Meseret Habtamu

Armauer Hansen Research Institute, Ādīs Ābeba, Ādīs Ābeba, Ethiopia

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Publications (10)40.42 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we explored the local cytokine/chemokine profiles in patients with active pulmonary or pleural tuberculosis (TB) using multiplex protein analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage and pleural fluid samples. Despite increased pro-inflammation compared to the uninfected controls; there was no up-regulation of IFN-γ or the T cell chemoattractant CCL5 in the lung of patients with pulmonary TB. Instead, elevated levels of IL-4 and CCL4 were associated with high mycobacteria-specific IgG titres as well as SOCS3 (suppressors of cytokine signaling) mRNA and progression of moderate-to-severe disease. Contrary, IL-4, CCL4 and SOCS3 remained low in patients with extrapulmonary pleural TB, while IFN-γ, CCL5 and SOCS1 were up-regulated. Both SOCS molecules were induced in human macrophages infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis in vitro. The Th2 immune response signature found in patients with progressive pulmonary TB could result from inappropriate cytokine/chemokine responses and excessive SOCS3 expression that may represent potential targets for clinical TB management.
    Clinical Immunology 02/2014; 151(2):84-99. · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Molecular typing of 964 specimens from patients in Ethiopia with lymph node or pulmonary tuberculosis showed a similar distribution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains between the 2 disease manifestations and a minimal role for M. bovis. We report a novel phylogenetic lineage of M. tuberculosis strongly associated with the Horn of Africa
    Emerging Infectious Diseases 04/2013; 19(3). · 6.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Diagnosis of active tuberculosis (TB) among sputum-negative cases, patients with HIV infection and extra-pulmonary TB is difficult. In this study, assessment of BCG-specific IgG-secreting peripheral plasmablasts, was used to identify active TB in these high-risk groups. METHODS: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from patients with TB and controls and cultured in vitro using an assay called Antibodies in Lymphocyte Supernatant, which measures spontaneous IgG antibody release from migratory plasmablasts. A BCG-specific ELISA and flow cytometry were used to quantify in vivo activated plasmablasts in blood samples from Ethiopian subjects who were HIV negative or HIV positive. Patients diagnosed with different clinical forms of sputum-negative active TB or other diseases (n=96) were compared with asymptomatic individuals including latent TB and non-TB controls (n=85). Immunodiagnosis of TB also included the tuberculin skin test and the interferon (IFN)-γ release assay, QuantiFERON. RESULTS: This study demonstrated that circulating IgG+ plasmablasts and spontaneous secretion of BCG-specific IgG antibodies were significantly higher in patients with active TB compared with latent TB cases and non-TB controls. BCG-specific IgG titres were particularly high among patients coinfected with TB and HIV with CD4 T-cell counts <200 cells/ml who produced low levels of Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific IFNγ in vitro. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that BCG-specific IgG-secreting peripheral plasmablasts could be successfully used as a host-specific biomarker to improve diagnosis of active TB, particularly in people who are HIV positive, and facilitate administration of effective treatment to patients. Elevated IgG responses were associated with impaired peripheral T-cell responses, including reduced T-cell numbers and low M tuberculosis-specific IFNγ production.
    Thorax 08/2012; · 8.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is endemic in Ethiopian cattle. The aim of this study was to assess BTB prevalence at an intensive contact interface in Meskan Woreda (district) in cattle, small ruminants and suspected TB-lymphadenitis (TBLN) human patients. The comparative intradermal test (CIDT) was carried out for all animals involved in the cross-sectional study and results interpreted using a > 4 mm and a > 2 mm cut-off. One PPD positive goat was slaughtered and lymph nodes subjected to culture and molecular typing. In the same villages, people with lymphadenitis were subjected to clinical examination. Fine needle aspirates (FNA) were taken from suspected TBLN and analyzed by smear microscopy and molecular typing. A total of 1214 cattle and 406 small ruminants were tested for BTB. In cattle, overall individual prevalence (> 2 mm cut-off) was 6.8% (CI: 5.4-8.5%) with 100% herd prevalence. Only three small ruminants (2 sheep and 1 goat) were reactors. The overall individual prevalence in small ruminants (> 2 mm cut-off) was 0.4% (CI: 0.03-5.1%) with 25% herd prevalence. Cattle from owners with PPD positive small ruminants were all PPD negative. 83% of the owners kept their sheep and goats inside their house at night and 5% drank regularly goat milk.FNAs were taken from 33 TBLN suspected cases out of a total of 127 screened individuals with lymph node swellings. Based on cytology results, 12 were confirmed TBLN cases. Nine out of 33 cultures were AFB positive. Culture positive samples were subjected to molecular typing and they all yielded M. tuberculosis. M. tuberculosis was also isolated from the goat that was slaughtered. This study highlighted a low BTB prevalence in sheep and goats despite intensive contact with cattle reactors. TBLN in humans was caused entirely by M. tuberculosis, the human pathogen. M. tuberculosis seems to circulate also in livestock but their role at the interface is unknown.
    BMC Infectious Diseases 11/2011; 11:318. · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    Infection Genetics and Evolution 05/2011; · 2.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have identified a globally important clonal complex of Mycobacterium bovis by deletion analysis of over one thousand strains from over 30 countries. We initially show that over 99% of the strains of M. bovis, the cause of bovine tuberculosis, isolated from cattle in the Republic of Ireland and the UK are closely related and are members of a single clonal complex marked by the deletion of chromosomal region RDEu1 and we named this clonal complex European 1 (Eu1). Eu1 strains were present at less than 14% of French, Portuguese and Spanish isolates of M. bovis but are rare in other mainland European countries and Iran. However, strains of the Eu1 clonal complex were found at high frequency in former trading partners of the UK (USA, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Canada). The Americas, with the exception of Brazil, are dominated by the Eu1 clonal complex which was at high frequency in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Mexico as well as North America. Eu1 was rare or absent in the African countries surveyed except South Africa. A small sample of strains from Taiwan were non-Eu1 but, surprisingly, isolates from Korea and Kazakhstan were members of the Eu1 clonal complex. The simplest explanation for much of the current distribution of the Eu1 clonal complex is that it was spread in infected cattle, such as Herefords, from the UK to former trading partners, although there is evidence of secondary dispersion since. This is the first identification of a globally dispersed clonal complex M. bovis and indicates that much of the current global distribution of this important veterinary pathogen has resulted from relatively recent International trade in cattle.
    Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 05/2011; 11(6):1340-51. · 3.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is endemic in Ethiopian cattle. However, the status of the disease in wildlife populations that often share habitat with livestock is unknown. We screened for BTB in wildlife in five regions in Ethiopia. Blood and tissue samples from 133 mammals of 28 species were collected from 2006 to 2008. We used a rapid serology test (RT) based on lateral flow technology, and performed culture of lymph node specimens inoculated onto Lowenstein-Jensen and Middlebrook 7H11 media. Acid-fast colonies were further analyzed by molecular typing. Sera from 20 of 87 animals (23%) were positive for BTB by RT; acid-fast bacilli were cultured from 29 of 89 animals (32.5%). None of the positive cultures yielded mycobacteria from the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex but many environmental mycobacteria were isolated. Among these, Mycobacterium terrae was the most common. We demonstrated a high prevalence of environmental mycobacteria in wildlife, the role of which is unknown. Flagship rare endemic species such as the mountain nyala (Tragelaphus buxtoni) and the Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis) may be at risk for BTB. We also assessed the utility of RT for field purposes.
    Journal of wildlife diseases 07/2010; 46(3):753-62. · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is endemic in cattle in the Ethiopian Highlands but no studies have been done so far in pastoralists in South Omo. This study assessed the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis (BTB) at an intensive interface of livestock, wildlife and pastoralists in Hamer Woreda (South Omo), Ethiopia. A cross-sectional survey including a comparative intradermal skin testing (CIDT) was conducted in 499 zebu cattle and 186 goats in 12 settlements. Sputum samples from 26 symptomatic livestock owners were cultured for TB. Fifty-one wildlife samples from 13 different species were also collected in the same area and tested with serological (lateral flow assay) and bacteriological (culture of lymph nodes) techniques. Individual BTB prevalence in cattle was 0.8% (CI: 0.3%-2%) with the >4 mm cut-off and 3.4% (CI: 2.1%-5.4%) with the >2 mm cut-off. Herd prevalence was 33.3% and 83% when using the >4 and the >2 mm cut-off respectively. There was no correlation between age, sex, body condition and positive reactors upon univariate analysis. None of the goats were reactors for BTB. Acid fast bacilli (AFB) were detected in 50% of the wildlife cultures, 79.2% of which were identified as Mycobacterium terrae complex. No M. bovis was detected. Twenty-seven percent of tested wildlife were sero-positive. Four sputum cultures (15.4%) yielded AFB positive colonies among which one was M. tuberculosis and 3 non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM). The prevalence of M. avium-complex (MAC) was 4.2% in wildlife, 2.5% in cattle and 0.5% in goats. In conclusion, individual BTB prevalence was low, but herd prevalence high in cattle and BTB was not detected in goats, wildlife and humans despite an intensive contact interface. On the contrary, NTMs were highly prevalent and some Mycobacterium spp were more prevalent in specific species. The role of NTMs in livestock and co-infection with BTB need further research.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(8):e12205. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bovine tuberculosis (bTB), caused by Mycobacterium bovis, is a debilitating disease of cattle. Ethiopia has one of the largest cattle populations in the world, with an economy highly dependent on its livestock. Furthermore, Ethiopia has one of the highest incidence rates of human extrapulmonary TB in the world, a clinical presentation that is often associated with transmission of M. bovis from cattle to humans. Here we present a comprehensive investigation of the prevalence of bTB in Ethiopia based on cases identified at slaughterhouses. Out of approximately 32,800 inspected cattle, approximately 4.7% showed suspect tuberculous lesions. Culture of suspect lesions yielded acid-fast bacilli in approximately 11% of cases, with M. bovis accounting for 58 of 171 acid-fast cultures, while 53 isolates were non-tuberculous mycobacteria. Strikingly, M. tuberculosis was isolated from eight cattle, an unusual finding that suggests human to animal transmission. Our analysis has revealed that bTB is widely spread throughout Ethiopia, albeit at a low prevalence, and provides underpinning evidence for public health policy formulation.
    PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(4):e5068. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • Article: Erratum.
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    ABSTRACT: [This corrects the article on p. e5068 in vol. 4, PMID: 19352493.].
    PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(4). · 3.73 Impact Factor