Ihab Habib  from Murdoch University in Perth Australia.

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    Dr Ihab Habib
    BVSc, MSc, MPH, MSTAH, PhD

    Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology

    About me

    Since August 2019, I am working (full-time) at the United Arab Emirates University (Veterinary Medicine Department (Al-Ain campus)), in a new role as Assistant Professor in Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Meat Hygiene and Public Health. Meanwhile, I am affiliated to Murdoch University as an Adjunct Senior Lecturer (honorary position). In my role with Murdoch University I am involved in the supervision of a number of PhD students and in teaching some postgraduate (online) units on a casual basis. 

    I was appointed in March 2015 at Murdoch University as lecturer in Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology. In March 2018, I completed my probation and successfully achieved my tenure. Prior to commencing my current position at Murdoch School of Veterinary Medicine I always been an active researcher in the field of Veterinary Public Health (VPH). VPH is a component of public health that focuses on the application of veterinary science to protect and improve the physical, mental and social well-being of humans. My career goals are: (1) develop applied research aiming at reducing foodborne pathogens at the interface between humans, animals and the environment and (2) equipping my students with the tools to become lifelong learners and pursue rewarding careers that enhance One Health and Preventive Veterinary Medicine.

    I graduated in veterinary science from Alexandria University, Egypt, in 2000 and have spent my career to date working in academic and research institutions in Egypt, Belgium and the Netherlands. After my graduation I was awarded MSc. in Epidemiological Data Analysis from the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Belgium (2006), an MSc. in Food Safety and Hygiene Management from Birmingham University in England (2004), and an MSc in Public Health Sciences from the High Institute of Public Health of Alexandria University in Egypt (2005). I was awarded my PhD degree in March 2010 from Ghent University in Belgium, and followed that with post-doctoral research in the Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Food Preservation of Ghent University in Belgium, and after that I spent one year in the Netherlands working as a Research Assistant Professor (Division of Veterinary Public Health) at Utrecht University. Before joining Murdoch University I worked as a scientist at the Bio-resources Unit of the Austrian Institute of Technology in Austria, and lecturer in Food Hygiene and Control at the High Institute of Public Health of Alexandria University in Egypt.

    My specific research theme focuses on Public Health and Microbial Food Safety, particularly studying the epidemiology and risk assessment of zoonotic and foodborne pathogens, and applying the One-Health research approach at the human-food animal-environment interfaces.

    Teaching area

    The majority of my teaching responsibilities are within the area of Veterinary Public Health/One Health, which is also my primary focus of research, and as such my research informs my teaching. These disciplines (Veterinary Public Health/One Health) are core subjects within Murdoch University’s internationally accredited veterinary science program. I coordinate and contribute to a number of different units at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as summarised below:


    - VET392 One Health: For 3rd year Veterinary (DVM) and Animal Health students (New Unit started in S2 2016); I teach around 75% of the contents of this unit on aspects of VPH, Meat Hygiene and Inspection, Food Safety, Zoonoses, and One Health and Infectious Diseases Management.

    - VET587 and VET687 (Public Health section of clinical rotation): For 5th year Vet students (BVMS and DVM). This includes, arranging and supervising field visits to red meat and poultry abattoirs, sheep feedlot and food microbiology laboratory workshop.

    - VET442 Animal Systems III: For 3rd year Vet students (in years 2014 and 2015, now discontinued); This include teaching aspects of Veterinary Public Health, Meat Hygiene and Inspection, Welfare and Meat Quality, Food Safety, HACCP, and Zoonoses.


    - VET657 Risk Analysis from Farm to Fork: Unit Coordinator (New unit that I have developed, and first delivery was on S1 2018). Core Unit, in MSc in Biosecurity.

    - VET655 One Health Management and Leadership: Unit Coordinator (New unit that I have developed, first delivery was on S1 2017). Core Unit, in PG cert in One Health.

    - VET640 Emerging and Infectious Diseases: Unit Coordinator – Core unit, MSc in Veterinary Surveillance (I teach this annual unit since 2015)

    Research areas

    My specific research theme focuses on the foodborne microbes Campylobacter and Salmonella, the most prevalent bacterial pathogens in Australia (WA), as well as in many other countries. My current research on risk assessment of Salmonella in eggs and Campylobacter in chicken meat at the retail level across Western Australia is endorsed by the WA Department of Health (DoH); this research provides evidence to support the WA DoH strategy towards reducing the public health and societal burden of foodborne illnesses, an issue that impacts the wellbeing of all consumers in WA.

    Other aspects of my research are focused on the global epidemiology of many important zoonoses in food and human-animal-environment interface in different countries, including: Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ghana, and China. The research I am involved in has direct impact for the control of infectious diseases in Australia and many developing countries. In all of my scholarly work I am applying a range of veterinary sciences (microbiology, genomics, VPH, meat hygiene, epidemiology, and biosecurity and risk analysis) toward protection and promotion of human health in different countries.

    Current projects

    Research contract from the Department of Health in Western Australia (WA DoH) – PI;

    AUD 31,000 – Benchmarking Salmonella profile in layer egg farms environment

    Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA);

    Consultation contract: AUD 25,000 – MENA trade/market access

    Research grant from the Australian Pork Limited (APL) – Co-PI;

    AUD 14,500 - Reverse zoonoses critical review

    Project grant from the Swedish Research Council – PI;

    750 thousands Swedish Corona (2015 to 2017) for collaborative research with the Swedish Agricultural University (Prof. Sofia Boqvist, Microbial Food Safety Group). The research project is about Campylobacter epidemiology and risk assessment in Egypt’s poultry chain.


    Awards and grants

    - Co-PI: 19,000 AUD, VLS small research grant – (Salmonella in goats + Rabies in Nepal); 2018

    - Co-PI: 10,000 AUD, Pretoria led – Food safety risk profiling and monitoring of Listeria monocytogenes in environmental, retail and domestic settings in Africa and Australia. Australia Africa Universities Network, 2018.

    - PI:  31,000 AUD, Research contract: Benchmarking Salmonella profile in layer egg farms environment in Western Australia – Funded by the WA Department of Health – Australia, 2017.

    - Co-PI: 100,000 AUD, Risk management of critical antimicrobial resistant bacteria in food producing animals – Funded by the Commonwealth of Australia represented by Department of Agriculture and Water Resources – Australia, 2017.

    - PI: 7,000 AUD, research grant, from VetTrust (Pet Food Safety) – Australia, 2016.

    - PI: 9,000 AUD, small research grant (Campylobacter in WA chicken meat), from School of Veterinary and Life Sciences of Murdoch University – Australia, 2016.

    - Co-PI: 14,500 AUD, Reverse zoonoses affecting pigs, from the Australian Pork Limited (APL) – Australia, 2015.

    - PI: 10,000 AUD, small research equipment grant, from School of Veterinary and Life Sciences of Murdoch University – Australia, 2015.

    - 10,000 AUD, start-up grant for academic staff, from School of Veterinary and Life Sciences of Murdoch University – Australia, 2015.

    - PI: 750 thousands Swedish Corona (2015 to 2018) for collaborative research with the Swedish Agricultural University (Prof. Sofia Boqvist, Microbial Food Safety Group). The research project is about Campylobacter epidemiology and risk assessment in Egypt’s poultry chain.

    - President’s fund grant (€1,100) from the Society for Applied Microbiology (SFAM, UK), 2009.

    - Training visit fellowship (€2,500) from the Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS), 2008.

    - Research fellowship (€5,000) from the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID), 2008. http://www.escmid.org/profession_career/awards_grants/training_fellowships/training_fellows_2008/

    - Special research fund grant for student from developing countries: Awarded by the University of Ghent Belgium to support doctoral study and research, Two years (2007 to 2009).

    - The prize of the Province of Antwerp (Belgium) for international development (for best MSc thesis for international students in the Institute of Tropical Medicine), 2006.

    - Recipient of the British Chevening scholarship: Awarded from the Foreign and commonwealth office in the United Kingdom for the academic year 2003/04.


    Events and speaking engagements

    - Provided a Training Workshop on Food Safety Risk Assessment in Bogor-Indonesia, August 25-29, 2014 – Organized by the Indonesian Directorate of Food Safety.

    - In December 2018, I was invited by the Indonesian Food and Drug Control Authority to deliver a three days training workshop on Microbial Food Safety Risk Assessment, which was attended by more than 30 governmental scientific officers.

    - I have been invited as a speaker in several industry-led workshops, for example:

    • WA Department of Health: 1st December, 2016. The Food Surveillance and Monitoring Working Group, presenting the status of a survey on Campylobacter in chicken meat.
    • WA Department of Agriculture and Food: Poultry Producer Seminar 22 March 2017 (presented on: Chicken Meat Safety in Western Australia –Towards Evidence-based Risk Assessment and Management).
    • Perth Food Safety & Flock Health Workshop for poultry farmers – 18 September 2018; organized by Australian Egg. Oral Presentation (invited speaker).
    • Australian Eggs 2018 Salmonella Workshop for regulators in Perth; 3 October 2018 – Oral presentation (invited speaker).

    Professional and community service

    - Member of the Murdoch University Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

    - Member of the School of Veterinary Medicine international students’ admission application review team (this is an accreditation requirement of the veterinary program). Contributed to two selection rounds (2016 and 2017)

    - Member of the Antimicrobial Resistance and Infectious Disease (AMRID) laboratory committee




    Doctoral and masters supervisions

    - PhD project, Jie Wang (China): Occurrence, population dynamic and antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella, Campylobacter and Escherichia coli in dairy herds from Hubei province, china– Primary supervisor (50%)

    - PhD project, Nikki Asuming-Bediako (Ghana) – Campylobacter in retail chicken in Accra, Ghana: integrating microbiological evidence and probabilistic modelling toward quantitative risk assessment of human foodborne illnesses – Primary supervisor (50%)

    - PhD project, Hamid Reza Sodagari (Iran): Monitoring and Risk Profiling of Salmonella in chicken layer farms and retail table eggs in Western AustraliaAustralia – Main supervisor (80%)

    - PhD project, Ali Harb (Iraq): Salmonella in food and child diarrhoea in Iraq – Co-spervisor (40%)

    - PhD project, Ali gaddan (Iraq): Brucella and Toxoplasma in small ruminants in Dohuk, northern Iraq – Co-spervisor (30%)

    - PhD project, Emad Aziz (Iraq): Epidemiology of Brucella in humans and small ruminants in Kurdistan, Iraq – Co-spervisor (30%)

    - PhD project, Mohand Amura (Iraq): Epidemiology, economic and health burden of Hydatid disease in Basrah – Co-spervisor (30%)

    - PhD project, Arash Osmani (Afghanistan): Epidemiology and economic impact of FMD in Baghlan province, Afghanistan – Co-spervisor (40%)

    - MSc project, Mona Mekrsh (Egypt): Barriers facing application of food safety management in Egyptian abattoirs – completed

    - MSc project, Amira Mohamed (Egypt): Listeria in farmer made traditional cheese in Egypt – completed

    - DVM project, Sonea Kaulsay: Campylobacter carriage in healthy pet dogs – (2018 class)

    - DVM project, Wing Sze Lam: Beliefs, Practices, and Self-efficacy of Australian Veterinarians Regarding Their Contribution in One Health – (2018 class)

    - DVM project, Fok Ruiling Ralene: Environmental Exposure to Campylobacter – the role of Bird Faecal Contamination in Some Urban Settings – (2018 class)




    • Sodagari, H., Mohammed, A., Wang, P., O'Dea, M., Abraham, S., Robertson, I., Habib, I., (2019), Non-typhoidal Salmonella contamination in egg shells and contents from retail in Western Australia: Serovar diversity, multilocus sequence types, and phenotypic and genomic characterizations of antimicrobial resistance, International Journal Of Food Microbiology, 308, Nov 2019, pages 108305 -.
    • Al-Hamada, A., Habib, I., Barnes, A., Robertson, I., (2019), Risk factors associated with seropositivity to Toxoplasma among sheep and goats in Northern Iraq., Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports, 15, , pages -.
    • Abdulhameed, M., Robertson, I., Al-Azizz, S., Habib, I., (2019), Neglected Zoonoses and the Missing Opportunities for One Health Education: The Case of Cystic Echinococcosis among Surgically Operated Patients in Basrah, Southern Iraq., Diseases, 7, , pages 4 - 13.
    • Harb, A., Abraham, S., Rusdi, B., Laird, T., O'Dea, M., Habib, I., (2019), Molecular Detection and Epidemiological Features of Selected Bacterial, Viral, and Parasitic Enteropathogens in Stool Specimens from Children with Acute Diarrhea in Thi-Qar Governorate, Iraq, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16, 9, pages 1 - 16.
    • Asuming-Bediako, N., Parry-Hanson Kunadu, A., Abraham, S., Habib, I., (2019), Campylobacter at the Human Food Interface:The African Perspective, Pathogens, 8, 87, pages -.
    • Harb, A., O'Dea, M., Abraham, S., Habib, I., (2019), Childhood Diarrhoea in the Eastern MediterraneanRegion with Special Emphasis on Non-TyphoidalSalmonella at the HumanÂÂFood Interface, Pathogens, 8, 60, pages -.
    • MURIGU KAMAU NJAGE, P., TONUI SAWE, C., MORAA ONYANGO, C., Habib, I., NJERU NJAGI, E., AERTS, M., MOLENBERGHS, G., (2017), Microbial Performance of Food Safety Control and Assurance Activities in a Fresh Produce Processing Sector Measured Using a Microbial Assessment Scheme and Statistical Modeling, Journal of Food Protection, 80, 1, pages 177 - 188.
    • Harb, A., O'Dea, M., Hanan, Z., Abraham, S., Habib, I., (2017), Prevalence, risk factors and antimicrobial resistance ofSalmonella diarrhoeal infection among children in Thi-Qar Governorate, Iraq, Epidemiology and Infection (Print), 145, 16, pages 3486 - 3496.

    Journal Articles:

    Habib I, Coles J, Fallows M, Goodchild S. A Baseline Quantitative Survey of Campylobacter spp. on Retail Chicken Portions and Carcasses in Metropolitan Perth, Western Australia. Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2019. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2018.2554.

    Alhamada A, Habib I, Barnes A, Robertson I. Risk factors associated with seropositivity to Toxoplasma among sheep and goats in Northern Iraq. Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports. Volume 15, January 2019, 100264

    Abdulhameed MF, Robertson ID, Al-Azizz SA, Habib I. Neglected Zoonoses and the Missing Opportunities for One Health Education: The Case of Cystic Echinococcosis among Surgically Operated Patients in Basrah, Southern Iraq. Diseases. 2019 Jan 7;7(1). pii: E4. doi: 10.3390/diseases7010004.

    Abdulhameed MF, Robertson ID, Al-Azizz SA, Habib I. Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of 50 Patients with Surgically Treated Cystic Echinococcosis from Basrah Province, Iraq. Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health. Volume 8, Issue 3 – 4, December 2018, Pages 196 – 202

    Harb A, Habib I, Mezal EH, Kareem HS, Laird T, O’Dea M, Abraham S. Occurrence, antimicrobial resistance and whole-genome sequencing analysis of Salmonella isolates from chicken carcasses imported into Iraq from four different countries. Int J Food Microbiol. 2018 Jul 5;284:84-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2018.07.007.

    Hansson I, Sandberg M, Habib I, Lowman R, Olsson Engvall E. Knowledge gaps in control of Campylobacter for prevention of campylobacteriosis. Transbound Emerg Dis. 2018;00:000–000. https://doi.org/10.1111/tbed.12870

    Abdulhameed, M.F.; Habib, I.; Al-Azizz, S.A.; Robertson, Cystic echinococcosis in marketed offal of sheep in Basrah, Iraq: Abattoir based survey and a probabilistic model estimation of the direct economic losses due to hydatid cyst. Parasite Epidemiology and Control. 2018, 3; 1; Pages 43-51 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.parepi.2018.02.002

    Abdulhameed, M.F.; Habib, I.; Al-Azizz, S.A.; Robertson, I. Knowledge, Awareness and Practices Regarding Cystic Echinococcosis among Livestock Farmers in Basrah Province, Iraq. Vet. Sci. 2018, 5, 17.

    Alhamada AG, Habib I, Barnes A, Robertson I. Risk Factors Associated with Brucella Seropositivity in Sheep and Goats in Duhok Province, Iraq. Vet Sci. 2017 Dec 7;4(4). pii: E65. doi: 10.3390/vetsci4040065.

    Abdulhameed MF, Habib I, Al-Azizz SA, Robertson I. A retrospective study of human cystic echinococcosis in Basrah province, Iraq. Acta Trop. 2017 Nov 26;178:130-133.

    Harb A, O’Dea M, Hanan ZK, Abraham S, Habib I. Prevalence, risk factors and antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella diarrhoeal infection among children in Thi-Qar Governorate, Iraq. Epidemiol Infect. 2017 Nov 6:1-11.

    Habib I (2017) Control of the Zoonotic Pathogen Campylobacter in the Food Chain: Arch Vet Sci Technol. 2017: G102. DOI:10.29011/AVST-102/100002

    Njage, P.M.K., Sawe, C.T., Onyango, C.M., Habib, I., Njaoi, E.N., Aerts, M., and Molenberghs, G.  Microbial Performance of Food Safety Control and Assurance Activities in a Fresh Produce Processing Sector Measured Using a Microbial Assessment Scheme and Statistical Modeling. (2017). Journal of Food Protection, 80: 177-188.

    S. Van Boxstael, I. Habib, L. Jacxsens, M. De Vocht, L. Baert, E. Van De Perre, A. Rajkovic, F. Lopez-Galvez, I. Sampers, P. Spanoghe, B. De Meulenaer, M. Uyttendaele. Food safety issues in fresh produce: bacterial pathogens, viruses and pesticide residues indicated as major concerns by stakeholders in the fresh produce chain. (2013). Food Control, 32: 190-197.

    Baré, J., Uyttendaele, M., Habib, I., Depraetere, O., Houf, K., De Zutter, L. Variation in Campylobacter distribution on different sites of broiler carcasses. (2013). Food Control, 32: 279-282.

    Habib, I., De Zutter, L., van Huffel, X., Geeraerd, AH., Uyttendaele, M. (2012). Potential of Escherichia coli as a surrogate indicator for postchill broiler carcasses with high Campylobacter counts. Food Control, 25: 96-100.

    Habib, I., Berkvens, D., De Zutter, L., Dierick, K., van Huffel, X., Speybroeck, N., Geeraerd, AH., Uyttendaele, M. (2012). Campylobacter Contamination in Broiler Carcasses and Correlation with Slaughterhouses Hygiene and Infrastructure Inspection. Food Microbiology, 29: 105-112.

    Habib, I., Uyttendaele, M., Platteau, J., Dooms, P., De Zutter, L. (2011). Evaluation of ISO 10272:2006 Standard versus Alternative Enrichment and Plating Combinations for Detection and Enumeration of Campylobacter in Chicken Meat. Food Microbiology, 28: 1117-1123.

    Habib, I., Uyttendaele, M., De Zutter, L. (2010). Survival of poultry-derived Campylobacter jejuni of multilocus sequence type clonal complexes 21 and 45 under freeze, chill, oxidative, acid and heat stresses. Food Microbiology, 27: 829-834.

    Sampers, I., Habib, I., De Zutter, L., Dumoulin, A., Uyttendaele, M. (2010). Survival of Campylobacter spp. in poultry meat preparations subjected to freezing, refrigeration, minor salt concentration and heat treatment. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 137: 147-153.

    Book Chapters:

    Habib, Ihab., Uyttendaele, Mieke., De Zutter, Lieven. (2013). Campylobacter species. Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers (4th Edition published by the American Society of Microbiology). Editors: Prof. Doyle, M and Prof. Beuchat, L.