Department of Pharmacy
World University of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Mohammed Abdus Samad, Linnea Eberson, Ruhena Begum, Mohammad Gazi Shah Alam, Faisol Talukdar, Rahima Akter, Sinh Dang-Xuan, Garima Sharma, Shariful Islam, Nure Alam Siddiky,et al. MDPI AG
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a public health problem worldwide. Bangladesh, like its neighboring countries, faces many public health challenges, including access to safe food, inadequate food surveillance, as well as increasing AMR. This study investigated bacterial contamination and the AMR profile of pathogens in marketed food in Bangladesh and explored barriers to reducing AMR in the country. We collected 366 tomatoes, 359 chicken and 249 fish samples from 732 vendors in traditional markets in urban, peri-urban and rural areas in Bangladesh, as well as from 121 modern retails in Dhaka capital to analyse Vibrio cholerae and Escherichia coli in fish, Salmonella in chicken, and Salmonella and E. coli in tomatoes. Antibiotic susceptibility against 11 antibiotics was tested using a disc diffusion test and interpreted by an automated zone inhibition reader. In addition, a qualitative study using key informant interviews was conducted to explore antimicrobial use and AMR reduction potential in Bangladesh. We found E. coli in 14.21% of tomatoes and 26.91% of fish samples, while 7.38% of tomatoes and 17.27% of chicken were positive for Salmonella, and 44.98% of fish were positive for Vibrio cholerae. In total 231/319 (72.4%) of all pathogens isolated were multidrug-resistant (MDR) (resistant to three or more antibiotic groups). Qualitative interviews revealed an inadequate surveillance system for antibiotic use and AMR in Bangladesh, especially in the agriculture sector. To be able to fully understand the human health risks from bacterial hazards in the food and the AMR situation in Bangladesh, a nationwide study with a one health approach should be conducted, within all sectors, including AMR testing as well as assessment of the antimicrobial use and its drivers.
Ruhena Begum, Rahima Akter, Sinh Dang-Xuan, Shariful Islam, Nure Alam Siddiky, ASM Ashab Uddin, Asheak Mahmud, Md Samun Sarker, Delia Grace, Mohammed Abdus Samad,et al. Frontiers Media SA
IntroductionContamination with heavy and toxic metals along the food value chain is a public health concern in Bangladesh.MethodsIn this study, 608 fish and chicken samples from traditional and modern retail outlets in urban, peri-urban, and rural areas were collected and analyzed for chromium (Cr), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) contamination, using atomic absorption spectrometry method. The daily intake, target hazard quotient and the target carcinogenic risk (for lead only) as a result of fish and chicken consumption was calculated based on mean results, and by Monte Carlo simulation in @Risk with 100,000 iterations (quantitative risk assessment).ResultsCr and Cd were detected in 80–86% of both chicken meat and fish samples, while Pb positivity found in chicken meat and fish was 54.9 and 23.3%, respectively. The mean concentration (±SD) of Cr, Cd, and Pb in chicken meat were 0.66 ± 0.93, 0.02 ± 0.03, and 0.09 ± 0.10 mg/kg, respectively; and in fish were 0.49 ± 0.62, 0.02 ± 0.03, and 0.06 ± 0.09 mg/kg, respectively. The estimated daily intakes of Cr, Cd, and Pb from chicken and fish were lower than the maximum tolerable daily intake in all studied areas. In addition, the target carcinogenic risk for Pb in chicken was lower than the negligible range, which indicated the risk of cancer due to exposure to Pb through chicken meat and fish consumption was very low.DiscussionThe present study concludes that consumption of chicken meat and fish in Bangladesh, currently at very low levels, is unlikely to constitute a major health risk for humans in respect to these metals. However, continuous market surveillance for heavy metals in food stuff is recommended, especially since consumers may increase their meat intake.
Atsuko Imoto, Malabika Sarker, Rahima Akter, Akiko Matsuyama, and Sumihisa Honda Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Introduction and hypothesis We assessed the association of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and urinary incontinence (UI), alone and in combination (POP-UI), and related factors with health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in parous women in Bangladesh. Methods The study included 357 parous women: 107 with POP alone, 124 with POP-UI, and 126 with UI alone. Data were collected on sociodemographic characteristics, comorbidities, symptom duration, UI severity and type, POP stage, and the 12-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12). Results The median scores of the SF-12 Physical and Mental Component Summary (PCS and MCS) were 29.1 and 35.7 for POP alone, 28.0 and 35.1 for POP-UI, and 33.9 and 42.0 for UI alone, and there were significant differences among the three groups ( p < 0.001). Participants with mixed UI had lower scores on both components than those with stress or urgency UI. UI severity was associated with lower MCS scores, but not with POP stage. Multiple regression analysis showed that the coexistence of POP and UI was associated with significantly worse PCS scores than UI or POP alone and worse MCS scores than UI alone. Age ≥ 46 years was associated with lower PCS scores, and not completing primary school was associated with lower MCS scores. Conclusion POP and UI were associated with HRQOL, especially in those who had POP-UI, were older, and had a low educational level, mixed UI, and severe UI. Healthcare providers should understand the significance of these illnesses and address them to improve women’s HRQOL.
Lorraine Chapot, Md Samun Sarker, Ruhena Begum, Delower Hossain, Rahima Akter, Md Mehedi Hasan, Zamila Bueaza Bupasha, Md Bayzid, Md Salauddin, Md Shafiullah Parvej,et al. MDPI AG
The use of antibiotics in animals for both therapeutic and non-therapeutic purposes is a major driver of the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). While several studies have investigated prescription and consumption patterns in humans, little attention has been paid to the veterinary sector. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 3002 veterinary students (VS) and non-medical students (NMS) from 12 universities in Bangladesh to explore their knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) about antibiotics and AMR using a self-administered questionnaire, and assess the influence of the veterinary curriculum. KAP regarding antibiotic use and AMR was significantly higher in veterinary than non-medical students, and in first-year than final-year students. However, gaps in knowledge and practices were highlighted, suggesting deficiencies in training. Moreover, final-year veterinary students were found to be more likely than first-year students to use antibiotics without instructions, which could indicate deficiencies in their curriculum. Although the study suggested a positive impact of the veterinary curriculum on KAP about antibiotics and AMR in Bangladesh, critical gaps remain that are likely to contribute to inadequate use in their future practice. Therefore, there is scope for improving educational programs on AMR in professional curricula.
Iftekhar Ahmed, Maruf Hasan, Rahima Akter, Bidduth Kumar Sarkar, Marufa Rahman, Md Samun Sarker, and Mohammed A. Samad Public Library of Science (PLoS)
The present study was conducted to assess the behavioral preventive measures and the use of medicines and herbal foods/products among the public in response to Covid-19. A cross-sectional survey comprised of 1222 participants was conducted from 27 June to 20 July 2020. Kruskal-Wallis test was used to identify the differences in behavioral preventive practices across different demographic categories. To identify the factors associated with the use of preventive medicines and herbal foods/products, multivariable logistic regression was performed. Most participants adopted the recommended preventive practices such as washing hands more frequently (87.5%), staying home more often (85.5%), avoiding crowds (86%), and wearing masks (91.6%). About half of the smokers reported a decreased rate of smoking during the pandemic. Also, 14.8% took medicines, 57.6% took herbal foods/products, and 11.2% took both medicines and herbal foods/products as preventive measure against Covid-19. Arsenicum album, vitamin supplements, and zinc supplements were the most commonly used preventive medicines. Gender, age, and fear of Covid-19 were significantly associated with the use of both preventive medicines and herbal foods/products. For the management of Covid-19 related symptoms, paracetamol, antihistamines, antibiotics, and mineral (zinc and calcium) supplements were used most often. Most participants sought information from non-medical sources while using medicines and herbal products. Moreover, potentially inappropriate and unnecessary use of certain drugs was identified.
Malabika Sarker, Din Mohammad, Sukanta Paul, Rahima Akter, Shayla Islam, Goutam Biswas, Asheque Hossain, and Akramul Islam Springer Science and Business Media LLC
BackgroundAlthough extra pulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB) has long been known as a major public health concern globally, the complex healthcare-seeking pathways of EPTB patients are not widely studied. This study aims to explore the pattern of healthcare-seeking pathways of rural and urban EPTB patients registered with the BRAC TB control programme. BRAC is a Bangladesh-based non-governmental organization dedicated to alleviating poverty through empowering the poor.MethodData were collected through 60 in-depth interviews with rural and urban EPTB patients in Bangladesh.ResultsThe findings reveal that the rural EPTB patients encountered a substantial diagnostic delay as compared to the urban patients. However, the difference between the average number of healthcare providers consulted by the rural verses the urban EPTB patients was not significant. This study also shows that the healthcare-seeking journey of rural and urban EPTB patients usually starts either at pharmacies or private facilities. Through exploring the detailed nature of the pathway, this study reveals the ways in which non-medical informants, mainly relatives and friends, can benefit patients.ConclusionsThe private and informal healthcare providers should receive appropriate training on the diagnosis of EPTB. Such training could effectively shorten the long and complex healthcare-seeking pathways of EPTB patients.
Sukanta Paul, Rahima Akter, Afzal Aftab, Antora M Khan, Mrittika Barua, Shayla Islam, Akramul Islam, Ashaque Husain, and Malabika Sarker Springer Science and Business Media LLC
BackgroundBangladesh National Tuberculosis (TB) Control Programme adopted a number of strategies to facilitate TB diagnosis and treatment. ‘Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilization’ (ACSM) was one of the key strategies implemented by BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, a non-governmental development organization) TB control program. The purpose of this study is to assess the knowledge and attitudes of the key community members (KCMs) participated in ACSM in BRAC TB control areas.MethodsThis study combined quantitative and qualitative methods using a mixed method approach. KCMs in three districts with low TB case detection rates were targeted to assess the ACSM program. The quantitative survey using a multi-stage random-sampling strategy was conducted among 432 participants. The qualitative study included in-depth interviews (IDIs) of a sub sample of 48 respondents. For quantitative analysis, descriptive statistics were reported using frequencies, percentages, and Chi square tests, while thematic analysis was used for qualitative part.ResultsMost (99%) of the participants had heard about TB, and almost all knew that TB is a contagious yet curable disease. More than half (53%) of the KCMs had good knowledge regarding TB, but BRAC workers were found to be more knowledgeable compared to other KCMs. However, considerable knowledge gaps were observed among BRAC community health workers. Qualitative results revealed that the majority of the KCMs were aware about the signs, symptoms and transmission pathways of TB and believed that smoking and addiction were the prime causes of transmission of TB. The knowledge about child TB was poor even among BRAC health workers. Stigma associated with TB was not uncommon. Almost all respondents expressed that young girls diagnosed with TB.ConclusionsThis study finding has revealed varying levels of knowledge and mixed attitudes about TB among the KCMs. It also provides insight on the poor knowledge regarding child TB and indicate that despite the significant success of the TB program stigma is yet prevalent in the community. Future ACSM activities should engage community members against stigma and promote child TB related information for further improvement of BRAC TB Control Programme.