• Halablab, Mahmoud

    Dr. Halablab, Mahmoud

    Dean and Professor of College of Arts and Sciences

    Dr. Halablab is a Professor in Microbiology at Rafik Hariri University since 2009. He believes that the two major problems that will be faced by mankind, during the 21st Century, are food poisoning and resistance of microbes to antibiotics. Recently, part of his research activities are focused on food microbiology related projects due to the importance of this area and the public health and the economic impact food poisoning can cause.


    While at King’s College London Dr. Halablab supervised several PhD research theses all of whom were awarded the degree from the University of London. All the theses supervised concerned with food-and waterborne microbes, biotechnology, environmental microbiology and biotechnology related areas. In addition, he supervised several MSc projects and numerous undergraduate senior/honors research projects. He also acted as examiner for several University of London (and other universities) PhD theses in various areas of Microbiology and Biotechnology.


    Dr. Halablab published several articles in refereed scientific articles – with more than 600 citations. He has co-authored one textbook and two chapters in two other books. The very first research publication ever, while still a PhD student, was published in the currently top 5th (excluding review-based journals) of all scientific journals in the world, The Lancet, which has an Impact Factor of 46.199. Another article was published in 1996 in Emerging Infectious diseases (Impact Factor of 6.99 and ranked 3 of 58 infectious disease journals) and its major findings were highlighted in Science News by S. Sternberg (1996) entitled: Legionella Kin Sound, Linked to Pneumonia. Science News; 150: 85. A ground-breaking paper was in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (Impact Factor 2.439) journal in 2001 in which three new species of Legionella (Legionella drozanskiiLegionella rowbothamii, and Legionella fallonii) were described and have now been formally accepted by the International Committee of Systematic Bacteriology and are formally listed as new species.


    Dr. Halablab is a regular referee for research articles published in the journals of the Society for Applied Microbiology and other scientific journals. On several occasions, he was invited as a Key note speaker on water and food related areas. He is also a regular speaker at the Annual European Working Group on Legionella infections that he started attending since 1989. 



    • PhD in Microbiology, King's College London, University of London, 1991
    • MSc in Medical Microbiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of London, 1987
    • Specialisation in Clinical Microbiology, Bucharest University, 1985
    • BS in Biology Degree awarded, Very Good, Cairo University, 1981



    • Food and Water Microbiology
    • Immunology
    • Antibiotic Resistance
    • Environmental Microbiology



    • Member of the Royal College of Pathologists part I (MRCPath -I)



    • Recipient of the Research Award for Foreign Specialists for the National Institute of Agro-Environmental Sciences in Tsukuba, JAPAN. This involved a visit to the Scientific City and giving a series of seminars and talks on environmental issues.
    • Winner of the L&D Blond Award for Work of Outstanding Merit, UK.



    1. Textbook

    Davies H, Halablab MA, Clarke J, Cox F, and Young T. Infection and Immunity. Taylor and Francis Group Ltd, London UK. (1999).


    1. Book Chapters

    Khan L, Loria G, Abu-Amero K, Nicholas R, Halablab MA and Miles RJ. Distinctive Biochemical Characteristics of Mycoplasma Agalactiae and Mycoplsama Bovis. In: Mycoplasma of Ruminants: Pathogenicity, Diagnostics, Epidemiology and Molecular Genetics, Editors: Poveda Jose' B., Fernandez Antonio, Frey Joachim and Johansson Karl-Erik. Volume 5, pp 60-63. Published by European Commission, Luxembourg. ISBN 92-829-0612-4. (2001).

    Kawashima H, Okamoto K, Halablab MA and Bazin MJ. System Analysis of Food Supply and Demand in China in the 21st Century. In: Ecosystem and Sustainable Development, Advances in Ecological Sciences, No.1, Editors: J.L. Uso, C.A. Brebbia and H. Power, Computational Mechanics Publications. Pp 13-24, ISBN:1-85312-502-4. (1997).


    1. Journal Publications

    Khairallah ASM and Halablab MA. Differences in Pyruvate Metabolism in C. Jejuni and C. coli. International Journal of Advanced Research; 6(4): 329-337, 2018.

    Halablab MA, Sheet IH and Holail HM. Microbiological Quality of Raw Vegetables Grown in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. American Journal of Food Technology; 6(2): 129-139. (2011).

    Aldahlawi AMA & Halablab MA. Early Induction of Apoptosis of Human Monocyte-derived Dendritic cells upon infection by virulent Legionella pneumophila. JKSU; 22(2): 39-61. (2010).

    Halablab MA, Hijazi SM, Fawzi MA and Araj GF. Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage rate and associated risk factors in individuals in the Lebanese community. Epidemiology and Infection; 138(5): 702-706. (2010).

    Halablab MA and Al-Dahlawi A. Adherance of Virulent and Avirulent Legionella to Hydrocarbons. Journal of Medical Sciences; 8(3): 234-238. (2008).

    Halablab MA, Mohammed KAS and Miles RJ. Growth and Survival of Campylobacter Pathogens in the Presence of Different Metabolic Inhibitors. Journal of Medical Sciences; 8(3): 262-268. (2008).

    Kim HJ, Bennetto HP, Halablab MA, Choi C and Yoon S. Performance of an Electrochemical Sensor with Different Types of Liposomal Mediators for the Detection of Hemolytic Bacteria. Sensors and Actuators;119(1): 143-149. (2006).

    Al-Momani W, Halablab MA, Abo-Shehada MN, Miles K, McAuliffe L and Nicholas RAJ. Isolation and Molecular Identification of Small Ruminant Mycoplasmas in Jordan. Small Ruminant Research; 65(1-2): 106-112. (2006).

    Mohammed KAS, Miles RJ and Halablab M A. Simple Method to Grow Enteric Campylobacters in Unsupplemented Liquid Medium without the Need for Microaerophilic Kits. Journal of Microbiological Methods; 61(2): 273-276. (2005).

    Abu-Amero K, Miles RJ and Halablab MA. Cholesterol Protects Acholeplasmalaidlawii Against H2O2. Veterinary Research Communications; 29(5): 373-380. (2005).

    Mohammed KAS, Miles RJ and Halablab MA. The Pattern and Kinetics of Substrate Metabolism of Campylobacter jejuniand Campylobacter coli. Letters in Applied Microbiology; 39(3): 261–266. (2004).

    Kim HJ, Bennetto HP, Halablab MA. Application of Flow Cytometry to Monitoring of Liposomal Restructuring Induced by Listeria monocytogenes. J Microbiol Biotech; 14 (5): 1099-1102. (2004).

    Abu-Amero KK, MA Halablab. Evaluation of the COBAS AMPLICOR MTB Test for the Detection of Mycobacteriumtuberculosis Complex. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal; 10(3): 329-335. (2004).

    Mohammed KSA, Wassenaar T and Halablab MA. Differences in Pyruvate Metabolism in Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli. International Journal of Medical Microbiology; 293(35S): 59. (2003).

    Abu-Amero KK, MA Halablab and RJ Miles. Alternative to Fluorescence Assays to Monitor Fusion Between Acholeplasma laidlawii Cells and Liposomes. Lett in App Microbiol;35: 528-532. (2002).

    Adenike A. Adeleke, Barry S. Fields, Robert F. Benson, Maryam I. Daneshvar, Janet M. Pruckler, Rodney M. Ratcliff, Timothy G. Harrison, Robbin S. Weyant, Richard J. Birtles, Didier Raoult, & Mahmoud A. Halablab. Legionella drosanskii sp. nov., Legionella rowbothamii sp. nov. and Legionella fallonii sp. nov.: Three Unusual New Legionella species. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology; 51: 1151-1160. (2001).

    Halablab MA. Microbial Food Poisoning: An Overview. The Arabian Journal of Nutritional Sciences and Health Education;1(1): 39-59. (2001).

    Gould Dinah, John Gammon, Michael Donnelly, Louise Babtiste, Eileen Ball, Alexandra Carneiro de Melo, Varsochi Alidad, Roger Miles and Mahmoud Halablab. Improving Hand Hygiene in Community Healthcare Settings: the Impact of Research and Clinical Collaboration. Journal of Clinical Nursing; 9: 95-102. (2000).

    Abu-Amero KK, Abu-Groun EAM, Halablab MA and Miles RJ. Kinetics and Distribution of Alcohol Oxidising Activity in Acholeplasma and Mycoplasma Species. FEMS Microbiol. Lett;183: 147-151. (2000).

    Halablab MA. Management and Control of Waterborne Diseases-Cholera, Typhoid, Legionnaires’ Disease. Lebanese Scientific Bulletin; 11:115-125. (1998).

    Halablab MA and El-Megid RA. Phagocytic Process and Intracellular Survival of Pathogenic Microorganisms: A Review. Egyptian Journal of Biotechnology; 4: 124-138. (1998).

    Chamberlain AN, Halablab MA, Gould DJ and Miles RJ. Distribution of Bacteria on Hands and the Effectiveness of Brief and Thorough Decontamination Procedures Using Non-Medicated Soap. Zentralblatt fur Bakteriologie, International Journal for Medical Microbiology; 285: 565-575. (1997).

    Adeleke A, Pruckler J, Benson R, Fields B, Rowbotham T and Halablab MA. Legionella-Like Amoebal Pathogens-Phylogenetic Status and Possible Role in Respiratory Disease.  Emerging Infectious Diseases; 2: 225-230. (1996).

    Abu-Amero KK, Halablab MA and Miles RJ. Nisin Resistance of Mycoplasma Species: A Basis for Selective Growth Media and Differentiation from Acholeplasma Species.  IOM Letters; 4: 156-157. (1996).

    Barnes B, Cassar C, Halablab MA, Parkinson N and Miles RJ. An In Situ Method for Determining Bacterial Survival on Food Preparation Surfaces Using a Redox Dye. Lett. Appl. Bacteriol; 23: 325-328. (1996).

    Abu-Amero KK, Halablab MA and Miles RJ. Nisin Resistance Distinguishes Mycoplasma from Acholeplasma Species and Provides a Basis for Selective Growth Media. Appl. Env. Microbiol; 62: 3107-3111. (1996).

    Kim H-J, Bennetto HP and Halablab MA. A Novel Liposome-based Electrochemical Biosensor for the Detection of Haemolytic Microorganisms. Biotechnology Techniques; 9: 389-394. (1995).

    Bennetto HP, Halablab MA and H-J Kim. A Biosensor for Detection of Listeriamonocytogenes, International Symposium on Problems of Listeriosis (ISOPOL XII, Australia) PP 117-121. (1995).

    Richards L, Halablab MA and Bazin MJ.  Phagocytosis of Legionella Studied by Image Analysis Binary; 3: 94-100. (1991).

    Halablab MA, Bazin M, and Richards L. Estimation of Legionella pneumophila Virulence by Nitroblue-Tetrazolium Reduction. Lancet; 335: 240. (1990).

    Halablab MA, Richards L and Bazin MJ. Phagocytosis of Legionellapneumophila: An overview. Journal of Medical Microbiology; 33: 75-83. (1990).

    Halablab MA, Bazin MJ, Richards L and Pacy J. Ultra-Structure and Localisation of Formazan Formed by Human Neutrophils and Amoebae Phagocytosing Virulent and Avirulent Legionellapneumophila. FEMS Microbiology, Immunology; 65: 295-301. (1990).


    1. Conference Proceedings/Oral Presentations

    Mahmoud A. Halablab, Nabila E. Abdelmeguid, Hanafi M. Holail and Maysa F. Choukeir. Surface Water Pollution Affecting Fish Industry in Lebanon. Lecture session delivered at the 4th Biotechnology World Congress held in Sharjah University, UAE between 15th and 18th February 2016. (2016)

    Halablab MA. Water Quantity and Quality: A Global Overview. Published in the Proceedings of the 1st Annual Meeting Organized by Rafik Hariri Foundation and was held on 25th October 2013. PP 87-149. (2014).

    Halablab MA and Al-Dahlawi AMA. Novel Host for Pathogenic and Non-pathogenic Environmental Legionella pneumophila: Immunological Implications. Lecture session delivered at the 3rd Biotechnology World Congress held in Dubai between 10th and 12th February 2014. (2014).

    Halablab MA, Sheet IH and Holail HM. Safety of Raw Vegetables Grown in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. Lecture session delivered at the 1st Biotechnology World Congress held in Dubai between 14th and 15th February 2012. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology; page 42. (2012).

    Halablab MA, Aldahlawi AMA & Naboulsi AR. Modeling the Predation of Legionella pneumophila by Eukaryotic Cells. Oral presentation in the 26th Meeting of the European Working Group for Legionella Infection (EWGLI), 25-27 May 2011,Vienna, Austria. (2011).

    Aldahlawi AMA & Halablab MA. Intracellular Multiplication of Legionella is not a Pre-requisite for Induction of Apoptosis in Human Dendritic Cells. Oral presentation in the 25th Meeting of the European Working Group for Legionella Infection (EWGLI), 15-17 September 2010,Copenhagen, Denmark. (2010).

    Hanafy Holail, Hassan Hammud, Rajaa Fakhoury, and Mahmoud Halablab. Water Quality of Litani River in Lebanon. The 15Th InterdisciplinaryConference on the Environment, July 8-11, 2009. The Interdisciplinary Environmental Association, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA. (2009).

    Halablab MA, Mohammed KSA, Miles RJ. Survival of Campylobacters Organisms in the Environment. International Waste Working Group (IWWG)-Venice Conference. PP: 1-14. (2007).

    Halablab MA and Al-Dahlawi A. Human Dendritic Cells Support Intracellular Multiplication of Virulent Legionella pneumophila. The 22nd European Working Group for Legionella Infections (EWGLI) Meeting held on 2-5 June, 2007 in Stockholm, Upsala, Sweden. PP-13. (2007).

    Khan L, Abu-Amero K, Halablab M, Nicholas R, and Miles R. Alcohol oxidising activity in Acholeplasma and Mycoplasma species. Abstracts of the 13th IOM (International Organisation for Mycoplasmology) Congress, Japan, PP 187. (2000).

    Adeleke A, Benson R, Daneshvar M, Pruckler J, Rowbotham T, Halablab M and Fields B. Three New Legionella Species. Abstracts of the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology; 97:53. (1997).

    Bennetto HP, Halablab MA and Kim H-J.  Liposome-based Biosensing of Pathogenic Microorganisms. Biosensors 96 (The Fourth World Congress on Biosensors, the Imperial Queens Park Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand) PP 57. ISBN 1-85617-2937. (1996).

    Adeleke A, Pruckler J, Benson R, Halablab MA, Rowbotham T and Fields B. Phylogenetic Status of Three Legionella-Like-Amoebal Pathogens. American Society for Microbiology, Annual General Meeting, Louisiana, USA. ISBN 1-5581-112-4. (1996).

    Adeleke A, Pruckler J, Benson R Daneshvar M and Halablab MA. Phylogenic Status of Three Legionella-Like Ammoebal Pathogens Using Direct Amplification and Sequencing of the 16s Ribosomal DNA. Abstracts of the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology; 96:182. (1996).

    Halablab MA, Bazin M, Richards L and Pacy J. Ultra-structure and Localisation of Formazan Formed by Human Neutrophils and Amoebae Phagocytosing Virulent and Avirulent Legionella pneumophila. FEMS Microbiology and Immunology; 64(5-6): 295-302. (1990).


    1. Other Articles

    The major findings in our paper in the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal were highlighted in Science News by S. Sternberg. Legionella Kin Sound, Linked to Pneumonia. Science News; 150: 85. (1996).

    Ian Watt. A Day Out at King's. Microscopy and Analysis, July, pp59. In this article, the author gave detailed account of my lecture presented at the 7th Annual Meeting on Electron Microscopy. (1991).