Publications by authors named "N Diana Rahim"

113 Publications

Cytotoxicity and Apoptosis Effects of Curcumin Analogue (2E,6E)-2,6-Bis(2,3-Dimethoxybenzylidine) Cyclohexanone (DMCH) on Human Colon Cancer Cells HT29 and SW620 In Vitro.

Molecules 2021 Feb 26;26(5). Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University Putra Malaysia, UPM, Serdang 43400, Selangor, Malaysia.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common type of cancer worldwide and a leading cause of cancer death. According to the Malaysian National Cancer Registry Report 2012-2016, colorectal cancer was the second most common cancer in Malaysia after breast cancer. Recent treatments for colon cancer cases have caused side effects and recurrence in patients. One of the alternative ways to fight cancer is by using natural products. Curcumin is a compound of the rhizomes of that possesses a broad range of pharmacological activities. Curcumin has been studied for decades but due to its low bioavailability, its usage as a therapeutic agent has been compromised. This has led to the development of a chemically synthesized curcuminoid analogue, (2E,6E)-2,6-bis(2,3-dimethoxybenzylidine) cyclohexanone (DMCH), to overcome the drawbacks. This study aims to examine the potential of DMCH for cytotoxicity, apoptosis induction, and activation of apoptosis-related proteins on the colon cancer cell lines HT29 and SW620. The cytotoxic activity of DMCH was evaluated using the [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] (MTT) cell viability assay on both of the cell lines, HT29 and SW620. To determine the mode of cell death, an acridine orange/propidium iodide (AO/PI) assay was conducted, followed by Annexin V/FITC, cell cycle analysis, and JC-1 assay using a flow cytometer. A proteome profiler angiogenesis assay was conducted to determine the protein expression. The inhibitory concentration (IC) of DMCH in SW620 and HT29 was 7.50 ± 1.19 and 9.80 ± 0.55 µg/mL, respectively. The treated cells displayed morphological features characteristic of apoptosis. The flow cytometry analysis confirmed that DMCH induced apoptosis as shown by an increase in the sub-G0/G1 population and an increase in the early apoptosis and late apoptosis populations compared with untreated cells. A higher number of apoptotic cells were observed on treated SW620 cells as compared to HT29 cells. Human apoptosis proteome profiler analysis revealed upregulation of Bax and Bad proteins and downregulation of Livin proteins in both the HT29 and SW620 cell lines. Collectively, DMCH induced cell death via apoptosis, and the effect was more pronounced on SW620 metastatic colon cancer cells, suggesting its potential effects as an antimetastatic agent targeting colon cancer cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26051261DOI Listing
February 2021

Development patterns of necrophagous flies infesting rabbit carcasses decomposing in Mount Kapur Cave and its surrounding primary forest in Kuching, Sarawak.

Trop Biomed 2020 Jun;37(2):333-356

Faculty of Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.

In addition to the scarcity of forensic entomology baseline data on oviposition of necrophagous insects and completion of their life cycles in the Borneo region, similar data derived from caves remain unreported. Since entomological baseline data can differ from one biogeoclimatic region to another, the lack of such data would limit the practical values of applying entomological evidence in estimating minimum postmortem interval (mPMI). Therefore, this present research that investigated oviposition and completion of life cycles of necrophagous flies infesting rabbit carcasses decomposing in Mount Kapur Cave and its surrounding forest habitat in Kuching, Sarawak merits forensic consideration. In general, 13 taxa of necrophagous flies were identified viz. Hypopygiopsis violacea, Hypopygiopsis fumipennis, Hemipyrellia ligurriens, Hemipyrellia tagaliana, Chrysomya megacephala, Chrysomya villeneuvi, Chrysomya rufifacies, Chrysomya chani, Chrysomya pinguis, Chrysomya nigripes, Ophyra spinigera and Ophyra chalcogaster, as well as unidentified Sarcophagidae. In addition, Hyp. violacea and Hyp. fumipennis were the two earlier necrophagous flies that oviposited in all rabbit carcasses decomposing in both habitats. While all these necrophagous flies were observed infesting carcasses in Mount Kapur Cave, Hem. ligurriens and Hem. tagaliana were not found infesting carcasses in the surrounding forest habitat. Complete life cycles for six and five different necrophagous fly species were successfully observed in Mount Kapur Cave and its surrounding forest habitat, respectively. Significant delay in oviposition, as well as longer durations for completing the life cycles in several necrophagous fly species were observed in Mount Kapur Cave when compared with those of surrounding forest habitat (p < 0.05). These findings deserve consideration as the first ever forensic empirical baseline data on oviposition and completion of life cycles for necrophagous flies in Sarawak as well as in a cave habitat, in view of its practical values for estimating mPMI for forensic practical caseworks.
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June 2020

Chronic histiocytic intervillositis in consecutive miscarriages: A potential pitfall in routine examination of conceptus.

Malays J Pathol 2020 Dec;42(3):439-444

Hospital Selayang, Department of Pathology, Malaysia.

Introduction: Chronic histiocytic intervillositis (CHI) is a rare placental lesion strongly associated with recurrent miscarriages and fetal losses. It requires histopathological diagnosis and can only be made after delivery of the products of conception (POC). We describe a case of CHI in a 41-yearold lady with a 16-year history of thirteen recurrent consecutive first trimester miscarriages.

Case Report: The patient is a 41-year-old lady who suffered first trimester miscarriages in all her thirteen pregnancies. The relevant clinical investigations revealed neither significant nor helpful findings in determining the cause of recurrent miscarriages. Histological findings in each except one of the submitted conceptual tissue showed similar features of histiocytic aggregates primarily within the intervillous spaces, a characteristic description of CHI. One of the samples showed degenerative changes.

Discussion: Practicing pathologists are not familiar with the histological features of CHI and this may be a potential pitfall in routine examination of POCs. Recognising this entity allows for accurate diagnosis and hence better management. The aetiology remains unclear, although an immunopathological basis are being explored.
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December 2020

First report of Colletotrichum siamense Causing Blossom Blight on Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) in Malaysia.

Plant Dis 2020 Dec 21. Epub 2020 Dec 21.

Universiti Putra Malaysia, 37449, Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia;

Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is widely cultivated in Malaysia and commonly used for culinary purposes. In March 2019, necrotic lesions were observed on the inflorescences of Thai basil plants with a disease incidence of 60% in Organic Edible Garden Unit, Faculty of Agriculture in the Serdang district (2°59'05.5"N 101°43'59.5"E) of Selangor province, Malaysia. Symptoms appeared as sudden, extensive brown spotting on the inflorescences of Thai basil that coalesced and rapidly expanded to cover the entire inflorescences. Diseased tissues (4×4 mm) were cut from the infected lesions, surface disinfected with 0.5% NaOCl for 1 min, rinsed three times with sterile distilled water, placed onto potato dextrose agar (PDA) plates and incubated at 25°C under 12-h photoperiod for 5 days. A total of 8 single-spore isolates were obtained from all sampled inflorescence tissues. The fungal colonies appeared white, turned grayish black with age and pale yellow on the reverse side. Conidia were one-celled, hyaline, subcylindrical with rounded end and 3 to 4 μm (width) and 13 to 15 μm (length) in size. For fungal identification to species level, genomic DNA of representative isolate (isolate C) was extracted using DNeasy Plant Mini Kit (Qiagen, USA). Internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region, calmodulin (CAL), actin (ACT), and chitin synthase-1 (CHS-1) were amplified using ITS5/ITS4 (White et al. 1990), CL1C/CL2C (Weir et al. 2012), ACT-512F/783R, and CHS-79F/CHS-345R primer sets (Carbone and Kohn 1999), respectively. A BLAST nucleotide search of ITS, CHS-1, CAL and ACT sequences showed 100% similarity to Colletotrichum siamense ex-type cultures strain C1315.2 (GenBank accession nos. ITS: JX010171 and CHS-1: JX009865) and isolate BPDI2 (CAL: FJ917505, ACT: FJ907423). The ITS, CHS-1, CAL and ACT sequences were deposited in GenBank as accession numbers MT571330, MW192791, MW192792 and MW140016. Pathogenicity was confirmed by spraying a spore suspension (1×106 spores/ml) of 7-day-old culture of isolate C onto 10 healthy inflorescences on five healthy Thai basil plants. Ten infloresences from an additional five control plants were only sprayed with sterile distilled water and the inoculated plants were covered with plastic bags for 2 days and maintained in a greenhouse at 28 ± 1°C, 98% relative humidity with a photoperiod of 12-h. Blossom blight symptoms resembling those observed in the field developed after 7 days on all inoculated inflorescences, while inflorescences on control plants remained asymptomatic. The experiment was repeated twice. C. siamense was successfully re-isolated from the infected inflorescences fulfilling Koch's postulates. C. siamense has been reported causing blossom blight of Uraria in India (Srivastava et al. 2017), anthracnose on dragon fruit in India and fruits of Acca sellowiana in Brazil (Abirami et al. 2019; Fantinel et al. 2017). This pathogen can cause a serious threat to cultivation of Thai basil and there is currently no effective disease management strategy to control this disease. To our knowledge, this is the first report of blossom blight caused by C. siamense on Thai basil in Malaysia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-06-20-1371-PDNDOI Listing
December 2020

Photocatalytic-persulfate- oxidation for diclofenac removal from aqueous solutions: Modeling, optimization and biotoxicity test assessment.

Chemosphere 2021 Mar 2;266:129158. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Laboratoire Biotechnologies, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Biotechnologie, Ville Universitaire Ali Mendjeli, BP E66 25100, Constantine, Algeria.

In this paper, the influence of several aquatic factors (the nature of catalyst, the initial pH and the initial concentration of the pollutant) on the photocatalytic degradation of diclofenac (DFC), one of the most widely prescribed anti-inflammatory non-steroidal drug, was studied. Also, in order to examine the intensification process, the variation of the photocatalytic DFC degradation in the presence of sodium persulfate (PPS) was analyzed. It was found that, compared to titanium dioxide (TiO), the zinc oxide (ZnO) photocatalyst performed exceptionally well, with a 96.13% DFC degradation efficiency after 150 min. The photodegradation of DFC by ZnO catalyst fitted well the Langmuir-Hinshelwood kinetic model. The maximum efficiency is 97.27% for simulated solar-UVA/ZnO/PPS and 77% for simulated solar-UVA/ZnO. In order to determine the optimal conditions leading to the maximization of DFC removal, an artificial neural network (ANN) modeling approach combined with genetic algorithm (GA) was applied. The best ANN determined had a correlation of 0.999 and it was further used in the process optimization where a 99.7% degradation efficiency was identified as the optimum under the following conditions: DFC initial concentration 37,9 mg L, pH 5,88 and PPS initial concentration 500 mg L. The effectiveness of the process and the toxicity of the pharmaceutical pollutants and their by-products were also evaluated and confirmed by the biological tests using liver and kidney of Mus musculus mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.129158DOI Listing
March 2021

Factors Impeding Health-Care Professionals to Effectively Treat Coronavirus Disease 2019 Patients in Pakistan: A Qualitative Investigation.

Front Psychol 2020 9;11:572450. Epub 2020 Nov 9.

Ghulam Muhammad Mahar Medical College Teaching Hospital, Sukkur, Pakistan.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, first reported in late December 2019, is regarded as the most significant public health emergency of the century. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the current outbreak of COVID-19 has affected millions of people and killed hundreds of thousands in more than 200 countries, including Pakistan. Health-care professionals (HCPs) cannot minimize human interactions or isolate themselves from patients due to their jobs and moral duties. Hence, the outbreak needed HCPs to work in adverse and challenging conditions with possible mental health problems. In light of the stated background, this study aims to explore and understand the factors that impede HCPs to effectively treat COVID-19 patients in Karachi, Pakistan. Based on qualitative methods, a phenomenological approach was considered to record the true experiences of HCPs. Twelve doctors and nurses were recruited from five COVID-19 designated hospitals in Karachi, Sindh Province, using purposive and snowball sampling. Semi-structured in-depth telephone interviews were conducted from April 6 to 14, 2020, and analyzed through thematic analysis. The findings suggest that there were two types of constraints, institutional and personal, which were impeding HCPs to treat COVID-19 patients effectively. Institutional constraints include the poor condition of isolation wards, inadequate availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), excessive and uneven workload, and absence of emotional and psychological support in hospitals. Besides, personal constraints include nervousness due to the novel virus, a constant fear of becoming infected, fear of taking virus to family, extreme isolation and loneliness, and feeling of powerlessness. The study found that HCPs in Pakistan have been dealing with a high risk of infection, causing mental health problems such as stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms. These mental health problems not only affect attention, understanding, and decision-making capacity of HCPs, which could hinder the fight against COVID-19, but they could also have a continuous effect on their overall well-being on a long-term basis. Therefore, the present study outlines important clinical and policy strategies that are needed to support HCPs as the pandemic continues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.572450DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7680877PMC
November 2020

Vasovagal reaction among whole blood donors in Hospital Pulau Pinang. A statistical-epidemiological study.

Asian J Transfus Sci 2020 Jan-Jun;14(1):28-32. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

Department of Transfusion Medicine, Penang General Hospital, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.

Context: Whole blood donation is generally considered a safe procedure; however, a small percentage of donors could develop vasovagal reactions (VVRs) during or after completion of blood donation.

Aims: This study was undertaken to establish the prevalence of VVR among whole blood donors in Hospital Pulau Pinang and to investigate factors that lead to its occurrence.

Settings And Design: A cross-sectional study was conducted involving 27,890 whole blood donations in 2016.

Subjects And Methods: For each donation, donor's demographic and blood donation-related information was extracted from the blood bank database.

Statistical Analysis Used: Qualitative data including age group, sex, race, frequency, and location of donation were analyzed using Chi-square tests, while blood pressure was analyzed using -test.

Results: Overall, 425 cases of VVRs were reported, resulting in a VVR rate of 1.5% (one event in every 65 donations). We found a statistically significant association ( < 0.05) between the occurrence of VVRs with the young age group, female gender, Indian race, first-time donor, lower predonation blood pressure, and donation performed in a mobile donation campaign. The most common vasovagal symptoms are lightheadedness (88%), followed by nausea (5.4%), muscle twitching (3.5%), vomiting (1.4%), loss of consciousness <30 s (1.4%), and paresthesia (0.2%).

Conclusions: The prevalence of VVRs among whole blood donors in Hospital Pulau Pinang appeared to be low. Our study reaffirms that blood donation is a relatively safe process, and the incidence of VVR can be further reduced by ensuring strict screening procedure before blood donation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/ajts.AJTS_111_17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7607985PMC
July 2020

Development and validation of Malaysia Medication Adherence Assessment Tool (MyMAAT) for diabetic patients.

PLoS One 2020 6;15(11):e0241909. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

UKM Medical Molecular Biology Institute (UMBI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Ya'acob Latiff, Bandar Tun Razak, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Medication non-adherence remains a significant barrier in achieving better health outcomes for patients with chronic diseases. Previous self-reported medication adherence tools were not developed in the context of the Malaysia population. The most commonly used tool, MMAS-8, is no longer economical because it requires a license and currently every form used is charged. Hence, there is a need to develop and validate a new medication adherence tool. The Malaysia Medication Adherence Assessment Tool (MyMAAT) was developed by a multidisciplinary team with expertise in medication adherence and health literacy. The face and content validities of the MyMAAT was established by a panel of experts. A total of 495 patients with type 2 diabetes were recruited from the Ministry of Health facilities consisting of five hospitals and five primary health clinics. A test-retest was conducted on 42 of the patients one week following their first data collection. Exploratory factor analysis was performed to evaluate the validity of the MyMAAT. The final item for MyMAAT was compared with SEAMS, HbA1c%, Medication Possession ratio (MPR) score, and pharmacist's subjective assessment for its hypothesis testing validity. The MyMAAT-12 achieved acceptable internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.910) and stable reliability as the test-retest score showed good to excellent correlation (Spearman's rho = 0.96, p = 0.001). The MyMAAT has significant moderate association with SEAMS (Spearman's rho = 0.44, p = < 0.001) and significant relationship with HbA1c (< 8% and ≥ 8%) (χ2(1) = 13.4, p < 0.001), MPR (χ2(1) = 13.6, p < 0.001) and pharmacist's subjective assessment categories (χ2(1) = 31, p < 0.001). The sensitivity of MyMAAT-12, tested against HbA1c% was 72.9% while its specificity was 43%. This study demonstrates that the MyMAAT-12 together with other methods of assessment may make a better screening tool to identify patients who were non-adherence to their medications.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0241909PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7647074PMC
January 2021

The restoration of root filled teeth: a review of the clinical literature.

Int Endod J 2020 Oct 30. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

Department of Endodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences, King's College London, London, UK.

Clinicians often face dilemmas regarding the most appropriate way to restore a tooth following root canal treatment. Whilst there is established consensus on the importance of the ferrule effect on the predictable restoration of root filled teeth, other factors, such as residual tooth volume, tooth location, number of proximal contacts, timing of the definitive restoration and the presence of cracks, have been reported to influence restoration and tooth survival. The continued evolution of dental materials and techniques, combined with a trend towards more conservative endodontic-restorative procedures, prompts re-evaluation of the scientific literature. The aim of this literature review was to provide an updated overview of the existing clinical literature relating to the restoration of root filled teeth. An electronic literature search of the PubMed, Ovid (via EMBASE) and MEDLINE (via EMBASE) databases up to July 2020 was performed to identify articles that related the survival of root filled teeth and/or restoration type. The following and other terms were searched: restoration, crown, onlay, root canal, root filled, post, clinical, survival, success. Wherever possible, only clinical studies were selected for the literature review. Full texts of the identified articles were independently screened by two reviewers according to pre-defined criteria. This review identifies the main clinical factors influencing the survival of teeth and restorations following root canal treatment in vivo and discusses the data related to specific restoration type on clinical survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/iej.13438DOI Listing
October 2020

Biomechanical planning for minimally invasive indirect restorations.

Br Dent J 2020 Oct 9;229(7):425-429. Epub 2020 Oct 9.

King's College London, Prosthodontics, Guy's Hospital, London, SE1 9RT, UK.

This paper explores the planning and execution of indirect partial-coverage restorations and will outline practical recommendations for maximising the outcomes for minimally invasive (MI) approaches to indirect restorations, with a special focus on vital teeth, endodontically-treated teeth and worn dentitions. Throughout the paper, the supporting evidence for each rationale for partial-coverage restorations will be considered, as well as the risks and benefits of adopting an MI approach to indirect restorations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41415-020-2170-xDOI Listing
October 2020

Exploring Antimicrobial Resistance in Agents Causing Urinary Tract Infections at a Tertiary Care Hospital in a Developing Country.

Cureus 2020 Aug 14;12(8):e9735. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Urology, Rawalpindi Medical University, Rawalpindi, PAK.

Background and objective Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are usually treated with empirical therapy by physicians based on previous knowledge of the predictability of causative agents and their antimicrobial susceptibilities. The objective of this study was to determine the frequency of various pathogens causing UTIs and their antimicrobial resistance profile in patients presenting to the outpatient department (OPD) of a tertiary care hospital. Materials and methods This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in the urology OPD of a tertiary care hospital in Pakistan. The study was conducted over a period of six months, and it included 1,000 patients (of ages 12 years or above) who were clinically suspected for UTIs. Patients with comorbidities and immunocompromised patients were excluded from the study. Recipients of corticosteroid therapy or those with a history of intake of broad-spectrum antibiotics in the previous 15 days were also excluded. The modified Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method was used for determining antimicrobial resistance against various antimicrobials. Results Out of 1,000 tested specimens, 530 (53%) isolates were found to be culture-positive. E.coli was the most common species isolated from the cultures with a prevalence of 77.4%, followed by Klebsiella (6.4%), Enterobacter (6.0%), Pseudomonas (3.8%), Staphylococcus saprophyticus (3.4%), Citrobacter (1.1%), and Morganella (0.4%). Antimicrobial resistance against commonly used antimicrobials was found to be alarmingly high. Conclusion E.coli was the most commonly isolated microorganism from the urine samples of UTI patients. Antimicrobial resistance against UTI-causing organisms is of great concern. The Surveillance of trends of antimicrobial susceptibility pattern for organisms causing UTIs is highly important. Antibiotics should be prescribed according to proper guidelines to prevent increasing antimicrobial resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.9735DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7489772PMC
August 2020

Studies on the supramolecular complex of a guanosine with beta-cyclodextrin and evaluation of its anti-proliferative activity.

Carbohydr Res 2020 Nov 28;497:108138. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, 50603, Malaysia; University of Malaya Centre for Ionic Liquids, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, 50603, Malaysia. Electronic address:

The behavior of the inclusion behavior of guanosine (GU) with beta-cyclodextrin (β-CD) in the liquid, solid and virtual state were investigated. The absorption and fluorescence spectral were used to determine the inclusion behavior in liquid state. FT-IR, NMR, TGA, DSC, PXRD and FESEM techniques were used to investigate the inclusion behavior in solid-state, meanwhile the virtual state studies are done by molecular docking. The solid inclusion complex (GU: β-CD) was prepared by using the co-precipitation method. The binding constant (K) of (GU: β-CD) was calculated by using Benesi-Hildebrand. Besides that, the 1:1 stoichiometric ratio of inclusion complex was confirmed by using the Benesi-Hildebrand plot and Job's plot of continuous variation method. The most preferable model of GU: β-CD that suggested via molecular docking studies was in good agreement with experimental results. The inclusion complex of GU: β-CD exerted its toxicity effects towards HepG2 cell lines based on the reduced number of cell viability and lowest IC value compared to the GU and β-CD viability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carres.2020.108138DOI Listing
November 2020

Adsorption and desorption of malachite green by using chitosan-deep eutectic solvents beads.

Int J Biol Macromol 2020 Dec 7;164:3965-3973. Epub 2020 Sep 7.

Green Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, School of Chemical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Minden, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia; Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Chitosan-deep eutectic solvent (DES) beads were prepared from chitosan and DESs. The DESs used were choline chloride-urea (DES A) and choline chloride-glycerol (DES B). Both chitosan-DES beads were used to remove malachite green (MG) dye from an aqueous solution. The optimum pH for chitosan-DES A was recorded at pH 8.0 while optimum pH for chitosan-DES B was pH 9.0. The maximum adsorption capacity obtained for chitosan-DES A and chitosan-DES B were 6.54 mg/g and 8.64 mg/g, respectively. The optimum conditions for both chitosan-DES beads to remove MG were 0.08 g of adsorbent and 20 min of agitation time. Five kinetic models were applied to analyse the data and the results showed that the pseudo-second-order and intraparticle diffusion model fitted best with R > 0.999. For the adsorption capacity, results show that the Freundlich and Langmuir adsorption isotherms fitted well with chitosan-DES A and chitosan-DES B, respectively. The maximum adsorption capacities (q) obtained from chitosan-DES A and chitosan-DES B were 1.43 mg/g and 17.86 mg/g, respectively. Desorption indicated good performance in practical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.09.029DOI Listing
December 2020

Novel antimicrobial development using genome-scale metabolic model of Gram-negative pathogens: a review.

J Antibiot (Tokyo) 2021 Feb 8;74(2):95-104. Epub 2020 Sep 8.

Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Malaya, 50603, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threatens the effective prevention and treatment of a wide range of infections. Governments around the world are beginning to devote effort for innovative treatment development to treat these resistant bacteria. Systems biology methods have been applied extensively to provide valuable insights into metabolic processes at system level. Genome-scale metabolic models serve as platforms for constraint-based computational techniques which aid in novel drug discovery. Tools for automated reconstruction of metabolic models have been developed to support system level metabolic analysis. We discuss features of such software platforms for potential users to best fit their purpose of research. In this work, we focus to review the development of genome-scale metabolic models of Gram-negative pathogens and also metabolic network approach for identification of antimicrobial drugs targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41429-020-00366-2DOI Listing
February 2021

Conservative Treatment for Right Ventricular Free Wall Rupture in a Patient with Acute Myocardial Infarction.

Case Rep Cardiol 2020 24;2020:8836627. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University Malaya Medical Centre, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Ventricular wall rupture possesses a high mortality rate in patients with acute myocardial infarction. We presented a case of a ninety-year-old gentleman who presented with acute inferolateral myocardial infarction in cardiogenic shock and right ventricular free wall rupture. He was treated conservatively and survived.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/8836627DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7396043PMC
July 2020

Strengthening the Structural Behavior of Web Openings in RC Deep Beam Using CFRP.

Materials (Basel) 2020 Jun 22;13(12). Epub 2020 Jun 22.

Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Alkharj 11942, Saudi Arabia.

Deep beams are more susceptible to shear failure, and therefore reparation is a crucial for structural reinforcements. Shear failure is structural concrete failure in nature. It generally occurs without warning; however, it is acceptable for the beam to fail in bending but not in shear. The experimental study presented the structural behavior of the deep beams of reinforced concrete (RC) that reinforces the web openings with externally connected carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composite in the shear zone. The structural behavior includes a failure mode, and cracking pattern, load deflection responses, stress concentration and the reinforcement factor were investigated. A total of nine reinforced concrete deep beams with openings strengthened with CFRP and one control beam without an opening have been cast and tested under static four-point bending load till failure. The experimental results showed that the increase the size of the opening causes an increase in the shear strength reduction by up to 30%. Therefore, the larger the openings, the lower the capability of load carriage, in addition to an increase in the number of CFRP layers that could enhance the load carrying capacity. Consequently, utilization of the CFRP layer wrapping technique strengthened the shear behavior of the reinforced concrete deep beams from about 10% to 40%. It was concluded that the most effective number of CFRP layers for the deep beam with opening sizes of 150 mm and 200 mm were two layers and three layers, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma13122804DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7344945PMC
June 2020

Transcriptomic responses of a New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae isolate to the combination of polymyxin B and chloramphenicol.

Int J Antimicrob Agents 2020 Aug 20;56(2):106061. Epub 2020 Jun 20.

Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Infection and Immunity Program and Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Electronic address:

The combination of polymyxins and chloramphenicol possesses synergistic killing activity against New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM)-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae. This systems study examined the transcriptomic responses to the polymyxin/chloramphenicol combination in clinical NDM-producing K. pneumoniae isolate S01. Klebsiella pneumoniae S01 (initial inoculum ~10 CFU/mL) was treated with polymyxin B (1 mg/L, continuous infusion) or chloramphenicol [maximum concentration (C) = 8 mg/L, half-life (t) = 4 h], alone or in combination, using an in vitro pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) model to mimic their pharmacokinetics in patients. Transcriptomic profiles of bacterial samples collected at 0, 0.25, 1, 4 and 24 h were examined using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq). Chloramphenicol monotherapy significantly increased the expression of genes involved in ribosomal synthesis across the entire 24-h treatment, reflective of chloramphenicol-mediated inhibition of protein synthesis. The effect of polymyxin B was rapid and no major pathways were perturbed at later time points (4 h and 24 h). Combination treatment yielded the highest number of differentially expressed genes, including a large number observed following chloramphenicol monotherapy, in particular carbohydrate, nucleotide, amino acid and cell wall metabolism. Notably, chloramphenicol alone and in combination with polymyxin B significantly inhibited the expression of the arn operon that is responsible for lipid A modification and polymyxin resistance. These results indicate that the polymyxin/chloramphenicol combination displayed persistent transcriptomic responses over 24 h mainly on cell envelope synthesis and metabolism of carbohydrates, nucleotides and amino acids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.106061DOI Listing
August 2020

Data on ectoparasites infestation on small mammals from different habitats in east-coast Peninsular Malaysia.

Data Brief 2020 Jun 28;30:105621. Epub 2020 Apr 28.

Institute of Tropical Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia.

This data article presents on the ectoparasites infestation on small mammals in Peninsular Malaysia. The dataset on ectoparasites infestation is important because it raises a major medical concern regarding the spread of potentially zoonotic disease from wildlife to human. Tick and chigger are the primary ectoparasites as reservoirs of vector-borne diseases found on small mammals in Malaysia. These small mammals that are infested with ectoparasites occupy various types of habitats, including human settlements, could be of community health risks as the carriers of potentially zoonotic diseases. Field samplings were conducted from February 2015 to February 2016 in three different ecological habitats of mixed dipterocarp forest, coastal forest and insular forest, in Terengganu, Malaysia. A total of 35 and 22 species of bats and rodents respectively were captured and examined for ectoparasites. Twenty-three species of bats and 16 species of small mammal were recorded as hosts for at least one species of ectoparasites. These findings show that the highest ectoparasite infestation occurred on bat community.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dib.2020.105621DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7210395PMC
June 2020

Knowledge and Perceptions of Blood Safety among Blood Donors in Kelantan, Malaysia.

Malays J Med Sci 2019 Nov 30;26(6):127-136. Epub 2019 Dec 30.

Regenerative Medicine Cluster, Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.

Background: Unsafe blood products may cause transfusion-transmissible infections. This study aimed to evaluate the knowledge and perceptions of blood donors regarding blood safety.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in the Kelantan state of Malaysia. The questionnaire comprised 39 questions that covered areas such as donors' social demographic information, knowledge of transfusion-transmitted diseases, blood screening and donor eligibility and perceptions towards blood safety. The knowledge score was categorised as good or poor.

Results: Of the 450 distributed questionnaires, 389 were suitable for analysis. Only 18.5% of the donors had good knowledge, with 81.5% having poor knowledge. Less than 30% were aware that people with multiple sexual partners, bisexual people and male homosexual people are permanently deferred from blood donation. Only 29.4% agreed that donors are responsible if their blood causes infection. Furthermore, 39.3% assumed that they could check their HIV status through blood donation, and 10.3% and 5.4% of the respondents believed that donors are free from infection if they wear a condom during sex or only have oral sex when involved in prostitution, respectively.

Conclusion: Poor knowledge and notable misperceptions concerning safe blood donation were found among blood donors. The Ministry of Health should incorporate safe blood education in future public awareness programmes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21315/mjms2019.26.6.13DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6939727PMC
November 2019

Impact of intensive care unit supportive care on the physiology of Ebola virus disease in a universally lethal non-human primate model.

Intensive Care Med Exp 2019 Sep 13;7(1):54. Epub 2019 Sep 13.

National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, 1015 rue Arlington Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3E 3R2, Canada.

Background: There are currently limited data for the use of specific antiviral therapies for the treatment of Ebola virus disease (EVD). While there is anecdotal evidence that supportive care may be effective, there is a paucity of direct experimental data to demonstrate a role for supportive care in EVD. We studied the impact of ICU-level supportive care interventions including fluid resuscitation, vasoactive medications, blood transfusion, hydrocortisone, and ventilator support on the pathophysiology of EVD in rhesus macaques infected with a universally lethal dose of Ebola virus strain Makona C07.

Methods: Four NHPs were infected with a universally lethal dose Ebola virus strain Makona, in accordance with the gold standard lethal Ebola NHP challenge model. Following infection, the following therapeutic interventions were employed: continuous bedside supportive care, ventilator support, judicious fluid resuscitation, vasoactive medications, blood transfusion, and hydrocortisone as needed to treat cardiovascular compromise. A range of physiological parameters were continuously monitored to gage any response to the interventions.

Results: All four NHPs developed EVD and demonstrated a similar clinical course. All animals reached a terminal endpoint, which occurred at an average time of 166.5 ± 14.8 h post-infection. Fluid administration may have temporarily blunted a rise in lactate, but the effect was short lived. Vasoactive medications resulted in short-lived improvements in mean arterial pressure. Blood transfusion and hydrocortisone did not appear to have a significant positive impact on the course of the disease.

Conclusions: The model employed for this study is reflective of an intramuscular infection in humans (e.g., needle stick) and is highly lethal to NHPs. Using this model, we found that the animals developed progressive severe organ dysfunction and profound shock preceding death. While the overall impact of supportive care on the observed pathophysiology was limited, we did observe some time-dependent positive responses. Since this model is highly lethal, it does not reflect the full spectrum of human EVD. Our findings support the need for continued development of animal models that replicate the spectrum of human disease as well as ongoing development of anti-Ebola therapies to complement supportive care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40635-019-0268-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6744539PMC
September 2019

Molecularly imprinted silica gel incorporated with agarose polymer matrix as mixed matrix membrane for separation and preconcentration of sulfonamide antibiotics in water samples.

Talanta 2019 Jul 4;199:522-531. Epub 2019 Mar 4.

Integrative Medicine Cluster, Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Bertam,13200 Kepala Batas, Penang, Malaysia. Electronic address:

Molecularly imprinted silica gel (MISG) was incorporated through dispersion in agarose polymer matrix to form a mixed matrix membrane (MMM) and was applied for the determination of three sulfonamide antibiotic compounds (i.e. sulfamethoxazole (SMX), sulfamonomethoxine (SMM), and sulfadiazine (SDZ)) from environmental water samples. Several important microextraction conditions, such as type of desorption solvent, extraction time, amount of sorbent, sample volume, pH, and effect of desorption time, were comprehensively optimized. A preconcentration factors of ≥ 20 was achieved by the extraction of 12.5 mL of water samples using the developed method. This microextraction-HPLC method demonstrated good linearity (1-500 μg L) with a coefficient of determination (R) of 0.9959-0.9999, low limits of detection (0.06-0.17 μg L) and limits of quantification (0.20-0.56 μg L), good analyte recoveries (80-96%), and acceptable relative standard deviations (< 10%) under the optimized conditions. The method is systematically compared to those reported in the literature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.talanta.2019.02.096DOI Listing
July 2019

Novel Polymyxin Combination with the Antiretroviral Zidovudine Exerts Synergistic Killing against NDM-Producing Multidrug-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2019 04 27;63(4). Epub 2019 Mar 27.

Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Infection and Immunity Program and Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia

Polymyxins are used as a last-line therapy against multidrug-resistant (MDR) New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM)-producing However, polymyxin resistance can emerge with monotherapy; therefore, novel strategies are urgently needed to minimize the resistance and maintain their clinical utility. This study aimed to investigate the pharmacodynamics of polymyxin B in combination with the antiretroviral drug zidovudine against Three isolates were evaluated in static time-kill studies (0 to 64 mg/liter) over 48 h. An one-compartment pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) model (IVM) was used to simulate humanized dosage regimens of polymyxin B (4 mg/liter as continuous infusion) and zidovudine (as bolus dose thrice daily to achieve maximum concentration of drug in broth [] of 6 mg/liter) against BM1 over 72 h. The antimicrobial synergy of the combination was further evaluated in a murine thigh infection model against 02. In the static time-kill studies, polymyxin B monotherapy produced rapid and extensive killing against all three isolates followed by extensive regrowth, whereas zidovudine produced modest killing followed by significant regrowth at 24 h. Polymyxin B in combination with zidovudine significantly enhanced the antimicrobial activity (≥4 log CFU/ml) and minimized bacterial regrowth. In the IVM, the combination was synergistic and the total bacterial loads were below the limit of detection for up to 72 h. In the murine thigh infection model, the bacterial burden at 24 h in the combination group was ≥3 log CFU/thigh lower than each monotherapy against 02. Overall, the polymyxin B-zidovudine combination demonstrates superior antimicrobial efficacy and minimized emergence of resistance to polymyxins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AAC.02176-18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6437486PMC
April 2019

The effectiveness of bismuth breast shielding with protocol optimization in CT Thorax examination.

J Xray Sci Technol 2019 ;27(1):139-147

Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Johor Baru, Malaysia.

Background: Numerous techniques had been proposed to reduce radiation exposure in computed tomography (CT) including the use of radiation shielding.

Objective: This study aims to evaluate efficacy of using a bismuth breast shield and optimized scanning parameter to reduce breast absorbed doses from CT thorax examination.

Methods: Five protocols comprising the standard CT thorax clinical protocol (CP1) and four modified protocols (CP2 to CP5) were applied in anthropomorphic phantom scans. The phantom was configured as a female by placing a breast component on the chest. The breast component was divided into four quadrants, where 2 thermoluminescence dosimeters (TLD-100) were inserted into each quadrant to measure the absorbed dose. The bismuth shield was placed over the breast component during CP4 and CP5 scans.

Results: The pattern of absorbed doses in each breast and quadrant were approximately the same for all protocols, where the 4th quadrant > 3rd quadrant > 2nd quadrant > 1st quadrant. The mean absorbed dose value in CP3 was reduced to almost 34% of CP1's mean absorbed dose. It was reduced even lower to 15% of CP1's mean absorbed dose when the breast shield was used in CP5.

Conclusion: This study showed that CT radiation exposure on the breast could be reduced by using a bismuth shield and low tube potential protocol without compromising the image quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/XST-180397DOI Listing
July 2020

High voltage-gain full-bridge cascaded dc-dc converter for photovoltaic application.

PLoS One 2018 30;13(11):e0206691. Epub 2018 Nov 30.

UM Power Energy Dedicated Advanced Centre (UMPEDAC), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Over the past few years, high step-up dc-dc converters have been drawn substantial attention because of their wide-ranging application not only in the renewable energy sector but also in many other applications. To acquire a high voltage gain in photovoltaic (PV) and other renewable energy applications, a high step-up dc-dc converter is proposed in this paper. The proposed converter structure consists of a full-bridge (FB) module along with an input boost inductor and a voltage multiplier based on the Cockcroft-Walton (CW) principle with a parallel inductor. The key features of the proposed converter are: 1) high voltage gain with lower voltage stress on the switches, diodes and other passive elements without affecting the number of cascaded stages, 2) a minimum size of boost inductance and cascaded stage capacitance that ensures its compactness and low cost, and 3) a minimal number of major components. Circuit operation, steady-state analysis and various design parameters of the proposed converter are explained in details. In order to prove the performance of the theoretical analysis, a laboratory prototype is also implemented. The peak voltage gain and the maximum efficiency obtained are 11.9 and 94.6% respectively with very low input current ripple and output voltage ripple generated.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0206691PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6267966PMC
April 2019

Recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) in refractory haemorrhage for non-haemophiliacs: an eleven-year single-centre experience.

BMC Hematol 2018 23;18:34. Epub 2018 Nov 23.

1Regenerative Medicine Cluster, Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 13200 Kepala Batas, PNG Malaysia.

Background: Massive bleeding is one of the commonest salvageable causes of death. The search for an ideal haemostatic agent during massive bleeding is still ongoing. One of the novel haemostatic medications is recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa). To date, the usage of rFVIIa during massive haemorrhage among non-haemophiliac patients remains off-label. The aim of this study is to report our experience in using rFVIIa to treat refractory bleeding.

Methods: Medical records of all patients treated with rFVIIa for massive bleeding over an eleven-year period in a single institution were recorded. Treatment indications, 24-h and 30-day mortality, changes in transfusion needs and coagulation profiles after rFVIIa administration were analysed.

Results: rFVIIa were administered in 76 patients. Of these, 41 (53.9%) were non-surgical bleeding, followed by 22 patients (28.9%) with trauma, other surgery bleedings in 9 patients (11.8%) and 4 patients (5.4%) with peripartum haemorrhage. Total survival rate was 78.9% within 24 h and 44.7% over 30 days. Among all these patients who had received rFVIIa due to life-threatening haemorrhage, blood and blood product requirements were significantly reduced ( < 0.001), and the coagulation profiles improved significantly ( < 0.05). Two patients with preexisting thromboembolism were given rFVIIa due to intractable bleeding, both survived. No thromboembolic events were reported after the administration of rFVIIa.

Conclusions: rFVIIa significantly improved coagulation parameters and reduced blood product requirements during refractory haemorrhage. Additionally, usage of rFVIIa in trauma and peripartum haemorrhage patients yield better outcomes than other groups of patients. However, the overall mortality rate remained high.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12878-018-0126-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6251212PMC
November 2018

Feasibility of Patient Navigation to Improve Breast Cancer Care in Malaysia.

J Glob Oncol 2018 11;4:1-13

Zi-Yi Yeoh, Maheswari Jaganathan, Nadia Rajaram, Sakthi Maniam, and Soo-Hwang Teo, Cancer Research Malaysia; Sudha Rawat, Nurul Ain Tajudeen, Norlia Rahim, Nur Hidayati Zainal, Ushananthiny Suvelayutnan, Rahani Yaacob, Vijayalakshmi Krishnapillai, Meor Zamari Meor Kamal, and Mohamed Yusof Abdul Wahab, Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, Selangor; and Soo-Hwang Teo, University Malaya Cancer Research Institute, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Purpose: Late stage at presentation and poor adherence to treatment remain major contributors to poor survival in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Patient navigation (PN) programs in the United States have led to improvement in diagnostic or treatment timeliness, particularly for women in lower socioeconomic classes or minority groups. To date, studies of PN in Asia have been limited. We aimed to assess the feasibility of PN in a state-run hospital in an LMIC and to report the impact on diagnostic and treatment timeliness for patients in its first year of implementation.

Methods: We established PN in a dedicated breast clinic of a Malaysian state-run hospital. We compared diagnostic and treatment timeliness between navigated patients (n = 135) and patients diagnosed in the prior year (n = 148), and described factors associated with timeliness.

Results: Women with PN received timely mammography compared with patients in the prior year (96.4% v 74.4%; P < .001), biopsy (92.5% v 76.1%; P = .003), and communication of news (80.0% v 58.5%; P < .001). PN reduced treatment default rates (4.4% v 11.5%; P = .048). Among navigated patients, late stage at presentation was independently associated with having emotional and language barriers ( P = .01). Finally, the main reason reported for delay, default, or refusal of treatment was the preference for alternative therapy.

Conclusion: PN is feasible for addressing barriers to cancer care when integrated with a state-run breast clinic of an LMIC. Its implementation resulted in improved diagnostic timeliness and reduced treatment default. Wider adoption of PN could be a key element of cancer control in LMICs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JGO.17.00229DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7010457PMC
November 2018

High performance liquid chromatographic method validation for determination of rosuvastatin calcium in tablet dosage forms.

Pak J Pharm Sci 2018 Jul;31(4(Supplementary)):1577-1582

Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, Federal Urdu University for Arts, Science and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan.

A precise, sensitive and quick High Performance Liquid Chromatographic (HPLC) method for the determination of rosuvastatin calcium in bulk and tablet dosage forms has been validated. The chromatographic scheme involved: Sil-20A auto sampler, LC-20A pump, SPD-20A UV/visible detector with separation attained by C column at 40ºC temperature through a mobile phase of acetonitrile and buffer (50:50) at a flow rate of 1.0ml/min. The method is precise (%RSD for intra-day and inter-day extended between 1.06-1.54% and 0.103-1.78%) and linear (r=0.9997). Limit of detection and quantification (LOD & LOQ) of the adopted method were 0.78 and 1.56μg/ml. The proposed HPLC method was established to be sensitive, precise and swift that can be proficiently adopted in quality control/quality assurance laboratories for predictable investigation of the bulk and oral solid dosage forms of rosuvastatin calcium.
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July 2018

A Midgut Digestive Phospholipase A in Larval Mosquitoes, and .

Enzyme Res 2018 15;2018:9703413. Epub 2018 May 15.

United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Biological Control of Insects Research Laboratory, 1503 S. Providence Road, Columbia, MO 65203, USA.

Phospholipase A (PLA) is a secretory digestive enzyme that hydrolyzes ester bond at position of dietary phospholipids, creating free fatty acid and lysophospholipid. The free fatty acids (arachidonic acid) are absorbed into midgut cells. and digestive PLA was characterized using a microplate PLA assay. The enzyme showed substantial activities at 6 and 8 g/l of protein concentration with optimal activity at 20 and 25 g/l of substrate concentration in and , respectively. PLA activity from both mosquitoes increased in a linear function up to 1 hour of the reaction time. Both enzymes were sensitive to pH and temperature. PLA showed higher enzyme activities in pH 8.0 and pH 9.0 from and , respectively, at 40°C of incubation. The PLA activity decreased in the presence of 5 mM and 0.5 mM site specific PLA inhibitor, oleyloxyethylphosphorylcholine. Based on the migration pattern of the partially purified PLA on SDS-PAGE, the protein mass of PLA is approximately 20-25 kDa for both mosquitoes. The information on PLA properties derived from this study may facilitate in devising mosquitoes control strategies especially in the development of inhibitors targeting the enzyme active site.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2018/9703413DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5976925PMC
May 2018

Chronic Medical Conditions and Peripartum Mental Illness: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Am J Epidemiol 2018 09;187(9):2060-2068

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine the association between maternal chronic medical conditions (CMCs) and peripartum mental illness. MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, and PsycINFO were searched to September 2017. Data were extracted and quality was assessed using standardized instruments. We generated unadjusted and adjusted pooled odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals using DerSimonian and Laird random effects models. The review included 16 papers representing 12 studies and 1,626,260 women. CMCs overall were associated with peripartum mental illness overall (adjusted pooled odds ratios (aPOR) = 1.43, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.25, 1.63). CMCs overall were associated with antepartum (aPOR = 1.41, 95% CI: 1.10, 1.81) and postpartum mental illness separately (aPOR = 1.44, 95% CI: 1.13, 1.85) and with peripartum depression (aPOR = 1.45, 95% CI: 1.25, 1.67) and anxiety separately (aPOR = 1.63, 95% CI: 1.35, 1.95). No studies examined bipolar or psychotic disorders. Diabetes (aPOR = 1.34, 95% CI: 1.07, 1.69), hypertension/heart disease (aPOR = 1.60, 95% CI: 1.05, 2.45), migraine (aPOR = 1.75, 95% CI: 1.20, 2.54), and other neurological disorders (aPOR = 1.45, 95% CI: 1.19, 1.77), but not asthma, were each associated with peripartum mental illness. Findings suggest that mental health resources should be integrated in medical settings where pregnant and postpartum women with CMCs are treated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwy080DOI Listing
September 2018

Serological evidence of high Leptospira exposure among indigenous people (Orang Asli) in Peninsular Malaysia using a recombinant antigen-based ELISA.

Trop Biomed 2018 Mar;35(1):1-9

Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC), University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The lifestyles of the indigenous people (Orang Asli) of Peninsular Malaysia who traditionally live close to the forest, put them at higher risk of exposure to zoonotic diseases. Leptospirosis has recently emerged as one of the most important diseases of public health concern. Here, we aimed to obtain a baseline data on the level of Leptospira exposure among the 107 Orang Asli volunteers using a recombinant antigen-based ELISA, previously shown to have sensitivity of ~90.0% in comparison to the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Among the Orang Asli volunteers in this study, 60.7% had IgM against Leptospira and 57.9% were antiLeptospira IgG positive. Of these seropositive individuals, 29.9% had both anti-Leptospira IgM and IgG antibodies. Age was found to be a significant predictor for exposure to Leptospira (P < 0.05) with the younger Orang Asli population more likely to be tested positive for antiLeptospira IgM. The finding of high Leptospira exposure among the Orang Asli volunteers could be due to their socio-economic practices and dependency on the forest for their livelihood. The rapid and sensitive recombinant antigen-based ELISA used in the study, could possibly complement MAT for the epidemiological surveillance of leptospirosis, especially among the underserved populations.
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March 2018