Volume 1, Issue 1, February 2021

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    Characterization of Leishmania Ulcers Microbiota Using Next Generation Sequencing
    (Al-Quds University - Deanship of Scientific Research, 2021-02-20) Ereqat, Suheir ; Al-Jawabreh, Amer ; Abdeen, Ziad ; Al-Jwabreh, Hanan ; Nasereddin, Abedelmajeed
    The human skin microbiome is a major source of bacteria in cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) ulcers following the fall of the crust and the subsequent formation of a shallow depression in the epidermis and dermis of the skin. As a result, secondary bacterial infections are frequently observed which impair the healing process. Our study aimed to investigate the bacterial communities in CL lesions using next-generation sequencing. A total of 298 patients (178 males and 120 females; the median age of 17) presenting ulcerated skin lesions suspected with CL were included in this study. CL was confirmed in 153 (51%) cases by ITS1-PCR and/ or microscopy. Based on bacterial 16S rRNA-PCR, 92 samples were positive for the presence of bacteria, while 206 samples were negative and excluded from the microbiome study. A total of 925 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) were identified and assigned to 215 genera. Despite an insignificant difference in the microbiome composition between CL and non-CL lesions, the phylum level analysis revealed that Actinobacteria was significantly higher in CL ulcers while Proteobacteria was significantly higher in non-CL ulcers (X2, P=0.039). The relative abundance of the most commonly encountered skin pathogens i. e E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter, Enterococcus and Acinetobacter species were significantly higher in non-CL ulcers (X2, P<0.05) compared to Staphylococcus aureusand Proteus mirabilis which was higher in CL ulcers (P<0.05). Our data showed that bacterial communities did not cluster according to the Leishmania infection. Nonetheless, bacterial diversity was lower in CL compared to non-CL lesions. Presence of pathogenic bacteria in CL lesions such as S. aureus might exacerbate lesions, hinder diagnosis, and delay healing.
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    Cluster analysis for food group consumption patterns in a national sample of Palestinian schoolchildren: Evidence from HBSC Survey 2013-2014
    (Al-Quds University - Deanship of Scientific Research, 2021-02-20) Qasrawi, Radwan ; Al Halawa, Diala Abu ; Ayyad, Rawan ; Al Sabbah, Halema ; Taweel, Haneen ; Abdeen, Ziad
    Background: Promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle to reduce the national burden of nutrition-related problems among Palestinians requires an understanding of food consumption trends and patterns. Few studies have examined the food consumption patterns with the macro and micronutrient intakes and nutrition risk factors. The objective of this study was to study the food frequency and nutrient intake consumption patterns of Palestinian schoolchildren and their associations with the socioeconomic and risk factors.This is a national cross-sectional descriptive study conducted on Palestinian schoolchildren from the West Bank. The study examined the food consumption patterns of the macro and micronutrient intakes and nutrition risk factors among 1945 students aged 11-16 years. The data collected using the food frequency questionnaire and 24-hour recall that was administered by trained field workers. Food groups’ classification, nutrient intakes, body mass index (BMI) Z-scores, and socioeconomic differences were examined across the food groups’ patterns of consumption. We employed Z-score and K-Means cluster analysis to identify food consumption patterns and to examine factors associated with nutrient intakes. The food frequency results identified three food consumption clusters including the traditional, non-traditional, and mixed pattern. A total of 796 students (41%) were in traditional cluster, 458 (23.5%) in non-traditional cluster, and 691(35.5%) in mixed cluster. The nutrient intakes identified three clusters (High, Moderate, and Low consumption patterns) out of macronutrient, vitamins, and minerals categories. Most of the students located in the low consumption cluster for macronutrient, vitamins, and minerals clusters (66.9%, 67.7%, and 64 %) respectively. The traditional cluster was associated with healthy, non-obese, and physically active students and the non-traditional cluster was associated with unhealthy and obese students, but both shown significantly different across the identified clusters. Imbalance in dietary intakes among schoolchildren reflects a lack of dietary diversity. High sugar, fats and oils, and beverages consumption, low consumption of grains, fruits, beans and legumes, and meat are noticed in Palestinian schoolchildren. The findings indicated the importance of considering the food groups' intake variations among Palestinian schoolchildren. As the segments relate to children’s health, nutrition diet programs should consider the high scores of non-traditional and mixed food consumption among schoolschildren.
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    Links between nutrition, life style habits and academic achievement in Palestinian school children: A cross-sectional study
    (Al-Quds University - Deanship of Scientific Research, 2021-02-20) Qasrawi, Radwan ; AL Halawa, Diala Abu ; Ayyad, Rawan ; AL Sabah, Halema ; Taweel, Haneen ; Abdeen, Ziad
    Objective: To examine the association between nutrition, physical activity, lifestyle, the combined behavior effect, and the schoolchildren's academic achievement. Design: Observational and cross-sectional study. Setting: West Bank, Palestine. Participants: A group of schoolchildren (n=1945) in grades 5-9 (11-16 years). Measurements: Students were surveyed about the their ’dietary, physical activity (PA), leisure time activity, and academic achievement. Academic achievement was measured using students' marks in Arabic, English, math, science courses, and the total average score. The linear regression model was conducted to analyze the relationship between dietary, PA, combined behavior, and academic achievement, while adjusted for demographic confounders; body mass index (BMI), and parental education. Results: Findings indicated that healthy nutrition and adequate levels of PA significantly predict achievement scores. In both boys and girls, high academic achievement was associated with a high intake of fruits and vegetables (AOR: 1.1 (0.72-1.68); 1.18(0.81-1.7), and (AOR: 1.21(0.8-1.82); 1.33(0.93-1.91), respectively. In both girls and boys, high academic achievement was associated with low intake of soft drink, beverages (juice with sugar) and energy drink (AOR: (0.75(0.47-1.19), 0.85(0.58-1.27)); (0.99(0.63-1.57), 0.76(0.52-1.12)); (0.66(0.38-1.15), 0.49(0.27-0.89)), respectively. The active and healthy nutrition group scored higher on Arabic, English, math, science, and total average score. Conclusions: There is a strong relationship between healthy nutrition, acceptable PA, and the average academic achievement within schoolchildren. Findings emphasize the importance of linking nutrition, school PA, and health policies for improving cognitive functions and academic performance of Palestinian schoolchildren. Thus, school-based healthy lifestyle educational, health behaviors policy, and recommendation programs may have a greater effect on students’ academic achievement.
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    Epidemiology of Enterobiasis in Palestine
    (Al-Quds University - Deanship of Scientific Research, 2021-02-20) Hamarsheh, Omar
    Enteropiasis is a parasitic disease caused by the pinworm; Enterobius vermicularis. In this report, the prevalence of Enterobius vermicularis infection in the West Bank and Gaza strip was investigated based on Palestinian Ministry of Health reports from 2008 to 2018. A total of 29,390 cases was reported, 29,061 (98.9%) in the West Bank, and 329 cases (1.1%) in Gaza Strip. The results of the present study show that E. vermicularis infection is highly prevalent among people living in the West Bank and to lesser extend in Gaza Strip. There is a need for joint and concentrated efforts from the Palestinian government and public health services to control this infection. Personal hygiene, education and living conditions and overcrowding are risk factors associated with the spread of infection.
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    Assessment of job satisfaction and job related stress among pharmacists in the West Bank, Palestine
    (Al-Quds University - Deanship of Scientific Research, 2021-02-20) Sirhan, Jawna ; Hallak, Hussein ; Khdour, Maher
    Job satisfaction is considered one of the essential factors contributing to a person’s motivation, productivity and overall well-being, the present study aimes to assess job satisfaction and job-related stress levels among pharmacists that are currently registered and practicing in Palestine. we report a cross-sectional survey, including measures of satisfaction and stress (Health Professions Stress Inventory) questionnaire. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, t-tests and one way ANOVAs. The significance level was set at P<0.05. Out of 694 questionnaires distributed, 576 were returned; 14 were not completed and excluded from analysis giving a net of 554 (79.8%) participants. Most of the respondents in the analysis sample were female (58.3%) working in community pharmacies (73.6%). The level of job satisfaction was 58.5%, the variables that contributed to the statistically significant, differences in the degree of job satisfaction were the region (p<0.001) and the monthly income (p<0.001). The t-tests and ANOVA analyses revealed that hospital pharmacists were the least likely to respond that job conflicts with family responsibility as a source of stress compared with community pharmacists (3.11 vs 2.14; p<0.001) and least likely scores in the professional recognition domain (3.21 vs. 2.79; p =0.04), respectively. Other job stressors like excessive work load, lack of promotion opportunities and poor physician pharmacists’ relationship have also been reported. Work life of pharmacists should be enhanced in order to improve their motivation and ability, because failure to reduce stress among workers puts both pharmacists and patients at risk.