples which appeared DNA-negative by PCR. Conclusions: These results suggest an association of JCV with a subpopulation of Tunisian colorectal tumors.

Keywords: colorectal cancer, immunohistochemistry, Polyomavirus JC, PCR

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12 Incidence and Risk Factors of Central Venous Associated Infections in a Tunisian Medical Intensive Care Unit

Authors: Ammar Asma, Bouafia Nabiha, Ghammam Rim, Ezzi Olfa, Ben Cheikh Asma, Mahjoub Mohamed, Helali Radhia, Sma Nesrine, Chouchène Imed, Boussarsar Hamadi, Njah Mansour


Background: Central venous catheter associated infections (CVC-AI) are among the serious hospital-acquired infections. The aims of this study are to determine the incidence of CVC-AI, and their risk factors among patients followed in a Tunisian medical intensive care unit (ICU). Materials / Methods: A prospective cohort study conducted between September 15th, 2015 and November 15th, 2016 in an 8-bed medical ICU including all patients admitted for more than 48h. CVC-AI were defined according to CDC of ATLANTA criteria. The enrollment was based on clinical and laboratory diagnosis of CVC-AI. For all subjects, age, sex, underlying diseases, SAPS II score, ICU length of stay, exposure to CVC (number of CVC placed, site of insertion and duration catheterization) were recorded. Risk factors were analyzed by conditional stepwise logistic regression. The p-value of < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: Among 192 eligible patients, 144 patients (75%) had a central venous catheter. Twenty-eight patients (19.4%) had developed CVC-AI with density rate incidence 20.02/1000 CVC-days. Among these infections, 60.7% (n=17) were systemic CVC-AI (with negative blood culture), and 35.7% (n=10) were bloodstream CVC-AI. The mean SAPS II of patients with CVC-AI was 32.76 14.48; their mean Charlson index was 1.77 1.55, their mean duration of catheterization was 15.46 10.81 days and the mean duration of one central line was 5.8+/-3.72 days. Gram-negative bacteria was determined in 53.5 % of CVC-AI (n= 15) dominated by multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter baumani (n=7). Staphylococci were isolated in 3 CVC-AI. Fourteen (50%) patients with CVC-AI died. Univariate analysis identified men (p=0.034), the referral from another hospital department (p=0.03), tobacco (p=0.006), duration of sedation (p=0.003) and the duration of catheterization (p=0), as possible risk factors of CVC-AI. Multivariate analysis showed that independent factors of CVC-AI were, male sex; OR= 5.73, IC 95% [2; 16.46], p=0.001, Ramsay score; OR= 1.57, IC 95% [1.036; 2.38], p=0.033, and duration of catheterization; OR=1.093, IC 95% [1.035; 1.15], p=0.001. Conclusion: In a monocenter cohort, CVC-AI had a high density and is associated with poor outcome. Identifying the risk factors is necessary to find solutions for this major health problem.

Keywords: central venous catheter associated infection, intensive care unit, prospective cohort studies, risk factors

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11 Occupational Exposure and Contamination to Antineoplastic Drugs of Healthcare Professionals in Mauritania

Authors: Antoine Villa, Moustapha Mohamedou, Florence Pilliere, Catherine Verdun-Esquer, Mathieu Molimard, Mohamed Sidatt Cheikh El Moustaph, Mireille Canal-Raffin


Context: In Mauritania, the activity of the National Center of Oncology (NCO) has steadily risen leading to an increase in the handling of antineoplastic drugs (AD) by healthcare professionals. In this context, the AD contamination of those professionals is a major concern for occupational physicians. It has been evaluated using biological monitoring of occupational exposure (BMOE). Methods: The intervention took place in 2015, in 2 care units, and evaluated nurses preparing and/or infusing AD and agents in charge of hygiene. Participants provided a single urine sample, at the end of the week, at the end of their shift. Five molecules were sought using specific high sensitivity methods (UHPLC-MS/MS) with very low limits of quantification (LOQ) (cyclophosphamide (CP), Ifosfamide (IF), methotrexate (MTX): 2.5ng/L; doxorubicin (Doxo): 10ng/L; α-fluoro-β-alanine (FBAL, 5-FU metabolite): 20ng/L). A healthcare worker was considered as 'contaminated' when an AD was detected at a urine concentration equal to or greater than the LOQ of the analytical method or at trace concentration. Results: Twelve persons participated (6 nurses, 6 agents in charge of hygiene). Twelve urine samples were collected and analyzed. The percentage of contamination was 66.6% for all participants (n=8/12), 100% for nurses (6/6) and 33% for agents in charge of hygiene (2/6). In 62.5% (n=5/8) of the contaminated workers, two to four of the AD were detected in the urine. CP was found in the urine of all contaminated workers. FBAL was found in four, MTX in three and Doxo in one. Only IF was not detected. Urinary concentrations (all drugs combined) ranged from 3 to 844 ng/L for nurses and from 3 to 44 ng/L for agents in charge of hygiene. The median urinary concentrations were 87 ng/L, 15.1 ng/L and 4.4 ng/L for FBAL, CP and MTX, respectively. The Doxo urinary concentration was found 218ng/L. Discussion: There is no current biological exposure index for the interpretation of AD contamination. The contamination of these healthcare professionals is therefore established by the detection of one or more AD in urine. These urinary contaminations are higher than the LOQ of the analytical methods, which must be as low as possible. Given the danger of AD, the implementation of corrective measures is essential for the staff. Biological monitoring of occupational exposure is the most reliable process to identify groups at risk, tracing insufficiently controlled exposures and as an alarm signal. These results show the necessity to educate professionals about the risks of handling AD and/or to care for treated patients.

Keywords: antineoplastic drugs, Mauritania, biological monitoring of occupational exposure, contamination

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10 Risk Factors of Hospital Acquired Infection Mortality in a Tunisian Intensive Care Unit

Authors: Ben Cheikh Asma, Bouafia Nabiha, Ammar Asma, Ezzi Olfa, Meddeb Khaoula, Chouchène Imed, Boussarsar Hamadi, Njah Mansour


Background: Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI) constitutes an important worldwide health problem. It was associated with high mortality rate in intensive care units (ICU). This study aimed to determine HAI mortality rate in Tunisian intensive care units and identify its risk factors. Methods: We conducted a prospective observational cohort study over a 12 months period (September 15th 2015 to September 15 th 2016) in the adult medical ICU of University Hospital-Farhat Hached (Sousse-Tunisia). All patients admitted in the ICU for more than 48 hours were included in the study. We used an anonymous standardized survey record form to collect data by a medical hygienist assisted by an intensivist. We adopted definitions of Center for Diseases Control and prevention of Atlanta to detect HAI, Kaplan Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazard regression to identify independent risk factor of HAI mortality. Results: Of 171 patients, 67 developed ICU-acquired infection (global incidence rate=39.2%). The mean age of patients was 59 ± 21.2 years and 60.8% were male. The most frequently identified infections were pulmonary acquired infection (ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) and infected atelectasis with density rates 21.4 VAP/1000 days of mechanical ventilation and 9.4 infected atelectasis /1000 days of mechanical ventilation; respectively) and central venous catheter associated infection (CVC - AI) with density rate 28.4 CVC-AI / 1000 CVC-days). HAI mortality rate was 66.7% (n=44). The median survival was 20 days 3.36, 95% Confidential Interval [13.39 – 26.60]. Specific mortality rates according to infectious site were 65.5%, 36.4% and 4.5% respectively for VAP, CVC associated infection and infected atelectasis. In univariate analysis, a significant associations between mortality and cardiovascular history (p=0.04) tracheotomy (p=0.00), peripheral venous catheterization (p=0.04), VAP (p=0.04) and infected atelectasis (p=0.04) were detected. Independent risk factors for HAI mortality were VAP with Hazard Ratio = 3.14, 95% Confidential Interval [1.63 – 6.05] (p=0.001) and tracheotomy (Hazard Ratio=0.22, 95% Confidential Interval [0.10 – 0.44], p=0.000). Conclusions: In the present study, hospital acquired infection mortality rate was relatively high. We need to intensify the fight against these infections especially ventilator-associated pneumonia that is associated with higher risk of mortality in many studies. Thus, more effective infection control interventions were necessary in our hospital.

Keywords: hospital acquired infection, intensive care unit, mortality, risk factors

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9 Multi-Scale Modeling of Ti-6Al-4V Mechanical Behavior: Size, Dispersion and Crystallographic Texture of Grains Effects

Authors: Fatna Benmessaoud, Mohammed Cheikh, Vencent Velay, Vanessa Vidal, Farhad Rezai-Aria, Christine Boher


Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy is one of the most widely used materials in aeronautical and aerospace industries. Because of its high specific strength, good fatigue, and corrosion resistance, this alloy is very suitable for moderate temperature applications. At room temperature, Ti-6Al-4V mechanical behavior is generally controlled by the behavior of alpha phase (beta phase percent is less than 8%). The plastic strain of this phase notably based on crystallographic slip can be hindered by various obstacles and mechanisms (crystal lattice friction, sessile dislocations, strengthening by solute atoms and grain boundaries…). The grains aspect of alpha phase (its morphology and texture) and the nature of its crystallographic lattice (which is hexagonal compact) give to plastic strain heterogeneous, discontinuous and anisotropic characteristics at the local scale. The aim of this work is to develop a multi-scale model for Ti-6Al-4V mechanical behavior using crystal plasticity approach; this multi-scale model is used then to investigate grains size, dispersion of grains size, crystallographic texture and slip systems activation effects on Ti-6Al-4V mechanical behavior under monotone quasi-static loading. Nine representative elementary volume (REV) are built for taking into account the physical elements (grains size, dispersion and crystallographic) mentioned above, then boundary conditions of tension test are applied. Finally, simulation of the mechanical behavior of Ti-6Al-4V and study of slip systems activation in alpha phase is reported. The results show that the macroscopic mechanical behavior of Ti-6Al-4V is strongly linked to the active slip systems family (prismatic, basal or pyramidal). The crystallographic texture determines which family of slip systems can be activated; therefore it gives to the plastic strain a heterogeneous character thus an anisotropic macroscopic mechanical behavior of Ti-6Al-4V alloy modeled. The grains size influences also on mechanical proprieties of Ti-6Al-4V, especially on the yield stress; by decreasing of the grain size, the yield strength increases. Finally, the grains' distribution which characterizes the morphology aspect (homogeneous or heterogeneous) gives to the deformation fields distribution enough heterogeneity because the crystallographic slip is easier in large grains compared to small grains, which generates a localization of plastic deformation in certain areas and a concentration of stresses in others.

Keywords: multi-scale modeling, Ti-6Al-4V alloy, crystal plasticity, grains size, crystallographic texture

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8 Influence of the Nature of Plants on Drainage, Purification Performance and Quality of Biosolids on Faecal Sludge Planted Drying Beds in Sub-Saharan Climate Conditions

Authors: El Hadji Mamadou Sonko, Mbaye Mbéguéré, Cheikh Diop, Linda Strande


In new approaches that are being developed for the treatment of sludge, the valorization of by-product is increasingly encouraged. In this perspective, Echinochloa pyramidalis has been successfully tested in Cameroon. Echinochloa pyramidalis is an efficient forage plant in the treatment of faecal sludge. It provides high removal rates and biosolids of high agronomic value. Thus in order to advise the use of this plant in planted drying beds in Senegal its comparison with the plants long been used in the field deserves to be carried out. That is the aim of this study showing the influence of the nature of the plants on the drainage, the purifying performances and the quality of the biosolids. Echinochloa pyramidalis, Typha australis, and Phragmites australis are the three macrophytes used in this study. The drainage properties of the beds were monitored through the frequency of clogging, the percentage of recovered leachate and the dryness of the accumulated sludge. The development of plants was followed through the measurement of the density. The purification performances were evaluated from the incoming raw sludge flows and the outflows of leachate for parameters such as Total Solids (TS), Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Total Volatile Solids (TVS), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN), Ammonia (NH₄⁺), Nitrate (NO₃⁻), Total Phosphorus (TP), Orthophosphorus (PO₄³⁻) and Ascaris eggs. The quality of the biosolids accumulated on the beds was measured after 3 months of maturation for parameters such as dryness, C/N ratio NH₄⁺/NO₃⁻ ratio, ammonia, Ascaris eggs. The results have shown that the recovered leachate volume is about 40.4%; 45.6% and 47.3%; the dryness about 41.7%; 38.7% and 28.7%, and clogging frequencies about 6.7%; 8.2% and 14.2% on average for the beds planted with Echinochloa pyramidalis, Typha australis and Phragmites australis respectively. The plants of Echinochloa pyramidalis (198.6 plants/m²) and Phragmites australis (138 plants/m²) have higher densities than Typha australis (90.3 plants/m²). The nature of the plants has no influence on the purification performance with reduction percentages around 80% or more for all the parameters followed whatever the nature of the plants. However, the concentrations of these various leachate pollutants are above the limit values of the Senegalese standard NS 05-061 for the release into the environment. The biosolids harvested after 3 months of maturation are all mature with C/N ratios around 10 for all the macrophytes. The NH₄⁺/NO₃⁻ ratio is lower than 1 except for the biosolids originating from the Echinochloa pyramidalis beds. The ammonia is also less than 0.4 g/kg except for biosolids from Typha australis beds. Biosolids are also rich in mineral elements. Their concentrations of Ascaris eggs are higher than the WHO recommendations despite a percentage of inactivation around 80%. These biosolids must be stored for an additional time or composted. From these results, the use of Echinochloa pyramidalis as the main macrophyte can be recommended in the various drying beds planted in sub-Saharan climate conditions.

Keywords: faecal sludge, nature of plants, quality of biosolids, treatment performances

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7 Healthcare Associated Infections in an Intensive Care Unit in Tunisia: Incidence and Risk Factors

Authors: Nabiha Bouafia, Asma Ben Cheikh, Asma Ammar, Olfa Ezzi, Mohamed Mahjoub, Khaoula Meddeb, Imed Chouchene, Hamadi Boussarsar, Mansour Njah


Background: Hospital acquired infections (HAI) cause significant morbidity, mortality, length of stay and hospital costs, especially in the intensive care unit (ICU), because of the debilitated immune systems of their patients and exposure to invasive devices. The aims of this study were to determine the rate and the risk factors of HAI in an ICU of a university hospital in Tunisia. Materials/Methods: A prospective study was conducted in the 8-bed adult medical ICU of a University Hospital (Sousse Tunisia) during 14 months from September 15th, 2015 to November 15th, 2016. Patients admitted for more than 48h were included. Their surveillance was stopped after the discharge from ICU or death. HAIs were defined according to standard Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria. Risk factors were analyzed by conditional stepwise logistic regression. The p-value of < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: During the study, 192 patients had admitted for more than 48 hours. Their mean age was 59.3± 18.20 years and 57.1% were male. Acute respiratory failure was the main reason of admission (72%). The mean SAPS II score calculated at admission was 32.5 ± 14 (range: 6 - 78). The exposure to the mechanical ventilation (MV) and the central venous catheter were observed in 169 (88 %) and 144 (75 %) patients, respectively. Seventy-three patients (38.02%) developed 94 HAIs. The incidence density of HAIs was 41.53 per 1000 patient day. Mortality rate in patients with HAIs was 65.8 %( n= 48). Regarding the type of infection, Ventilator Associated Pneumoniae (VAP) and central venous catheter Associated Infections (CVC AI) were the most frequent with Incidence density: 14.88/1000 days of MV for VAP and 20.02/1000 CVC days for CVC AI. There were 5 Peripheral Venous Catheter Associated Infections, 2 urinary tract infections, and 21 other HAIs. Gram-negative bacteria were the most common germs identified in HAIs: Multidrug resistant Acinetobacter Baumanii (45%) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (10.96%) were the most frequently isolated. Univariate analysis showed that transfer from another hospital department (p= 0.001), intubation (p < 10-4), tracheostomy (p < 10-4), age (p=0.028), grade of acute respiratory failure (p=0.01), duration of sedation (p < 10-4), number of CVC (p < 10-4), length of mechanical ventilation (p < 10-4) and length of stay (p < 10-4), were associated to high risk of HAIS in ICU. Multivariate analysis reveals that independent risk factors for HAIs are: transfer from another hospital department: OR=13.44, IC 95% [3.9, 44.2], p < 10-4, duration of sedation: OR= 1.18, IC 95% [1.049, 1.325], p=0.006, high number of CVC: OR=2.78, IC 95% [1.73, 4.487], p < 10-4, and length of stay in ICU: OR= 1.14, IC 95% [1.066,1.22], p < 10-4. Conclusion: Prevention of nosocomial infections in ICUs is a priority of health care systems all around the world. Yet, their control requires an understanding of epidemiological data collected in these units.

Keywords: healthcare associated infections, incidence, intensive care unit, risk factors

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