METHODS: Two newly colonised colonies of Ae. albopictus from the wild were used for the study. One colony was naturally infected with Wolbachia while in the other Wolbachia was removed by tetracycline treatment. Both colonies were orally infected with dengue virus-infected fresh blood meal. Dengue virus load was measured using quantitative RT-PCR at four-time intervals in the salivary glands, midguts and ovaries.
RESULTS: Wolbachia did not significantly affect Malaysian Ae. albopictus dengue infection or the dissemination rate for all four dengue virus serotypes. Malaysian Ae. albopictus had the highest replication kinetics for DENV-1 and the highest salivary gland and midgut infection rate for DENV-4.
CONCLUSION: Wolbachia, which naturally exists in Malaysian Ae. albopictus, does not significantly affect dengue virus replication. Malaysian Ae. albopictus is susceptible to dengue virus infections and capable of transmitting dengue virus, especially DENV-1 and DENV-4. Removal of Wolbachia from Malaysian Ae. albopictus would not reduce their susceptibility status.
METHODS: A sandwich ELISA using B. malayi soluble antigen was employed to detect antifilarial IgG4 antibodies in serum samples of 330 individuals who comprised 88 healthy individuals from nonendemic areas, 15 B. malayi microfilaraemic cases, 22 individuals with soil-transmitted helminthiases, 9 elephantiasis cases and 196 residents from a B. malayi-endemic area. An O.D. value of > 0.420 at serum dilution of 1:400 was used as the cut-off point. This cut-off point was obtained by taking the mean optical density (0.252 + 4 S.E.) of 36 negative sera which had O.D. values greater than 0.1 at serum dilution of 1:400.
RESULTS: All 15 microfilaraemic persons were positive for antifilarial IgG4 antibody. Non-endemic normals, soil-transmitted helminth infected persons and chronic elephantiasis cases were negative for antifilarial IgG4 antibody. Of the 196 individuals from the filaria endemic area, 37 (18.8%) demonstrated presence of antifilarial IgG4 antibodies; and only eight individuals (4.1%) were positive for microfilariae. All eight microfilaraemic individuals were also positive for antifilarial IgG4 antibodies.
CONCLUSION: Antifilarial IgG4-ELISA could detect 4.6 times more positive cases than the microfilaria detection method. With appropriate cut-off values that eliminate cross-reactivities, this serological tool is very useful for Brugia malayi prevalence surveys and diagnosis.
METHODS: From October 2012 to May 2013, prisoners housed in two distinct units (HIV-negative and HIV-positive) were approached to participate in the TB screening study. Consenting prisoners submitted two sputum samples that were examined using GeneXpert MTB/RIF, smear microscopy and liquid culture. Socio-demographic and clinical information was collected and correlates of active TB, defined as having either a positive GeneXpert MTB/RIF or culture results, were assessed using regression analyses.
RESULTS: Among the total of 559 prisoners, 442 (79.1%) had complete data; 28.7% were HIV-infected, 80.8% were men and the average age was 36.4 (SD 9.8) years. Overall, 34 (7.7%) had previously undiagnosed active TB, of whom 64.7% were unable to complete their TB treatment in prison due to insufficient time (<6 months) remaining in prison. Previously undiagnosed active TB was independently associated with older age groups (AOR 11.44 and 6.06 for age ≥ 50 and age 40-49 years, respectively) and with higher levels of immunosuppression (CD4 < 200 cells/ml) in HIV-infected prisoners (AOR 3.07, 95% CI 1.03-9.17).
CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of previously undiagnosed active TB in this prison highlights the inadequate performance of internationally recommended case-finding strategies and suggests that passive case-finding policies should be abandoned, especially in prison settings where HIV infection is prevalent. Moreover, partnerships between criminal justice and public health treatment systems are crucial to continue TB treatment after release.
METHODS: SfSAG2 and SfSAG3 genes were isolated from S. falcatula and expressed in Escherichia coli expression system. A total of 348 serum samples [volunteers from both islands (n = 100), non-Sarcocystis parasitic infections patients (n = 50) and healthy donors (n = 100)] were collected and tested with purified SfSAGs in Western blot and ELISA assays to measure the seroprevalence of human sarcocystosis.
RESULTS: None of the sera in this study reacted with rSfSAG2 by Western blot and ELISA. For rSfSAG3, relatively high prevalence of sarcocystosis was observed in Tioman Island (75.5%) than in Pangkor Island (34%) by Western blot. In ELISA, the different prevalence rate was observed between Tioman Island (43.8%) and Pangkor Island (37%). The prevalence rate in other parasitic infections (amoebiasis, cysticercosis, filariasis, malaria, toxocariasis and toxoplasmosis) was 30% by Western blot and 26% by ELISA. Only 8% (by Western blot) and 10% (by ELISA) of healthy donors showed reactivity towards rSfSAG3.
CONCLUSION: This is the first study reporting a seroprevalence of sarcocystosis in Pangkor and Tioman Islands, Malaysia. The combination of Western blot and ELISA is suitable to be used for serodiagnosis of sarcocystosis. With further evaluations, SfSAG3 can potentially be used to confirm infection, asymptomatic screening, surveillance and epidemiological studies.
METHODS: Cross-sectional study of 231 market workers and food handlers in wet markets and food premises from two localities in central Malaysia. Respondents' background information was obtained using a questionnaire. Serum samples were tested for leptospiral antibodies using ELISA and microscopic agglutination test (MAT).
RESULTS: Seroprevalence of leptospirosis among healthy workers was 46.3%. Detection of seropositivity was higher by MAT (46%) than ELISA (15%). We observed high seropositivity among local workers (49%), food handlers (49.5%), females (60.8%) and those aged 34 years and older (46.3%). Local strain LEP175 was the predominant serovar, followed by WHO strain Patoc.
CONCLUSION: Overall seroprevalence among healthy food handlers and market workers was high in this study. The workplace places susceptible individuals at risk of leptospirosis.
METHODS: The incidence, health service utilisation and household expenditure related to rotavirus gastroenteritis according to national income quintiles were obtained from local data sources. Multiple birth cohorts were distributed into income quintiles and followed from birth over the first five years of life in a multicohort, static model.
RESULTS: We found that the rich pay more out of pocket (OOP) than the poor, as the rich use more expensive private care. OOP payments among the poorest although small are high as a proportion of household income. Rotavirus vaccination results in substantial reduction in rotavirus episodes and expenditure and provides financial risk protection to all income groups. Poverty reduction benefits are concentrated amongst the poorest two income quintiles.
CONCLUSION: We propose that universal vaccination complements health financing reforms in strengthening Universal Health Coverage (UHC). ECEA provides an important tool to understand the implications of vaccination for UHC, beyond traditional considerations of economic efficiency.
METHODS: A total of 370 agricultural biotechnology students from Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin in Besut, Terengganu, were enrolled in this study. Antimicrobial susceptibility profiles were evaluated by standard methods. PCR detection of resistance and virulence genes was performed on S. aureus that were methicillin-resistant, macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B (MLSB )-positive phenotype and/or positive for the leukocidin (pvl) gene followed by staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec), staphylococcal protein A (spa) and accessory gene regulator (agr) typing.
RESULTS: One hundred and nineteen of 370 students carried S. aureus (32%); 18 of the isolates were MRSA (15%). Erythromycin resistance was detected in 20% (24/119) of which 15% (18/119) were MRSA and 5% (6/119) MSSA. Among the 24 erythromycin-resistant isolates, D-test was positive in 29% (7/24) displaying inducible MLSB , whereas the remaining 71% (17/24) showed constitutive MLSB phenotypes. Nine (7.6%) of 119 isolates were pvl positive: 44% MRSA (4/9) and 56% MSSA (5/9). Staphylococcal surface protein sasX gene was present in 92% of MRSA and 8% of MSSA isolates. The majority of MRSA isolates were agr type I (15/18; 83%). Five spa types identified with spa t037 were predominant, followed by spa types (t304 and t8696) as newly reported Malaysian MRSA in a community setting.
CONCLUSION: The presence of MRSA with SCCmec of hospital-associated features and globally recognised spa types in community setting is worrisome. Furthermore, the presence of MLSB strains among multidrug-resistant (MDR) S. aureus with sasX as well as pvl-positive isolates highlights the potential risk of a community setting in facilitating the dissemination of both virulence and resistance determinants.
METHODS: In a community-based study, faecal samples were collected from 605 participants and examined by wet mount, formalin-ether sedimentation, trichrome staining and nested multiplex PCR techniques. Demographic, socio-economic and environmental information was collected using a pre-tested questionnaire.
RESULTS: Overall, 324 (53.6%) of the samples were positive for Entamoeba cysts and/or trophozoites by microscopic examination. Molecular analysis revealed that 20.2%, 15.7% and 18.2% of the samples were positive for E. histolytica, E. dispar and E. moshkovskii, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed different sets of species-specific risk factors among these communities. Educational level was identified as the significant risk factor for E. histolytica; age and gender were the significant risk factors for E. moshkovskii; and sources of drinking water and consumption of unwashed vegetables were the significant risk factors for E. dispar. Moreover, living in coastal/foothill areas and presence of other infected family members were risk factors for both E. histolytica and E. moshkovskii infections.
CONCLUSION: The study reveals that Entamoeba spp. infection is highly prevalent among rural communities in Yemen, with E. histolytica, E. dispar and E. moshkovskii differentiated for the first time. Identifying and treating infected family members, providing health education pertinent to good personal and food hygiene practices and providing clean drinking water should be considered in developing a strategy to control intestinal parasitic infections in these communities, particularly in the coastal/foothill areas of the country.