The School of Arts & Sciences

Department of Natural Sciences

Sima Tokajian

Dr. Sima Tokajian joined LAU in 2005  and is a full-time associate professor of molecular microbiology at the Department of Natural Sciences on the Byblos campus.

She is a dedicated, versatile professional with proven experience in teaching and research in medical microbiology. She has strong interest in bacterial pathogenesis and excels at providing leadership and insight to graduate students on various research projects. Her research is focused towards whole genome sequencing (WGS) of pathogenic bacteria, typing medically important bacteria and correlating that to the epidemiology of infectious diseases. She is currently targeting the molecular characterization of MRSA (WGS, spa typing, MLST, PFGE and toxin profiling) and MSSA, extended spectrum  β-lactamses producingEscherichia coli and Acinetobacter baumannii, and  studying antibiotic resistance mechanisms through WGS. Finally, her lab is also involved in emm typing and identifying exotoxins produced by Streptococcus pyogenes.

The lab she oversees was certified to join the European Laboratory Network for Sequence-Based Typing of Methicillin-Resistant S. aureus, becoming the only partner from outside Europe. 


  1. Sunna, A., Tokajian, S., Burghard, J., Antranikian, G. and Hashwa, F. 1997 Identification of Bacillus kaustophilus, Bacillus thermocatenulatus and Bacillus HSR as members of Bacillus thermoleovorans. Systematic Applied Microbiology. 20: 232-237.
  2. Tokajian, S., Sunna, A. and Hashwa, F. 2000 Production and properties of thermostable proteases from Bacillus thermoleovorans strain HSR. Lebanese Science Journal. 1:49-60.  
  3. Tokajian, S. and Hashwa, F. 2003 Water quality problems associated with intermittent water supply. Water Science and Technology. 47: 229-234.
  4.  Hashwa, F., Tokajian, S. 2004 “Intermittent water supply and domestic water quality in the Middle East.” In Water in the Middle East and in North Africa (eds. F. Zereini & W. Jaeschke), pp. 157-166. Springer-Verlag (ISBN 3-540-20771-6).
  5. Tokajian, S. and Hahswa F.  2004 Microbiological quality and genotypic speciation of heterotrophic bacteria isolated from potable water stored in household tanks. Water Research Journal of Canada. 39: 67-76.   
  6. Tokajian, S. and Hahswa F. 2004 Phenotypic and genotypic identification of Aeromonas spp. isolated from a chlorinated intermittent water distribution system in Lebanon. Journal of Water and Health. 2: 115-122.           
  7. Tokajian, S. and Hashwa, F. 2004 Incidence of Antibiotic Resistance in Coliforms from Drinking Water and their Identification Using the Biolog and the API 20E. Journal of Chemotherapy. 16:104-109.
  8. Tokajian, S., Hashwa, F., Zalloua, P., Hancock, I. and Zalloua, P. 2005 Identification of Heterotrophic Bacteria from a Water Distribution System Using 16S rDNA Sequencing. Canadian Journal of Microbiology. 51:25-35.
  9. Tokajian, S., Farah, M., and Hashwa, F. 2008 Rapid Identification of Sphingomonads on the Basis of the Polymerase Chain Reaction Amplified 16S rRNA Gene. Water Research Journal of Canada 43: 249-256.
  10. Tokajian, S., Al-Medawar, S., and Hashwa, F. 2008 Use of the 16S-23S Ribosomal Genes Spacer Region for the Molecular Typing of Sphingomonas. Canadian Journal of Microbiology. 54: 1-8.
  11. Awwad, G., Hashwa, F.  and Tokajian, S. 2009 Antimicrobial resistance in relation to virulence determinants and phylogenetic background among uropathogenic Escherichia coli in Lebanon.  Journal of Chemotherapy 21: 153-158.
  12. Tokajian, S., Jabbour, D., Abou Khalil, P., Rizk, M., Farah, M., Hashwa, F. and Araj, G. 2010 “Typing of Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome mec Types and Concomitant Detection of Panton-Valentine Leukocidin Genes among Staphylococcus aureus Isolates from Lebanon. Epidemiology and Infection . 138: 707-712.
  13. El-Najjar, N., Farah, M., Hashwa, F. and Tokajian, S. 2010 Antibiotic Resistance Patterns and Sequencing of Class I Integron from Uropathogenic Escherichia coli. Letters in Applied Microbiology. 51: 456-461.
  14. Bahnan, W., Hashwa, F., Araj, G. and Tokajian, S. 2011 emm typing, antibiotic resistance and PFGE analysis of Streptococcus pyogenes in Lebanon. Journal of Medical Microbiology. 60:98-101.
  15. Tokajian, S., Haddad, D., Andraos, R., Hashwa, F. and Araj, G. 2011. Toxins and Antibiotic Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus Isolated from a Major Hospital in Lebanon. ISRN Microbiology. doi:10.5402/2011/812049.
  16. Abi Khalil, W., Hashwa, F., Shihabi, A. and Tokajian, S. 2012. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ST80-IV clone in Children from Jordan. Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease. 73: 228-230.
  17. Tokajian, S. 2012. Molecular Typing of Staphylococcus aureus: Understanding and Controlling Epidemic Spread. Journal of Forensic Research. 3: 1000e104.
  18. Tokajian, S., Timani, R., Issa, N. and Araj, G. 2012. Molecular Characterization, Multiple Drug resistance, and Virulence Determinants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from Lebanon. British Microbiology Research Journal. 2: 243-250.
  19. Harastani, H., Araj, G., Tokajian, S. 2014. Molecular characteristics of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from a major hospital in Lebanon. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. 19:33-38.
  20. Tokajian, S., Eisen, J., Jospin,G., Farra, A. and Coil, D. 2014. Draft Genome Sequences of Extended-Spectrum-ß -Lactamase-Producing Escherchia coli Strains Isolated from Patients in Lebanon. Genome A. 2: e00121-14.
  21. Tokajian, S., Eisen, J., Jospin,G., Farra, A. and Coil, D. 2014. Draft Genome Sequence of Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase Producing Klebsiella pneumoniae Isolated from a Patient in Lebanon. Genome A. 2: e00123-14.
  22. Bazzoun, D., Harastani, H., Shehabi, A., and Tokajian, S. 2014.  Molecular typing of Staphylococcus aureus collected from a Major Hospital in Amman, Jordan. The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries. 8:441-447.
  23. Tokajian, S., Eisen, J., Jospin,G., and Coil, D. 2014. Draft Genome Sequences of Streptococcus pyogenes Strains, a Human Pathogen Associated with Throat and Skin Infections in Lebanon. Genome A. 2: e00358-14.
  24.  Bitar, I., Khalaf, R., Harastani, H., and Tokajian, S. 2014. Identification, Typing, Antifungal Resistance Profile, and Biofilm Formation of Candida albicans Isolates from Lebanese Hospital Patients. BioMed Research International. 10.1155/2014/931372.
  25. Karaky, N., Araj, G., and Tokajian, S. 2014. Molecular characterization of streptococcus pygenes Group A isolated from a tertiary hospital in Lebanon. Journal of Medical Microbiology. 63: 1197-1204
  26. Tokajian, S. 2014. New epidemiology of  Staphylococcus aureus infections in the Middle East. Clinical Microbiology and Infection. 20: 624–628
  27. Harastani, H., Tokajian, S. 2014. Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Clonal Complex 80 Type IV (CC80-MRSA-IV) Isolated from the Middle East: A Heterogeneous Expanding Clonal Lineage. PLOS ONE. 9: 3103715.
  28.  Stegger, M., Wirth, T., Andersen, P., Skov, R., De Grassi, A., Simões, P., Tristan, A., Petersen, A., Aziz, M., Kiil, K., Cirkovi, I., Udo, E., del Campo, R., Vuopio-Varkila, N., Tokajian, S., Peters, G., Schaumburg, F., Olsson-Liljequist, B., Givskov, M., Driebe, E., Vigh, H., Shittu, A., Ramdani-Bougessa, R., Rasigade, J., Price, L., Vandenesch, F., Larsen, A.  and Laurent, F. 2014. Sub-Saharan Origin of the European Community-Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. mBio doi: 10.1128/mBio.01044-14
  29. Tokajian, S., Eisen, J., Jospin, G., Farra, A., and Coil, D. 2015. Whole Genome Sequencing of Extended-Spectrum β-lactamase Producing Klebsiella pneumoniae Isolated from a Patient in Lebanon. Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2015.00032
  30. Tokajian, S., Issa, N., Salloum, T., Ibrahim, J., and Farah, M. 2016. 16S-23S rRNA Gene Intergenic Spacer Region Variability Helps Resolve Closely Related Sphingomonads. Front. Microbiol.
  31. Tokajian, S., Eisen, J., Jospin, G., Matar, G., Araj, G., Coil, D. 2016. Draft Genome Sequence of Klebsiella pneumoniae KGM-IMP216 HarboringblaCTX-M-15blaDHA-1blaTEM-1BblaNDM-1blaSHV-28, and blaOXA-1, Isolated from a Patient in Lebanon. Genome Announc. 4:e01632-15; doi:10.1128/genomeA.01632-15
  32. Tokajian, S., Eisen, J., Jospin, G., Hamze, M., Rafei, R., Salloum, T.,  Ibrahim, J., Coil, D. 2016. Draft Genome Sequences of Acinetobacter baumannii Strains Harboring the blaNDM-1 Gene Isolated in Lebanon from Civilians Wounded during the Syrian Civil War. Genome Announc.  4:e01678-15;doi:10.1128/genomeA.01678-15.
  33. Salloum, T., Khalifeh, I., Tokajian, S. 2016. Detection, molecular typing and phylogenetic analysis of Leishmania isolated from cases of leishmaniasis among Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Para Epidem Cont. 1:159-168.

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