1. Density of nests, population number, biomass, nitrogen and carbon content, calorific content and respiration rate of termites were studied at Pasoh Forest, West Malaysia mainly with four dominant species of epigeous nest builders, Macrotermes carbonarius, Dicuspiditermes nemorosus type-a, type-b and Homallotermes foraminifer, to reveal their role in the ecosystem. 2. The density of nests or mounds was 15-41/ha in M. carbonarius, 60-110/ha in the two types of D. nemorosus and 85-165/ha in H. foraminifer. 3. The population number per nest or mound was about 88,000 in M. carbonarius, 45,000 in D. nemorosus type-a, 47,000 in D. nemorosus type-b and 13,000 in H. foraminifer. The population number per hectare was about 1.8x10(6) for M. carbonarius, 4.3x10(6) for D. nemorosus type-a, 5.2x10(6) for D. nemorosus type-b and 2.1x10(6) for H. foraminifer. 4. The ratio in number of workers to soldiers was 6.4 for M. carbonarius, 19.0 for D. nemorosus type-a, 23.1 for D. nemorosus type-b and 8.9 for H. foraminifer. The ratio in number of adults (workers plus soldiers) to larvae was 1.4 for M. carbonarius, 0.59 for D. nemorosus type-a, 1.76 for D. nemorosus type-b and 3.84 for H. foraminifer. 5. The number of adults per nest of D. nemorosus type-a, type-b and H. foraminifer was linearly correlated with the weight of nest on the log-log coordinates. 6. The ratio of dry body weight to live weight was 0.24-0.30 for workers, 0.19-0.29 for soldiers and 0.15-0.22 for larvae. 7. The ash content of termite body was 26-66% for workers, 2-24% for soldiers and 1-4% for larvae. 8. The carbon content ranged from 45% to 66% of ash-free dry weight and the nitrogen content from 5.6% to 12.6%. 9. The mean calorific value of termite body was 5.3 gcal/mg in workers and soldiers on an ash-free weight basis, but was greater in nymphs and winged reproductives in the nest (6.7-6.9 gcal/mg) owing probably to their large fat storage. 10. The relation of CO2 evolution rate to temperature in these termites was similar to what has been found in other insects. 11. The total biomass of the four termite species was estimated at 6.01 kg ash-free dry weight/ha, equivalent to 0.55 kg nitrogen/ha and 3.09 kg carbon/ha. 12. The role of the fungi cultivated by M. carbonarius on their fungus combs was discussed in relation to the nutrition of termites and the decomposition of leaf-litter with special reference to their nitrogen metabolism. The high nitrogen content of fungus spherules growing on fungus combs seemed to have an important bearing on the nutrition of termites. 13. It was concluded that the termites played a very important role in the organic matter decomposition cycle of Pasoh Forest.
The Land and Sea Dayaks of Sarawak were surveyed for several erythrocyte enzymes. The gene frequency of 6PGDC in 132 Land Dayaks and 127 Sea Dayaks were 0.045 and 0.047, respectively. The gene frequency of PGM1-1 IN 285 Land Dayks and 240 Sea Dayaks were 0.716 and 0.779, respectively. The ADA2 gene frequency in 283 Land Dayaks and 188 Sea Dayaks were 0.154 and 0.090. ADA 5-1 was found once in the Land Dayaks and once in the Sea Dayaks. AK 2-1 was found once in 221 Sea Dayaks but not in any of 270 Land Dayaks. No PHI, LDH or CA variants were found among the Land or Sea Dayaks.
In vivo chloroquine resistance surveys, which allowed for detection of late recrudescing RI resistance, were conducted in three regions of Peninsular Malaysia, which were previously not recognized as having appreciable drug resistance. Among the 485 Plasmodium falciparum infections tested resistance rates ranged locally from 20% to 67% in those with parasitaemias over 1,000 per mm3, and 5% to 59% in all parasitaemias. The region found to have the most serious resistance was western Pahang. In one study a combination of chloroquine and pyrimethamine proved no more efficacious than chloroquine alone. Most of the resistance encountered was the late recrudescing RI type. There was no apparent correlation between drug resistance and Anopheles balabacensis as this species was not found despite intensive collections in two of the three main regions. There was no evidence of resistance among the 222 P. vivax and 35 P. malariae infections also tested.
MeSH terms: Child; Chloroquine/pharmacology*; Drug Evaluation; Drug Resistance, Microbial*; Drug Therapy, Combination; Humans; Malaysia; Plasmodium falciparum/drug effects*; Plasmodium malariae/drug effects; Plasmodium vivax/drug effects; Pyrimethamine/pharmacology*
Areca cattechu Linn is commonly known as areca nut or betel nut. It is a very widely cultivated plant in eastern countries like India, Bangladesh, Ceylon, Malaya, the Philippines and Japan. The importance of this nut is due to its use for chewing purposes. It had an important place as a pharmaceutical in Ayurveda--the ancient Indian system of medicine--also in the Chinese medicinal practices. The pharmaceutical importance of areca nut is due to the presence of an alkaloid, arecoline. Synthetic arecoline hydrobromide is also shown to possess numerous pharmacological properties. Chewing of "betel quid" or areca nut is a typical oriental habit. Betel quid comprises betel leaf, areca nut, catechu, lime and sometimes also tobacco. It is shown that there exists a correlationship between betel quid or areca nut chewing habit and oral cancer. A number of investigators have been able to produce cellular changes such as leukoplakia by application of betel quid or areca nut extract to the buccal mucosa of different animal.
Vibrio parahaemolyticus was isolated from 47 of 2,699 stools examined primarily for the exclusion of cholera. All strains grew well in alkaline peptone water containing 0.5% NaCl and in Monsur's medium. Serotyping showed them to be of various types. Adults were mainly affected. The importance of looking for V. parahaemolyticus in clinical specimens from cases of diarrhea is emphasized.
Children with heavy Trichuris infestation were compared with paediatric amoebic dysentery patients and normal children. Heavy Trichuris infestation was diagnosed by visualization of worms on anoscopy. Patients with heavy Trichuris infection had a longer duration of disease, more frequent hospitalization and a higher rate of rectal prolapse than did patients with amoebiasis. Five Trichuris children also had clubbing. Trichuris patients had lower mean haematrocrits (27%) and serum albumin (3-3 gm%) than did patients with amoebiasis (32% and 3-7 gm% respectively). Coinfection with Shigella and Salmonella was significantly increased in patients with heavy Trichuris infection compared to both amoebic and control group children. Trichuris patients were infected with Entamoeba histolytica more frequently (46%) than normal children. Heavy Trichuris infection is the probable cause of symptoms and signs seen in these patients.
Following the suggestion that it was possible that cases of melioidosis amongst those who had been exposed abroad in the past, might be escaping notice, 487 Royal Marines were examined by indirect haemagglutination studies. Four hundred and eleven of these subjects had served for variable times in areas where melioidosis has been known to occur in Indonesia and Malaya, between 1960 and 1974, occupied in activities in the jungle and paddy fields during which exposure to the disease was to be expected. No evidence of residual subclinical melioidosis was found and it seems unlikely that recrudescent disease will prove to be a problem in the future for English servicemen who have been in South East Asia.
MeSH terms: Antibodies, Bacterial/analysis*; Asia, Southeastern; Great Britain; Humans; Melioidosis/diagnosis; Military Medicine*; Pseudomonas/immunology*; Retrospective Studies
Wild, adult siamang were observed for over 800 h in lowland dipterocarp forest in the Krau Game Reserve, Pahang, West Malaysia. Siamang use four patterns of locomotion: brachiation, climbing, bipedalism and leaping. The pattern of locomotion used by the siamang varies with the size of arboreal supports and with major behavioral activity. Travel is primarily by brachiation along large boughs. Locomotion during feeding is primarily climbing among small branches. In feeding, siamang use suspensory postures among small supports and seated postures on large supports. Comparison of siamang locomotion and posture with that of other apes suggest that quadramanous climbing during feeding is the basic hominoid locomotor adaptation.
A settlement of Temiars, an aboriginal tribe residing in the north-eastern jungles of the Malay Peninsula, was selected for a study of their cardiorespiratory fitness. A step-test was used to elicit the Vo2max, V E max and HR max in a group of 19 boys aged 12 to 18 years and 6 men aged 19 - 40 years. The mean VO2max of the boys was found to be 45.9 +/- 6.9 ml-kg-1-min-1 compared with 45.6 +/- 5.4 ml-kg-1-min-1 for the men. The mean V E max, HR max and blood lactate levels were found to be 65.5 +/- 11.31/min and 69.2 +/- 23.71/min; 194 +/- 8 beats/min and 186 +/- 10 beats/min; and 79.8 +/- 13.4 mg% and 97.7 +/- 33.4 mg% respectively. These results are comparable to those obtained in urban populations as well as those found in other primitive communities. Telemetric monitoring of the routine daily physical activity of the men revealed that these jungle dwellers rarely tax their oxygen transport systems in their daily living and their cardiorespiratory functions were similar to communities who do not specifically train for physical fitness.
In a previous study, it was noted that "a strong desire to be held or cuddled correlated with a general leaning toward openness in emotional expression." As is well known, some cultures foster openness, while others do not. This project was designed to assess the influence of cultural attitudes on the wish to be held. To do so, questionnaires were given to five groups of Asian women living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The most striking differences found were between two groups of Chinese women, one Chinese-educated, and the other, English-educated. The Chinese-educated group inhibited the expression of sensual needs. An English education overturned the traditional mode of response; women in this group scored highest in their wish to be held and lowest in their inclination to keep their body-contact desires secret. This study demonstrates that cultural as well as psychological forces exert a profound influence on the wish to be held.
The possible role of pigs as arbovirus maintenance hosts and their importance as amplifier hosts was studied. Blood samples from 464 pigs of all ages collected in 1962 and 1964 were tested against 10 arboviruses. Antibodies to Japanese encephalitis and Getah viruses were particularly prevalent and their calculated monthly infection rates were 19-5% and 13-3% respectively. In 1969, 447 pigs were bled monthly throughout the year and the infection rates for Japanese encephalitis virus were calculated in pigs during the first year of life. Infection rates were not uniform throughout the year; the rate increases as the pig grew older and there was a marked seasonal increase in the infection rate in the period from November to January. This coincided with the seasonal major population peak of Culex tritaeniorhynchus following intense breeding of this mosquito prior to rice planting. It is suggested that, in Sarawak, the pig acts as a maintenance host of Japanese encephalitis in a cycle involving C. gelidus mosquitoes and also acts as an important amplifier host towards the end of the year in a cycle involving C. tritaeniorhynchus. It is further suggested that Getah virus is maintained in a similar cycle between C. tritaeniorhynchus and pigs.
A retrospective study of birthweights, the incidence, and possible aetiology of low birthweight in 31,490 Nigerian children, delivered in two hospitals at Ibadan, is reported. The important findings were: (a) mean birthweights for males (3,000 gm), and for females (2,880 gm) in a non-teaching hospital were significantly higher than 2,980 gm and 2,860 gm for males and females respectively in the teaching hospital; (b) the mean birthweights for boys were significantly higher than those for girls in both hospitals; (c) these mean birthweights, though generally higher than previous reports from Nigeria, were significantly lower than those for North American Caucasian and Negro babies, and of babies of three different racial groups in Malaysia. Other interesting, though expected findings were: (a) a high incidence of low birthweight (15.5 per cent) and (b) a high incidence of small for dates babies (60 per cent). It is suggested that since birthweights, the incidence of low birthweight and its aetiology are vital in the planning of health care in any country, a prospective study involving many urban and rural areas of the country and including factors known to influence birthweight should be undertaken.
Titres of melioidosis haemagglutinating antibodies of 1/40 or more were found in 18 of 905 British, Australian, and New Zealand soldiers serving in West Malaysia. Previous mild unsuspected melioidosis seemed to be responsible for these positive titres, which were more common in men exposed to surface water at work and during recreation. This accords with the current view that soil and surface water is the normal habitat of Pseudomonas pseudomallei, the causal organism. Pyrexia of unknown origin after arriving in Malaysia was significantly more common in men with titres of 1/40 or more than in the remainder. It is suggested that mild melioidosis may present as pyrexia of unknown origin. Pyrexias of unknown origin should be investigated vigorously in patients who are in or who have visited endemic areas.
A total of 764 adult dogs were examined for microfilariae and adult worms of D immitis and 197 (25-8 per cent) were found to be infected. Direct blood examinations revealed only 47-2 per cent of the infected dogs whereas the blood serum examination detected 57-8 per cent of them. These results showed that the absence of circulating microfilariae could not be relied upon to be an accurate indication of the absence of patent heartworm infection. The average number of heartworms per dog was 5-5 with a range of one to 50.
MeSH terms: Animals; Blood/parasitology; Dirofilariasis/epidemiology; Dirofilariasis/parasitology; Dog Diseases/epidemiology*; Dog Diseases/parasitology; Dogs; Malaysia