BACKGROUND: In 1995, Egypt continued to experience endemic wild poliovirus transmission despite achieving high routine immunization coverage with at least three doses of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV3) and implementing National Immunization Days (NIDs) annually for several years. METHODS: Parents of 4188 children in 3216 households throughout Egypt were surveyed after the second round of the 1995 NIDs. RESULTS: Nationwide, 74% of children are estimated to have received both NID doses, 17% one NID dose, and 9% neither NID dose. Previously unimmunized (47%) or partially immunized (64%) children were less likely to receive two NID doses of OPV than were fully immunized children (76%) (P < 0.001). Other risk factors nationwide for failure to receive NID OPV included distance from residence to nearest NID site >10 minute walk (P < 0.001), not being informed about the NID at least one day in advance (P < 0.001), and residing in a household which does not watch television (P < 0.001). Based on these findings, subsequent NIDs in Egypt were modified to improve coverage, which has resulted in a marked decrease in the incidence of paralytic poliomyelitis in Egypt. CONCLUSIONS: In selected situations, surveys can provide important information that is useful for planning future NIDs. (+info)
(2/1008) Molecular analysis of the cystic fibrosis gene reveals a high frequency of the intron 8 splice variant 5T in Egyptian males with congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens.
It has previously been shown that defects in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene are largely responsible for the condition of congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD), without associated renal abnormalities, in Caucasian populations. To assess the involvement of the CFTR in CBAVD in a population with presumed low cystic fibrosis (CF) frequency, we have analysed 20 CBAVD males from Egypt for the presence of 12 common Caucasian CFTR mutations and the intron 8 5T splice variant, IVS-5T, known to be a major cause of CBAVD in Caucasian patients. In 16 of the males without associated renal abnormalities only one deltaF508 carrier was identified, but an exceptionally high frequency of the IVS-5T variant was found (14 of 32 alleles or 43.7%), confirming that this variant is involved in many cases of CBAVD, even in populations where CF is rare. CFTR mutations or the IVS-5T variant were found neither in the remaining four patients with associated renal abnormalities nor in the spouses of the 20 CBAVD patients. However, one patient was homozygous for a leucine to proline substitution at amino acid position 541 (L541P) of the CFTR. It is as yet not clear whether this change is involved in CBAVD in this male. (+info)
(3/1008) Canine sexual dimorphism in Egyptian Eocene anthropoid primates: Catopithecus and Proteopithecus.
Two very small late Eocene anthropoid primates, Catopithecus browni and Proteopithecus sylviae, from Fayum, Egypt show evidence of substantial sexual dimorphism in canine teeth. The degree of dimorphism suggests that these early anthropoids lived in social groups with a polygynous mating system and intense male-male competition. Catopithecus and Proteopithecus are smaller in estimated body size than any living primates showing canine dimorphism. The origin of canine dimorphism and polygyny in anthropoids was not associated with the evolution of large body size. (+info)
(4/1008) High seroprevalence of antibodies to human herpesvirus-8 in Egyptian children: evidence of nonsexual transmission.
BACKGROUND: In western countries, human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) appears to be transmitted mainly by sexual contact. To evaluate the role of other transmission routes, especially in developing countries, we estimated the seroprevalence of HHV-8 in Egyptian children, who, if seropositive, would have acquired the virus through a nonsexual route. METHODS: Sera from 196 children (<1-12 years of age), 20 adolescents (13-20 years of age), and 30 young adults (21-25 years of age) attending a vaccination program in Alexandria, Egypt, were studied. Immunofluorescence assays were used to detect antibodies against HHV-8 lytic-phase antigens (anti-lytic) and latent-phase antigens (anti-latent). Antibodies against Epstein-Barr virus viral cap antigen, cytomegalovirus, and HHV-6 were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Seroprevalence of these herpesviruses was calculated after stratifying the subjects by age. RESULTS: Anti-lytic and anti-latent HHV-8 antibodies were detected in 44.7% and 8.5% of the study participants, respectively. The prevalence of anti-lytic antibodies tended to increase with age, exceeding 50% in children older than 6 years; once children reached the age of 10 years, the prevalence tended to stabilize. The seroprevalence of other herpesviruses tended to be higher than that of HHV-8, ranging from approximately 83% to more than 97% in the 9- to 12-year age group. One- to 3-year-old children had higher titers of antilytic HHV-8 antibodies than children in the other age groups. Anti-latent antibodies were more frequently detected in individuals with high anti-lytic antibody titers. CONCLUSIONS: HHV-8 antibodies are highly prevalent in Egyptian children, suggesting that, in developing countries, HHV-8 infection may be acquired early in life through routes other than sexual transmission. The lower seroprevalence of HHV-8 relative to that of the other herpesviruses suggests that HHV-8 is less transmissible than other common herpesviruses. (+info)
(5/1008) mtDNA analysis of Nile River Valley populations: A genetic corridor or a barrier to migration?
To assess the extent to which the Nile River Valley has been a corridor for human migrations between Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa, we analyzed mtDNA variation in 224 individuals from various locations along the river. Sequences of the first hypervariable segment (HV1) of the mtDNA control region and a polymorphic HpaI site at position 3592 allowed us to designate each mtDNA as being of "northern" or "southern" affiliation. Proportions of northern and southern mtDNA differed significantly between Egypt, Nubia, and the southern Sudan. At slowly evolving sites within HV1, northern-mtDNA diversity was highest in Egypt and lowest in the southern Sudan, and southern-mtDNA diversity was highest in the southern Sudan and lowest in Egypt, indicating that migrations had occurred bidirectionally along the Nile River Valley. Egypt and Nubia have low and similar amounts of divergence for both mtDNA types, which is consistent with historical evidence for long-term interactions between Egypt and Nubia. Spatial autocorrelation analysis demonstrates a smooth gradient of decreasing genetic similarity of mtDNA types as geographic distance between sampling localities increases, strongly suggesting gene flow along the Nile, with no evident barriers. We conclude that these migrations probably occurred within the past few hundred to few thousand years and that the migration from north to south was either earlier or lesser in the extent of gene flow than the migration from south to north. (+info)
(6/1008) Documenting the diet in ancient human populations through stable isotope analysis of hair.
Fundamental to the understanding of human history is the ability to make interpretations based on artefacts and other remains which are used to gather information about an ancient population. Sequestered in the organic matrices of these remains can be information, for example, concerning incidence of disease, genetic defects and diet. Stable isotopic compositions, especially those made on isolates of collagen from bones, have been used to help suggest principal dietary components. A significant problem in the use of collagen is its long-term stability, and the possibility of isotopic alteration during early diagenesis, or through contaminating condensation reactions. In this study, we suggest that a commonly overlooked material, human hair, may represent an ideal material to be used in addressing human diets of ancient civilizations. Through the analysis of the amino-acid composition of modern hair, as well as samples that were subjected to radiation (thus simulating ageing of the hair) and hair from humans that is up to 5200 years old, we have observed little in the way of chemical change. The principal amino acids observed in all of these samples are essentially identical in relative abundances and content. Dominating the compositions are serine, glutamic acid, threonine, glycine and leucine, respectively accounting for approximately 15%, 17%, 10%, 8% and 8% of the total hydrolysable amino acids. Even minor components (for example, alanine, valine, isoleucine) show similar constancy between the samples of different ages. This constancy clearly indicates minimal alteration of the amino-acid composition of the hair. Further, it would indicate that hair is well preserved and is amenable to isotopic analysis as a tool for distinguishing sources of nutrition. Based on this observation, we have isotopically characterized modern individuals for whom the diet has been documented. Both stable nitrogen and carbon isotope compositions were assessed, and together provide an indication of trophic status, and principal type (C3 or C4) of vegetation consumed. True vegans have nitrogen isotope compositions of about 7/1000 whereas humans consuming larger amounts of meat, eggs, or milk are more enriched in the heavy nitrogen isotope. We have also analysed large cross-sections of modern humans from North America and Europe to provide an indication of the variability seen in a population (the supermarket diet). There is a wide diversity in both carbon and nitrogen isotope values based at least partially on the levels of seafood, corn-fed beef and grains in the diets. Following analysis of the ancient hair, we have observed similar trends in certain ancient populations. For example, the Coptics of Egypt (1000 BP) and Chinchorro of Chile (5000-800 BP) have diets of similar diversity to those observed in the modern group but were isotopically influenced by local nutritional sources. In other ancient hair (Egyptian Late Middle Kingdom mummies, ca. 4000 BP), we have observed a much more uniform isotopic signature, indicating a more constant diet. We have also recognized a primary vegetarian component in the diet of the Neolithic Ice Man of the Oetztaler Alps (5200 BP). In certain cases, it appears that sulphur isotopes may help to further constrain dietary interpretations, owing to the good preservation and sulphur content of hair. It appears that analysis of the often-overlooked hair in archaeological sites may represent a significant new approach for understanding ancient human communities. (+info)
(7/1008) Haplotypes and mutations of the PAH locus in Egyptian families with PKU.
A high degree of molecular heterogeneneity at the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) locus was established by examining RFLP haplotypes and PAH mutations in the families of 13 Egyptians with phenylketenouria (PKU). Thirteen different haplotypes were unequivocally determined in these kindreds. Haplotypes 1.8, 3.9, 4.3, 7.8, 22.11, 27.6, and 52.8 were found segregating with normal chromosomes, whilst haplotypes 1.8, 5.9, 23.8, 32.8, the newly assigned 73.9, and two as yet incomplete but novel haplotypes were found segregating with the mutant chromosomes. There was no particular preference for a single haplotype among normal or mutant chromosomes. Nine different mutations were also identified among the 26 alleles. IVS 10nt11g (8/26), IVS 2nt5g-c (4/26), R261Q (3/26), R176X (2/26), Y206D (2/26), S231P (2/26), Y198fs [593-614del22bp]; (2/26), G46fs [136/137delG]; (1/26), and E178G (1/26). Six of these mutations (IVS 2nt5g-c, R176X, Y198fs, R261Q, S231P, and IVS 10nt11g) are common to other Mediterranean populations. Two mutations not previously reported in the Mediterranean basin were also observed (Y206D and G46fs). These intriguing preliminary findings confirm IVS 10nt11g as a major mutation among Mediterranean mutations and demonstrate the need for a more comprehensive study of Arab populations to confirm the uniqueness of the two novel mutations to the Egyptian population. (+info)
(8/1008) Emergence of Schistosoma mansoni infection in upper Egypt: the Giza governorate.
We found an unexpectedly high prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni in a village in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Giza. Historically, S. mansoni is endemic in the northern Egyptian Nile Delta rather than in the southern Upper Egypt. This observation was made during an evaluation of a rural health care schistosomiasis surveillance program using a cross sectional survey for S. haematobium and S. mansoni in the village of El-Gezira El-Shakra El-Saf district in the Upper Egypt Giza Governorate. A 10% systematic random sample of households of the village was chosen. All persons in the selected houses were invited to submit urine and stool samples. All students from a primary school were also included in the study. Urine was screened by a polycarbonate filtration method and stool was examined using modified Kato-Katz technique. The prevalence of S. mansoni in the population sample and in the school children was 33.7% and 57.7%, respectively, whereas the prevalence of S. haematobium infection in the population sample and the school children was 7.4% and 10.6%, respectively. The prevalence of infection was highest in the younger age groups, and males were infected more than females. Review of Ministry of Health records showed that both species of vector snails, Bulinus truncatus and Biomphalaria alexandrina, were present from 1991 to 1995, and that B. alexandrina was more abundant than B. truncatus in the canals surrounding this village. The unexpected high prevalence of S. mansoni in this village indicates an urgent need to include training programs for S. mansoni surveillance in the primary health care facilities of Giza and to educate villagers to request examinations for S. mansoni as well as for S. haematobium infection. (+info)