Age has been suggested to modify systemic lupus erythematosus expression. In this study we have attempted to study 13 patients with late onset (40 years and above) and 90 with early onset disease (below 40 years) to determine whether age-related differences in disease expression exist and whether the genetic make-up influences the age of disease onset. We found that patients with late onset disease initially presented with pericarditis (31% vs 3%, P<0.005) and a lower incidence of malar rash (31% vs 57%, p<0.05). During the disease course, there was a lower incidence of mucocutaneous symptoms especially malar rash (p<0.005) and psychosis (p<0.05) in the late onset group. Serological parameters were similar in both groups. There was a prevalence of HLA-DQA1*0103 in Chinese patients with late onset disease (pcorr=0.004). These findings suggest that a subgroup of late onset patients may experience milder disease and that the risk conferred by the HLA-DQA1*0103 may be significant among these patients.
The biochemical events associated with the onset of lipid accumulation in Mucor circinelloides and Mortierella alpina, under conditions of nitrogen-limited growth, have been elucidated; they differ in key aspects from those described in oleaginous yeasts. The NAD+:isocitrate dehydrogenases of Mc. circinelloides and Mort. alpina were not absolutely dependent on AMP for activity. Furthermore, changes in the cellular adenine nucleotide pools and energy charge were different from those reported for oleaginous yeasts. In Mc. circinelloides ATP, ADP and AMP concentrations all decreased by 50% after nitrogen limitation, leading to a constant energy charge at the expense of the size of the total adenylate pool. Pyruvate carboxylase in Mc. circinelloides was cytosolic, having implications for the organization of lipid synthesis in filamentous fungi. As a result of the data obtained, a revised and more concerted mechanism for the initiation of storage lipid accumulation is put forward for filamentous fungi.
Eosinophilia is occasionally a feature of rheumatic disease. The differential diagnosis of eosinophilia includes parasitic infection, systemic vasculitides, eosinophilic arthritis, and myopathies, together with the idiopathic hypereosinophilic syndrome and malignancy. Careful evaluation of the patient should enable an accurate diagnosis to be made. Parasitic infection is the commonest cause of eosinophilia worldwide and can cause systemic disease, as illustrated by the report of Sarcocystis myositis in a group of military personnel in Malaysia. A persistent arthropathy associated with eosinophilia, but not with parasitic infection, has been reported from the far East. Drugs may also cause eosinophilia, and there has recently been much discussion of the relation between Churg-Strauss syndrome and the leukotriene antagonist zafirlukast. The present view is that reduction of steroid dose allows unmasking of previously undiagnosed Churg-Strauss syndrome. The idiopathic hypereosinophilic syndrome may represent a lymphoproliferative process; evidence for this comes from the demonstration that many patients have a clonally expanded population of aberrant T cells.
The association between HLA-B27 and the spondyloarthropathies (SpAs) is so strong that it is supposed that the HLA-B27 molecule plays a pathogenetic role. In whites and Indonesians, the frequency of HLA-B27 is about 10%; in Chinese it is about 8%; and in Japanese it is only about 1%. The prevalence of SpA in the Chinese is at least 0.2%, but in native Indonesians, Philippinos, and Malaysians, SpA is rarely seen. Twenty-three subtypes (B*2701-B*2723) have been distinguished. These subtypes are not equally distributed over the world. In most countries the distribution of the subtypes among HLA-B27 SpA patients is the same as that among the normal HLA-B27-positive population. In China, the subtype B*2704 is frequent and the prevalence of SpA is high. Native Indonesians, however, mostly have subtype B*2706, and SpA is rarely seen in this population. It was shown that B*2706, probably like B*2709 in Sardinia, is not associated with SpA. The difference between the SpA-associated and non-SpA-associated subtypes is limited to only two amino acid residues (114 and 116) at the bottom of the peptide-binding groove of HLA-B27. This small difference between health and disease rewards studies for different peptide-binding capacities and may help us characterize the peptides that are involved in the pathogenesis of SpA. The differences in disease associations in these countries also have clinical implications. In Southeast Asia, HLA-B27 typing without subtyping has less clinical usefulness than in parts of the world where B*2706 is rarely seen. When native Indonesians, Malaysians, or Philippinos are suspected of having ankylosing spondylitis or a related SpA, it is worth asking if they had white or Chinese ancestors. If native HLA-B27-positive Indonesians (with subtypes other than B*2706) develop SpA, the clinical features are not different from those in other parts of the world. In the Chinese population on the mainland and in Taiwan, juvenile SpA is frequently seen. The onset is often a peripheral arthritis or enthesitis.
MeSH terms: Far East/epidemiology; Humans; Joint Diseases/ethnology*; Joint Diseases/genetics; Spinal Diseases/ethnology*; Spinal Diseases/genetics; HLA-B27 Antigen/genetics; Prevalence; Asian Continental Ancestry Group/genetics
Two halogenated C15 acetogenins, named lembyne-A and lembyne-B, have been isolated from an unrecorded Laurencia species collected off the Malaysian waters. Their structures were deduced on the basis of spectroscopic evidence. Previously known elatol and iso-obtusol showed potent antibacterial activity against some marine bacteria.
Complete sequences were obtained for the coding portions of the mitochondrial (mt) genomes of Schistosoma mansoni (NMRI strain, Puerto Rico; 14 415 bp), S. japonicum (Anhui strain, China; 14 085 bp) and S. mekongi (Khong Island, Laos; 14 072 bp). Each comprises 36 genes: 12 protein-encoding genes (cox1-3, nad1-6, nad4L, atp6 and cob); two ribosomal RNAs, rrnL (large subunit rRNA or 16S) and rrnS (small subunit rRNA or 12S); as well as 22 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes. The atp8 gene is absent. A large segment (9.6 kb) of the coding region (comprising 14 tRNAs, eight complete and two incomplete protein-encoding genes) for S. malayensis (Baling, Malaysian Peninsula) was also obtained. Each genome also possesses a long non-coding region that is divided into two parts (a small and a large non-coding region, the latter not fully sequenced in any species) by one or more tRNAs. The protein-encoding genes are similar in size, composition and codon usage in all species except for cox1 in S. mansoni (609 aa) and cox2 in S. mekongi (219 aa), both of which are longer than homologues in other species. An unexpected finding in all the Schistosoma species was the presence of a leucine zipper motif in the nad4L gene. The gene order in S. mansoni is strikingly different from that seen in the S. japonicum group and other flatworms. There is a high level of identity (87-94% at both the nucleotide and amino acid levels) for all protein-encoding genes of S. mekongi and S. malayensis. The identity between genes of these two species and those of S. japonicum is less (56-83% for amino acids and 73-79% for nucleotides). The identity between the genes of S. mansoni and the Asian schistosomes is far less (33-66% for amino acids and 54-68% for nucleotides), an observation consistent with the known phylogenetic distance between S. mansoni and the other species.
Objective: The frequency of the HLA class II antigens (HLA DR, DQ and DP) were determined among Malay patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) to ascertain the role they play in disease susceptibility. Study design: Fifty-six Malay SLE patients on follow-up at the SLE Clinic of the National University of Malaysia Hospital, Kuala Lumpur were enrolled into the study. Controls were taken from healthy unrelated individuals, ethnically-matched. Materials and Methods: Five ml of anticoagulated blood was taken from each patient and control and DNA extracted. The HLADR, DQ and DP antigen/allele frequencies were determined by the technique of modified PCR-RFLP and statistical analysis done by Chi-square and Fischers exact test. Relative risk was determined by the odds ratio and significant p values were corrected for the number of antigens/alleles tested. Results: We found that the DR2 antigen was significantly increased among the patients (85.7%) as compared to controls (61%)(p corr=0.03, RR=3.83). As for HLA-DQA1, the allele most commonly found among the patients was *0102 (57 vs 49.2%). HLA-DQA1* 0601 was slightly decreased among the patients but this finding was insignificant. Both HLA-DQB1*0501 and 0601 were found to be increased among the patients even after correction of multiple comparisons made (p=0.0036, RR=4.56 and p=0.0048, RR=6.0, respectively). However, HLA-DQB1*0503 and 0301 was slightly decreased in the sle patients though not statistically significant. The frequency of HLA-DQB1*0201 was insignificantly increased among the patients. Limited studies on the DPB1 locus shows the uncertain role of this antigen in contributing to disease susceptibility. However, our analysis of the HLA-DPB1*0901 showed a slight increase among the patients as compared to controls but failed to remain significant after being corrected with number of comparisons made. All other HLA-DPB1 alleles exhibited similar frequencies between sle patients and controls. Conclusion: From this study we suggest that HLA DR2, DQB1*0501 and *0601 may be important genetic factors in conferring disease susceptibility in the Malay SLE population of Malaysia.
Objective: SLE is an autoimmune disease which affects multiple organ system. Clinical and immunological expression of the disease have been widely studied and variations occur in different ethnic groups. Here in this study, we have analyzed the clinical manifestations and immunological features of Malaysian patients with Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and compared them with SLE population from some of the Asian countries. Study design: A total of 134 Malaysian patients attending the SLE Clinic of The National University Hospital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur and who satisfy the revised ACR (American College of Rheumatology) criteria for the classification of SLE were enrolled into the study. Data on the demography, clinical and immunological features were obtained from medical records. Materials and Methods: The female to male ratio in the study cohort was 10:1 and consisted of the Malay, Chinese and Indian races. Past clinical and immunological features were entered into a prepared questionnaire. At study entry patients were seen by a rheumatologist for assessment of present clinical condition and blood obtained for immunological tests (Antinuclear, antids DNA, antiSm, antiU1RNP, antiSSA(Ro), antiSSB(La), anticardiolipin (IgG and IgM) antibodies and complements C3 and C4). Chi-square, Fisher's exact test and Mann Whitney U Test were used to analyze data. Results: Clinical features expressed at disease presentation in order of frequency was mucocutaneous (72%), followed by musculoskeletal (58%) and renal involvement (45%) which was also similar during the course of the disease (90%, 72% and 64% respectively). A high prevalence of antiSSB (La) antibodies was found (48%). Conclusion: This study provides the literature on the clinical and immunological features of Malaysian SLE patients and further shows the different spectrum of disease profile when compared to other ethnic groups. The roles of racial and genetic factors are suggested.
The concept of primary health care (PHC) according to WHO has been implemented in Malaysia since 1978. The rural health centres which provide the primary health care have developed from about 47 in 1970 to about 772 in 1998. Since the implementation of the health centres there has been significant reduction in morbidity and mortality rates. However due to the emerging issues like changing demographic 'patterns, changing pattern of disease, and increasing demand from the public, the delivery of PHC is being reviewed. Newer programmes and review of the older programmes are being done to address the provision of PHC in the 21st century. The functions and roles of the existing staff in the health centres are being reviewed. This new concept is known as expanded scope of primary health care. The purpose of this paper is to explain the achievements in primary health care and the components of primary health care in the expanded scope.
MeSH terms: Malaysia; Primary Health Care; Rural Health
From August 1999 to January 2001, twelve chemotherapy naive patients with locally advanced and metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in our hospital received vinorelbine and cisplatin. Ten patients had stage IV disease while two had stage HI disease. Patients' performance status (PS) were as follows: four had PS 1, six had PS 2, and one each PS 3 and 4. A total of 46 cycles were given as scheduled. Only major haematological toxicities were noted; one patient each with Grade 3 anaemia, Grade 3 and Grade 4 leucopenia, two had Grade 3 neutropenia and 5 had Grade 4 neutropenia without associated mortality. Three patients had Grade 3 alopecia and one had Grade 3 phlebitis. After three cycles, three patients demonstrated partial response and two had stable disease. For the four patients who completed 6 cycles, two demonstrated stable disease and two partial response. Symptom improvement was reported in all but one patient. Performance status was better in four, stable in six but declined in two patients. In conclusion, in patients with locally advanced and metastatic NSCLC, vinorelbine/cisplatin is a well-tolerated and active regimen, offering symptom palliation and improved performance status in a significant proportion of patients. KEYWORDS; Vinorelbine, lung cancer, chemotherapy.
Nine local plant species were picked randomly and their aqueous extracts have been screened to know their effects on the phagocytic capability and intracellular killing of StapllylococclIs al/rellS bacteria by mouse peritoneal macrophages. Macrophage cultures were incubated with different concentration of each plant extracts forI hour. Among these aqueous extracts, Ageratum conyzoides and Malastoma melabathricum inhibited the phagocytic capability and intracellular killing of Stapllylococclls aureus compared with controls. Elicited (activated) cells have more phagocytic capability and intracellular killing than the resident (normal) macrophages. There were no differences in the viability of cells between treated cells (with extracts) and controls (without extracts). KEYWORDS: Aqueous plant extracts, murine macrophage, phagocytosis.
We describe a rare encounte.r with a 6-year old Indian boy admitted with acute epiglottitis due to Haemophilus influenzae. Acute epiglottitis is an uncommon cause of lifethreatening upper airway obstruction and a rare presentation of invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease in this region, compared to Ihe more developed West. The cause for this observation is often attributed to differences in the genetic predisposition and socio-economk parameters. The organism subtype and the host response have been shown to determine the type of invasive Hib disease. However, the evidence to explain this difference is poorly understood and remains an intriguing enigma. KEYWORDS: Epiglottitis, Haemophilus influenzae
MeSH terms: Airway Obstruction; Haemophilus; Haemophilus influenzae; Malaysia; Observation; Haemophilus influenzae type b
Improving upon the quality of teaching by teaching staff at all educational institutions is oil very significant objective. Eva luation of teaching performed by individuals at such institutions would be instrumental in assessing the quality of such teaching and a tool towards its improvement. In this article, one scheme for teaching evaluation by students and another by peers are proposed and discussed. Assessment by students may provide contrasting results to those obtained from peers. For a "just and fair'" overalJ assessment of one's teaching., it is recommended that students' evaluation would be combined with those of peers. Results of such an evaluation of teaching should be perceived as being valuable in providing feedback to the teacher and can be utilized for many purposes by academicians and administrators. KEYlVORDS: Academia, classroom teaching., evaluation by peers, evaluation by students, proposed schemes.