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  1. Saleeza SN, Norma-Rashid Y, Azirun MS
    PMID: 24450233
    We conducted mosquito surveillance at outdoor breeding habitat in 459 households at 7 urban locations in Putrajaya, Malaysia from January to December 2010 to determine the predominant species and breeding locations. The most common species found at all locations was Aedes albopictus. Gardening utensils were the most common breeding sites. Of the 1,885 mosquito larvae specimens found, 1,774 (94.1%) were Ae. albopictus larvae, 84 (4%) were Ae. aegypti larvae and 27 (1%) were Culex quinquefasciatus larvae. The Aedes index for each of the locations was higher than the goal set by the Ministry of Health for Malaysia. However, the container index at each of the locations was within the goal. The Breateau index was above the goal set by the Ministry of Health at Precinct 9B1 but the other locations were within the goal.
  2. Dadrasnia A, Azirun MS, Ismail SB
    BMC Biotechnol, 2017 Nov 28;17(1):85.
    PMID: 29179747 DOI: 10.1186/s12896-017-0395-9
    BACKGROUND: When the unavoidable waste generation is considered as damaging to our environment, it becomes crucial to develop a sustainable technology to remediate the pollutant source towards an environmental protection and safety. The development of a bioengineering technology for highly efficient pollutant removal is this regard. Given the high ammonia nitrogen content and chemical oxygen demand of landfill leachate, Bacillus salmalaya strain 139SI, a novel resident strain microbe that can survive in high ammonia nitrogen concentrations, was investigated for the bioremoval of ammonia nitrogen from landfill leachate. The treatability of landfill leachate was evaluated under different treatment parameters, such as temperature, inoculum dosage, and pH.

    RESULTS: Results demonstrated that bioaugmentation with the novel strain can potentially improve the biodegradability of landfill leachate. B. salmalaya strain 139SI showed high potential to enhance biological treatment given its maximum NH3-N and COD removal efficiencies. The response surface plot pattern indicated that within 11 days and under optimum conditions (10% v/v inoculant, pH 6, and 35 °C), B. salmalaya strain139SI removed 78% of ammonia nitrogen. At the end of the study, biological and chemical oxygen demands remarkably decreased by 88% and 91.4%, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy images revealed that ammonia ions covered the cell surface of B. salmalaya strain139SI.

    CONCLUSIONS: Therefore, novel resistant Bacillus salmalaya strain139SI significantly reduces the chemical oxygen demand and NH3-N content of landfill leachate. Leachate treatment by B. salmalaya strain 139SI within 11 days.

  3. Aldoghachi MA, Azirun MS, Yusoff I, Ashraf MA
    Saudi J Biol Sci, 2016 Sep;23(5):634-41.
    PMID: 27579014 DOI: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2015.08.004
    Experiments on hybrid red tilapia Oreochromis sp. were conducted to assess histopathological effects induced in gill tissues of 96 h exposure to waterborne lead (5.5 mg/L). These tissues were investigated by light and scanning electron microscopy. Results showed that structural design of gill tissues was noticeably disrupted. Major symptoms were changes of epithelial cells, fusion in adjacent secondary lamellae, hypertrophy and hyperplasia of chloride cells and coagulate necrosis in pavement cells with disappearance of its microridges. Electron microscopic X-ray microanalysis of fish gills exposed to sublethal lead revealed that lead accumulated on the surface of the gill lamella. This study confirmed that lead exposure incited a difference of histological impairment in fish, supporting environmental watch over aquatic systems when polluted by lead.
  4. Hematpoor A, Liew SY, Azirun MS, Awang K
    Sci Rep, 2017 10 03;7(1):12576.
    PMID: 28974710 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-12898-z
    Hexane, dichloromethane and methanol extracts of the roots of Piper sarmentosum Roxb. were screened for toxicity towards Sitophilus oryzae (L.), Rhyzopertha dominica (F.), and Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) and the hexane extract exhibited the highest mortality percentage. Bioassay-guided fractionation of the hexane extract resulted in the isolation of asaricin 1, isoasarone 2, and trans-asarone 3. Asaricin 1 and isoasarone 2 were the most toxic compounds to Sitophilus oryzae, Rhyzopertha dominica, and Plodia interpunctella. Sitophilus oryzae and Rhyzopertha dominica exposed to asaricin 1 and isoasarone 2 required the lowest median lethal time. Insecticidal activity of trans-asarone 3 showed consistent toxicity throughout the 60 days towards all three insects as compared to asaricin 1 and isoasarone 2. Asaricin 1 and isoasarone 2 at different doses significantly reduced oviposition and adult emergence of the three insects in treated rice. Trans-asarone 3 had lowest toxicity with highest LC and LT values in all tested insects relative to its mild oviposition inhibition and progeny activity. Moreover, asaricin 1 and isoasarone 2 significantly inhibited acetylcholinesterase in comparison with trans-asarone 3 and the control. Acetylcholinesterase inhibition of Rhyzopertha dominica and Plodia interpunctella by asaricin 1 and isoasarone 2 were lower than that of Sitophilus oryzae, which correlated with their higher resistance.
  5. Dadrasnia A, Chuan Wei KS, Shahsavari N, Azirun MS, Ismail S
    Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2015 Dec;12(12):15321-38.
    PMID: 26633454 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph121214985
    The present study investigated the biosorption capacity of live and dead cells of a novel Bacillus strain for chromium. The optimum biosorption condition was evaluated in various analytical parameters, including initial concentration of chromium, pH, and contact time. The Langmuir isotherm model showed an enhanced fit to the equilibrium data. Live and dead biomasses followed the monolayer biosorption of the active surface sites. The maximum biosorption capacity was 20.35 mg/g at 25 °C, with pH 3 and contact time of 50 min. Strain 139SI was an excellent host to the hexavalent chromium. The biosorption kinetics of chromium in the dead and live cells of Bacillus salmalaya (B. salmalaya) 139SI followed the pseudo second-order mechanism. Scanning electron microscopy and fourier transform infrared indicated significant influence of the dead cells on the biosorption of chromium based on cell morphological changes. Approximately 92% and 70% desorption efficiencies were achieved using dead and live cells, respectively. These findings demonstrated the high sorption capacity of dead biomasses of B. salmalaya 139SI in the biosorption process. Thermodynamic evaluation (ΔG⁰, ΔH⁰, and ΔS⁰) indicated that the mechanism of Cr(VI) adsorption is endothermic; that is, chemisorption. Results indicated that chromium accumulation occurred in the cell wall of B. salmalaya 139SI rather than intracellular accumulation.
  6. Zabed H, Faruq G, Sahu JN, Azirun MS, Hashim R, Boyce AN
    ScientificWorldJournal, 2014;2014:957102.
    PMID: 24715820 DOI: 10.1155/2014/957102
    Bioethanol production from renewable sources to be used in transportation is now an increasing demand worldwide due to continuous depletion of fossil fuels, economic and political crises, and growing concern on environmental safety. Mainly, three types of raw materials, that is, sugar juice, starchy crops, and lignocellulosic materials, are being used for this purpose. This paper will investigate ethanol production from free sugar containing juices obtained from some energy crops such as sugarcane, sugar beet, and sweet sorghum that are the most attractive choice because of their cost-effectiveness and feasibility to use. Three types of fermentation process (batch, fed-batch, and continuous) are employed in ethanol production from these sugar juices. The most common microorganism used in fermentation from its history is the yeast, especially, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, though the bacterial species Zymomonas mobilis is also potentially used nowadays for this purpose. A number of factors related to the fermentation greatly influences the process and their optimization is the key point for efficient ethanol production from these feedstocks.
  7. Kavitha R, Nazni WA, Tan TC, Lee HL, Azirun MS
    J Forensic Leg Med, 2013 Jul;20(5):480-2.
    PMID: 23756518 DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2013.03.007
    Forensic entomological specimens collected from human decedents during crime scene investigations in Malaysia in the past 6 years (2005-2010) are reviewed. A total of 80 cases were recorded and 93 specimens were collected. From these specimens, 10 species of cyclorrphagic flies were identified, consisting of Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart) -38 specimens (40.86%), Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius) -36 specimens (38.70%), Chrysomya villeneuvi (Patton) -2 specimens (2.15%), Chrysomya nigripes (Aubertin) -2 specimens (2.15%), Chrysomya pinguis (Walker) -1 specimen (1.08%), Hermetia illucens (Linnaeus) -1 specimen (1.08%), Hemipyrellia liguriens (Wiedemann) -5 specimens (5.37%), Synthesiomyia nudiseta (Wulp) -1 specimen (1.08%), Megaselia scalaris (Loew)-1 specimen (1.08%) and Sarcophaga ruficornis (Fabricius) -4 specimens (4.30%). In two specimens (2.15%), the maggots were not identifiable. Ch. megacephala and Ch. rufifacies were the commonest species found in human decedents from three different ecological habitats. S. nudiseta is an uncommon species found only on human cadavers from indoors. A total of 75 cases (93.75%) had a single fly infestation and 5 cases (6.25%) had double fly infestation. In conclusion, although large numbers of fly species were found on human decedents, the predominant species are still those of Chrysomya.
  8. Rong LS, Ann AT, Ahmad NW, Lim LH, Azirun MS
    PMID: 23082552
    Biweekly ovitrap surveillance (OS) was conducted for a year (August 2007 - September 2008) at two different dengue endemic sites in Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia, 50 km from Kuala Lumpur. Aedes aegypti collected from these 2 locations were raised to the F3 stage and subjected to a WHO standard bioassay method to determine lethal time (LT) against pyrethroids (permethrin 0.75%, cyfluthrin 0.15%), organophosphates (malathion 5.0%, fenitrothion 1.0%), carbamates (propoxur 0.1%, bendiocarb 0.1%) and organochlorine (DDT 4.0%). Insecticide susceptibilities were analyzed for one year. Aedes aegypti were resistant to DDT with a mortality range of 0 - 13.3% throughout the year at both sites. Susceptibilities to pyrethroids and carbamates varied throughout the year. In contrast, susceptibilities to pyrethroids and carbamates varied throughout the year: resistant to propoxur, bendiocarb and permethrin with mortality of < 80% in most months; but, showed incipient resistant to cyfluthrin in most months. Mosquitoes were consistently susceptible to malathion and fenitrothion, with complete mortality during most months. They were especially susceptible to malathion with LT50 values of 21.32 - 36.37 minutes, suggesting effectiveness of malathion for control of dengue.
  9. Kavitha R, Nazni WA, Tan TC, Lee HL, Isa MN, Azirun MS
    Malays J Pathol, 2012 Dec;34(2):127-32.
    PMID: 23424775 MyJurnal
    Forensic entomology applies knowledge about insects associated with decedent in crime scene investigation. It is possible to calculate a minimum postmortem interval (PMI) by determining the age and species of the oldest blow fly larvae feeding on decedent. This study was conducted in Malaysia to identify maggot specimens collected during crime scene investigations. The usefulness of the molecular and morphological approach in species identifications was evaluated in 10 morphologically identified blow fly larvae sampled from 10 different crime scenes in Malaysia. The molecular identification method involved the sequencing of a total length of 2.2 kilo base pairs encompassing the 'barcode' fragments of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI), cytochrome oxidase II (COII) and t-RNA leucine genes. Phylogenetic analyses confirmed the presence of Chrysomya megacephala, Chrysomya rufifacies and Chrysomya nigripes. In addition, one unidentified blow fly species was found based on phylogenetic tree analysis.
  10. Hematpoor A, Liew SY, Chong WL, Azirun MS, Lee VS, Awang K
    PLoS One, 2016;11(5):e0155265.
    PMID: 27152416 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155265
    Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus are vectors of dengue fever and West Nile virus diseases. This study was conducted to determine the toxicity, mechanism of action and the binding interaction of three active phenylpropanoids from Piper sarmentosum (Piperaceae) toward late 3rd or early 4th larvae of above vectors. A bioassay guided-fractionation on the hexane extract from the roots of Piper sarmentosum led to the isolation and identification of three active phenylpropanoids; asaricin 1, isoasarone 2 and trans-asarone 3. The current study involved evaluation of the toxicity and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition of these compounds against Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus larvae. Asaricin 1 and isoasarone 2 were highly potent against Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus larvae causing up to 100% mortality at ≤ 15 μg/mL concentration. The ovicidal activity of asaricin 1, isoasarone 2 and trans-asarone 3 were evaluated through egg hatching. Asaricin 1 and isoasarone 2 showed potent ovicidal activity. Ovicidal activity for both compounds was up to 95% at 25μg/mL. Asaricin 1 and isoasarone 2 showed strong inhibition on acetylcholinesterase with relative IC50 values of 0.73 to 1.87 μg/mL respectively. These findings coupled with the high AChE inhibition may suggest that asaricin 1 and isoasarone 2 are neuron toxic compounds toward Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus. Further computational docking with Autodock Vina elaborates the possible interaction of asaricin 1 and isoasarone 2 with three possible binding sites of AChE which includes catalytic triads (CAS: S238, E367, H480), the peripheral sites (PAS: E72, W271) and anionic binding site (W83). The binding affinity of asaricin 1 and isoasarone 2 were relatively strong with asaricin 1 showed a higher binding affinity in the anionic pocket.
  11. Muhammad AA, Tan MK, Abdullah NA, Azirun MS, Bhaskar D, Skejo J
    Zootaxa, 2018 Sep 25;4485(1):1-70.
    PMID: 30313773 DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4485.1.1
    Pygmy grasshoppers (Tetrigidae) are a speciose group of complicated taxonomy, with many species requiring clarification on their species boundaries, and more still awaiting discovery. Two new species of Scelimena Serville, 1838 are described: (1) from S. discalis species group S. gombakensis sp. nov. and (2) from S. hexodon species group Scelimena marta sp. nov. Catalogue of Scelimenini genera (15) and species (100) is presented and taxonomy and biogeography of the tribe are discussed. New and resurrected combinations are: Falconius becvari (Buzzetti Devriese, 2008) comb. nov. (of Gavialidium becvari), Gavialidium carli Hebard, 1930 comb. resurr. (of Bidentatettix carli), Indoscelimena india (Hancock, 1907) comb. nov. (of Scelimena india), Paragavialidium nodiferum (Walker, 1871) comb. nov. (of Platygavialidium nodiferum), Platygavialidium productum (Walker, 1871) comb. nov. (of Gavialidium productum), Scelimena hexodon (Haan, 1843) comb. resurr. (of Hexocera hexodon), Scelimena rosacea (Hancock, 1915) comb. resurr. (of Amphibotettix rosaceus), Tegotettix bufocrocodil (Storozhenko Dawwrueng, 2015) comb. nov. (of Gavialidium bufocrocodil). New synonyms are: Gavialidium phangensum Mahmood, Idris Salmah, 2007 syn. nov. (of Eufalconius pendleburyi), Gavialidium philippinum Bolívar, 1887 syn. nov. (of Platygavialidium productum comb. nov.), Hexocera Hancock, 1915 syn. nov. (of Scelimena), Paracriotettix Liang, 2002 syn. nov. (of Scelimena), Paracriotettix zhengi Liang, 2002 syn. nov. (of Scelimena melli), Scelimena mellioides Deng, 2016 syn. nov. (of Scelimena melli), Scelimena wuyishanensis Deng, 2016 syn. nov. (of Platygavialidium sinicum). The genus Scelimena is divided into six species groups. Eucriotettix neesoon Tan Storozhenko nom. nov. is new name for homonym Eucriotettix guentheri Tan Storozhenko, 2017. Finally, a tabular key to 15 Scelimenini genera, based on 16 morphological characters, is presented.
  12. Fukuda M, Uni S, Otsuka Y, Eshita Y, Nakatani J, Ihara K, et al.
    Parasitol Int, 2015 Dec;64(6):519-21.
    PMID: 26209456 DOI: 10.1016/j.parint.2015.07.006
    A case of zoonotic onchocercosis has been found in a resident who lived in Iizuka City, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan for some time. A 24-year-old male developed a painful nodule on the middle finger of his right hand. The nodule was surgically removed from the vagina fibrosa tendinis of the finger at Beppu Medical Center, Beppu City, Oita Prefecture in 2012. The causative agent was identified as a female Onchocerca dewittei japonica based on its histopathological characteristics. The identity of the filarioid has been confirmed by sequencing the cox1 gene. The present study indicates that the zoonotic onchocercosis caused by O. dewittei japonica has been concentrated in northeast Kyushu.
  13. Hematpoor A, Paydar M, Liew SY, Sivasothy Y, Mohebali N, Looi CY, et al.
    Chem Biol Interact, 2018 Jan 05;279:210-218.
    PMID: 29174417 DOI: 10.1016/j.cbi.2017.11.014
    The aim of the present study is to isolate bioactive compounds from the roots of Piper sarmentosum and examine the mechanism of action using human breast cancer cell line (MDA-MB-231). Bioassay guided-fractionation of methanolic extract led to the isolation of asaricin (1) and isoasarone (2). Asaricin (1) and isoasarone (2) had significant cytotoxicity towards MDA-MB-231. MCF-10A (human normal breast epithelial cells) cells are less sensitive than MDA-MB-231, but they respond to the treatment with the same unit of measurement. Both compounds increase reactive oxygen species (ROS), decrease mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and enhance cytochrome c release in treated MDA-MB-231 cells. Isoasarone (2) markedly elevated caspase -8 and -3/7 activities and caused a decline in nuclear NF-κB translocation, suggesting extrinsic, death receptor-linked apoptosis pathway. Quantitative PCR results of MDA-MB-231 treated with asaricin (1) and isoasarone (2) showed altered expression of Bcl-2: Bax level. The inhibitory potency of these isolates may support the therapeutic uses of these compounds in breast cancer.
  14. Uni S, Fukuda M, Otsuka Y, Hiramatsu N, Yokobayashi K, Takahashi H, et al.
    Parasit Vectors, 2015;8:59.
    PMID: 25623081 DOI: 10.1186/s13071-015-0655-2
    Zoonotic infections with Onchocerca species are uncommon, and to date only 25 clinical cases have been reported worldwide. In Japan, five previous zoonotic infections were concentrated in Oita, Kyushu (the southern island), with one previous case in Hiroshima in the western part of Honshu (the main island). The causative agent in Japan was identified as Onchocerca dewittei japonica Uni, Bain & Takaoka, 2001 from Japanese wild boars (Sus scrofa leucomystax Temminck, 1842). Here we report two infections caused by a female and male O. dewittei japonica, respectively, among residents of Hiroshima and Shimane Prefectures in the western part of Honshu.
  15. Uni S, Fukuda M, Agatsuma T, Bain O, Otsuka Y, Nakatani J, et al.
    Parasitol Int, 2015 Dec;64(6):493-502.
    PMID: 26165205 DOI: 10.1016/j.parint.2015.07.001
    Human zoonotic onchocercosis is caused by Onchocerca dewittei japonica, parasitic in wild boars (Sus scrofa leucomystax) in Japan. Previously, microfilariae longer than those of Onchocerca dewittei japonica were observed in skin snips from wild boars during the study of O. dewittei japonica. Moreover, the third-stage larvae (L3) of these longer microfilariae were obtained from the blackfly Simulium bidentatum after experimental injections. Based on morphometric and molecular studies, similar L3 were found in blackflies during fieldwork in Oita, Japan. However, except for O. dewittei japonica, adult worms of Onchocerca have not been found in wild boars. In this study, we discovered adult females of a novel Onchocerca species in the skin of a wild boar in Oita, and named it Onchocerca takaokai n. sp. Females of this new species had longer microfilariae and differed from O. dewittei japonica in terms of their morphological characteristics and parasitic location. The molecular characteristics of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 and 12S rRNA genes of the new species were identical to those of the longer microfilariae and L3 previously detected, but they differed from those of O. dewittei japonica at the species level. However, both species indicated a close affinity among their congeners and Onchocerca ramachandrini, parasitic in the warthog in Africa, was basal in the Suidae cluster of the 12S rRNA tree.
  16. Uni S, Fukuda M, Ogawa K, Lim YA, Agatsuma T, Bunchom N, et al.
    Parasitol Int, 2017 Oct;66(5):593-595.
    PMID: 28648713 DOI: 10.1016/j.parint.2017.06.006
    An 11-year-old boy living in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Kansai Region, Western Honshu, Japan had zoonotic onchocercosis. The patient developed a painful swelling on the little finger of his left hand. The worm detected in the excised mass had external transverse ridges but did not have inner striae in the cuticle. On the basis of the parasite's histopathological characteristics, the causative agent was identified as a female Onchocerca dewittei japonica (Spirurida: Onchocercidae). The species of the filarial parasite was confirmed by sequencing the cox1 gene of the parasite. The Japanese wild boar Sus scrofa leucomystax is a definitive host for O. dewittei japonica, which is then transmitted by blackflies as the vector to humans. The current case described occurred in the Kansai Region, Western Honshu, where such infections were previously not reported.
  17. Urabe M, Nor Hashim NE, Uni S, Iwaki T, Abdullah Halim MR, Marzuki ME, et al.
    Parasitol Int, 2020 Jun;76:102074.
    PMID: 32057926 DOI: 10.1016/j.parint.2020.102074
    We describe Morishitium polonicum malayense n. subsp. from Asian glossy starlings (Aplonis panayensis strigata) (Horsfield, 1821) (Passeriformis: Sturnidae) caught in Malaysia. The trematodes had parasitized the air sacs and the thoracic and body cavities of 40 out of 67 (59.7%) birds examined. The specimens each had an oral sucker, a postpharyngeal genital pore, and tandem testes, but lacked a ventral sucker. The morphological characteristics of our specimens were similar to those of M. polonicum polonicum (Machalska, 1980) from Poland. However, the anterior extremity of vitelline follicles of the present specimens sometimes extended to the level of pharynx. The oral sucker width, oral sucker width/pharynx width ratio, and intertesticular space metrics differed from those of M. p. polonicum. The maximum-likelihood trees based on the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) sequences indicated that the species from the present study formed a sister group with M. p. polonicum from the Czech Republic. The p-distances of COI and ITS2 sequences between the present specimens and M. p. polonicum from the Czech Republic were 6.9-7.5% and 0.6%, respectively. These genetic divergences indicate the border for intra- or interspecific variation of digeneans. The definitive host species and geographical distribution of the current specimens were distinct from those of M. p. polonicum from Europe. We thus concluded that the present specimens are ranked as a new subspecies of M. polonicum, namely M. polonicum malayense n. subsp.
  18. Uni S, Mat Udin AS, Agatsuma T, Saijuntha W, Junker K, Ramli R, et al.
    Parasit Vectors, 2017 Apr 20;10(1):194.
    PMID: 28427478 DOI: 10.1186/s13071-017-2105-9
    BACKGROUND: The filarial nematodes Wuchereria bancrofti (Cobbold, 1877), Brugia malayi (Brug, 1927) and B. timori Partono, Purnomo, Dennis, Atmosoedjono, Oemijati & Cross, 1977 cause lymphatic diseases in humans in the tropics, while B. pahangi (Buckley & Edeson, 1956) infects carnivores and causes zoonotic diseases in humans in Malaysia. Wuchereria bancrofti, W. kalimantani Palmieri, Pulnomo, Dennis & Marwoto, 1980 and six out of ten Brugia spp. have been described from Australia, Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka and India. However, the origin and evolution of the species in the Wuchereria-Brugia clade remain unclear. While investigating the diversity of filarial parasites in Malaysia, we discovered an undescribed species in the common treeshrew Tupaia glis Diard & Duvaucel (Mammalia: Scandentia).

    METHODS: We examined 81 common treeshrews from 14 areas in nine states and the Federal Territory of Peninsular Malaysia for filarial parasites. Once any filariae that were found had been isolated, we examined their morphological characteristics and determined the partial sequences of their mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) and 12S rRNA genes. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products of the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) region were then cloned into the pGEM-T vector, and the recombinant plasmids were used as templates for sequencing.

    RESULTS: Malayfilaria sofiani Uni, Mat Udin & Takaoka, n. g., n. sp. is described based on the morphological characteristics of adults and microfilariae found in common treeshrews from Jeram Pasu, Kelantan, Malaysia. The Kimura 2-parameter distance between the cox1 gene sequences of the new species and W. bancrofti was 11.8%. Based on the three gene sequences, the new species forms a monophyletic clade with W. bancrofti and Brugia spp. The adult parasites were found in tissues surrounding the lymph nodes of the neck of common treeshrews.

    CONCLUSIONS: The newly described species appears most closely related to Wuchereria spp. and Brugia spp., but differs from these in several morphological characteristics. Molecular analyses based on the cox1 and 12S rRNA genes and the ITS1 region indicated that this species differs from both W. bancrofti and Brugia spp. at the genus level. We thus propose a new genus, Malayfilaria, along with the new species M. sofiani.

  19. Uni S, Mat Udin AS, Agatsuma T, Junker K, Saijuntha W, Bunchom N, et al.
    Parasit Vectors, 2020 Feb 06;13(1):50.
    PMID: 32028994 DOI: 10.1186/s13071-020-3907-8
    BACKGROUND: The genus Onchocerca Diesing, 1841 includes species of medical importance, such as O. volvulus (Leuckart, 1893), which causes river blindness in the tropics. Recently, zoonotic onchocercosis has been reported in humans worldwide. In Japan, O. dewittei japonica Uni, Bain & Takaoka, 2001 from wild boars is a causative agent for this zoonosis. Many filarioid nematodes are infected with Wolbachia endosymbionts which exhibit various evolutionary relationships with their hosts. While investigating the filarial fauna of Borneo, we discovered an undescribed Onchocerca species in the bearded pig Sus barbatus Müller (Cetartiodactyla: Suidae).

    METHODS: We isolated Onchocerca specimens from bearded pigs and examined their morphology. For comparative material, we collected fresh specimens of O. d. dewittei Bain, Ramachandran, Petter & Mak, 1977 from banded pigs (S. scrofa vittatus Boie) in Peninsular Malaysia. Partial sequences of three different genes (two mitochondrial genes, cox1 and 12S rRNA, and one nuclear ITS region) of these filarioids were analysed. By multi-locus sequence analyses based on six genes (16S rDNA, ftsZ, dnaA, coxA, fbpA and gatB) of Wolbachia, we determined the supergroups in the specimens from bearded pigs and those of O. d. dewittei.

    RESULTS: Onchocerca borneensis Uni, Mat Udin & Takaoka n. sp. is described on the basis of morphological characteristics and its genetic divergence from congeners. Molecular characteristics of the new species revealed its close evolutionary relationship with O. d. dewittei. Calculated p-distance for the cox1 gene sequences between O. borneensis n. sp. and O. d. dewittei was 5.9%, while that between O. d. dewittei and O. d. japonica was 7.6%. No intraspecific genetic variation was found for the new species. Wolbachia strains identified in the new species and O. d. dewittei belonged to supergroup C and are closely related.

    CONCLUSIONS: Our molecular analyses of filarioids from Asian suids indicate that the new species is sister to O. d. dewittei. On the basis of its morphological and molecular characteristics, we propose to elevate O. d. japonica to species level as O. japonica Uni, Bain & Takaoka, 2001. Coevolutionary relationships exist between the Wolbachia strains and their filarial hosts in Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia.

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