Publications by authors named "M Azhar Hussain"

3,590 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Pre-Hospital Diagnosis in Mobile Stroke Unit.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2021 Apr 17;30(7):105801. Epub 2021 Apr 17.

Cerebrovascular Center, Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Ave, S80, Cleveland, OH 44195, United States. Electronic address:

Objectives: Mobile stroke unit (MSU) has been shown to rapidly provide pre-hospital thrombolysis in acute ischemic stroke (AIS). MSU encounters neurological disorders other than AIS that require emergent treatment.

Methods/materials: We obtained pre-hospital diagnosis and treatment data from the prospectively collected dataset on 221 consecutive MSU encounters. Based on initial clinical evaluation and neuroimaging obtained on MSU, the diagnosis of AIS (definite, probable, and possible AIS, transient ischemic attack), intracranial hemorrhage, and likely stroke mimics was made.

Results: From July 2014 to April 2015, 221 patients were treated on MSU. 78 (35%) patients had initial clinical diagnosis of definite/probable AIS or TIA, 69 (31%) were diagnosed as possible AIS or TIA, 15 (7%) had intracranial hemorrhage while 59 patients (27%) were diagnosed as likely stroke mimics. Stroke mimics encountered included 13 (6%) metabolic encephalopathy, 11 (5%) seizures, 9 (4%) migraines, 3 (1%) substance abuse, 2 (1%) CNS tumor, 3 (1%) infectious etiology and 3 (1%) hypoglycemia. Fifty-four (24%) patients received non-thrombolytic treatments on MSU CONCLUSION: About one third of MSU encounters were not AIS initially, including intracranial hemorrhage and stroke mimics. MSU can be utilized to provide pre-hospital treatments in emergent neurological conditions other than AIS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2021.105801DOI Listing
April 2021

Aqueous Phase Behavior of a NaLAS-Polycarboxylate Polymer System.

Langmuir 2021 Apr 20. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

School of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom.

Linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (NaLAS) surfactant is often combined with polycarboxylate polymers in detergent formulations. However, the behavior of these aqueous surfactant-polymer systems in the absence of an added electrolyte is unreported. This work investigates the behavior of such systems using polarized light microscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), centrifugation, and H NMR techniques. A phase diagram at 50 °C is reported for 0-50 wt % NaLAS concentrations and 0-10 wt % polycarboxylate concentrations. The NaLAS-water system is micellar at concentrations <35 wt %, and a 2-phase micellar-lamellar system is seen at higher NaLAS levels, consistent with that reported by previous studies. As polymers are added at low surfactant concentrations (∼10 to 20 wt % NaLAS), a second optically isotropic phase is formed; this is thought to be a polymer-rich phase. Further addition of polycarboxylate leads to the formation of a lamellar phase. At high surfactant concentrations (>20 wt % NaLAS), the addition of a polymer induces a second lamellar phase. These observed behaviors are thought to arise as a result of depletion flocculation and salting-out effects. The observed lamellar phases adopt colloidal multilamellar vesicle (MLV) structures, and the average MLV radii were estimated using H NMR by probing the diffusion and anisotropy of DO within the bilayers of the vesicles. The NMR results show that as the polymer concentration was increased from 0 to 10 wt %, an increase in the average multilamellar vesicle size from ∼200 to ∼500 nm was observed. This increase in the calculated average MLV radius likely results from depletion flocculation-induced MLV fusion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.0c03280DOI Listing
April 2021

Electrochemical process for simultaneous removal of chemical and biological contaminants from drinking water.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Apr 20. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Government College University, Punjab, 54000, Lahore, Pakistan.

Simultaneous management of chemical and biological contaminants in drinking water has been presented through modification in conventional electrocoagulation (EC) process. Traditional EC process using iron and aluminum electrodes removed metals but did not affect microbiological contaminants to a greater extent. Iron anode composition was amended by addition of zinc for desired antimicrobial output. To evaluate the efficiency of this system, samples were spiked with multiple element standard and microbial cultures to human unsafe contamination level. Modified EC process removed both types of contaminants making water safe for human consumption within the prescribed regulatory guidelines set by WHO/NSDWQ within 4 min. This setup removed chemical contaminants up to 100% including nitrates, fluoride, arsenic, beryllium, chromium, copper, mercury, vanadium, zinc, nickel, phosphorus, and lead. A substantial removal in cadmium (89.8%), cobalt (75.7%), and selenium (46.7%) was computed. The treatment could not prove good results for removal of boron, barium, lithium, and strontium from the spiked sample. The compositional analysis of flocs screened after spiked sample treatment confirmed the physical adsorption of metals at floc surface. Treatment technique comprehensively proved equally efficient for disinfection of most common microbiological contaminations including E. Coli, fecal coliforms, total coliforms, total plate count, Staphylococcus auseous, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa within 5 min. In EC process 220V voltage was applied through rectifier at electrodes having 15.6 cm surface area and 15 mm apart in 1-L water sample batches, where current varied from 0.8 to 1.6 ampere. The outcomes of the current experiment are of novel significance regarding simultaneous removal of metals and microbiological contaminants from drinking water which is not reported in previous treatment studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-13669-0DOI Listing
April 2021

Cardiovascular Complications in Major 21st Century Viral Epidemics and Pandemics: an Insight into COVID-19.

Curr Cardiol Rev 2021 Apr 18. Epub 2021 Apr 18.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. United States.

There have many major history-defining epidemics and pandemics in the 21st century. It is well known that acute infections can cause cardiovascular (CV) complications especially in those with underlying cardiac disease. The variation in rates and types of CV disease complications in major 21st century epidemics and pandemics varies greatly. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused the turmoil of the century and has COVID-19 has resulted in substantial human and economic loss. . The novelty of COVID-19 and emerging CV effects is a new entity. In this review, we discuss the major epidemics and pandemics of the 21st century and associated CV disease complications.  .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1573403X17666210419113037DOI Listing
April 2021

Comparative lipid and uric acid suppressing properties of four common herbs in high fat-induced obese mice with their total phenolic and flavonoid index.

Biochem Biophys Rep 2021 Jul 30;26:100990. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Faculty of Science, Department of Pharmacy, Noakhali Science and Technology University, Noakhali-3814, Bangladesh.

Our present study was designed to investigate the comparative anti-obesity efficacy of ethanolic extract of , , L. and in high fat-induced mice with their total phenolic and flavonoid profile. Total phenolic and flavonoid content were determined by Folin-Ciocalteu's and Aluminium chloride UV method respectively. In our study, 55 healthy mice were separated into 11 groups to take their respective treatments. Lipid and uric acid profile were estimated by using the enzymatic colourimetric method. Ethanolic extract of contained the highest phenolic and flavonoid content. normal and high fat diet group showed reduced weight gaining tendency than other extract groups. at a dose of 400 mg/kg body weight significantly (p < 0.001) reduced serum cholesterol (SC), triglyceride (TG), and uric acid (UA) level than other three extracts when compared with the control group. Thus, a considerable correlation was found between serum uric acid reducing potentials of the present experimental extracts with a lipid-lowering profile. Pathological examination revealed that the average weight of liver and kidney were significantly decreased in normal. Results obtained from the present study it can be concluded that ethanolic extract of possesses better lipid-lowering efficacy than the other three herbs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrep.2021.100990DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8044636PMC
July 2021

Acute Epiglottitis Due to COVID-19 Infection.

Eur J Case Rep Intern Med 2021 3;8(3):002280. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Barnsley, UK.

A 53-year-old man presented acutely to the Accident and Emergency department with a 2-day history of progressive odynophagia and shortness of breath. The patient had stridor at rest and acute epiglottitis was suspected. The patient was transferred urgently to theatre for intubation but due to a severely oedematous airway, this was unsuccessful and emergency tracheotomy was performed by the ENT team. Throughout admission the only positive microbiological sample was a nasopharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2 infection. In the absence of other positive microbiology, it is highly likely that COVID-19 was the aetiological cause of acute epiglottitis in this instance.

Learning Points: COVID-19 infection is a novel disease with multiple presentations; it should be considered as a possible causative organism in patients presenting with acute epiglottitis.Due to the time delay in taking samples for microbiology and results being available, treatment should be commenced with antibiotics, nebulised adrenaline and steroids to cover bacterial infection.Presentation can occur following a delayed inflammatory response and treatment should target the organ system involved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12890/2021_002280DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8046277PMC
March 2021

Elevated testosterone on immunoassay in a patient with metastatic prostate cancer following androgen deprivation therapy and bilateral orchiectomy.

Urol Case Rep 2021 Sep 24;38:101657. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Department of Urology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Arkes Pavilion 23-018, 676 North St. Clair St, Chicago, IL, 60611, USA.

We present the case of an 83-year-old man with metastatic prostate cancer who had testosterone levels reading above castration range despite appropriate medical and surgical castration. Mass spectrometry was performed to confirm presence of testosterone, but no testosterone was detected. The elevated testosterone as measured by standard immunoassay was postulated to be secondary to heterophile antibodies in the patient's serum. This report highlights the need for a high index of suspicion for interference in testosterone immunoassays when levels remain mildly elevated. Mass spectrometry may provide a more reliable method by which to detect testosterone concentration prior to escalation of care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eucr.2021.101657DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8040255PMC
September 2021

Wheat straw: A natural remedy against different maladies.

Food Sci Nutr 2021 Apr 27;9(4):2335-2344. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

University of The Gambia Serrekunda Gambia.

In millennia, much attention has been paid toward agro-industrial waste which consists of lignin and cellulosic biomass. In this perspective, biomass waste which consists of lignocellulosic mass is an inexpensive, renewable, abundant that provides a unique natural resource for large-scale and cost-effective bioenergy collection. In this current scenario, efforts are directed to briefly review the agro-industrial lignocellulosic biomass as a broad spectrum of numerous functional ingredients, its utilization, and respective health benefits with special to wheat straw. Wheat straw is lignocellulosic mass owing to the presence of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Its microbial culture is the most important and well adjusted, for a variety of applications in the fermentation substrate, feed, food, medicine, industry, and agriculture in order to increase soil fertility. In industrial fermentation, wheat straw can be used as substrates for the production of a wide range of hydrolytic enzymes, drugs, metabolites, and other biofuels as a low-cost substrate or a natural source. Conclusively, wheat straw is the best source to produce bioethanol, biogas, and biohydrogen in biorefineries because it is a renewable, widely distributed, and easily available with very low cost, and its consumption is protected and environment friendly. Wheat straw is a moiety which has health benefits including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-artherogenic, anti-allergenic, antioxidant, antithrombotic, etc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.2030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8020915PMC
April 2021

Antimicrobial and synergistic activity of thiazoline derivatives in combination with conventional antibiotics against multidrug resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolated from abscess drainage samples.

Pak J Pharm Sci 2020 Sep;33(5(Supplementary)):2331-2339

Dow College of Biotechnology, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan.

Emergence and spread of multidrug resistant (MDR) Staphylococcus aureus strains is becoming major challenge in treatment of soft tissue infections. This study aimed to explore antimicrobial and synergistic antimicrobial potential of three commercially available thiazoline derivatives (2-amino-2-thiazoline, 2-thiazoline-2-thiol and 2-acetyl-2-thiazoline) against MDR Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from abscess drainage samples (n=20). MDR Staphylococcus aureus isolates were identified by Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion assay and were further subjected to molecular identification by 16srRNA amplification and DNA sequencing. Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) values of test compounds and antibiotics (0.25-512μg/mL) were measured and subsequently, synergism assay was performed to calculate Fractional Inhibitory Concentration (FIC) index. Out of twenty Staphylococcus aureus isolates, sixteen (80%) were found to be MDR whereas four (20%) were Non-MDR. Moxifloxacin and vancomycine were found most effective antibiotics, inhibiting 100% (n=20) and 95% (n=19) strains respectively. Antimicrobial activity of 2-amino-2-thiazoline (MIC: 32μg/mL), 2-thiazoline-2-thiol (MIC: 64μg/mL) and 2-acetyl-2-thiazoline (MIC: 32μg/mL) was found significant against all ten tested MDR strains. Synergistic combinations of thiazoline derivatives with test antibiotics reduced MIC values significantly. Therefore, combination of tested thiazoline derivatives with antibiotics could be used as alternative therapeutic approach to treat soft tissue infections caused by MDR Staphylococcus aureus after further pre-clinical and clinical studies.
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September 2020

Engineering of a critical membrane-anchored enzyme for high solubility and catalytic activity.

Arch Biochem Biophys 2021 May 5;703:108870. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, 43606, USA. Electronic address:

Membrane-associated proteins carry out a wide range of essential cellular functions but the structural characterization needed to understand these functions is dramatically underrepresented in the Protein Data Bank. Producing a soluble, stable and active form of a membrane-associated protein presents formidable challenges, as evidenced by the variety of approaches that have been attempted with a multitude of different membrane proteins to achieve this goal. Aspartate N-acetyltransferase (ANAT) is a membrane-anchored enzyme that performs a critical function, the synthesis of N-acetyl-l-aspartate (NAA), the second most abundant amino acid in the brain. This amino acid is a precursor for a neurotransmitter, and alterations in brain NAA levels have been implicated as a causative effect in Canavan disease and has been suggested to be involved in other neurological disorders. Numerous prior attempts have failed to produce a soluble form of ANAT that is amenable for functional and structural investigations. Through the application of a range of different approaches, including fusion partner constructs, linker modifications, membrane-anchor modifications, and domain truncations, a highly soluble, stable and fully active form of ANAT has now been obtained. Producing this modified enzyme form will accelerate studies aimed at structural characterization and structure-guided inhibitor development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.abb.2021.108870DOI Listing
May 2021

Physiological and biochemical responses of Kinnow mandarin grafted on diploid and tetraploid Volkamer lemon rootstocks under different water-deficit regimes.

PLoS One 2021 8;16(4):e0247558. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Department of Food and Tourism Engineering and Management, Transilvania University of Brasov, Brasov, Romania.

Water shortage is among the major abiotic stresses that restrict growth and productivity of citrus. The existing literature indicates that tetraploid rootstocks had better water-deficit tolerance than corresponding diploids. However, the associated tolerance mechanisms such as antioxidant defence and nutrient uptake are less explored. Therefore, we evaluated physiological and biochemical responses (antioxidant defence, osmotic adjustments and nutrient uptake) of diploid (2x) and tetraploid (4x) volkamer lemon (VM) rootstocks grafted with kinnow mandarin (KM) under two water-deficit regimes. The KM/4xVM (VM4) and KM/2xVM (VM2) observed decrease in photosynthetic variables, i.e., photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (gs), transpiration rate (E), leaf greenness (SPAD), dark adopted chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm), dark adopted chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv´/Fm´), relative water contents (RWC) and leaf surface area (LSA), and increase in non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) under both water-deficit regimes. Moreover, oxidative stress indicators, i.e., malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide, and activities of antioxidant enzymes, i.e., superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APx), glutathione reductase (GR) were increased under both water-deficit regimes. Nonetheless, increase was noted in osmoprotectants such as proline (PRO) and glycine betaine (GB) and other biochemical compounds, including antioxidant capacity (AC), total phenolic content (TPC) and total soluble protein (TSP) in VM2 and VM4 under both water-deficit regimes. Dry biomass (DB) of both rootstocks was decreased under each water-deficit condition. Interestingly, VM4 showed higher and significant increase in antioxidant enzymes, osmoprotectants and other biochemical compounds, while VM2 exhibited higher values for oxidative stress indicators. Overall, results indicated that VM4 better tolerated water-deficit stress by maintaining photosynthetic variables associated with strong antioxidant defence machinery as compared to VM2. However, nutrient uptake was not differed among tested water-deficit conditions and rootstocks. The results conclude that VM4 can better tolerate water-deficit than VM2. Therefore, VM4 can be used as rootstock in areas of high-water deficiency for better citrus productivity.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0247558PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8031453PMC
April 2021

Serrating through vascular access catheters: a great masquerader with severe systemic manifestations.

BMJ Case Rep 2021 Apr 7;14(4). Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Internal Medicine, Hurley Medical Center, Flint, Michigan, USA

, time and again, has demonstrated its ability to easily adhere and infect vascular access catheters, making them a bona fide source of hospital outbreaks and contributing to adverse patient outcomes. We present a unique case of a severe recurrent infection, leading to persistent bacteria in the blood, haematogenous dissemination and subsequent development of abscesses, to a degree not reported in the literature before. These infections are exceedingly challenging to eradicate, owing to multiple virulence mechanisms and the deep seeding ability of this microorganism. infections require a multifaceted approach with intricacies in identification, therapeutics and surveillance, all of which are sparsely reported in the literature and reviewed in this report.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bcr-2021-242013DOI Listing
April 2021

XFEL Crystal Structures of Peroxidase Compound II.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2021 Apr 7. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

University of Leicester, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, UNITED KINGDOM.

Oxygen activation in all heme enzymes requires the formation of high oxidation states of iron, usually referred to as ferryl heme. There are two known intermediates: Compound I and Compound II. The nature of the ferryl heme - and whether it is an Fe IV =O or Fe IV -OH species - is important for controlling reactivity across groups of heme enzymes. The most recent evidence for Compound I indicates that the ferryl heme is an unprotonated Fe IV =O species. For Compound II, the nature of the ferryl heme is not unambiguously established. Here, we report 1.06 Å and 1.50 Å crystal structures for Compound II intermediates in cytochrome c peroxidase (C c P) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX), collected using the X-ray free electron laser at SACLA. The structures reveal differences between the two peroxidases. The iron-oxygen bond length in C c P (1.76 Å) is notably shorter than in APX (1.87 Å). The results indicate that the ferryl species is finely tuned across Compound I and Compound II species in closely related peroxidase enzymes. We propose that this fine-tuning is linked to the functional need for proton delivery to the heme.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.202103010DOI Listing
April 2021

Biallelic variants in TMEM222 cause a new autosomal recessive neurodevelopmental disorder.

Genet Med 2021 Apr 6. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Department of Human Genetics, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Purpose: To elucidate the novel molecular cause in families with a new autosomal recessive neurodevelopmental disorder.

Methods: A combination of exome sequencing and gene matching tools was used to identify pathogenic variants in 17 individuals. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and subcellular localization studies were used to characterize gene expression profile and localization.

Results: Biallelic variants in the TMEM222 gene were identified in 17 individuals from nine unrelated families, presenting with intellectual disability and variable other features, such as aggressive behavior, shy character, body tremors, decreased muscle mass in the lower extremities, and mild hypotonia. We found relatively high TMEM222 expression levels in the human brain, especially in the parietal and occipital cortex. Additionally, subcellular localization analysis in human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) revealed that TMEM222 localizes to early endosomes in the synapses of mature iPSC-derived neurons.

Conclusion: Our findings support a role for TMEM222 in brain development and function and adds variants in the gene TMEM222 as a novel underlying cause of an autosomal recessive neurodevelopmental disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-021-01133-wDOI Listing
April 2021

Predictions of inter- and intra-lobar deposition patterns of inhaled particles in a five-lobe lung model.

Inhal Toxicol 2021 Apr 6:1-17. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Department of Chemistry and Physics of Materials, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria.

Objective: To develop a stochastic five-lobe lung model and to compute particle deposition fractions in the five lobes, considering anatomical as well as ventilatory asymmetry.

Materials And Methods: The stochastic five-lobe lung model was derived from an existing stochastic model for the whole lung, which implicitly contains information on the lobar airway structure. Differences in lobar ventilation and sequential filling of individual lobes were simulated by a stochastic lobar ventilation model. Deposition fractions of inhaled unit density particles in the five lobes were calculated by an updated version of the Monte Carlo deposition code Inhalation, Deposition, and Exhalation of Aerosols in the Lung (IDEAL).

Results: Simulations for defined exposure and breathing conditions revealed that the two lower lobes receive higher deposition and the two upper lobes lower deposition, compared to the average deposition for the whole lung. The resulting inter-lobar distribution of deposition fractions indicated that the non-uniform lung morphometry is the dominating effect, while non-uniform ventilation only slightly enhances the lobar differences. The relation between average lobe-specific deposition fractions and corresponding average values for the whole lung allowed the calculation of lobe-specific deposition weighting factors.

Discussion: Comparison with limited deposition measurements for upper lower (U/L) and left right (L/R) lobes revealed overall agreement between experimental and theoretical data. Calculations of the L/R deposition ratio for inhaled aerosol boli confirmed the hypothesis of Möller et al. that the right lung is less able to expand at the end of a breath because of the restrictive position of the liver.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08958378.2020.1859653DOI Listing
April 2021

Healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic: Experiences of doctors and nurses in Bangladesh.

Int J Health Plann Manage 2021 Apr 5. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Department of Marketing & Int'l Business, North South University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Healthcare workers, who are in low-resource settings, are critically vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. The increasing rate of coronavirus infection in a developing country such as Bangladesh caused the highest death rate of doctors among frontline service providers and resulted in fear and anxiety among healthcare workers. Even with the preliminary measures of hospitals and clinics to protect healthcare workers, the growing casualties are alarming. This research uses case study approach to explore the issues doctors and nurses face in 'priority intervention areas' (PIA) in order to improve the health system quality. Qualitative in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted from 12 May to 4 June 2020 among doctors and nurses from two different private hospitals in Dhaka city. Data were analysed using thematic content analysis. The two significant areas that required immediate attention were identified from the PIA framework as 'patient and staff safety, infection control' and 'cultural aspects and community engagement'. Each area of the PIA framework showed previously ignored issues in the current health system. The adaptation of the PIA framework helped identify critical health system issues. Possible corrective actions including proper planning and management of isolating the infected patients and provision of adequate personal protective equipment are recommended to management and policymakers to save the lives of healthcare workers and to minimise the spread of infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hpm.3154DOI Listing
April 2021

Frequency of Comorbidities in Admitting COVID-19 Pneumonia Patients in a Tertiary Care Setup: An Observational Study.

Cureus 2021 Feb 25;13(2):e13546. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Neurology, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, PAK.

Background The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly infectious and pandemic disease with a variable mode of action. Patients with underlying illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and other diseases are more prone to infection. An understanding of the different comorbidities that place patients at the highest risk of COVID-19 pneumonia and other fatal complications associated with COVID-19 is necessary for healthcare professionals. This study aimed to determine the frequency of different comorbid illnesses among COVID-19 patients admitted to a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. Methodology All patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who required admission for the care of their symptoms were included in this observational, cross-sectional study conducted from May 1 to July 30, 2020. The patients were treated at a specialized COVID-19 isolation ward built at the Dow University of Health Sciences at the Ojha campus. The patients were referred from the emergency department, medical and allied wards, and COVID-19 screening units. A detailed history and clinical examination were performed, and comorbidities were evaluated. Results A total of 212 patients were admitted during the study with a mean age of 52 ± 16 years. The study population consisted of 120 (56.6%) males and 92 (43.39%) females, and the most common comorbidities were uncontrolled diabetes with hypertension (n = 56; 26.4%), controlled diabetes (n = 22; 10.37%), obstructive airway disease (n = 16; 7.5%), and interstitial lung disease (n = 14; 6.6%). A total of 48 (22.64%) patients had no comorbidities. Conclusions Most COVID-19-positive patients with pneumonia were male, and common comorbidities included uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, and obstructive and restrictive lung disease. The presence of comorbidities was associated with a marked increase in the risk of morbidity and mortality. Further studies are warranted to confirm these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.13546DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8007124PMC
February 2021

The potential of microbes and sulfate in reducing arsenic phytoaccumulation by maize (Zea mays L.) plants.

Environ Geochem Health 2021 Apr 2. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang, 550081, China.

Arsenic (As) contamination in soil-plant system is an important environmental, agricultural and health issue globally. The microbe- and sulfate-mediated As cycling in soil-plant system may depend on soil sulfate levels, and it can be used as a potential strategy to reduce plant As uptake and improve plant growth. Here, we investigated the role of soil microbes (SMs) to examine As phytoaccumulation using maize as a test plant, under varying sulfate levels (S-0, S-5, S-25 mmol kg) and As stress. The addition of sulfate and SMs promoted maize plant growth and reduced As concentration in shoots compared to sulfate-treated plants without SMs. Results revealed that the SMs-S-5 treatment proved to be the most promising in reducing As uptake by 27% and 48% in root and shoot of the maize plants, respectively. The SMs-S treatments, primarily with S-5, enhanced plant growth, shoot dry biomass, Chl a, b and total Chl (a + b) contents, and gas exchange attributes of maize plants. Similarly, the antioxidant defense in maize plants was increased significantly in SMs-S-treated plants, notably with SMs-S-5 treatment. Overall, the SMs-S-5-treated plants possessed improved plant growth, dry biomass, physiology and antioxidant defense system and decrease in plant shoot As concentration. The outcomes of this study suggest that sulfate supplementation in soil along with SMs could assist in reducing As accumulation by maize plants, thus providing a sustainable and eco-friendly bioremediation strategy in limiting As exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10653-021-00902-5DOI Listing
April 2021

Liquid Crystal Elastomers for Biological Applications.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2021 Mar 22;11(3). Epub 2021 Mar 22.

School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.

The term liquid crystal elastomer (LCE) describes a class of materials that combine the elastic entropy behaviour associated with conventional elastomers with the stimuli responsive properties of anisotropic liquid crystals. LCEs consequently exhibit attributes of both elastomers and liquid crystals, but additionally have unique properties not found in either. Recent developments in LCE synthesis, as well as the understanding of the behaviour of liquid crystal elastomers-namely their mechanical, optical and responsive properties-is of significant relevance to biology and biomedicine. LCEs are abundant in nature, highlighting the potential use of LCEs in biomimetics. Their exceptional tensile properties and biocompatibility have led to research exploring their applications in artificial tissue, biological sensors and cell scaffolds by exploiting their actuation and shock absorption properties. There has also been significant recent interest in using LCEs as a model for morphogenesis. This review provides an overview of some aspects of LCEs which are of relevance in different branches of biology and biomedicine, as well as discussing how recent LCE advances could impact future applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano11030813DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8005174PMC
March 2021

Extraction and purification of cis/trans asarone from Acorus tatarinowii Schott: Accelerated solvent extraction and silver ion coordination high-speed counter-current chromatography.

J Chromatogr A 2021 Apr 18;1643:462080. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Key Laboratory for Applied Technology of Sophisticated Analytical Instruments of Shandong Province, Shandong Analysis and Test Center, Qilu University of Technology (Shandong Academy of Sciences), Jinan 250014, China. Electronic address:

Acorus tatarinowii Schott is a traditional Chinese medicine used to treat memory and cognitive dysfunction. Because of their efficacy and lower toxic effects, research on α- and β-asarone, the phytoconstituents, has attracted attention owing to their remarkable pharmacological activities. Silver ion coordination complexation high-speed counter-current chromatography was used to separate these isomers from A. tatarinowii extract, coupled with accelerated solvent extraction. Accelerated solvent extraction parameters were investigated with single-factor and orthogonal testing. A two-phase solvent system composed of n-hexane-ethyl acetate-ethanol-water (2:1:2:1, v/v) with 0.50 mol/L silver ions was selected for separation. From 2.0 g crude extract, 1.4 g of β-asarone and 0.09 g of α-asarone were obtained with purities over 98% by sequential sample loading in 20 h. The isolated compounds were identified by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, H and C NMR. Silver ions significantly increased the separation factor and retention of the stationary phase. The chromatographic behavior indicated that cis-configuration was more strongly complexed with the silver ion. This was further demonstrated with the help of computational analysis. In conclusion, the established method could be employed to separate other cis-trans or E/Z isomers that form coordination complexes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2021.462080DOI Listing
April 2021

Feasibility and safety of quantitative adenosine stress perfusion cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in pediatric heart transplant patients with and without coronary allograft vasculopathy.

Pediatr Radiol 2021 Apr 1. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, TX, 75390, USA.

Background: Pediatric heart transplant patients require cardiac catheterization to monitor for coronary allograft vasculopathy. Cardiac catheterization has no safe and consistent method for measuring microvascular disease. Stress perfusion cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) assessing microvascular disease has been performed in adults.

Objective: To investigate the feasibility and safety of performing cardiac MRI with quantitative adenosine stress perfusion testing in pediatric heart transplant patients with and without coronary allograft vasculopathy.

Materials And Methods: All pediatric heart transplant patients with coronary vasculopathy at our institution were asked to participate. Age- and gender-matched pediatric heart transplant patients without vasculopathy were recruited for comparison. Patients underwent cardiac MRI with adenosine stress perfusion testing.

Results: Sixteen pediatric heart transplant patients, ages 6-22 years, underwent testing. Nine patients had vasculopathy by angiography. No heart block or other complications occurred during the study. The myocardial perfusion reserve for patients with vasculopathy showed no significant difference with comparison patients (median: 1.43 vs. 1.48; P=0.49). Values for both groups were lower than expected values based on previous adult studies. The patients were also analyzed for time after transplant and the number of rejection episodes. Patients within 6 years of transplantation had a nonsignificant trend toward a higher myocardial perfusion reserve (median: 1.57) versus patients with older transplants (median: 1.47; P=0.46). Intra- and interobserver reproducibility were 97% and 92%, respectively.

Conclusion: Myocardial perfusion reserve is a safe and feasible method for estimating myocardial perfusion in pediatric heart transplant patients. There is no reliable way to monitor microvascular disease in pediatric patients. This method shows potential and deserves investigation in a larger cohort.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00247-021-04977-1DOI Listing
April 2021

Eosinophilic lung disease as a sequela of MSSA pneumonia.

BMJ Case Rep 2021 Mar 31;14(3). Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Section of Pulmonary Medicine, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan

Eosinophilic lung diseases are a rare group of lung disorders with multiple known and unknown aetiologies and the diagnosis is often challenging. We present a case of a young man who was admitted with pneumonia due to methicillin-sensitive and was discharged on antibiotics. He presented to the emergency department approximately 2 weeks after discharge with high-grade fever, cough and shortness of breath associated with serum and bronchoalveolar lavage eosinophilia. He was then treated with steroids with complete resolution of disease process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bcr-2020-239304DOI Listing
March 2021

First Record of Chaetomium globosum Causing Leaf Spot of Pomegranate in Pakistan.

Plant Dis 2021 Mar 31. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Lahore, Pakistan;

Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is a non-climacteric and a favorite fruit of tropical, sub-tropical and arid regions of the world. During a survey in autumn 2019, leaf lesions were observed on plants (cv. Kandhari) in different orchards of Muzaffargarh (30°4'27.7572″ N, 71°11'4.7544″ E), a major pomegranate-producing region in Punjab Province. Disease incidence ranged from 17 to 20%. Leaf lesions were initially small (1 to 3 mm in diameter), round, purple or reddish-brown, scattered spots. At later stages, spots increased in size and the centers of mature lesions became dark red or black with fungal sporulation. To isolate the pathogen, samples of leaf (5 × 5 mm) were cut from the junction of diseased and healthy tissue, surface disinfected in 75% alcohol for 30 s, sterilized with 6% sodium hypochlorite for 3 min, washed with sterile distilled water three times, air dried in laminar flow hood, and cultured on potato dextrose agar (PDA). After one week of incubation at 25 ± 2°C with a 12-h photoperiod, fungal colonies developed, which were initially white and became pale yellow with olivaceous green mycelium after 20 days. On PDA, ascomata were olivaceous green, with a papillate ostiole, globose or ovoidal to obovoidal (155 to 220 × 120 to 240 µm, n=50). Terminal and lateral setae were abundant, brown, and tapering toward the tips (4 to 6 µm, n=50). Asci were greenish and lemon-shaped (6 to 8 × 9 to 13.5 µm, n=50). Ascospores were limoniform and olivaceous gray-brown (10 to 11.5 × 7 to 9 µm, n=50). These morphological characteristics were consistent with the morphology of Chaetomium globosum (Lan et al. 2011; Wang et al. 2016). Genomic DNA was extracted from two isolates and identification of the pathogen was confirmed by amplification and sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) and the partial translation elongation factor 1-α (TEF1) gene using ITS1/ITS4 (White et al. 1999) and EF1-983F/EF1-2218R primers (Wang et al. 2016), respectively. The sequences of the PCR products were deposited in GenBank with accession numbers MW522514, MW522352 (ITS), and MW530423, MW530424 (TEF1). BLAST results of the obtained sequences of the ITS and TEF1 genes revealed 100% (513/513 bp) and 99.78% (927/929 bp) similarity with those of C. globosum in GenBank (ITS: KX834823 and KT898637, and TEF1: MG812564 and KC485028). To confirm pathogenicity, inoculum was prepared by harvesting conidia from 10-day-old culture grown in PDA. The surface-disinfected (70% ethyl alcohol, 30 s) leaves of ten 1-year-old seedlings (cv. Kandhari) were sprayed with a spore suspension (1×106 conidia/ml). Leaves of ten seedlings sprayed with sterile distilled water served as controls. All seedlings were covered with plastic bags and placed in a greenhouse at 26°C with 12 h photoperiod. After eight days, symptoms on inoculated leaves were similar to those observed in the orchards; no symptoms were observed on controls. The fungus was reisolated from all symptomatic tissues. C. globosum has been reported on Punica granatum (Guo et al. 2015), Cannabis sativa (Chaffin et al. 2020) and Brassica oleracea (Zhu et al. 2020). This is the first report of C. globosum causing leaf spot on pomegranate in Pakistan. This finding suggests a potential threat to pomegranate production in Pakistan and further studies should focus on effective prevention and control practices of this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-01-21-0200-PDNDOI Listing
March 2021

An analysis of patient self-reported COVID-19 symptoms during the first wave of the pandemic in Ireland.

Ir J Med Sci 2021 Mar 25. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland.

Background: Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in December 2019, there have been more than 115 million cases worldwide (1). Symptoms of COVID-19 vary widely and the spectrum of clinical presentation has yet to be fully characterised (2). Many countries have detailed their early experience with COVID-19, with a focus on the clinical characteristics of the disease. However, to our knowledge, there has been no such study detailing symptoms in the Irish population.

Aim: Our aim is to describe COVID-19 symptoms in the Irish population at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and compare symptoms between those reporting positive and negative test results.

Method: A Web page MyCovidSymptoms.ie was created by researchers at the National University of Ireland, Galway, in April 2020 to investigate COVID-19 symptoms in Ireland. The Web page invited participants to self-report RT-PCR test outcome data (positive, negative, untested), temperature and a range of symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of taste, loss of smell).

Results: One hundred and twenty-three Irish participants who had a RT-PCR test for COVID-19 logged their symptoms. Eighty-four patients reported that they tested positive for COVID-19, and 39 patients reported a negative COVID-19 test. In our cohort of respondents with a positive COVID-19 test, 49/84 (58%) respondents reported a cough. Of the 39 respondents with a negative COVID-19 test, 17 (44%) reported having a cough. The distribution of temperature was similar in both those with and without COVID-19. Levels of self-reported fatigue were high in both groups with 65/84 (77%) of COVID-19-positive patients reporting fatigue and 30/39 (77%) of those who were COVID-19-negative reporting fatigue. New symptoms emerging at the time of data collection included loss of taste and smell. We demonstrated a higher proportion of loss of smell (p = 0.02) and taste (p = 0.01) in those reporting a positive result, compared to those reporting a negative result.

Conclusion: These data represents an early picture of the clinical characteristics of COVID-19 in an Irish population. It also highlights the potential use of self-reported data globally as a powerful tool in helping with the pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11845-021-02598-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7993982PMC
March 2021

Corticosteroid Usage in Giant Cell Arteritis.

Neuroophthalmology 2021 16;45(1):17-22. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

Department of Ophthalmology, Blanton Eye Institute, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, USA.

Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a condition that can cause irreversible visual loss if untreated. While corticosteroids remain the mainstay of treatment to prevent visual loss, the type, dose, route, and duration of corticosteroid treatment of GCA remain controversial. Our study surveyed neuro-ophthalmologists to determine commonly prescribed dosages of corticosteroids for the treatment of GCA with or without visual loss. For patients with acute visual loss, 52% would use intravenous (IV), 46% would use IV or oral and 2% would use oral corticosteroids. Seventy-three per cent would use 500 to 1000 mg IV methylprednisolone in this group. For patients with GCA without acute visual loss, 67% would use the oral route, 30% would use IV or oral, and 3% indicated they would use IV route of treatment. Seventy-five per cent would use 1.0 to 1.5 mg/kg oral prednisone in this group. Our results suggest a majority but not a complete consensus for route and dose of corticosteroid treatment in GCA and confirm conventional recommendations for high dose IV corticosteroids for GCA with visual loss and lower dose oral regimens for GCA without visual loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01658107.2020.1767656DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7946056PMC
July 2020

Olaparib in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer. Reply.

N Engl J Med 2021 03;384(12):1175-1176

Institute of Cancer Research, London, United Kingdom.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMc2100225DOI Listing
March 2021

Influence of time, temperature and humidity on the accuracy of alginate impressions.

J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad 2020 Oct-Dec;32(Suppl 1)(4):S659-S667

Department of Prosthodontics, College of Dentistry, King Khalid University, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Background: The goal of the current in vitro study was to assess the dimensional accuracy of dental impressions when stored at different times, temperature and humidity.

Methods: Impressions were poured to an aluminium triangular die and three teeth placed at the three corners of the die. A total of 130 impressions were made, in which 10 were poured immediately following manufacturers' instructions and the remaining 120 specimens were divided into two groups on the basis of relative humidity during storage. Group-1: 100%, Group-2: 50% relative humidity. Impression was poured with type IV gypsum. The below points were chosen to determine the length between in each of the specimens using the traveling microscope with 10x magnifications after 24 hours of model recovery for calculating the effect of changes in storage conditions- relative humidity, temperature and delay in pouring the impressions, on dimensional accuracy.

Results: Analysis of the results revealed that the casts achieved by pouring alginate impressions without delay were most accurate than the delay pouring. With the increase in temperature and time, the distance between the points increased and the casts obtained were bigger.

Conclusion: Irreversible hydrocolloids should be poured immediately for optimum dimensional stability.
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March 2021

Müllerian Adenosarcoma: A Single-Centre Experience of 59 Cases of This Rare Entity.

Cureus 2021 Feb 15;13(2):e13360. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Histopathology, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Lahore, PAK.

Background and objective Müllerian adenosarcomas (MA) are rare biphasic tumors with benign epithelial and sarcomatous stromal components. There is very limited cohort study data on MA in the South Asian countries and no such study has been attempted in Pakistan. Our aim was to evaluate the clinicopathological characteristics of MA and to review the published literature on the condition. Additionally, we also analyzed the impact of various prognostic factors on the overall survival (OS) of patients with MA. Materials and methods This was a retrospective observational study performed at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, Lahore from 2003 to 2020. A total of 59 histologically confirmed cases of MA were included in the study and critically reviewed. Results The mean age of the patients was 54 ±16 years, and the most common tumor location was the uterine corpus (48, 81.4%), followed by the cervix (eight, 13.6%), ovary (two, 3.4%), and vagina (one, 1.7%). Sarcomatous overgrowth (SO) was seen in 22 (37.3%) patients, and high-grade cytology was observed in 18 (30.5%) patients. Furthermore, lymphovascular invasion (LVI) was present in six (10.2%) patients, and myometrial invasion was noted in 25 (42.4%) patients. The follow-up details of 29 patients were available, and death was recorded in 13 (44.8%) patients with a median OS of three years. Conclusion MA is a rare and diagnostically challenging entity due to its wide differential diagnosis. It is essential to take note of different morphological features such as SO, cytological features, LVI, and heterologous differentiation because of their significant prognostic impact.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.13360DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7969483PMC
February 2021

Global and local mutations in Bangladeshi SARS-CoV-2 genomes.

Virus Res 2021 05 15;297:198390. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Department of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Chittagong, Chattogram 4331, Bangladesh. Electronic address:

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) warrants comprehensive investigations of publicly available Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genomes to gain new insight about their epidemiology, mutations, and pathogenesis. Nearly 0.4 million mutations have been identified so far among the ∼60,000 SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences. In this study, we compared a total of 371 SARS-CoV-2 published whole genomes reported from different parts of Bangladesh with 467 sequences reported globally to understand the origin of viruses, possible patterns of mutations, and availability of unique mutations. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that SARS-CoV-2 viruses might have transmitted through infected travelers from European countries, and the GR clade was found as predominant in Bangladesh. Our analyses revealed 4604 mutations at the RNA level including 2862 missense mutations, 1192 synonymous mutations, 25 insertions and deletions and 525 other types of mutation. In line with the global trend, D614G mutation in spike glycoprotein was predominantly high (98 %) in Bangladeshi isolates. Interestingly, we found the average number of mutations in ORF1ab, S, ORF3a, M, and N were significantly higher (p < 0.001) for sequences containing the G614 variant compared to those having D614. Previously reported frequent mutations, such as R203K, D614G, G204R, P4715L and I300F at protein levels were also prevalent in Bangladeshi isolates. Additionally, 34 unique amino acid changes were revealed and categorized as originating from different cities. These analyses may increase our understanding of variations in SARS-CoV-2 virus genomes, circulating in Bangladesh and elsewhere.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virusres.2021.198390DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7959702PMC
May 2021

Effectiveness of phytase pre-treatment on growth performance, nutrient digestibility and mineral status of common carp () juveniles fed Moringa by-product based diet.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2021 Mar 4;28(3):1944-1953. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Department of Zoology, Division of Science and Technology, University of Education, Lahore, Pakistan.

Several anti-nutritional substances are found in plant derivatives for example phytate, that make the nutrients and minerals unavailable to fish, hence leading to poor growth performance. Presence of the anti-nutrient factor such as phytate is a chelated compound and need enzyme for its breakdown and availability of nutrients to improve fish growth. This research work was performed to check the improvement of overall performance of fingerlings by the help of phytase addition in by- products based diet. Combination of Moringa seed meal and Moringa leaf meal was utilized as test ingredient to formulate seven test feeds, containing graded levels of phytase (0, 500, 650, 800, 950, 1100 and 1250 FTU kg). In feeding trial of 70 days, fingerlings were given feed two times in a day at the rate of 4% of wet weight of their bodies and faeces were collected. According to current results, it was found that growth performance parameters i.e. weight gain; 25 g, specific growth rate; 1.67 and feed conversion ratio; 1.10 were improved to maximum at 950 FTU kg. Digestibility of nutrients (crude protein; 73%, crude fat; 71% and gross energy; 67%) and minerals absorption was also maximum (Ca; 70%, Zn; 66%, K; 74%, Mn; 66% and P; 71%) at 950 FTU kg. Lowest growth efficiency, nutrient digestibility and mineral absorption were observed in fingerlings fed at control diet (0 FTU kg). Results of the current study, proved that 950 FTU kg is the most optimum level of phytase to formulate economical and ecofriendly feed for improved growth of fingerlings as it decreases the discharge of minerals and nutrients in water bodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2020.12.046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7938206PMC
March 2021