Mesohabitat selection in fluvial fishes was studied in a small tropical stream of the Malay Peninsula. A total of 681 individuals representing 24 species were sampled at 45 stations within heterogeneous stream (ca. 1 km in length), in which water depth, water velocity, substrate size, and riparian canopy cover were measured as environmental variables. A canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) yielded a diagram that shows a specific mesohabitat selection of the fish assemblage, in which the species were plotted widely on the CCA1-CCA2 biplot. Generalized linear model also revealed a significant pattern of the mesohabitat selection of several species. Water velocity and substrate size mainly separated on CCA1, indicating variation of pool (deep, slow-flow section) and riffle (shallow, fast-flow section) structures is a primary factor of mesohabitat selection in the fluvial fish assemblage. The mean body weight of species significantly correlated with CCA1; larger species tended to inhabit pools, while small ones occupied riffles. The riparian canopy cover separated on CCA2. The trophic level of species significantly correlated with CCA2; herbivorous species (low trophic level) selected open sites without riparian cover, whereas omnivorous/carnivorous (middle-high trophic level) species preferred highly covered sites. In conclusion, our results suggest that mesohabitat selection is closely related to the species feeding habit, which is consistent with the results of previous studies.
This article describes a case of leptospirosis in a man who returned from caving in Sarawak, Malaysia, and includes a discussion of epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. The patient presented with symptoms of leptospirosis, which was confirmed by microhemagglutination titers. He became infected despite taking doxycycline daily for malaria prophylaxis. Leptospirosis is an important consideration in any returned traveler with fever. The spirochete spreads from animals to humans via water. Caving in tropical endemic zones may increase exposure risk due to the combination of multiple skin abrasions with immersions. Water in caves may increase infection risk because of increased water pH. Standard prophylaxis may be inadequate in cases of high-risk exposures.
Urbanization and frequent storms play important roles in increasing faecal bacteria pollution, especially for tropical urban catchments. However, only little information on the faecal bacteria levels from different land use types and the factors that influence bacteria concentrations is available. Thus, the objectives of this study were to quantify the levels and transport mechanism of faecal coliforms (FCs) from residential and commercial catchments. Stormwaters were sampled and the runoff flow rates were measured from both catchments during four storm events in Skudai, Malaysia. The samples were then analysed for FC, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total suspended solids (TSS) and ammoniacal-nitrogen (NH3-N) concentrations. Intra-storm and inter-storm characteristics of FC bacteria were investigated in order to identify the level and transport pattern of FC. The commercial catchment showed significantly higher event mean concentration (EMC) of FC than the residential catchment. For the residential catchment, the highest bacterial concentrations occurred during the early part of stormwater runoff with peak concentrations usually preceding the peak flow. First flush effect was more prevalent at the residential catchment.
To date, little information is known about the operation of the enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) process in tropical climates. Along with the global concerns on nutrient pollution and the increasing array of local regulatory requirements, the applicability and compliance accountability of the EBPR process for sewage treatment in tropical climates is being evaluated. A sequencing batch reactor (SBR) inoculated with seed sludge from a conventional activated sludge (CAS) process was successfully acclimatized to EBPR conditions at 28 °C after 13 days' operation. Enrichment of Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis in the SBR was confirmed through fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The effects of operational pH and influent C:P ratio on EBPR were then investigated. At pH 7 or pH 8, phosphorus removal rates of the EBPR processes were relatively higher when operated at C:P ratio of 3 than C:P ratio of 10, with 0.019-0.020 and 0.011-0.012 g-P/g-MLVSS•day respectively. One-year operation of the 28 °C EBPR process at C:P ratio of 3 and pH 8 demonstrated stable phosphorus removal rate of 0.020 ± 0.003 g-P/g-MLVSS•day, corresponding to effluent with phosphorus concentration <0.5 mg/L. This study provides the first evidence on good EBPR activity at relatively high temperature, indicating its applicability in a tropical climate.
Municipal leachate was treated in an experimental unit of constructed wetlands of subsurface flow type. The parameters studied were organics (BOD and COD), solids and heavy metals (Zn, Ni, Cu, Cr and Pb). Using two types of emergent plants of Scirpus globulosus and Eriocaulon sexangulare, more than 80% removal was achieved for all the parameters. E. sexangulare removed organics and heavy metals better than Scirpus globulosus. A higher concentration of heavy metals in the influent did not change the removal efficiency.
Some of the many tools used for watershed management are mathematical and computer models for wasteload allocations. QUAL2E is one of the most popular water quality models used for such purposes. The question arises as to whether the model is applicable in a different climate such as that in the tropics. In this study, QUAL2E was used to model Sg. Selangor River in Malaysia using the predictive equations for reaeration coefficient (k2) within the model and the measured reaeration coefficients for the river. The study results indicated that use of the reaeration coefficient (k2) measured at Sg. Selangor River did give the lowest standard error (SE) for the simulation of water quality during the 7Q10 low-flow period which is considered as the worst scene scenario in water quality modeling. But during calibration and validation using actual low-flow discharge data, the measured reaeration coefficients did not give the lowest standard error (SE). In conclusion, the results indicated that QUAL2E is applicable in tropical rivers when used with the modeled river parameters (i.e. hydraulic parameters, meteorological conditions etc.). Measured reaeration coefficients produced good results and several predictive equations also produced comparatively good results.
A sludge lagoon has been adopted as a simple and cost effective method for dewatering of sludge. The processes occurring in a sludge lagoon include thickening, dewatering, storage and stabilization; all happening simultaneously. The objective of this study is to determine the dewatering and drying rates at pilot-scale which occur in a lagoon having different design configurations. Two types of sludge lagoons with different initial sludge depth (0.75 m and 0.375 m) were investigated to measure the drying behavior and drying efficiency. The first design is a sludge lagoon with a clay bottom where the dewatering mechanisms are decanting supernatant and evaporation. The second design is a sludge lagoon installed with a sand and underdrains system, where the dewatering mechanisms are filtration or draining and evaporation. Sludge drying kinetic models with high fitness were plotted to describe the sludge drying behavior. Drying of sludge in a sludge lagoon with a clay bottom can best be described by an exponential function. Whereas, drying of sludge in a sludge lagoon with sand and underdrains system followed a logarithmic function. A lagoon designed with sand and underdrains system and having shallower sludge depth was the most efficient. The reduction in volatile solids was lower than 4% during the study period. The drying process proceeded with an increase in dryness and decline in pH value.
Environmental monitoring was carried out at Upper Layang Reservoir situated in Masai, Johor, Malaysia. The study shows that thermal stratification and natural mixing of the water column do exist in the reservoir and the level of stratification varies at different times of the year. Artificial destratification via diffused air aeration techniques was employed at the reservoir for two months. The results show that thermal stratification was eliminated after a week of continuous aeration. The concentrations of iron and to a lesser extent manganese in the water column was also reduced during the aeration period.
This paper examines the storm runoff quality from a commercial area in south Johor, Malaysia. Six storm events with a total of 68 storm runoff samples were analyzed. Event Mean Concentration (EMC) for all constituents analysed showed large inter-event variation. Site mean concentrations (SMC) for total suspended solids (TSS), oil and grease (O&G), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), nitrate-nitrogen (NO(3)-N), nitrite-nitrogen (NO(2)-N), ammonia-nitrogen (NH(3)-N), total phosphorus (Total P) and Soluble P are 261, 4.31, 74, 192, 1.5, 0.006, 1.9, 1.12 and 0.38 mg/L, respectively. The SMCs at the studied site are higher than those reported in many urban catchments. The mean baseflow concentrations were higher than the EMCs for COD, Soluble P, NH(3)-N, NO(3)-N, Total P and NO(2)-N. However, the reverse was observed for TSS and O&G. All pollutants showed the occurrence of first flush phenomenon with the highest strength was observed for TSS, COD and NH(3)-N.
The influences of climate on the retention capability of green roof have been widely discussed in existing literature. However, knowledge on how the retention capability of green roof is affected by the tropical climate is limited. This paper highlights the retention performance of the green roof situated in Kuching under hot-humid tropical climatic conditions. Using the green roof water balance modelling approach, this study simulated the hourly runoff generated from a virtual green roof from November 2012 to October 2013 based on past meteorological data. The result showed that the overall retention performance was satisfactory with a mean retention rate of 72.5% from 380 analysed rainfall events but reduced to 12.0% only for the events that potentially trigger the occurrence of flash flood. By performing the Spearman rank's correlation analysis, it was found that the rainfall depth and mean rainfall intensity, individually, had a strong negative correlation with event retention rate, suggesting that the retention rate increases with decreased rainfall depth. The expected direct relationship between retention rate and antecedent dry weather period was found to be event size dependent.
Intensive aeration for nitrification is a major energy consumer in sewage treatment plants (STPs). Low-dissolved-oxygen (low-DO) nitrification has the potential to lower the aeration demand. However, the applicability of low-DO nitrification in the tropical climate is not well-understood. In this study, the potential of low-DO nitrification in tropical setting was first examined using batch kinetic experiments. Subsequently, the performance of low-DO nitrification was investigated in a laboratory-scale sequential batch reactor (SBR) for 42 days using real tropical sewage. The batch kinetic experiments showed that the seed sludge has a relatively high oxygen affinity. Thus, the rate of nitrification was not significantly reduced at low DO concentrations (0.5 mg/L). During the operation of the low-DO nitrification SBR, 90% of NH4-N was removed. The active low-DO nitrification was mainly attributed to the limited biodegradable organics in the sewage. Fluorescence in-situ hybridisation and 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing revealed the nitrifiers were related to Nitrospira genus and Nitrosomonadaceae family. Phylogenetic analysis suggests 47% of the operational taxonomic units in Nitrospira genus are closely related to a comammox bacteria. This study has demonstrated active low-DO nitrification in tropical setting, which is a more sustainable process that could significantly reduce the energy footprint of STPs.
Using the size fractionation method, we measured the decay rates of Escherichia coli, Salmonella Typhi and Vibrio parahaemolyticus in the coastal waters of Peninsular Malaysia. The size fractions were total or unfiltered, <250 μm, <20 μm, <2 μm, <0.7 μm, <0.2 μm and <0.02 μm. We also carried out abiotic (inorganic nutrients) and biotic (bacterial abundance, production and protistan bacterivory) measurements at Port Dickson, Klang and Kuantan. Klang had highest nutrient concentrations whereas both bacterial production and protistan bacterivory rates were highest at Kuantan. We observed signs of protist-bacteria coupling via the following correlations: Protistan bacterivory-Bacterial Production: r = 0.773, df = 11, p < 0.01; Protist-Bacteria: r = 0.586, df = 12, p < 0.05. However none of the bacterial decay rates were correlated with the biotic variables measured. E. coli and Salmonella decay rates were generally higher in the larger fraction (>0.7 μm) than in the smaller fraction (<0.7 μm) suggesting the more important role played by protists. E. coli and Salmonella also decreased in the <0.02 μm fraction and suggested that these non-halophilic bacteria did not survive well in seawater. In contrast, Vibrio grew well in seawater. There was usually an increase in Vibrio after one day incubation. Our results confirmed that decay or loss rates of E. coli did not match that of Vibrio, and also did not correlate with Salmonella decay rates. However E. coli showed persistence where its decay rates were generally lower than Salmonella.
A Danish woman aged 28 years who had travelled in the Far East developed cerebral symptoms with headache and visual disturbances. Migraine was suspected. Subsequent CT scanning revealed multiple processes and metastases were suspected. As the patient had travelled in the Far East 1 1/2 years previously, she was examined for neurocysticercosis. This diagnosis was established and the patient was successfully treated with praziquantel. On account of increased travelling activity, the possibility of neurocysticercosis should be borne in mind when dealing with patients with cerebral symptoms and relevant travelling histories.
Decomposing carrion provides a temporary microhabitat and food source for a distinct community of organisms. Arthropods constitute a major part of this community and can be utilized to estimate the postmortem interval (PMI) of cadavers during criminal investigations. However, in Malaysia, knowledge of carrion arthropod assemblages and their succession is superficial. Therefore, a study on three types of forensic entomology animal model was conducted from 27 September 2010 to 28 October 2010 in a tropical rainforest at National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia. Over one month collections of arthropods were made on nine animal carcasses: three laboratory rats (Rattus norvegicus, mean weight: 0.508 ± 0.027 kg), three rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus, mean weight: 2.538 ± 0.109 kg) and three long tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis, mean weight: 5.750 ± 0.551 kg). A total of 31,433 arthropods belonging to eight orders and twenty-eight families were collected from all carcasses. Among 2924 of adults flies collected, approximately 19% were calliphorids with Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius, 1794) being the most abundant. Arthropod taxon richness was lower on rat carcasses compared to that of rabbit and monkey carcasses, and this was more apparent during the first week of decomposition. However, there were no significant differences in Shannon-Weiner index (H'), Simpson dominance index (C) and Pielou's Evenness index (J) between different animal model. The arthropod assemblages associated to animal model were different significantly (p<0.05) while decomposition stage was a significant factor influencing insect assemblages (p<0.05). Analysis on the arthropods succession indicated that some taxa have a clear visitation period while the others, particularly Coleoptera, did not show a clear successional pattern thus require futher insect succession study. Although human bodies were not possible for the succession study, most of the arthropods collected are necrophagous, and will also possibly colonize human cadaver, and potentially be useful in assisting in estimates of PMI in future forensic cases in Malaysia.
This paper discusses the colonization of the stratiomyid species Ptecticus melanurus (Walker) (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) in monkey carrion and its potential for the determination of the minimum time since death (PMI). A study was conducted in a tropical forest at Bangi, Malaysia from 13 November 2009 to 8 June 2011. Twelve monkey carcasses (Macaca fascicularis Raffles) were used and divided in equal number into three different field trials. Adults of P. melanurus were first observed on monkey carrions on the second day the carcasses were placed in the field while their penultimate instar larvae were found in the wet soil under and beside carcass from day 8 to 31 days postmortem.
Airborne bacteria are significant biotic constituents of bioaerosol. Bacteria at high concentrations in the air can compromise indoor air quality (IAQ) and result in many diseases. In tropical environments like Malaysia that extensively utilize air-conditioning systems, this is particularly significant due to continuous recirculation of indoor air and the potential implications for human health. Currently, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the impact of airborne bacteria on IAQ in Malaysia. This study was prompted by a need for reliable baseline data on airborne bacteria in the indoor environment of tropical equatorial Malaysia, that may be used as a reference for further investigations on the potential role played by airborne bacteria as an agent of disease in this region. It was further necessitated due to the threat of bioterrorism with the potentiality of release of exotic pathogenic microorganisms into indoor or outdoor air. Before scientists can detect the latter, a gauge of the common microorganisms in indoor (as well as outdoor) air needs to be ascertained, hence the expediency of this study. Bacterial counts from the broad-based and targeted study were generally in the order of 10(2) colony-forming units (CFU) per m(3) of air. The most prevalent airborne bacteria found in the broad-based study that encompassed all five levels of the building were Gram-positive cocci (67.73%), followed by Gram-positive rods (24.26%) and Gram-negative rods (7.10%). Gram-negative cocci were rarely detected (0.71%). Amongst the genera identified, Kytococcus sp., Micrococcus sp., Staphylococcus sp., Leifsonia sp., Bacillus sp. and Corynebacterium sp. predominated in indoor air. The most dominant bacterial species were Kytococcus sedentarius, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Micrococcus luteus. The opportunistic and nosocomial pathogen, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia was also discovered at a high percentage in the cafeteria. The bacteria isolated in this study have been increasingly documented to cause opportunistic infections in immuno-compromised patients, sometimes with fatal outcomes. Furthermore, some of them are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. Hence, we propose that indoor reservoirs of these bacteria and their associated clinical and more subtle health effects, if any, be investigated further.
A human corpse at an advanced stage of decomposition was found in a house in the residential area of Bukit Mertajam, Penang, Malaysia. Entomological specimens were collected during the post-mortem and the live specimens were subsequently reared at room temperature. The time of death was estimated to have been 14 days previous to the discovery of the body based on the police investigation. Both adult and larvae of the beetle Dermestes ater (De Geer) were found to be infesting the corpse and from the stage of decomposition of the body and the estimated time of death it would appear that infestation may have begun at a relatively early stage of decomposition.
The effects of different estrus synchronization techniques on follicular development and estrus response were studied in 81 nulliparous Boer does. The does were divided into nine groups. Eight of the nine groups were synchronized with prostaglandin F2-alpha (PGF(2α)) or flugestone acetate (FGA) or their combinations, and the ninth group was a control group. In addition to the above combinations, four of the eight synchronized groups were given 5 mg follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and the remaining four groups were administered 300 IU equine chorionic gonadotrophin (eCG). Posttreatment follicular development was monitored until ovulation occurred using a real-time B-mode ultrasound scanner (Aloka, 500 SSD, Japan), with a 7.5-MHz transrectal linear probe. All the does from the synchronized groups that were given eCG exhibited oestrus while only 88.9% of the does synchronized with FSH showed estrus. The estrus response was observed to be the least among the does synchronized with PGF(2α) + FSH (33.3%) combination followed closely by the FGA + FSH (42.9%) combinations. It was observed that the combinations of FGA + PGF(2α) + FSH resulted in increased percentage of estrus response, duration of estrus, and ovulation. The number of follicles was higher (P < 0.05) in FSH-synchronized groups than the eCG-synchronized groups. It was concluded that the best estrus synchronization protocol in goats is the FGA + eCG with or without PGF(2α). However, the PGF(2α) + FGA + FSH method of estrus synchronization is the most promising combination for further development as a better alternative to estrus synchronization with eCG in does.