Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 30 in total

  1. You KG, Bong CW, Lee CW
    Environ Monit Assess, 2016 Mar;188(3):171.
    PMID: 26884358 DOI: 10.1007/s10661-016-5163-0
    Vibrio species isolated from four different sampling stations in the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia were screened for their antimicrobial resistance and plasmid profiles. A total of 138 isolates belonging to 15 different species were identified. Vibrio campbellii, V. parahaemolyticus, V. harveyi, and V. tubiashii were found to predominance species at all stations. High incidence of erythromycin, ampicillin, and mecillinam resistance was observed among the Vibrio isolates. In contrast, resistance against aztreonam, cefepime, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole, and sulfonamides was low. All the Vibrio isolates in this study were found to be susceptible to imipenem, norfloxacin, ofloxacin, chloramphenicol, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, and oxytetracycline. Ninety-five percent of the Vibrio isolates were resistant to one or more different classes of antibiotic, and 20 different resistance antibiograms were identified. Thirty-two distinct plasmid profiles with molecular weight ranging from 2.2 to 24.8 kb were detected among the resistance isolates. This study showed that multidrug-resistant Vibrio spp. were common in the aquatic environments of west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
  2. Vaezzadeh V, Zakaria MP, Bong CW
    Mar Pollut Bull, 2017 Nov 15;124(1):33-42.
    PMID: 28693809 DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.07.008
    The Straits of Malacca is one of the world's busiest shipping routes where frequent oil spills occur. Rapid development in the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia is the other major source of petroleum pollution in this narrow waterway. In order to identify occurrence and origin of hydrocarbons in the Straits, mangrove oysters (Crassostrea belcheri) were collected from five sampling locations and analysed for n-alkanes and biomarkers. Soxhlet apparatus and two step column chromatography were used for extraction, purification and fractionation of the oysters. Petroleum origin n-alkanes were detected in majority of the sampling locations which is indicative of anthropogenic activities in this region. Using source and maturity diagnostic ratios for hopanes revealed used crankcase oil as the main source of petroleum hydrocarbons in oysters from all sampling locations except for the Pulau Merambong where signature of South East Asia crude oil (SEACO) was detected.
  3. Lee CW, Bong CW, Hii YS
    Appl Environ Microbiol, 2009 Dec;75(24):7594-601.
    PMID: 19820145 DOI: 10.1128/AEM.01227-09
    We investigated the temporal variation of bacterial production, respiration, and growth efficiency in the tropical coastal waters of Peninsular Malaysia. We selected five stations including two estuaries and three coastal water stations. The temperature was relatively stable (averaging around 29.5 degrees C), whereas salinity was more variable in the estuaries. We also measured dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen (DOC and DON, respectively) concentrations. DOC generally ranged from 100 to 900 microM, whereas DON ranged from 0 to 32 microM. Bacterial respiration ranged from 0.5 to 3.2 microM O2 h(-1), whereas bacterial production ranged from 0.05 to 0.51 microM C h(-1). Bacterial growth efficiency was calculated as bacterial production/(bacterial production + respiration), and ranged from 0.02 to 0.40. Multiple correlation analyses revealed that bacterial production was dependent upon primary production (r2 = 0.169, df = 31, and P < 0.02) whereas bacterial respiration was dependent upon both substrate quality (i.e., DOC/DON ratio) (r2 = 0.137, df = 32, and P = 0.03) and temperature (r2 = 0.113, df = 36, and P = 0.04). Substrate quality was the most important factor (r2 = 0.119, df = 33, and P = 0.04) for the regulation of bacterial growth efficiency. Using bacterial growth efficiency values, the average bacterial carbon demand calculated was from 5.30 to 11.28 microM C h(-1). When the bacterial carbon demand was compared with primary productivity, we found that net heterotrophy was established at only two stations. The ratio of bacterial carbon demand to net primary production correlated significantly with bacterial growth efficiency (r2 = 0.341, df = 35, and P < 0.001). From nonlinear regression analysis, we found that net heterotrophy was established when bacterial growth efficiency was <0.08. Our study showed the extent of net heterotrophy in these waters and illustrated the importance of heterotrophic microbial processes in coastal aquatic food webs.
  4. Lim JH, Lee CW, Bong CW, Kudo I
    Mar Pollut Bull, 2021 May 25;169:112524.
    PMID: 34049069 DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112524
    The dissolved organic nutrient conditions and bacterial process rates at two tropical coastal sites in Peninsular Malaysia (Port Klang and Port Dickson) were initially studied in 2004-2005 period and later revisited in 2010-2011. We observed that dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) increased about two- and ten-fold at Port Klang and Port Dickson, respectively and resulted in a significant change in DOC:DON ratio (t ≥ 2.077, p 
  5. Thomes MW, Vaezzadeh V, Zakaria MP, Bong CW
    Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, 2019 Nov;26(31):32672-32673.
    PMID: 31520373 DOI: 10.1007/s11356-019-06373-7
    The original publication of this paper contains a mistake. The correct image of figure 2 is shown in this paper.
  6. Thomes MW, Vaezzadeh V, Zakaria MP, Bong CW
    Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, 2019 Nov;26(31):31555-31580.
    PMID: 31440968 DOI: 10.1007/s11356-019-05936-y
    Southeast Asia has undergone rapid developments in terms of urbanization, economic and population growth. The progress in sewerage treatment infrastructure has not kept pace with such developments. The inadequacy and inefficiency of sewerage systems has prompted the release of untreated sewage into the aquatic environment of Southeast Asia causing many waterborne illnesses since surface water is utilized for recreational, agricultural and aquaculture purposes and, above all, as a source of water intake in Southeast Asia. This paper will review the current data on molecular markers of sewage pollution including sterols and linear alkylbenzenes (LABs) in Southeast Asian aquatic environment to clarify the state of sewage pollution and the competence of sewage treatment plants (STPs) in this area. Despite the importance of sewage pollution research in the region, the number of studies using molecular markers to trace the sources of sewage pollution is limited. So far, indicators of sewage pollution have been investigated in aquatic environments of Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and Brunei among Southeast Asian countries. The concentrations and diagnostic ratios of faecal sterols and LABs show the release of untreated and primary treated urban waste into water bodies of these countries. Further studies are required to fill the data gaps in Southeast Asia and come to a better understanding of the trends of sewage pollution in this part of the world. Graphical abstract.
  7. Liu B, Lee CW, Bong CW, Wang AJ
    PeerJ, 2024;12:e16556.
    PMID: 38223759 DOI: 10.7717/peerj.16556
    BACKGROUND: Escherichia coli is a commonly used faecal indicator bacterium to assess the level of faecal contamination in aquatic habitats. However, extensive studies have reported that sediment acts as a natural reservoir of E. coli in the extraintestinal environment. E. coli can be released from the sediment, and this may lead to overestimating the level of faecal contamination during water quality surveillance. Thus, we aimed to investigate the effects of E. coli habitat transition from sediment to water on its abundance in the water column.

    METHODS: This study enumerated the abundance of E. coli in the water and sediment at five urban lakes in the Kuala Lumpur-Petaling Jaya area, state of Selangor, Malaysia. We developed a novel method for measuring habitat transition rate of sediment E. coli to the water column, and evaluated the effects of habitat transition on E. coli abundance in the water column after accounting for its decay in the water column.

    RESULTS: The abundance of E. coli in the sediment ranged from below detection to 12,000 cfu g-1, and was about one order higher than in the water column (1 to 2,300 cfu mL-1). The habitat transition rates ranged from 0.03 to 0.41 h-1. In contrast, the E. coli decay rates ranged from 0.02 to 0.16 h-1. In most cases (>80%), the habitat transition rates were higher than the decay rates in our study.

    DISCUSSION: Our study provided a possible explanation for the persistence of E. coli in tropical lakes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first quantitative study on habitat transition of E. coli from sediments to water column.

  8. Ghaderpour A, Ho WS, Chew LL, Bong CW, Chong VC, Thong KL, et al.
    Front Microbiol, 2015;6:977.
    PMID: 26483759 DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00977
    E.coli, an important vector distributing antimicrobial resistance in the environment, was found to be multi-drug resistant, abundant, and genetically diverse in the Matang mangrove estuaries, Malaysia. One-third (34%) of the estuarine E. coli was multi-drug resistant. The highest antibiotic resistance prevalence was observed for aminoglycosides (83%) and beta-lactams (37%). Phylogenetic groups A and B1, being the most predominant E. coli, demonstrated the highest antibiotic resistant level and prevalence of integrons (integron I, 21%; integron II, 3%). Detection of phylogenetic group B23 downstream of fishing villages indicates human fecal contamination as a source of E. coli pollution. Enteroaggregative E. coli (1%) were also detected immediately downstream of the fishing village. The results indicated multi-drug resistance among E. coli circulating in Matang estuaries, which could be reflective of anthropogenic activities and aggravated by bacterial and antibiotic discharges from village lack of a sewerage system, aquaculture farms and upstream animal husbandry.
  9. Wong YY, Lee CW, Bong CW, Lim JH, Narayanan K, Sim EUH
    FEMS Microbiol Ecol, 2019 11 01;95(11).
    PMID: 31688899 DOI: 10.1093/femsec/fiz176
    We measured Vibrio spp. distribution and community profile in the tropical estuary of Port Klang and coastal water of Port Dickson, Malaysia. Vibrio spp. abundance ranged from 15 to 2395 colony forming units mL-1, and was driven by salinity and chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentration. However, the effect of salinity was pronounced only when salinity was <20 ppt. A total of 27 Vibrio spp. were identified, and theVibrio spp. community at Port Dickson was more diverse (H' = 1.94 ± 0.21). However species composition between Port Dickson and Port Klang were similar. Two frequently occurring Vibrio spp. were V. owensii and V. rotiferianus, which exhibited relatively higher growth rates (ANCOVA: F > 4.338, P < 0.05). Co-culture experiments between fast- and slow-growing Vibrio spp. revealed that fast-growing Vibrio spp. (r-strategists) were overwhelmed by slower-growing Vibrio spp. (K-strategists) when nutrient conditions were set towards oligotrophy. In response to resource availability, the intrinsic growth strategy of each Vibrio spp. determined its occurrence and the development of Vibrio spp. community composition.
  10. Lee CW, Lim JH, Heng PL, Marican NF, Narayanan K, Sim EUH, et al.
    Environ Monit Assess, 2020 Sep 25;192(10):660.
    PMID: 32975666 DOI: 10.1007/s10661-020-08625-3
    We sampled the Klang estuary during the inter-monsoon and northeast monsoon period (July-Nov 2011, Oct-Nov 2012), which coincided with higher rainfall and elevated Klang River flow. The increased freshwater inflow into the estuary resulted in water column stratification that was observed during both sampling periods. Dissolved oxygen (DO) dropped below 63 μM, and hypoxia was observed. Elevated river flow also transported dissolved inorganic nutrients, chlorophyll a and bacteria to the estuary. However, bacterial production did not correlate with DO concentration in this study. As hypoxia was probably not due to in situ heterotrophic processes, deoxygenated waters were probably from upstream. We surmised this as DO correlated with salinity (R2 = 0.664, df = 86, p  6.7 h), hypoxia could occur at the Klang estuary. Here, we presented a model that related riverine flow rate to the post-heavy rainfall hypoxia that explicated the episodic hypoxia at Klang estuary. As Klang estuary supports aquaculture and cockle culture, our results could help protect the aquaculture and cockle culture industry here.
  11. Barati A, Ghaderpour A, Chew LL, Bong CW, Thong KL, Chong VC, et al.
    Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2016 Apr 15;13(4):426.
    PMID: 27092516 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph13040426
    Klebsiella pneumoniae is an opportunistic pathogen that is responsible for causing nosocomial and community-acquired infections. Despite its common presence in soil and aquatic environments, the virulence potential of K. pneumoniae isolates of environmental origin is largely unknown. Hence, in this study, K. pneumoniae isolated from the estuarine waters and sediments of the Matang mangrove estuary were screened for potential virulence characteristics: antibiotic susceptibility, morphotype on Congo red agar, biofilm formation, presence of exopolysaccharide and capsule, possession of virulence genes (fimH, magA, ugE, wabG and rmpA) and their genomic fingerprints. A total of 55 strains of K. pneumoniae were isolated from both human-distributed sites (located along Sangga Besar River) and control sites (located along Selinsing River) where less human activity was observed, indicated that K. pneumoniae is ubiquitous in the environment. However, the detection of potentially virulent strains at the downstream of Kuala Sepetang village has suggested an anthropogenic contamination source. In conclusion, the findings from this study indicate that the Matang mangrove estuary could harbor potentially pathogenic K. pneumoniae with risk to public health. More studies are required to compare the environmental K. pneumoniae strains with the community-acquired K. pneumoniae strains.
  12. Lee CW, Ng AY, Bong CW, Narayanan K, Sim EU, Ng CC
    Water Res, 2011 Feb;45(4):1561-70.
    PMID: 21146847 DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2010.11.025
    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.
  13. Lim JH, Lee CW, Bong CW, Affendi YA, Hii YS, Kudo I
    Mar Pollut Bull, 2018 Mar;128:415-427.
    PMID: 29571392 DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.01.037
    Particulate phosphorus was the dominant phosphorus species and accounted for 72 ± 5% of total phosphorus in coastal habitats, 63 ± 4% in estuaries, 58 ± 6% in lakes and 80 ± 7% in aquaculture farms whereas dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP) and dissolved organic phosphorus (DOP) were minor components. Correlation analyses (DIP vs Chl a; R2 = 0.407, df = 31, p 
  14. Lye YL, Bong CW, Lee CW, Zhang RJ, Zhang G, Suzuki S, et al.
    Sci Total Environ, 2019 Oct 20;688:1335-1347.
    PMID: 31726563 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.06.304
    The environmental reservoirs of sulfonamide (SA) resistome are still poorly understood. We investigated the potential sources and reservoir of SA resistance (SR) in Larut River and Sangga Besar River by measuring the SA residues, sulfamethoxazole resistant (SMXr) in bacteria and their resistance genes (SRGs). The SA residues measured ranged from lower than quantification limits (LOQ) to 33.13 ng L-1 with sulfadiazine (SDZ), sulfadimethoxine (SDM) and SMX as most detected. Hospital wastewater effluent was detected with the highest SA residues concentration followed by the slaughterhouse and zoo wastewater effluents. The wastewater effluents also harbored the highest abundance of SMXr-bacteria (107 CFU mL-1) and SRGs (10-1/16S copies mL-1). Pearson correlation showed only positive correlation between the PO4 and SMXr-bacteria. In conclusion, wastewater effluents from the zoo, hospital and slaughterhouse could serve as important sources of SA residues that could lead to the consequent emergence of SMXr-bacteria and SRGs in the river.
  15. Yap FC, Wong WL, Chong VC, Bong CW, Lim LS
    Arthropod Struct Dev, 2023 Sep;76:101298.
    PMID: 37672818 DOI: 10.1016/j.asd.2023.101298
    The advancements in microscopic techniques have stimulated great interest in the muscular and neural architectures of invertebrates, specifically using muscle and neural structures to infer phylogenetic relationships. Here, we provide the data on the development of the muscular and nervous systems during the larval development of stalked barnacle, Octolasmis angulata using the phalloidin F-actin and immunohistochemical labelling (e.g. acetylated α-tubulin and serotonin) and confocal laser scanning microscopy analysis. All naupliar stages shared the same muscle and neural architectures with only the discrepancy in size. The nauplii have a complex muscle arrangement in their feeding apparatus and naupliar appendages. Most naupliar muscles undergo histolyse during the cyprid metamorphosis. The cyprid muscles form beneath the head shield at the end of nauplius VI. The naupliar and cyprid central nervous systems exhibit the typical tripartite brain comprising the protocerebrum, deutocerebrum and tritocerebrum. The serotonin-like immunoreactivity is mainly found in the naupliar brain, mandibular ganglia, cyprid brain and posterior ganglia. Our study revealed that numerous muscle and neural architectures in the naupliar and cyprids have phylogenetic significance, but future studies on the myoanatomy and neuroanatomy of other barnacle species are necessary to determine the homology of these structures.
  16. Wong YY, Lee CW, Chai SCY, Lim JH, Bong CW, Sim EUH, et al.
    Mar Pollut Bull, 2022 Dec;185(Pt A):114297.
    PMID: 36327936 DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2022.114297
    We investigated the appropriateness of faecal indicator bacteria in tropical waters. We compared total coliform (undetectable to 7.2 × 105 cfu 100 mL-1), faecal coliform (undetectable to 6.1 × 105 cfu 100 mL-1) and enterococci (undetectable to 3.1 × 104 cfu 100 mL-1) distribution in Peninsular Malaysia. Faecal indicator bacteria was highest in freshwater, and lowest in seawater (q > 4.18, p 
  17. Vaezzadeh V, Yi X, Rais FR, Bong CW, Thomes MW, Lee CW, et al.
    Mar Pollut Bull, 2021 Nov;172:112871.
    PMID: 34428623 DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112871
    Concentrations, sources and interactions between black carbon (BC) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were investigated in 42 sediment samples collected from riverine, coastal and shelf areas in Peninsular Malaysia. The concentrations of BC measured by benzene polycarboxylic acid (BPCA) method and PAHs showed broad spatial variations between the relatively pristine environment of the East coast and developed environment of the West and South coast ranging from 0.02 to 0.36% dw and 57.7 ng g-1 dw to 19,300 ng g-1 dw, respectively. Among diagnostic ratios of PAHs, the ratios of Ant/(Ant+Phe) and LMW/HMW drew the clearest distinctions between the East coast versus the West and South coast sediments indicating the predominance of petrogenic sources in the former versus pyrogenic sources in the latter. PAHs significantly correlated with BC and total organic carbon (TOC) in the sediments (p 
  18. Zaatar AM, Lim CR, Bong CW, Lee MM, Ooi JJ, Suria D, et al.
    J Exp Clin Cancer Res, 2012 Sep 17;31:76.
    PMID: 22986368 DOI: 10.1186/1756-9966-31-76
    BACKGROUND: Treatment protocols for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) developed in the past decade have significantly improved patient survival. In most NPC patients, however, the disease is diagnosed at late stages, and for some patients treatment response is less than optimal. This investigation has two aims: to identify a blood-based gene-expression signature that differentiates NPC from other medical conditions and from controls and to identify a biomarker signature that correlates with NPC treatment response.

    METHODS: RNA was isolated from peripheral whole blood samples (2 x 10 ml) collected from NPC patients/controls (EDTA vacutainer). Gene expression patterns from 99 samples (66 NPC; 33 controls) were assessed using the Affymetrix array. We also collected expression data from 447 patients with other cancers (201 patients) and non-cancer conditions (246 patients). Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to obtain biomarker signatures differentiating NPC samples from controls and other diseases. Differences were also analysed within a subset (n=28) of a pre-intervention case cohort of patients whom we followed post-treatment.

    RESULTS: A blood-based gene expression signature composed of three genes - LDLRAP1, PHF20, and LUC7L3 - is able to differentiate NPC from various other diseases and from unaffected controls with significant accuracy (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of over 0.90). By subdividing our NPC cohort according to the degree of patient response to treatment we have been able to identify a blood gene signature that may be able to guide the selection of treatment.

    CONCLUSION: We have identified a blood-based gene signature that accurately distinguished NPC patients from controls and from patients with other diseases. The genes in the signature, LDLRAP1, PHF20, and LUC7L3, are known to be involved in carcinoma of the head and neck, tumour-associated antigens, and/or cellular signalling. We have also identified blood-based biomarkers that are (potentially) able to predict those patients who are more likely to respond to treatment for NPC. These findings have significant clinical implications for optimizing NPC therapy.

  19. Hussain I, Syed JH, Kamal A, Iqbal M, Eqani SA, Bong CW, et al.
    Environ Monit Assess, 2016 Jun;188(6):378.
    PMID: 27234513 DOI: 10.1007/s10661-016-5359-3
    Chenab River is one of the most important rivers of Punjab Province (Pakistan) that receives huge input of industrial effluents and municipal sewage from major cities in the Central Punjab, Pakistan. The current study was designed to evaluate the concentration levels and associated ecological risks of USEPA priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the surface sediments of Chenab River. Sampling was performed from eight (n = 24) sampling stations of Chenab River and its tributaries. We observed a relatively high abundance of ∑16PAHs during the summer season (i.e. 554 ng g(-1)) versus that in the winter season (i.e. 361 ng g(-1)), with an overall abundance of two-, five- and six-ring PAH congeners. Results also revealed that the nitrate and phosphate contents in the sediments were closely associated with low molecular weight (LMW) and high molecular weight (HMW) PAHs, respectively. Source apportionment results showed that the combustion of fossil fuels appears to be the key source of PAHs in the study area. The risk quotient (RQ) values indicated that seven PAH congeners (i.e. phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, pyrene, benzo(a)pyrene, chrysene and benzo(a)anthracene) could pose serious threats to the aquatic life of the riverine ecosystem in Pakistan.
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