Research Labs

Microbiology Research Lab

Center/ lab affiliation

Microbiology Research Laboratory/ Faculty of Medicine

Lab director: Dina M. Bitar PhD

The Microbiology Research laboratory at Al-Quds University was established in November 2012 from a DFG grant for 2011- 2013, the grant was extended another three years till 2016 anf for another year without financial obligation till 2017.

Location: Al Abraj

The Microbiology Research Laboratory is focused on the ecology and virulence of Legionella species in water distribution systems in the West Bank and identification of Legionella pneumophila from lower respiratory tract specimens obtained from suspected pneumonia patients presenting at Makassed Hospital.

Man-made aquatic systems, if not treated properly, become fertile hosts for biofilm communities of microbes – including Legionella pneumophila. If these pathogens are aerated, they can be breathed by humans – and so begins an outbreak.

Legionella spp. are ubiquitous opportunistic bacteria with widespread distribution in the natural fresh water systems as well as manmade water systems.

Legionellosis includes Legionnaires’ disease (LD), which has been discovered forty years ago in 1976, is a collection of infections that are caused by Legionella spp bacteria, ranging from a self-limited febrile illness (Pontiac fever) to a severe and fatal form of pneumonia Legionnaires’ disease (LD) that can affect any individual but usually affects those who are more susceptible due to immunosuppression, illness, age, and other risk factors, such as smoking.

In the West Bank, Palestine, Legionnaires’ disease (LD) to this date is not a notifiable disease, and prior to the Legionella project at Al-Quds University, no record about the prevalence of Legionella spp. in environmental or clinical samples was available.

The Legionella project is in collaboration with Prof. Manfred Hoffle from the Helmholtz Institute for Infection Research in Braunschweig, Germany.

The Microbiology Research laboratory has supported few undergraduate research project:

  1. The effect of protease inhibitors on the growth of Helicobacter pylori The pylori project is in collaboration with Dr. Hussein Hallak from the Faculty of Pharmacy at AQU.
  2. Surgical site infections in one Palestinian governmental hospital in Southern Wet Bank: pathogen identification and antibiotic sensitivity testing.

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Machines

#

Manufacturer

Application

1

Autoclave

1

Tuttnauer 3870

Sterilize equipment and supplies.

2

Refrigerated Centrifuge 1.5-2 ml with 0.2 ml tubes rotor

2

Thermo Scientific

Spins small volume liquid samples at high speed at various temperatures.

Heraeus

3

CO2 incubator

1

Esco

Cell cultures, tissue cultures and bacteria cultures.

4

Computer

3

Hp i3

 

Hpi2

Pentium 4

5

Deep freeze

1

Panasonic

Store and preserve bacteria for a longer period of time

6

Digital balance

1

RADWAG

Measure accurate masses to prepare media and solution.

7

Dry bath incubator 15ml +(1.5-2)ml

1

MRC

Provides a controlled dry heat environment for test tubes containing and controlled time.

8

Filtration unit

2

 

Filter water samples.

9

Freezer- fridge

2

LG

Preserve samples, kits and reagents.

Samsung

10

Gel documentation system-built in computer

1

SYNGENE

Imaging and documentation of PCR product suspended within agarose gels.

11

Gel electrophoresis unit

3

Biocom

Separation and analysis of PCR products.

Biometra

12

Hot plate

1

Fried electric

Heat and stirrer liquid solution

13

Incubator

 

1

Heraeus

Maintains optimal temperature to grow bacterial culture.

 

 

14

Micro plate reader

1

 

Quantification of nucleic acid, protein , enzyme activity assays or other biological, chemical and physical events of samples

15

Microwave

1

LG

Prepare agarose for electrophoresis

16

Nanodrop

1

Thermo Scientific

Measuring Nucleic acid and protein concentration

17

 

pH meter

1

 

MRC

Measuring PH, conductivity and salt concentration of water samples and other solutions

18

Pipette holder

2

 

 

19

Power supply

3

Biocom CS300V

Supplies electric power to electrophoresis unit

20

Printer

2

20

Printer

21

Real time PCR detection system

1

Biorad CFX 96

Amplify and quantify DNA

22

Ice maker

1

Star line

Making ice used in preparation reagents for PCR.

23

Thermal cycler

1

Biorad T100

DNA amplification.

24

Thermometers

2

 

 

25

UV transillumenator

1

MRC

View PCR product (DNA or RNA) that has been separated by electrophoresis through an agarose gel.

26

UV hood

1

Esco / class 11

Provide sterile condition for media preparation and PCR reagent preparation.

Biobase

27

Vacuum pump

2

KNF Lab

Increase the rate of filtration.

Lab Tech

28

Vortex

2

MRC

Mix liquid samples.

Labnet

29

Water bath

 

1

Lab Tech

Provide optimal temperature for the reaction .

30

Distillator

1

GFL 2004

Provide distilled water

31

UV/VIS Spectrophotometer

1

Jenway 6715

Quantitative measurement for absorbance , transmittance and concentration for samples

32

Refrigerated Centrifuge 15- 50ml with 96 well plate

1

Centurion scientific

Spins large volume of liquid samples at high speed at various temperature

33

UBS

2

3KVA

 

 

34

SSCP Gel electrophoresis unit with power supply

 

1

Eitan

Discover new DNA polymorphisms apart from DNA sequencing

Pik lab

35

Pipette filler

2

Accumax

 

36

Pipette 0.5-10 µl

3

Eppendrof research plus

 

37

Pipette 2-20 µl

1

Eppendrof research plus

 

38

Pipette 5-50 µl

1

Win lab

 

39

Pipette 20-200 µl

3

Eppendrof research plus

 

40

Pipette 100-1000 µl

4

Eppendrof research plus

 

 

41

 

Pipette 0.5- 5 ml

 

1

Spin react

 

 

Eppendrof research plus

42

Pipette 10-100 µl

1

Microlit

 

43

Pipette 1-10 µl

1

Biopette Labnet

 

44

Pipette 50-300 µl

1

XL3000iTM

 

45

Fluorescent microscope

1

OLYMPUS (BX53)

 

46

Inverted microscope

1

OLYMPUS (CKX31)

 

47

Bench top shaking incubator

1

Labnet

 

48

CO2 cylinder 25Kg with regulator

 

 

Regulate CO2 level in the CO2 incubator

49

Liquid nitrogen tank

1

 

 

50

Air condition

 

2

Tadiran

 

51

DNA extraction hood

1

 

 

 

Publications:

  • Jaber,L., Amro M,. Abu Tair H., Bahader S,. Alalam H,. Butmeh S., Abu Hilal D., Brittar I., Höfle M., and D. Bitar Comparison of in situ sequence type analysis of Legionella pneumophila in respiratory tract secretions and environmental samples of a hospital in East Jerusalem. Epidemiology and Infection, 2018, 146 (16): 1-6
  • Al-Sarasra, M., Butmeh,S., and D. Bitar Surgical site infections in one Palestinian governmental hospital in Southern West Bank: pathogen identification and antibiotic sensitivity testing. (Submitted)
  • Ashraf R. Zayed1+2, Suha Butmeh2, Marina Pecellin1, Alaa Salah2, Hanna Al-Allam2, Manfred G. Höfle1, Dina M. Bitar2 and Ingrid Brettar1* Biogeography and environmental drivers of Legionella pneumophila abundance and genotype composition across the West Bank: relevance of a genotype specific ecology. (Submitted).

Lab/center Master and BA students research projects:

Master student:

  • Mutasem Burghal. Cultural and Molecular evidence of Legionella pneumophila in Dental Unit Waterlines in Palestine/West Bank
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