Multiplex polymerase chain reaction for detection of gastrointestinal pathogens in migrant workers in Qatar

John M. Humphrey, Sanjay Ranbhise, Emad Ibrahim, Hamad E. Al-Romaihi, Elmoubasher Farag, Laith Aburaddad, Marshall J. Glesby

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The causes of infectious diarrhea among the migrant worker population in Qatar are not well understood. We conducted a prospective observational study to understand the demographic and clinical characteristics and infectious causes of diarrhea among migrant workers in Doha, Qatar. A total of 126 male workers presenting to the Qatar Red Crescent Worker's Health Center outpatient clinic or emergency department were studied over a 5-month period in 2015-2016. Epidemiologic surveys were administered to all subjects and the prevalence of 22 different stool pathogens was determined using multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (FilmArray Gastrointestinal PCR). A target pathogen was identified in 62.7% of subjects. Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli was the most prevalent pathogen and was detected in 24.6% of subjects, followed by Salmonella (22.2%), enteroaggregative E. coli (15.1%), Giardia lamblia (9.5%), and enterotoxigenic E. coli (8.7%). Multiple pathogens were identified in 49.3% of positive stool samples. In a multivariable analysis, the presence of a heart rate ? 90 (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 3.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4-10.0) and > 5 fecal leukocytes/high-power field (adjusted OR = 2.8, 95% CI = 1.2-7.0) were significant predictors of detecting an acute inflammatory pathogen by PCR. Use of multiplex PCR enabled the detection of gastrointestinal pathogens in a high proportion of cases, illustrating the utility of this diagnostic tool in epidemiologic studies of infectious diarrhea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1330-1337
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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