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The correlation of sudden death with Borrelia burgdorferi infection among sudden deaths in Palestine
Palestine (IFMSA Palestine), An-Najah National University, Nablus
Department of Biomedical Science
Dr. Bilal Rahal
Dr. Walid Basha
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Borrelia burgdorferi is a diderm bacterial species of spirochere class, it is transmitted to vertebrate host by Ixodes ticks that fed on a previously infected vertebrate and recently it was discovered that it might be a contagious illness via sexual transmission, the resultant multisystem disease- lyme disease- manifests as erythema, arthritis, meningitis, neuropathy, arrhythmias and cardiopathies), symptomatic infection of the heart is rare and resolves with appropriate therapy, however, sudden cardiac death without clinical presentation may occur. As there are frequent cases of Sudden unexplained death in our country with lack of researches to explain a cause, whereas in other countries many were done and some were considering infectious agents that may lead to sudden death, this study aims to look into the association between sudden cardiac death and Borrelia infection to uncover the hidden reality of sudden cardiac arrest, by approaching real cases of unexpected deaths, and finding its possible correlation with Borrelia burgdorferi’s cardiac infection to achieve a better knowledge that may help in early diagnosing and decreasing cases of sudden death.
What is the aim of the project?
Eucidate the association between Borrelia burgdorferi infection among sudden deaths in Palestine
What techniques and methods are used?
The setting of the study of autopsies of variable ages will be carried out at An-Najah National University's Forensic Medical Center, Nablus, Palestine. The autopsy specimens of the serum, skin and heart will be collected of different sudden death cases.The study will be evaluated via PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to amplify the DNA extracted from the autopsies and serological evaluation by ELISA. Data will be analyzed using SPSS system. Students will not be directly involved in statistical analysis of data. They will mainly work in lab and observe data analysis and evaluation.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
Survey of the literature, implementation of cell culture techniques (working under sterile conditions, preparation of media, plating cells), performing experiments under supervision (The university requires a supervisor in the labs), data analysis, recording of experiments, microbiology techniques, Will work with DNA extraction from samples then DNA PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) to detect bacterial code, serological evaluation by ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). The student is expected to actively participate in Lab meetings. Student is expected to a scientific report towards the end of the exchange period.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
No theoretical teaching for the specific research project will be provided. However, incomings are free to join lectures they might find interesting given during the semesters on any related subjects.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a scientific report
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Required: DNA Extraction and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) techniques. Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) is highly valued but not required.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Graduated students (less than 6 months) - Pre-Medical students from the American-British system
- CDC; c. o. (2013). three sudden cardiac deaths associated with lyme carditis- US Nov 2012- July 2013. morb mortal wkly rep; 62(49); 993-996
- Muehlenbachs A; B. B. (2016). Cardiac Tropism of Borrelia burgdorferi: An Autopsy Study of Sudden Cardiac Death Associated with Lyme Carditis. Am J Pathol.; 186(5); 1195-1205
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