Publications by authors named "Abdul Majeed"

158 Publications

In vitro propagation of infectious myonecrosis virus in C6/36 mosquito cell line.

J Fish Dis 2021 Feb 25. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory, C. Abdul Hakeem College, Ranipet, India.

Infectious myonecrosis (IMN) is an important shrimp viral disease caused by infectious myonecrosis virus (IMNV). Based on previous reports, an attempt was made to propagate IMNV in apparently healthy C6/36 subclone of Aedes albopictus cell line. The confirmatory assays such as RT-PCR, real-time PCR and bioassay revealed that C6/36 cells were found to be susceptible to IMNV and these cells could be used easily for isolation and propagation of IMNV. The results of real-time PCR assay showed that a lower C value of 22.25 in IMNV-infected cells was obtained on 10 day post-infection (d p.i.), whereas the higher C value of 35.21 was obtained in IMNV-infected cells on 2 d p.i. There is no significant difference between C values of IMNV production in vitro using C6/36 cell line and in vivo using shrimp. The IMNV propagated in C6/36 cells is capable of infecting shrimp and caused 100% mortality in shrimp. Clinical signs observed in shrimp injected with IMNV propagated in C6/36 cell line were found to be similar to naturally infected shrimp.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfd.13359DOI Listing
February 2021

Berry Juice Diminishes Anxiety, Depression, and Scopolamine-Induced Learning and Memory Impairment in Behavioral Experimental Animal Models.

Front Nutr 2020 15;7:587367. Epub 2021 Jan 15.

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

L. fruit natively called phalsa is a popular berry of Pakistan and widely consumed in the form of fresh juices and carbonated drinks in the summer season. The berry is enriched with antioxidants such as phenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and vitamin C. Scientifically, it is the least explored berry in terms of neuromodulatory activities, and therefore, in the designed study, chronically fed rats with the different dilutions (5%-30%) of fruit juice were subjected to behavioral assessment for anxiety, depression, and cognition (spatial memory) followed by biochemical analysis of isolated brains. Results revealed a prominent impact of 20 and 30% dilutions of fruit exudate as treated animals showed anxiolytic behavior to central zone ( < 0.05) of open field test (OFT) and open arms of elevated plus maze (EPM) ( < 0.05) in anxiety models. Overall, immobility of rats treated with a higher concentration of exudate in forced swim test (FST) was reduced ( < 0.05) presenting antidepressant-like activity. Moreover, in learning and memory experimental models, the treated animals reversed scopolamine-induced amnesic effects as evident from improved step-through latencies ( < 0.05 vs. scopolamine; passive avoidance test), spontaneous alternation behavior ( < 0.05 vs. scopolamine; Y-maze test), discrimination index ( < 0.05 vs. scopolamine; novel object recognition test), and escape latencies ( < 0.05 vs. scopolamine; Morris water maze). Biochemical studies of isolated brains from treated rats demonstrated significantly elevated levels of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase ( < 0.05), whereas levels of acetylcholinesterase and malondialdehyde level ( < 0.05) were reduced, indicating its potential to reduce oxidative damage in the brain and modulation with the cholinergic system. The outcomes of studies support the benefits of phytoconstituents possessed by fruit in the amelioration of neurological disorders that could be due to their antioxidative capacity or due to interaction with GABAergic, serotonergic, and cholinergic systems in the brain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2020.587367DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7844311PMC
January 2021

Effects of biochar, farm manure, and pressmud on mineral nutrients and cadmium availability to wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in Cd-contaminated soil.

Physiol Plant 2021 Jan 27. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

The contamination of agricultural soils with cadmium (Cd) is one of the serious worldwide concerns for food security. Biochar and organic manures have been known for enhancing plant growth and minimizing toxic trace element stress in plants. However, less is known about the effect of different organic amendments on Cd and uptake of essential nutrients by wheat. Thus, the effects of rice straw biochar (RSB), maize stalk biochar (MSB), farmyard manure (FYM), and pressmud (PRM) at a rate of 1% w/w were tested for Cd immobilization in soil and mineral nutrient availability to wheat crop grown in Cd-spiked soil (6.0 mg kg ). The amendments were added in Cd-spiked soil before 12 days of seed sowing and wheat plants were harvested after maturity (115 days after sowing). The findings revealed that the use of amendments improved the number of grains per spike, straw and grain yield of wheat relative to control treatment. The treatments minimized the Cd and enhanced the contents of zinc (Zn), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in the leaves and grain of the wheat plants. Cadmium concentrations decreased by 35, 38, 68, and 63% in wheat grain, and grain yield increased by 19, 31, 68, and 58% with the application of FYM, PRM, MSB, and RSB, respectively. Overall, the application of MSB was more efficient in decreasing Cd concentrations in leaf and grains of wheat as compared to other conventional organic amendments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ppl.13348DOI Listing
January 2021

A turn-on fluorescent probe for Lu3+ recognition and bio-imaging in live cells and zebrafish.

Anal Methods 2021 Jan;13(2):212-221

Department of Chemistry, School of Advanced Sciences, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore-632014, Tamil Nadu, India.

A new Lu3+ selective fluorescent probe L was synthesized and characterized. The optical properties of L were investigated by using absorption and fluorescence spectral studies in 7 : 3 (v/v) aqueous dimethyl sulphoxide. Upon addition of Lu3+ in a pH 4 (acetate buffer) solution of L, the weakly fluorescent probe L became highly fluorescent. The fluorescence intensity increased five-fold at 490 nm with excitation at 437 nm. The formation of 2 : 1 complexation between L and Lu3+ was confirmed by Job's plot. The binding constant (Ka, 1.43 × 104 M-1) was determined by the Benesi-Hildebrand (BH) method. The limit of detection (LOD) of Lu3+ using L was found to be 23 nM. The binding mechanism of L with Lu3+ was studied by 1H-NMR, ESI mass spectroscopy, and theoretical studies. Further, the probe L was successfully used to bioimage Lu3+ in a zebrafish gill cell line (DrG) and in the yolk, papillae of the eyes, and head of zebrafish embryos (Danio rerio), therefore providing a powerful live imaging approach for investigating chemical signaling in complex multicellular systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0ay02060eDOI Listing
January 2021

Knowledge, Attitudes, and Clinical Practices of Dental Professionals during COVID-19 Pandemic in Pakistan.

Eur J Dent 2020 Dec 7;14(S 01):S63-S69. Epub 2020 Dec 7.

School of Dental Medicine, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, USA.

Objective:  The aim of this study is to assess knowledge, attitudes, and clinical practices of dental professionals regarding the prevention and control of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Pakistan.

Materials And Methods:  General dentists and dental specialists working in public and private dental practices, hospitals, and academic institutions participated in this cross-sectional study. A pilot-tested questionnaire was sent to dental professionals through an online link in Pakistan and data collection was completed in April-May 2020. The knowledge score was calculated from 22 variables about the COVID-19.

Results:  The study included data of 343 dental professionals with 47.2% of males and 52.8% of females. The mean knowledge score was 16.78 ± 2.25, and it significantly differed between general dentists (16.55 ± 2.36) and dental specialists (17.15 ± 2.04) ( = 0.020), and those with up to 10 years of experience (16.58 ± 2.28) and those with more than 10 years of experience (17.05 ± 2.2) ( = 0.026). Only 15.5% of the participants were comfortable in treating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. A workshop/seminar on the COVID-19 was attended by 23% of the participants. In multivariate analysis, being comfortable in treating patients (odds ratio = 3.31, 95% confidence interval = 1.63, 6.73) was associated with the attendance of workshop/seminar on COVID-19.

Conclusions:  Dental professionals had adequate knowledge about COVID-19, but a few of them were comfortable in treating patients during the pandemic. A minority of dental professionals attended a workshop/seminar on the COVID-19. Continuous education activities should be provided to dental professionals to enhance their role in the prevention of COVID-19 spread and promotion of oral health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0040-1718785DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7840435PMC
December 2020

Fibrinogen isoforms as potential blood-based biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease using a proteomics approach.

Int J Neurosci 2020 Dec 15:1-12. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Collaborative Drug Discovery Research (CDDR) and Brain Degeneration and Therapeutics Research Group, Faculty of Pharmacy, University Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Cawangan Selangor, Bandar Puncak Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.

Alzheimer's disease (AD), the commonest form of dementia which is characterized by progressive decline in cognitive function, can only be definitively diagnosed after death. Although biomarkers may aid diagnosis, currently available AD biomarkers, which are predominantly based on cerebrospinal fluid and neuroimaging facilities, are either invasive or costly. Blood-based biomarkers for AD diagnosis are highly sought after due to its practicality at the clinic. This study was undertaken to determine the differential protein expression in plasma amongst Malaysian AD, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and non-AD individuals. A proteomic approach which utilized two-dimensional differential in gel electrophoresis (2 D DIGE) was performed for blood samples from 15 AD, 14 MCI and 15 non-AD individuals. Mass spectrometry (MS)-based protein identification via MALDI ToF/ToF showed that fibrinogen-β-chain (spot 64) and fibrinogen-γ-chain (spot 91) with differential expression ratio >1.5 were significantly upregulated ( < 0.05) in AD patients when compared to non-AD individuals. Further data analysis using Pearson correlation found that the upregulated fibrinogen-γ-chain was weakly but significantly ( < 0.05) and inversely correlated with cognitive decline. Fibrinogen isoforms may play important roles in the vascular pathology of AD as well as neuroinflammation. As such, fibrinogen appears to be a promising blood-based biomarker for AD. Further validation of the present findings in larger population is now warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00207454.2020.1860038DOI Listing
December 2020

Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on the Mental Health of Healthcare Workers in Three Metropolitan Cities of Pakistan.

Psychol Res Behav Manag 2020 20;13:1047-1055. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800, Pakistan.

Purpose: The COVID-19 (coronavirus disease-2019) has been associated with psychological distress during its rapid rise period in Pakistan. The present study aimed to assess the mental health of healthcare workers (HCWs) in the three metropolitan cities of Pakistan.

Methods: A cross-sectional, web-based study was conducted in 276 HCWs from April 10, 2020, to June 5, 2020. Depression, anxiety, and stress scale (DASS-21) were used for the mental health assessment of the HCWs. Multivariable logistic regression analysis (MLRA) was performed to measure the association between the demographics and the occurrence of depression, anxiety, and stress (DAS).

Results: The frequency of DAS in the HCWs was 10.1%, 25.4%, and 7.3%, respectively. The MLRA showed that the depression in HCWs was significantly associated with the profession (P<0.001). The anxiety in HCWs was significantly associated with their age (P=0.005), profession (P<0.05), and residence (P<0.05). The stress in HCWs was significantly associated with their age (P<0.05).

Limitation: This study was conducted in the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the number of COVID-19 cases was on the rise in Pakistan and it only represents a definite period (April to June 2020).

Conclusion: The symptoms of DAS are present in the HCWs of Pakistan and to manage the psychological health of HCWs, there is a need for the initiation of psychological well-being programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S282069DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7685388PMC
November 2020

Effect of alkaline and chemically engineered biochar on soil properties and phosphorus bioavailability in maize.

Chemosphere 2021 Mar 19;266:128980. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University Faisalabad, Pakistan; Department of Biological Sciences and Technology, China Medical University, Taichung, 40402, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Phosphorous (P) fixation in alkaline calcareous soils is a serious concern worldwide and acidified-biochar application has been proposed to improve the agronomic benefits of applied P. The present study aims to improve understanding of P transformation process in an alkaline soil following different biochar amendments (rice-husk biochar (RHB), sugarcane-bagasse biochar (SWB) and wheat-straw biochar (WSB)), chemically engineered (acidification with 1 N HCl or washing with distilled water (pristine biochar)) along with or without P at 60 mg kg. A pot experiment was conducted with three biochars (RHB, SWB, WSB) and control, two chemical modifications (acidic and pristine), and two P-levels (without or with P). A pot study by growing spring maize and a parallel incubation study were done to test the treatment effects on P transformation. Results demonstrated that acidified SBC and WSB increased the plant P uptake and dry-matter yield by 40% and 29.7%, respectively, with P-supply. Both pristine or acidified RHB produced 80.5% and 110.7%, more root dry-matter, respectively, compared to respective controls without P. Non-acidified WSB along with P showed significantly higher Olson's P in incubation study. While in case of acidification along with P addition, RHB exhibited greater P availability, but it was inconsistent at different times during incubation. It can be concluded that acidified biochar amendments have potential to improve P management with inconsistent results. It is difficult to rule out that acidification of biochars is a pre-requisite for alkaline soils for P improvement. Further research is needed to explore site-specific P management for sustainable crop production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128980DOI Listing
March 2021

Assessment of Undergraduate Pharmacy Students' Attitude Towards Pharmaceutical Care in Pakistan: Practice Implications.

J Multidiscip Healthc 2020 11;13:1517-1525. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800, Pakistan.

Background And Purpose: Over the past few decades, the focus of pharmacy practice has been shifted from the classical role of drug dispenser to pharmacotherapy expert. Pharmacists now are more often involved in the patient care process by addressing the drug-related needs of the patients and this patient-centered approach is known as pharmaceutical care (PC). The present study was conducted to assess the attitude of pharmacy undergraduate students toward PC and various contributing factors that influence their preference towards it.

Method And Instrument: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in 422 undergraduate pharmacy students by using a simple random sampling method. A pre-validated and self-reported Pharmaceutical Care Attitude Scale (PCAS) was used for assessing a student's attitude towards PC.

Results: Amongst the 422 undergraduate students, the majority were males (68.2%) and 70.4% were between the age group of 20 and 25 years. The students studying in third, fourth, and fifth year (final year) were 140 (33.2%), 142 (33.6%), and 140 (33.2%), respectively. Overall participant showed a positive attitude toward the PC. Professional year showed significant influence on professional duties (PD) (p<0.001) and age was significantly associated with return on efforts (ROE) (p<0.001) and professional benefits (PB) (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Most of the participants showed a positive attitude toward PC and showed motivation to practice it. To promote PC practice in Pakistan, the government along with other professional bodies like Pakistan Pharmacists Association (PPA) should work together in collaboration with global health agencies to develop a well-structured advanced healthcare system in which there is a defined role of PC practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S282776DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7667205PMC
November 2020

COVID-19 and inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.

Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther 2020 Nov 26:1-2. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University , Hangzhou City, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14787210.2021.1851197DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7711737PMC
November 2020

Silencing of prophenoloxidase (proPO) gene in freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii, makes them susceptible to white spot syndrome virus (WSSV).

J Fish Dis 2020 Nov 10. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory, C. Abdul Hakeem College, Ranipet, India.

Prophenoloxidase (proPO) is very important to protect the invertebrates from microbial infections. Our previous studies revealed that proPO was up-regulated in WSSV-injected Macrobrachium rosenbergii and is responsible for protecting M. rosenbergii from WSSV. In order to prove this mechanism, an attempt was made in the present study to silence the proPO gene in freshwater prawn by injection of dsRNA-proPO followed by WSSV challenge. Two partial fragments of proPO with the size of 251 and 331 bp were used to synthesize dsRNA using LITMUS38i vector and E. coli. The bacterially synthesized dsRNA-proPO was used to silence proPO gene to determine its involvement in developing resistance in prawn against WSSV. In proPO gene-silenced prawn, 100% mortality was observed after WSSV challenge whereas no mortality was observed in prawn injected with WSSV alone. The WSSV infection in gene-silenced prawn was confirmed by PCR, and its propagation was quantified by ELISA and real-time PCR at different time intervals. Real-time PCR assay revealed a significant reduction in the expression of proPO gene in WSSV-challenged proPO-silenced prawn when compared to normal prawn. Level of proPO was reduced significantly in the haemolymph of proPO-silenced prawn when compared to prawn injected with PBS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfd.13297DOI Listing
November 2020

A national study to assess pharmacists' preparedness against COVID-19 during its rapid rise period in Pakistan.

PLoS One 2020 5;15(11):e0241467. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan.

To evaluate the pharmacist's preparedness against the COVID-19 during its rapid rise period in Pakistan, an online cross-sectional study was carried out from March 30 to May 22, 2020 among the pharmacists using a pre-validated self-administered questionnaire. A total of 1149 participants completed the survey, amongst which 430(37.9%) were working as retail pharmacists, 216 (18.8%) as community pharmacists, and 213(18.5%) as hospital pharmacists. The mean COVID-19 knowledge score of the participants was 6.77±0.5, which indicated that 84% of them had good knowledge about COVID-19. The multiple linear regression model revealed that attitude was significantly associated with gender (p = 0.001), marital status (p<0.0001) and resident (p = 0.013). The mean practice score was 2.85±0.4, showing that 94% of the participants were following adequate preventive practices against this infection. The results from this study suggest that Pharmacists demonstrated good knowledge, positive attitudes, and acceptable practices regarding COVID-19.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0241467PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7644061PMC
November 2020

Fabrication of polyvinyl alcohol based fast dissolving oral strips of sumatriptan succinate and metoclopramide HCL.

Sci Prog 2020 Oct-Dec;103(4):36850420964302

Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology, The University of Bonn, Germany.

Migraine is a throbbing condition, usually associated with nausea and vomiting and requires concurrent administration of anti-migraine along with anti-emetic therapy. The current study was undertaken with an aim to fabricate fast dissolving oral strips (FDOSs) containing Sumatriptan succinate (anti-migraine) and Metoclopramide HCl (anti-emetic) in combination without involving any superdisintegrant. Hydrophilic polymer polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) was used alone with three concentrations of 100, 125, and 150 mg using variable concentrations of glycerol. The solvent casting technique was employed to formulate FDOSs and were evaluated for surface morphology, mechanical properties, surface pH, % moisture content, disintegration time (DT), total dissolving time (TDT), drug contents, and dissolution profile. PVA (150 mg) with 5% glycerol concentration gave best formulation results. FDOSs have exhibited good tensile strength with smooth and uniform surface morphology. DT was ranged from 7.7 to 28 s; while TDT was from 26.4 to 77.6 s. Both polymer and plasticizer concentrations were found to be influencing the characteristics of the strips. Dissolution studies were carried out in distilled water for 15 min and all the formulations have shown released more than 50% drug within first 2 min thereby highlighting the usefulness of FDOSs for the delivery of both drugs in combination significantly. Optimized combination of ingredients was found to be suitable for the formulation of FDOSs for simultaneous delivery of Metoclopramide HCl and Sumatriptan succinate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0036850420964302DOI Listing
November 2020

Catalpol Ameliorates Insulin Sensitivity and Mitochondrial Respiration in Skeletal Muscle of Type-2 Diabetic Mice Through Insulin Signaling Pathway and AMPK/SIRT1/PGC-1α/PPAR-γ Activation.

Biomolecules 2020 09 24;10(10). Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Department of Life Sciences, School of Pharmacy, International Medical University, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur 57000, Malaysia.

Catalpol was tested for various disorders including diabetes mellitus. Numerous molecular mechanisms have emerged supporting its biological effects but with little information towards its insulin sensitizing effect. In this study, we have investigated its effect on skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiration and insulin signaling pathway. Type-2 diabetes (T2DM) was induced in male C57BL/6 by a high fat diet (60% Kcal) and streptozotocin (50 mg/kg, i.p.). Diabetic mice were orally administered with catalpol (100 and 200 mg/kg), metformin (200 mg/kg), and saline for four weeks. Fasting blood glucose (FBG), HbA1c, plasma insulin, oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), insulin tolerance test (ITT), oxygen consumption rate, gene (IRS-1, Akt, PI3k, AMPK, GLUT4, and PGC-1α) and protein (AMPK, GLUT4, and PPAR-γ) expression in muscle were measured. Catalpol (200 mg/kg) significantly ( < 0.05) reduced the FBG, HbA1C, HOMA_IR index, and AUC of OGTT whereas, improved the ITT slope. Gene (IRS-1, Akt, PI3k, GLUT4, AMPK, and PGC-1α) and protein (AMPK, p-AMPK, PPAR-γ and GLUT4) expressions, as well as augmented state-3 respiration, oxygen consumption rate, and citrate synthase activity in muscle was observed in catalpol treated mice. The antidiabetic activity of catalpol is credited with a marked improvement in insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial respiration through the insulin signaling pathway and AMPK/SIRT1/PGC-1α/PPAR-γ activation in the skeletal muscle of T2DM mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom10101360DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7598587PMC
September 2020

Prospective evaluation of kidney and liver disease in autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease-congenital hepatic fibrosis.

Mol Genet Metab 2020 Sep - Oct;131(1-2):267-276. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Section on Human Biochemical Genetics, Medical Genetics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, McKusick-Nathans Department of Genetic Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA. Electronic address:

Background And Objectives: We have previously published the characteristics of kidney and liver disease in a cohort of 73 individuals with molecularly confirmed autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease-congenital hepatic fibrosis, based upon cross-sectional data. Here, we present prospective data on the same cohort.

Design, Setting, Participants, And Measurements: Comprehensive biochemical and imaging data on progression of kidney and liver disease in 60 of the 73 patients were prospectively collected at the NIH Clinical Center on multiple visits between 2003 and 2019.

Results And Conclusions: Of the 73 patients, 23 received a renal allograft at an average age of 17.5 years and 10 underwent liver transplantation at an average age of 20.3 years. Patients who presented perinatally and those who had corticomedullary disease required kidney transplantation significantly earlier. The mean eGFR slope in patients with corticomedullary disease was -1.6 ml/min/1.73 m/y, in comparison to -0.6 ml/min/1.73 m/y in those with medullary disease. Kidney size remained the same over time and normalized to the upper limit of normal by 20-25 years of age. The extent of renal disease on ultrasound remained largely unchanged; no patient progressed from the "medullary" to the "corticomedullary" group. There was no correlation between eGFR slope and kidney size. The synthetic function of the liver remained largely intact even in patients with advanced portal hypertension. Based on spleen length/height ratio, two thirds of patients had portal hypertension which remained stable in 39% and worsened in 61%. Patients with portal hypertension had lower platelet counts and relatively higher levels of AST, GGT, direct bilirubin and ammonia. The progression rates of kidney and liver disease were independent of each other. Patients with bi-allelic non-truncating PKHD1 variants had similar progression of kidney and liver disease in comparison to those who were compound heterozygous for a non-truncating and a truncating variant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymgme.2020.08.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7749036PMC
September 2020

MXene-Carbon Nanotube Hybrid Membrane for Robust Recovery of Au from Trace-Level Solution.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2020 Sep 11;12(38):43032-43041. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China.

The use of precious metals in many areas, such as printed circuit boards, catalysts, and targeted drugs, is increasing due to their unique physical and chemical properties, but their recovery remains a great challenge. Here, we report a sandwiched TiC MXene/carbon nanotube (CNT) hybrid membrane, where the CNT isolates and supports the MXene sheets, which act as a reducing agent. The hybrid membrane shows excellent ability to capture precious metal ions in solution with a high flux. The water permeability of the membrane reaches 437.6 L m h bar (2.46 × 10 m), about 202 times higher than that of a pure TiC membrane, and captures 99.8% Au(III) from a solution with an extremely low concentration of 20 ppm. The desirable precious metal trapping capability of the TiC-CNT film is due to the high redox activity of C-Ti-OH. This work provides an efficient way for the recovery of precious metal ions from wastewater.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c09310DOI Listing
September 2020

Green synthesized selenium doped zinc oxide nano-antibiotic: synthesis, characterization and evaluation of antimicrobial, nanotoxicity and teratogenicity potential.

J Mater Chem B 2020 09;8(36):8444-8458

Riphah Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (RIPS), Riphah International University, Lahore Campus, Lahore, Pakistan. and Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, 45320, Pakistan and Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, SBA School of Science and Engineering (SBA-SSE), Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore - 54792, Pakistan.

A facile, green synthesis of selenium doped zinc oxide nano-antibiotic (Se-ZnO-NAB) using the Curcuma longa extract is reported to combat the increased emergence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The developed Se-ZnO-NAB were characterized for their physicochemical parameters and extensively evaluated for their toxicological potential in an animal model. The prepared Se-ZnO-NABs were characterized via Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy to get functional insight into their surface chemistry, scanning electron microscopy revealing the polyhedral morphology with a size range of 36 ± 16 nm, having -28.9 ± 6.42 mV zeta potential, and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry confirming the amount of Se and Zn to be 14.43 and 71.70 mg L-1 respectively. Moreover, the antibacterial activity against MRSA showed significantly low minimum inhibitory concentration at 6.2 μg mL-1 when compared against antibiotics. Also, total protein content and reactive oxygen species production in MRSA, under the stressed environment of Se-ZnO-NAB, significantly (p < 0.05) decreased compared to the negative control. Moreover, the results of acute oral toxicity in rats showed moderate variations in blood biochemistry and histopathology of vital organs. The teratogenicity and fetal evaluations also revealed some signs of toxicity along with changes in biochemical parameters. The overall outcomes suggest that Se-ZnO-NAB can be of significant importance for combating multi-drug resistance but must be used with extreme caution, particularly in pregnancy, as moderate toxicity was observed at a toxic dose of 2000 mg kg-1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0tb01553aDOI Listing
September 2020

Bone sarcoma surgery in times of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown-early experience from a tertiary centre in India.

J Surg Oncol 2020 Oct 13;122(5):825-830. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

Department of Orthopaedics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.

Background And Objectives: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown has presented a unique challenge for sarcoma care. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the early results and feasibility of surgeries for bone sarcomas during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Methods: Our prospectively collected orthopaedic oncological database was reviewed to include two groups of patients- those who underwent surgery in the immediate 4 weeks before lockdown (non-lockdown group) and those operated in the first 4 weeks of lockdown (lockdown group). All patients were followed-up clinically and telephonically to collect the outcome data.

Results: Out of the 91 patients who qualified for inclusion, fifty were classified into the non-lockdown group while 41 patients formed the lockdown group. Both the groups were comparable with respect to baseline demographic parameters. However, during the lockdown period 37 patients (90%) had undergone a major surgical intervention as against 24 patients (48%) in the non-lockdown group (P < .001). There was no significant difference in type of anaesthesia, median estimated blood loss and procedure duration. None of the patients/health care workers had evidence of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 infection at 15 days follow-up.

Conclusion: Our study results suggest that appendicular bone tumours can be safely operated with adequate precautions during the lockdown period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jso.26112DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7405233PMC
October 2020

Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices Toward COVID-19 in Primary Healthcare Providers: A Cross-Sectional Study from Three Tertiary Care Hospitals of Peshawar, Pakistan.

J Community Health 2020 Jul 6. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, 60800, Pakistan.

An online cross-sectional study was carried out to evaluate the knowledge, attitude, and practice about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among primary health care providers (PHPs) at three tertiary care hospital, Peshawar, Pakistan. Data was collected via email and online social media platforms. Statistical package for social science (SPSS) version 25.0 was used for data analysis. Among the total participants (n = 114), 74 (66.7%) were male and 37 (33.3%) were female. The mean scores for knowledge, attitude and practice were 12.7 ± 0.89, 8.9 ± 4.1 and 7.3 ± 1.2, respectively. Most of the participants knew the term COVID-19 and its mode of transmission (90%), signs and symptoms (84%) and risk factors (72%) associated with it. Most of the participants agreed that COVID-19 can be transmitted through coughing and sneezing (74.3%) and 84.6% were in favor that COVID-19 can be prevented by adopting preventive measures. Around 68.8% of the participants disagreed with the use of antibiotics in the prevention of COVID-19. Ninety percent of the respondents were avoiding close contact with the people having cough and flu-like symptoms. Most PHPs had good knowledge, positive attitude and reasonable practices regarding COVID-19. Moreover, focused training programs for PHPs at the Government level can further improve their understanding of risks and preventive strategies related to COVID-19, which will help them to provide appropriate care to their patients as well as to protect themselves from this infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10900-020-00879-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7338131PMC
July 2020

Thrombopoietin maintains cell numbers of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells with megakaryopoietic potential.

Haematologica 2020 06 11. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

Cancer Science Institute, National University of Singapore & Kumamoto University, Japan

Thrombopoietin (THPO) has long been known to influence megakaryopoiesis and hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), though the exact mechanisms through which it acts are unknown. Here we show that MPL expression correlates with megakaryopoietic potential of HSPCs and identify a population of quiescent progenitor cells that show limited dependence on THPO signalling. We show that THPO is primarily responsible for maintenance of hematopoietic cells with megakaryocytic (Mk) differentiation potential and their subsequent Mk differentiation and maturation. The loss of Mks in THPO knockout (KO) mouse models results in a reduction of the Mk derived chemokine platelet factor 4 (CXCL4/PF4) in the bone marrow and administration of recombinant CXCL4/PF4 rescues the loss of progenitor cell quiescence observed in these mice. CXCL4/PF4 treatment does not rescue reduced HSPC numbers suggesting that thrombopoietin directly maintains HSPC numbers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.241406DOI Listing
June 2020

Investigating the Role of Altered Systemic Albumin Concentration on the Disposition of Theophylline in Adult and Pediatric Patients with Asthma by Using the Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Approach.

Drug Metab Dispos 2020 07 11;48(7):570-579. Epub 2020 May 11.

Departments of Pharmacy Practice (M.F.R., R.K., A.M.) and Pharmacology (I.I.), Faculty of Pharmacy, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan; Section of Pharmaceutics, University College of Pharmacy, Allama Iqbal Campus, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan (H.S.); and Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (F.F.A., M.M.A., F.A.).

Theophylline is commonly used for the treatment of asthma and has a low hepatic clearance. The changes in plasma albumin concentration occurring in asthma may affect the exposure of theophylline. The aim of the presented work was to predict theophylline pharmacokinetics (PK) after incorporating the changes in plasma albumin concentration occurring in patients with asthma into a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model to see whether these changes can affect the systemic theophylline concentrations in asthma. The PBPK model was developed following a systematic model building approach using Simcyp. The predictions were performed initially in healthy adults after intravenous and oral drug administration. Only when the developed adult PBPK model had adequately predicted theophylline PK in healthy adults, the changes in plasma albumin concentrations were incorporated into the model for predicting drug exposure in patients with asthma. After evaluation of the developed model in the adult population, it was scaled to children on physiologic basis. The model evaluation was performed by using visual predictive checks and comparison of ratio of observed and predicted (R) PK parameters along with their 2-fold error range. The developed PBPK model has effectively described theophylline PK in both healthy and diseased populations, as R for all the PK parameters were within the 2-fold error limit. The predictions in patients with asthma showed that there were no significant changes in PK parameters after incorporating the changes in serum albumin concentration. The mechanistic nature of the developed asthma-PBPK model can facilitate its extension to other drugs. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Exposure of a low hepatic clearance drug like theophylline may be susceptible to plasma albumin concentration changes that occur in asthma. These changes in systemic albumin concentrations can be incorporated into a physiologically based pharmacokinetic model to predict theophylline pharmacokinetics in adult and pediatric asthma populations. The presented work is focused on predicting theophylline absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination in adult and pediatric asthma populations after incorporating reported changes in serum albumin concentrations to see their impact on the systemic theophylline concentrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/dmd.120.090969DOI Listing
July 2020

Knowledge, attitude, preventive practices and perceived barriers to screening about colorectal cancer among university students of newly merged district, Kpk, Pakistan - A cross-sectional study.

J Oncol Pharm Pract 2021 Mar 9;27(2):359-367. Epub 2020 May 9.

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan.

Introduction: Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the world and in Pakistan it ranks at fifth position. The present study was conducted to evaluate the knowledge, attitude, preventive practices and perceived barriers to screening about colorectal cancer among university students.

Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted after developing a self-administered questionnaire among the university students of newly merged districts of Kpk, Pakistan.

Result: A total of 302 students (232 male and 70 female) participated in the study. The knowledge score of the participants regarding the risk factors and warning signs of colorectal cancer was 59.9% and 40%. More than 90% of the participants were of the view that colorectal cancer diagnosis at initial stages can improve treatment and around 80% were in favor of undergoing regular physical examination to avoid colorectal cancer. Only 37.7% of the participants had intentionally collected information about colorectal cancer. The percentage of participants who intentionally participated in educational activities related to colorectal cancer was 33.1%. Furthermore, only 24.4% of the participant had ever taken part in colorectal cancer screening. The barriers toward colorectal cancer screening were fear of finding colorectal cancer and the anxiety of screening procedures. However, around 32% of the participants had no knowledge about colorectal cancer screening.

Conclusion: In view of the findings of this study, it can be suggested that community awareness programs that are focused towards screening of colorectal cancer may be initiated in the newly merged districts of Kpk, Pakistan. The implementation of such colorectal cancer screening program can help in its early detection and can potentially lower the associated mortality and morbidity risk with this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1078155220922598DOI Listing
March 2021

Does financial development and foreign direct investment improve environmental quality? Evidence from belt and road countries.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2020 Jul 15;27(19):23586-23601. Epub 2020 Apr 15.

School of Management, China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy, Collaborative Innovation Center for Energy Economics and Energy Policy, Xiamen University, Fujian, 361005, China.

This study examines the effect of financial development (FD) and foreign direct investment (FDI) on the environmental quality for the panel of 90 belt and road countries from 1990 to 2017. This study advances the knowledge of financial development by using the new comprehensive index, which is based on access, depth, and efficiency of financial markets and financial institutions and incorporated foreign direct investment as an important determinant of environmental quality. By applying the Driscoll-Kraay standard error pooled ordinary least square method, the empirical findings reveal that FD deteriorates the environmental quality by increasing the CO emissions, while FDI improves environmental quality and the relationship between economic growth (EG) and CO emissions is inverted U-shaped, i.e., presence of EKC hypothesis. The energy consumption and urbanization pollute the environment, while trade openness enhances the quality of the environment. Furthermore, the Dumitrescu-Hurlin (DH) panel causality test result confirms that the bidirectional causality exists among FD, trade openness, energy consumption, and urbanization with CO emissions. The empirical results provide new insights for policymakers and also have several implications for the betterment of environmental quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-08748-7DOI Listing
July 2020

Iron application improves yield, economic returns and grain-Fe concentration of mungbean.

PLoS One 2020 27;15(3):e0230720. Epub 2020 Mar 27.

Cholistan Institute of Desert Studies, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur, Pakistan.

Malnutrition is among the biggest threats being faced globally, and Pakistan is among the countries having high malnutrition rate. Pulses grown in Pakistan have lower amounts of micronutrients, especially iron (Fe) in grains compared to developed world. Biofortification, -a process of integrating nutrients into food crops-, provides a sustainable and economic way of increasing minerals/micronutrients' concentration in staple crops. Mungbean fulfills protein needs of large portion of Pakistani population; however, low Fe concentration in grains do not provide sufficient Fe. Therefore, current study was conducted to infer the impact of different Fe levels and application methods on yield, economic returns and grain-Fe concentration of mungbean. Mungbean was sown under four levels of Fe, i.e., 0, 5, 10 and 15 kg Fe ha-1 applied by three methods, i) as basal application (whole at sowing), ii) side dressing (whole at 1st irrigation) and iii) 50% as basal application + 50% side dressing (regarded as split application). Iron levels and application methods significantly influenced the allometry, yield, economic returns and grain-Fe concentration of mungbean. Split application of 15 kg Fe ha-1 had the highest yield, economic returns and grain-Fe concentration compared to the rest of Fe levels and application methods. Moreover, split application of 15 kg Fe ha-1 proved a quick method to improve the grain-Fe concentration and bioavailability, which will ultimately solve the Fe malnutrition problem of mungbean-consuming population in Pakistan. In conclusion, split application of Fe at 15 kg ha-1 seemed a viable technique to enhance yield, economic returns, grain-Fe concentration and bioavailability of mungbean.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0230720PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7100969PMC
June 2020

Global Retinoblastoma Presentation and Analysis by National Income Level.

Authors:
Ido Didi Fabian Elhassan Abdallah Shehu U Abdullahi Rula A Abdulqader Sahadatou Adamou Boubacar Dupe S Ademola-Popoola Adedayo Adio Armin R Afshar Priyanka Aggarwal Ada E Aghaji Alia Ahmad Marliyanti N R Akib Lamis Al Harby Mouroge H Al Ani Aygun Alakbarova Silvia Alarcón Portabella Safaa A F Al-Badri Ana Patricia A Alcasabas Saad A Al-Dahmash Amanda Alejos Ernesto Alemany-Rubio Amadou I Alfa Bio Yvania Alfonso Carreras Christiane Al-Haddad Hamoud H Y Al-Hussaini Amany M Ali Donjeta B Alia Mazin F Al-Jadiry Usama Al-Jumaily Hind M Alkatan Charlotta All-Eriksson Ali A R M Al-Mafrachi Argentino A Almeida Khalifa M Alsawidi Athar A S M Al-Shaheen Entissar H Al-Shammary Primawita O Amiruddin Romanzo Antonino Nicholas J Astbury Hatice T Atalay La-Ongsri Atchaneeyasakul Rose Atsiaya Taweevat Attaseth Than H Aung Silvia Ayala Baglan Baizakova Julia Balaguer Ruhengiz Balayeva Walentyna Balwierz Honorio Barranco Covadonga Bascaran Maja Beck Popovic Raquel Benavides Sarra Benmiloud Nissrine Bennani Guebessi Rokia C Berete Jesse L Berry Anirban Bhaduri Sunil Bhat Shelley J Biddulph Eva M Biewald Nadia Bobrova Marianna Boehme H C Boldt Maria Teresa B C Bonanomi Norbert Bornfeld Gabrielle C Bouda Hédi Bouguila Amaria Boumedane Rachel C Brennan Bénédicte G Brichard Jassada Buaboonnam Patricia Calderón-Sotelo Doris A Calle Jara Jayne E Camuglia Miriam R Cano Michael Capra Nathalie Cassoux Guilherme Castela Luis Castillo Jaume Català-Mora Guillermo L Chantada Shabana Chaudhry Sonal S Chaugule Argudit Chauhan Bhavna Chawla Violeta S Chernodrinska Faraja S Chiwanga Tsengelmaa Chuluunbat Krzysztof Cieslik Ruellyn L Cockcroft Codruta Comsa Zelia M Correa Maria G Correa Llano Timothy W Corson Kristin E Cowan-Lyn Monika Csóka Xuehao Cui Isac V Da Gama Wantanee Dangboon Anirban Das Sima Das Jacquelyn M Davanzo Alan Davidson Patrick De Potter Karina Q Delgado Hakan Demirci Laurence Desjardins Rosdali Y Diaz Coronado Helen Dimaras Andrew J Dodgshun Craig Donaldson Carla R Donato Macedo Monica D Dragomir Yi Du Magritha Du Bruyn Kemala S Edison I Wayan Eka Sutyawan Asmaa El Kettani Amal M Elbahi James E Elder Dina Elgalaly Alaa M Elhaddad Moawia M Ali Elhassan Mahmoud M Elzembely Vera A Essuman Ted Grimbert A Evina Zehra Fadoo Adriana C Fandiño Mohammad Faranoush Oluyemi Fasina Delia D P G Fernández Ana Fernández-Teijeiro Allen Foster Shahar Frenkel Ligia D Fu Soad L Fuentes-Alabi Brenda L Gallie Moira Gandiwa Juan L Garcia David García Aldana Pascale Y Gassant Jennifer A Geel Fariba Ghassemi Ana V Girón Zelalem Gizachew Marco A Goenz Aaron S Gold Maya Goldberg-Lavid Glen A Gole Nir Gomel Efren Gonzalez Graciela Gonzalez Perez Liudmira González-Rodríguez Henry N Garcia Pacheco Jaime Graells Liz Green Pernille A Gregersen Nathalia D A K Grigorovski Koffi M Guedenon D Sanjeeva Gunasekera Ahmet K Gündüz Himika Gupta Sanjiv Gupta Theodora Hadjistilianou Patrick Hamel Syed A Hamid Norhafizah Hamzah Eric D Hansen J William Harbour M Elizabeth Hartnett Murat Hasanreisoglu Sadiq Hassan Shadab Hassan Stanislava Hederova Jose Hernandez Lorelay Marie Carcamo Hernandez Laila Hessissen Diriba F Hordofa Laura C Huang G B Hubbard Marlies Hummlen Kristina Husakova Allawi N Hussein Al-Janabi Russo Ida Vesna R Ilic Vivekaraj Jairaj Irfan Jeeva Helen Jenkinson Xunda Ji Dong Hyun Jo Kenneth P Johnson William J Johnson Michael M Jones Theophile B Amani Kabesha Rolande L Kabore Swathi Kaliki Abubakar Kalinaki Mehmet Kantar Ling-Yuh Kao Tamar Kardava Rejin Kebudi Tomas Kepak Naama Keren-Froim Zohora J Khan Hussain A Khaqan Phara Khauv Wajiha J Kheir Vikas Khetan Alireza Khodabande Zaza Khotenashvili Jonathan W Kim Jeong Hun Kim Hayyam Kiratli Tero T Kivelä Artur Klett Jess Elio Kosh Komba Palet Dalia Krivaitiene Mariana Kruger Kittisak Kulvichit Mayasari W Kuntorini Alice Kyara Eva S Lachmann Carol P S Lam Geoffrey C Lam Scott A Larson Slobodanka Latinovic Kelly D Laurenti Bao Han A Le Karin Lecuona Amy A Leverant Cairui Li Ben Limbu Quah Boon Long Juan P López Robert M Lukamba Livia Lumbroso Sandra Luna-Fineman Delfitri Lutfi Lesia Lysytsia George N Magrath Amita Mahajan Abdul Rahim Majeed Erika Maka Mayuri Makan Emil K Makimbetov Chatonda Manda Nieves Martín Begue Lauren Mason John O Mason Ibrahim O Matende Miguel Materin Clarissa C D S Mattosinho Marchelo Matua Ismail Mayet Freddy B Mbumba John D McKenzie Aurora Medina-Sanson Azim Mehrvar Aemero A Mengesha Vikas Menon Gary John V D Mercado Marilyn B Mets Edoardo Midena Divyansh K C Mishra Furahini G Mndeme Ahmed A Mohamedani Mona T Mohammad Annette C Moll Margarita M Montero Rosa A Morales Claude Moreira Prithvi Mruthyunjaya Mchikirwa S Msina Gerald Msukwa Sangeeta S Mudaliar Kangwa I Muma Francis L Munier Gabriela Murgoi Timothy G Murray Kareem O Musa Asma Mushtaq Hamzah Mustak Okwen M Muyen Gita Naidu Akshay Gopinathan Nair Larisa Naumenko Paule Aïda Ndoye Roth Yetty M Nency Vladimir Neroev Hang Ngo Rosa M Nieves Marina Nikitovic Elizabeth D Nkanga Henry Nkumbe Murtuza Nuruddin Mutale Nyaywa Ghislaine Obono-Obiang Ngozi C Oguego Andrzej Olechowski Scott C N Oliver Peter Osei-Bonsu Diego Ossandon Manuel A Paez-Escamilla Halimah Pagarra Sally L Painter Vivian Paintsil Luisa Paiva Bikramjit P Pal Mahesh Shanmugam Palanivelu Ruzanna Papyan Raffaele Parrozzani Manoj Parulekar Claudia R Pascual Morales Katherine E Paton Katarzyna Pawinska-Wasikowska Jacob Pe'er Armando Peña Sanja Peric Chau T M Pham Remezo Philbert David A Plager Pavel Pochop Rodrigo A Polania Vladimir G Polyakov Manca T Pompe Jonathan J Pons Daphna Prat Vireak Prom Ignatius Purwanto Ali O Qadir Seema Qayyum Jiang Qian Ardizal Rahman Salman Rahman Jamalia Rahmat Purnima Rajkarnikar Rajesh Ramanjulu Aparna Ramasubramanian Marco A Ramirez-Ortiz Léa Raobela Riffat Rashid M Ashwin Reddy Ehud Reich Lorna A Renner David Reynders Dahiru Ribadu Mussagy M Riheia Petra Ritter-Sovinz Duangnate Rojanaporn Livia Romero Soma R Roy Raya H Saab Svetlana Saakyan Ahmed H Sabhan Mandeep S Sagoo Azza M A Said Rohit Saiju Beatriz Salas Sonsoles San Román Pacheco Gissela L Sánchez Phayvanh Sayalith Trish A Scanlan Amy C Schefler Judy Schoeman Ahad Sedaghat Stefan Seregard Rachna Seth Ankoor S Shah Shawkat A Shakoor Manoj K Sharma Sadik T Sherief Nandan G Shetye Carol L Shields Sorath Noorani Siddiqui Sidi Sidi Cheikh Sónia Silva Arun D Singh Niharika Singh Usha Singh Penny Singha Rita S Sitorus Alison H Skalet Hendrian D Soebagjo Tetyana Sorochynska Grace Ssali Andrew W Stacey Sandra E Staffieri Erin D Stahl Christina Stathopoulos Branka Stirn Kranjc David K Stones Caron Strahlendorf Maria Estela Coleoni Suarez Sadia Sultana Xiantao Sun Meryl Sundy Rosanne Superstein Eddy Supriyadi Supawan Surukrattanaskul Shigenobu Suzuki Karel Svojgr Fatoumata Sylla Gevorg Tamamyan Deborah Tan Alketa Tandili Fanny F Tarrillo Leiva Maryam Tashvighi Bekim Tateshi Edi S Tehuteru Luiz F Teixeira Kok Hoi Teh Tuyisabe Theophile Helen Toledano Doan L Trang Fousseyni Traoré Sumalin Trichaiyaporn Samuray Tuncer Harba Tyau-Tyau Ali B Umar Emel Unal Ogul E Uner Steen F Urbak Tatiana L Ushakova Rustam H Usmanov Sandra Valeina Milo van Hoefen Wijsard Adisai Varadisai Liliana Vasquez Leon O Vaughan Nevyana V Veleva-Krasteva Nishant Verma Andi A Victor Maris Viksnins Edwin G Villacís Chafla Vicktoria Vishnevskia-Dai Tushar Vora Antonio E Wachtel Werner Wackernagel Keith Waddell Patricia D Wade Amina H Wali Yi-Zhuo Wang Avery Weiss Matthew W Wilson Amelia D C Wime Atchareeya Wiwatwongwana Damrong Wiwatwongwana Charlotte Wolley Dod Phanthipha Wongwai Daoman Xiang Yishuang Xiao Jason C Yam Huasheng Yang Jenny M Yanga Muhammad A Yaqub Vera A Yarovaya Andrey A Yarovoy Huijing Ye Yacoub A Yousef Putu Yuliawati Arturo M Zapata López Ekhtelbenina Zein Chengyue Zhang Yi Zhang Junyang Zhao Xiaoyu Zheng Katsiaryna Zhilyaeva Nida Zia Othman A O Ziko Marcia Zondervan Richard Bowman

JAMA Oncol 2020 05;6(5):685-695

International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

Importance: Early diagnosis of retinoblastoma, the most common intraocular cancer, can save both a child's life and vision. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that many children across the world are diagnosed late. To our knowledge, the clinical presentation of retinoblastoma has never been assessed on a global scale.

Objectives: To report the retinoblastoma stage at diagnosis in patients across the world during a single year, to investigate associations between clinical variables and national income level, and to investigate risk factors for advanced disease at diagnosis.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A total of 278 retinoblastoma treatment centers were recruited from June 2017 through December 2018 to participate in a cross-sectional analysis of treatment-naive patients with retinoblastoma who were diagnosed in 2017.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Age at presentation, proportion of familial history of retinoblastoma, and tumor stage and metastasis.

Results: The cohort included 4351 new patients from 153 countries; the median age at diagnosis was 30.5 (interquartile range, 18.3-45.9) months, and 1976 patients (45.4%) were female. Most patients (n = 3685 [84.7%]) were from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Globally, the most common indication for referral was leukocoria (n = 2638 [62.8%]), followed by strabismus (n = 429 [10.2%]) and proptosis (n = 309 [7.4%]). Patients from high-income countries (HICs) were diagnosed at a median age of 14.1 months, with 656 of 666 (98.5%) patients having intraocular retinoblastoma and 2 (0.3%) having metastasis. Patients from low-income countries were diagnosed at a median age of 30.5 months, with 256 of 521 (49.1%) having extraocular retinoblastoma and 94 of 498 (18.9%) having metastasis. Lower national income level was associated with older presentation age, higher proportion of locally advanced disease and distant metastasis, and smaller proportion of familial history of retinoblastoma. Advanced disease at diagnosis was more common in LMICs even after adjusting for age (odds ratio for low-income countries vs upper-middle-income countries and HICs, 17.92 [95% CI, 12.94-24.80], and for lower-middle-income countries vs upper-middle-income countries and HICs, 5.74 [95% CI, 4.30-7.68]).

Conclusions And Relevance: This study is estimated to have included more than half of all new retinoblastoma cases worldwide in 2017. Children from LMICs, where the main global retinoblastoma burden lies, presented at an older age with more advanced disease and demonstrated a smaller proportion of familial history of retinoblastoma, likely because many do not reach a childbearing age. Given that retinoblastoma is curable, these data are concerning and mandate intervention at national and international levels. Further studies are needed to investigate factors, other than age at presentation, that may be associated with advanced disease in LMICs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.6716DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7047856PMC
May 2020

Structural, fluoride release, and 3D interfacial adhesion analysis of bioactive endodontic sealers.

Dent Mater J 2020 Jun 21;39(3):483-489. Epub 2020 Feb 21.

Department of Restorative Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University.

The experimental bioactive sealers were synthesized by incorporating fluoridated-nano-bioactive glass (F-nBG; 2.5 and 5wt%) in AH Plus (Dentsply DeTrey, Konstanz, Germany) sealer and denoted as AH-FBG2.5 and AH-FBG5, respectively. Structural pattern, setting time, flowability, and water sorption analysis were performed. The fluoride release behavior was evaluated periodically over the course of 40 days using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy. For sealing ability, post-extraction single-rooted teeth were obturated with sealers. The percentage of voids and sealing ability were evaluated periodically using micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) followed by push-out bond strength. The Fourier transform infrared spectra showed a change in peak height with an increase in the concentration of fillers. The setting time, flowability, and water sorption of experimental groups were within the acceptable clinical range. The fluoride release, sealing ability, and bond strength of experimental sealers were significantly high. The experimental sealers have potential to overcome sealing ability issues of sealers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4012/dmj.2019-064DOI Listing
June 2020

Beyond Halal: Maqasid al-Shari'ah to Assess Bioethical Issues Arising from Genetically Modified Crops.

Sci Eng Ethics 2020 06 13;26(3):1463-1476. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

Centre for Research Services, University of Malaya, Level 2, Research Management and Innovation Complex, 50603, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have increasingly dominated commodity crop production in the world in the endeavour to address issues related to food security. However, this technology is not without problems, and can give rise to bioethical issues for consumers, particularly Muslims. The Islamic perspective on GMOs is complex and goes beyond just the determination of whether food is halal or not. If the food is halal, but the process to obtain it is not thoyibban, as it is unethical, then the food cannot be permitted under the Maqasid al-Shari'ah. This paper examines ethical issues pertaining to GM crops and how the related ethical issues contradict with Islamic principles beyond the binary distinction between the contaminated and uncontaminated food. Since GM technology is a contemporary issue that may not be directly addressed in the al-Quran and Sunnah, other Islamic sources should also be referred to when drawing up this code of ethics to achieve the objective of Syariah (Maqasid al-Shari'ah). Maqasid al-Shari'ah can be applied to frame the Islamic bioethics guideline as it is comprehensive and encompasses moral principles directly applicable to modern biotechnology. The paper subsequently explores how the principles of Maqasid al-Shari'ah are applied in addressing these ethical issues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11948-020-00177-6DOI Listing
June 2020

Diagnostic and therapeutic potential of shark variable new antigen receptor (VNAR) single domain antibody.

Int J Biol Macromol 2020 Mar 10;147:369-375. Epub 2020 Jan 10.

Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine (INFORMM), Universiti Sains Malaysia, Gelugor, Penang, Malaysia. Electronic address:

Conventional monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been widely used in research and diagnostic applications due to their high affinity and specificity. However, multiple limitations, such as large size, complex structure and sensitivity to extreme ambient temperature potentially weaken the performance of mAbs in certain applications. To address this problem, the exploration of new antigen binders is extensively required in relation to improve the quality of current diagnostic platforms. In recent years, a new immunoglobulin-based protein, namely variable domain of new antigen receptor (VNAR) was discovered in sharks. Unlike conventional mAbs, several advantages of VNARs, include small size, better thermostability and peculiar paratope structure have attracted interest of researchers to further explore on it. This article aims to first present an overview of the shark VNARs and outline the characteristics as an outstanding new reagent for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.01.039DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7112388PMC
March 2020

Dengue control in Pakistan: prior planning is better than controlling too late.

BMJ 2019 12 12;367:l6912. Epub 2019 Dec 12.

Department of Pharmacology, Key Respiratory Drug Research Laboratory of China Food and Drug Administration, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou City, 310058, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l6912DOI Listing
December 2019