Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 244 in total

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  1. Chua KH, Chai HC
    Genet. Mol. Res., 2012;11(1):636-43.
    PMID: 22535399 DOI: 10.4238/2012.March.16.1
    Hemagglutinin (HA) protein plays an important role in binding the influenza virus to infected cells and therefore mediates infection. Deposited HA sequences of 86 Asian strains of influenza A (H1N1) viruses during the first outbreak were obtained from the NCBI database and compared. Interaction of the HA protein of influenza A (H1N1) virus with the human sialic acid receptor was also studied using bioinformatics. Overall, not more than three single-point amino acid variants/changes were observed in the HA protein region of influenza A (H1N1) virus from Asian countries when a selected group sequence comparison was made. The bioinformatics study showed that the HA protein of influenza A (H1N1) binds to the sialic acid receptor in human airway receptors, possibly key to air-borne infection in humans.
  2. Chai HC, Chua KH
    Diagnostics (Basel), 2021 Nov 30;11(12).
    PMID: 34943481 DOI: 10.3390/diagnostics11122244
    Pathogens may change the odor and odor-related biting behavior of the vector and host to enhance pathogen transmission. In recent years, volatile biomarker investigations have emerged to identify odors that are differentially and specifically released by pathogens and plants, or the pathogen-infected or even cancer patients. Several studies have reported odors or volatile biomarkers specifically detected from the breath and skin of malaria-infected individuals. This review will discuss the potential use of these odors or volatile biomarkers for the diagnosis of malaria. This approach not only allows for the non-invasive mean of sample collection but also opens up the opportunity to develop a biosensor for malaria diagnosis in low-resource settings.
  3. Chai HC, Chua KH
    Diagnostics (Basel), 2022 Nov 29;12(12).
    PMID: 36552996 DOI: 10.3390/diagnostics12122989
    Blood remains the specimen of preference for malaria diagnosis, whether it is for microscopic, nucleic acid-based or biomarker detection of Plasmodium present in a patient. However, concerning the disadvantages of blood drawing, specimens that can be non-invasively collected under non-hygienic settings would come in handy for malaria diagnosis in endemic areas with limited resources. Although the current approaches using saliva or urine might not be as sensitive and specific as using blood, the potential of these two specimens should not be underestimated and efforts in developing diagnostic methods for Plasmodium detection specifically in these two specimens should continue without giving up. This review not only compiles and summarizes the sensitivity and specificity achieved by various detection approaches when using these samples for malaria diagnosis, it also intends to enhance the possibility of using saliva and urine for diagnostic purposes by describing how Plasmodium nucleic acid and antigens may likely be present in these samples. This review may hopefully encourage and motivate researchers in developing saliva- and urine-based diagnostic methods for Plasmodium detection to facilitate the control and eradication of malaria. In summary, the presence of Plasmodium DNA and antigens in urine and saliva makes these two specimens relevant and useful for malaria diagnosis.
  4. Wong YP, Chua KH, Thong KL
    J Microbiol Methods, 2014 Dec;107:133-7.
    PMID: 25307691
    Nosocomial infections are a major public health concern worldwide. Early and accurate identification of nosocomial pathogens which are often multidrug resistant is crucial for prompt treatment. Hence, an alternative real-time polymerase chain reaction coupled with high resolution melting-curve analysis (HRMA) was developed for identification of five nosocomial bacteria. This assay targets species-specific regions of each nosocomial bacteria and produced five distinct melt curves with each representing a particular bacterial species. The melting curves were characterized by peaks of 78.8 ± 0.2 °C for Acinetobacter baumannii, 82.7 ± 0.2 °C for Escherichia coli, 86.3 ± 0.3 °C for Klebsiella pneumoniae, 88.8 ± 0.2 °C for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and 74.6 ± 02 °C for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The assay was able to specifically detect the five bacterial species with an overall detection limit of 2 × 10(-2) ng/μL. In conclusion, the HRM assay developed is a simple and rapid method for identification of the selected nosocomial pathogens.
  5. Ng ZX, Chua KH, Kuppusamy UR
    Food Chem, 2014 Apr 1;148:155-61.
    PMID: 24262540 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.10.025
    This study aimed to investigate the changes in the proteome of bitter gourd prior to and after subjecting to boiling and microwaving. A comparative analysis of the proteome profiles of raw and thermally treated bitter gourds was performed using 2D-DIGE. The protein content and number of protein spots in raw sample was higher when compared to the cooked samples. Qualitative analysis revealed that 103 (boiled sample) and 110 (microwaved sample) protein spots were up regulated whereas 120 (boiled sample) and 107 (microwaved sample) protein spots were down regulated. Ten protein spots with the highest significant fold change in the cooked samples were involved in carbohydrate/energy metabolisms and stress responses. Small heat shock proteins, superoxide dismutase, quinone oxidoreductase, UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase and phosphoglycerate kinase play a role in heat-stress-mediated protection of bitter gourd. This study suggests that appropriate heat treatment (cooking methods) can lead to induction of selected proteins in bitter gourd.
  6. Puah SM, Puthucheary SD, Chua KH
    Int J Med Sci, 2013;10(5):539-47.
    PMID: 23532805 DOI: 10.7150/ijms.5516
    The search for novel immunogenic polypeptides to improve the accuracy and reliability of serologic diagnostic methods for Burkholderia pseudomallei infection is ongoing. We employed a rapid and efficient approach to identify such polypeptides with sera from melioidosis patients using a small insert genomic expression library created from clinically confirmed local virulent isolates of B. pseudomallei. After 2 rounds of immunoscreening, 6 sero-positive clones expressing immunogenic peptides were sequenced and their identities were: benzoate 1,2-dioxygenase beta subunit, a putative 200 kDa antigen p200, phosphotransferase enzyme family protein, short chain dehydrogenase and 2 hypothetical proteins. These immunogens were then transferred to an ELISA platform for further large scale screening. By combining shotgun expression library and ELISA assays, we identified 2 polypeptides BPSS1904 (benzoate 1,2-dioxygenase beta subunit) and BPSL3130 (hypothetical protein), which had sensitivities of 78.9% and 79.4% and specificities of 88.1% and 94.8%, respectively in ELISA test, thus suggesting that both are potential candidate antigens for the serodiagnosis of infections caused by B. pseudomallei.
  7. Puthucheary SD, Puah SM, Chua KH
    PLoS One, 2012;7(2):e30205.
    PMID: 22383958 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0030205
    BACKGROUND: Aeromonas species are common inhabitants of aquatic environments giving rise to infections in both fish and humans. Identification of aeromonads to the species level is problematic and complex due to their phenotypic and genotypic heterogeneity.

    METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Aeromonas hydrophila or Aeromonas sp were genetically re-identified using a combination of previously published methods targeting GCAT, 16S rDNA and rpoD genes. Characterization based on the genus specific GCAT-PCR showed that 94 (96%) of the 98 strains belonged to the genus Aeromonas. Considering the patterns obtained for the 94 isolates with the 16S rDNA-RFLP identification method, 3 clusters were recognised, i.e. A. caviae (61%), A. hydrophila (17%) and an unknown group (22%) with atypical RFLP restriction patterns. However, the phylogenetic tree constructed with the obtained rpoD sequences showed that 47 strains (50%) clustered with the sequence of the type strain of A. aquariorum, 18 (19%) with A. caviae, 16 (17%) with A. hydrophila, 12 (13%) with A. veronii and one strain (1%) with the type strain of A. trota. PCR investigation revealed the presence of 10 virulence genes in the 94 isolates as: lip (91%), exu (87%), ela (86%), alt (79%), ser (77%), fla (74%), aer (72%), act (43%), aexT (24%) and ast (23%).

    CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study emphasizes the importance of using more than one method for the correct identification of Aeromonas strains. The sequences of the rpoD gene enabled the unambiguous identication of the 94 Aeromonas isolates in accordance with results of other recent studies. Aeromonas aquariorum showed to be the most prevalent species (50%) containing an important subset of virulence genes lip/alt/ser/fla/aer. Different combinations of the virulence genes present in the isolates indicate their probable role in the pathogenesis of Aeromonas infections.

  8. Ngui R, Lim YA, Chua KH
    PLoS One, 2012;7(7):e41996.
    PMID: 22844538 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0041996
    Hookworm infections are still endemic in low and middle income tropical countries with greater impact on the socioeconomic and public health of the bottom billion of the world's poorest people. In this study, a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) coupled with high resolution melting-curve (HRM) analysis was evaluated for an accurate, rapid and sensitive tool for species identification focusing on the five human hookworm species.
  9. Chai HC, Phipps ME, Chua KH
    Clin. Dev. Immunol., 2012;2012:963730.
    PMID: 21941582 DOI: 10.1155/2012/963730
    SLE is an autoimmune disease that is not uncommon in Malaysia. In contrast to Malays and Indians, the Chinese seem to be most affected. SLE is characterized by deficiency of body's immune response that leads to production of autoantibodies and failure of immune complex clearance. This minireview attempts to summarize the association of several candidate genes with risk for SLE in the Malaysian population and discuss the genetic heterogeneity that exists locally in Asians and in comparison with SLE in Caucasians. Several groups of researchers have been actively investigating genes that are associated with SLE susceptibility in the Malaysian population by screening possible reported candidate genes across the SLE patients and healthy controls. These candidate genes include MHC genes and genes encoding complement components, TNF, FcγR, T-cell receptors, and interleukins. However, most of the polymorphisms investigated in these genes did not show significant associations with susceptibility to SLE in the Malaysian scenario, except for those occurring in MHC genes and genes coding for TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-1RN, and IL-6.
  10. Chua KH, Lee PC, Chai HC
    Malar J, 2016;15:134.
    PMID: 26931146 DOI: 10.1186/s12936-016-1183-z
    Detection of Plasmodium spp. is sometimes inconvenient especially in rural areas that are distant from a laboratory. In this study a portable diagnostic test of Plasmodium spp. was developed using insulated isothermal polymerase chain reaction (iiPCR) as an alternative approach to improve this situation.
  11. Chua KH, Ooh YY, Chai HC
    Int. J. Immunogenet., 2016 Oct;43(5):303-9.
    PMID: 27519474 DOI: 10.1111/iji.12287
    Tumour necrosis factor superfamily 4 (TNFSF4) gene has been reported to be associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) susceptibility due to its encoding for OX40L protein that can increase autoantibody production and cause imbalance of T-cell proliferation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association of TNFSF4 rs2205960, rs1234315, rs8446748 and rs704840 with SLE in the Malaysian population. A total of 476 patients with SLE and 509 healthy controls were recruited. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was applied to genotype the selected single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Allelic and genotypic frequencies of each SNP were calculated for each ethnic group, and association test was performed using logistic regression. The overall association of each SNP in Malaysian patients with SLE was determined with meta-analysis. The frequency of minor T allele of TNFSF4 rs2205960 was significant in Chinese and Indian patients with SLE, with P values of 0.05 (OR = 1.27, 95% CI: 1.00-1.61) and 0.004 (OR = 3.16, 95% CI: 1.41-7.05), respectively. Significant association of minor G allele of rs704840 with SLE was also observed in Chinese (P = 0.03, OR = 1.26, 95% CI: 1.02-1.56). However, after Bonferroni correction, only T allele of rs2205960 remained significantly associated with Indian cohort. Overall, minor G allele of rs704840 showed significant association with SLE in the Malaysian population with P values of 0.05 (OR = 1.20, 95% CI: 1.00-1.43). We suggested TNFSF4 rs704840 could be the potential SLE risk factors in the Malaysian population.
  12. Chia LL, Jantan I, Chua KH
    Curr Pharm Biotechnol, 2017;18(7):560-568.
    PMID: 28786357 DOI: 10.2174/1389201018666170808144703
    BACKGROUND: Tocotrienols (T3) are the naturally occurring vitamin E derivatives that possess antioxidant properties and therapeutic potential in diabetic complications. The bioactivities of the derivatives are determined by the number and arrangement of methyl substitution on the structure.

    OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the effects of T3 derivatives, σ-T3, γ-T3 and α-T3 on insulin secretion of rat pancreatic islets in a dynamic culture.

    METHOD: Pancreatic islets isolated from male Wistar rats were treated with T3 for 1 h at 37°C in a microfluidic system with continuous operation that provided a stable cell culture environment. Glucose (2.8 mM and 16.7 mM, as basal and stimulant, respectively) and potassium chloride (KCl) (30 mM) were added to the treatment in calcium free medium. The supernatant was collected for insulin measurements.

    RESULTS: Short-term exposure (1 h) of σ-T3 to β cells in the stimulant glucose condition significantly potentiated insulin secretion in a dose-dependent manner. γ-T3 and α-T3 also displayed dosedependent effect but were less effective in the activation of insulin secretion. Essentially, KCl, a pancreatic β cell membrane depolarizing agent, added into the treatment further enhanced the insulin secretion of σ-T3, γ-T3 and α-T3 with ED50 values of 504, 511 and 588 µM, respectively.

    CONCLUSION: The findings suggest the potential of σ-T3 in regulating glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) in response to the intracellular calcium especially in the presence of KCl.

  13. Puah SM, Puthucheary SD, Chua KH
    Jpn J Infect Dis, 2019 Jul 24;72(4):266-269.
    PMID: 30918144 DOI: 10.7883/yoken.JJID.2018.031
    There is an alarming increase in the prevalence of extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) present mainly in Enterobacteriaceae and other nonfermenting gram-negative bacteria, such as Alcaligenes faecalis, which is the only species in that genus that is clinically relevant. We investigated Alcaligenes species from 7 cases (6 inpatients and one outpatient) at our tertiary-care hospital. Four patients had urinary tract infections, and one each had systemic lupus erythematosus, pulmonary stenosis, and diabetic ulcer. All 7 isolates were identified as Alcaligenes spp. based on their 16S rRNA gene sequences, and antibiotic susceptibility was determined using a Vitek 2 system with AST-GN87 cards. All the strains were resistant to cefazolin; 6 were resistant to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole; 5 manifested resistance to ampicillin/sulbactam, cefepime, tobramycin, ciprofloxacin, and nitrofurantoin; whereas 5 had multidrug resistance profiles. All the strains (7/7) expressed ESBL activity; PCR screening and sequencing showed evidence of genes blaTEM-116 (7/7) and blaOXA-10 (4/7), and we believe that this is the first report on the presence of TEM-116 and OXA-10 in an Alcaligenes spp. A combination of the 2 genes was present in 4 strains. All 7 strains were found to harbor at least one ESBL gene probably contributing to the drug resistance.
  14. Tan XC, Chua KH, Ravishankar Ram M, Kuppusamy UR
    Food Chem, 2016 Apr 1;196:242-50.
    PMID: 26593489 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.09.042
    Various strategies have been adopted to combat complications caused by Type 2 diabetes mellitus and controlled diet is one of them. Monoterpenes, major constituents of essential oils, are synthesized and widely used as artificial food flavors. A series of twelve monoterpenes were assessed in the present study. Monoterpenes, exhibited low 2,2-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl hydrate (DPPH) and 2,2'-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) radical scavenging activity even at high concentrations. Some monoterpenes inhibited α-amylase and α-glucosidase activity and stimulated glucose uptake and lipolysis. Monoterpenes such as (R)-(+)-limonene stimulated both glucose uptake (17.4%) and lipolysis (17.7%); the mRNA expression of glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) was upregulated but glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) was unaffected, and adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) was suppressed. Taken together, the selected monoterpenes may not confer strong protection against free radicals but nevertheless, their positive influence on lipid and glucose metabolism may have potential in the control of obesity and Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
  15. Chai HC, Chua KH, Lim SK, Phipps ME
    J Immunol Res, 2014;2014:529167.
    PMID: 24741605 DOI: 10.1155/2014/529167
    Polymorphisms in genes involved in toll-like receptor/interferon signalling pathways have been reported previously to be associated with SLE in many populations. This study aimed to investigate the role of seven single nucleotide polymorphisms within TNFAIP3, STAT4, and IRF5, which are involved in upstream and downstream pathways of type I interferon production, in SLE in the South East Asian populations. Genotyping of 360 Malaysian SLE patients and 430 normal healthy individuals revealed that minor alleles of STAT4 rs7574865 and rs10168266 were associated with elevated risk of SLE in the Chinese and Malay patients, respectively (P = 0.028, odds ratio (OR) = 1.42; P = 0.035, OR = 1.80, respectively). Polymorphisms in TNFAIP3 and IRF5 did not show significant associations with SLE in any of the ethnicities. Combined analysis of the Malays, Chinese, and Indians for each SNP indicated that STAT4 rs10168266 was significantly associated with the Malaysian SLE as a whole (P = 0.014; OR = 1.435). The meta-analysis of STAT4 rs10168266, which combined the data of other studies and this study, further confirmed its importance as the risk factor for SLE by having pooled OR of 1.559 and P value of <0.001.
    Study site: University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  16. Lee PC, Lam HH, Ghani SA, Subrayan V, Chua KH
    Genet. Mol. Res., 2014;13(2):3553-9.
    PMID: 24737507 DOI: 10.4238/2014.March.24.15
    Mutations in the PAX6 gene that cause aniridia have been identified in various ethnicities but not in the Malaysian population. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the PAX6 mutation in a Malaysian family with congenital aniridia. In this study, a complete ophthalmic examination was performed on a Dusun ethnic family with aniridia. Genomic DNA was extracted from the peripheral blood of the subjects and screened for the PAX6 gene mutation using polymerase chain reaction amplification high-resolution melting curve analysis (PCR-HRM) followed by confirmation via direct DNA sequencing. A heterozygous G deletion (c.857delG) in exon 7 causing a frame shift in PAX6 was identified in all affected family members. Genotype-phenotype correlation analysis revealed congenital cataract and all affected family members showed a similar spectrum of aniridia with no phenotypic variability but with differences in severity that were age-dependent. In summary, by using a PCR-HRM approach, this study is the first to report a PAX6 mutation in a Malaysian family. This mutation is the cause of the aniridia spectra observed in this family and of congenital cataract.
  17. Teh CS, Chua KH, Thong KL
    Int J Med Sci, 2014;11(7):732-41.
    PMID: 24904229 DOI: 10.7150/ijms.7768
    The incidence of enteric fever caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Paratyphi A (S. Paratyphi A) is increasing in many parts of the world. Although there is no major outbreak of paratyphoid fever in recent years, S. Paratyphi A infection still remains a public health problem in many tropical countries. Therefore, surveillance studies play an important role in monitoring infections and the emergence of multidrug resistance, especially in endemic countries such as India, Nepal, Pakistan and China. In China, enteric fever was caused predominantly by S. Paratyphi A rather than by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi). Sometimes, S. Paratyphi A infection can evolve into a carrier state which increases the risk of transmission for travellers. Hence, paratyphoid fever is usually classified as a "travel-associated" disease. To date, diagnosis of paratyphoid fever based on the clinical presentation is not satisfactory as it resembles other febrile illnesses, and could not be distinguished from S. Typhi infection. With the availability of Whole Genome Sequencing technology, the genomes of S. Paratyphi A could be studied in-depth and more specific targets for detection will be revealed. Hence, detection of S. Paratyphi A with Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method appears to be a more reliable approach compared to the Widal test. On the other hand, due to increasing incidence of S. Paratyphi A infections worldwide, the need to produce a paratyphoid vaccine is essential and urgent. Hence various vaccine projects that involve clinical trials have been carried out. Overall, this review provides the insights of S. Paratyphi A, including the bacteriology, epidemiology, management and antibiotic susceptibility, diagnoses and vaccine development.
  18. Kanagasabapathy G, Chua KH, Malek SN, Vikineswary S, Kuppusamy UR
    Food Chem, 2014 Feb 15;145:198-204.
    PMID: 24128468 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.08.051
    Mushrooms have been used to treat various diseases for thousands of years. In the present study, the effects of Pleurotus sajor-caju mushroom on lipogenesis, lipolysis and oxidative stress in 3T3-L1 cells were investigated. The β-glucan-rich polysaccharides (GE) from P. sajor-caju stimulated lipogenesis and lipolysis but attenuated protein carbonyl and lipid hydroperoxide levels in 3T3-L1 cells. This extract caused an increase in the expression of 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase subunit γ-2 (PKRAG2) and 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase subunit γ-3 (PKRAG3) when compared to control (untreated) cells. Moreover, GE induced the expressions of hormone-sensitive lipase, adipose triglyceride lipase enzymes, leptin, adiponectin and glucose transporter-4 in 3T3-L1 cells which may have contributed to the lipolytic and insulin-like activities observed in this study. These findings suggest that GE is a novel AMPK activator that may be valuable in the formulation of nutraceuticals and functional food for the prevention and treatment of diabetes mellitus.
  19. Nur Azlina MF, Kamisah Y, Chua KH, Qodriyah HM
    PMID: 23970937 DOI: 10.1155/2013/804796
    The present study aims to distinguish the effect of tocotrienol on an important gastric protective factor, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), in stress-induced gastric injury. Twenty-eight Wistar rats were divided into four groups of seven rats each. Two control groups were fed commercial rat diet, and two treatment groups were fed the same diet but with additional dose of omeprazole (20 mg/kg) or tocotrienol (60 mg/kg). After 28 days, rats from one control group and both treated groups were subjected to water-immersion restraint stress for 3.5 hours once. The rats were then sacrificed, their stomach isolated and gastric juice collected, lesions examined, and gastric PGE2 content and cyclooxygenase (COX) mRNA expression were determined. Both the regimes significantly attenuated the total lesion area in the stomach compared to the control. Gastric acidity, which was increased in stress, was significantly reduced in rats supplemented with omeprazole and tocotrienol. The PGE2 content was also significantly higher in the rats given tocotrienol supplementation compared to the control followed by an increase in COX-1 mRNA expression. We conclude that tocotrienol supplementation protected rat gastric mucosa against stress-induced lesions possibly by reducing gastric acidity and preserving gastric PGE2 by increasing COX-1 mRNA.
  20. Ng ZX, Chua KH, Iqbal T, Kuppusamy UR
    Int J Mol Sci, 2013;14(4):7480-91.
    PMID: 23552832 DOI: 10.3390/ijms14047480
    This study aims to investigate potential diabetic retinopathy (DR) risk factors by evaluating the circulating levels of pentosidine, soluble receptor for advanced glycation end-product (sRAGE), advanced oxidation protein product (AOPP) as well as glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities in DR patients. A total of 235 healthy controls, 171 type 2 diabetic without retinopathy (DNR) and 200 diabetic retinopathy (DR) patients were recruited. Plasma was extracted for the estimation of pentosidine, sRAGE, AOPP levels and GPx activity whereas peripheral blood mononuclear cells were disrupted for SOD activity measurement. DNR and DR patients showed significantly higher levels of plasma pentosidine, sRAGE and AOPP but lower GPx and SOD activities when compared to healthy controls. The sRAGE/pentosidine ratio in DR patients was significantly lower than the ratio detected in DNR patients. Proliferative DR patients had significantly higher levels of plasma pentosidine, sRAGE, AOPP and sRAGE/pentosidine ratio than non-proliferative DR patients. High HbA1c level, long duration of diabetes and low sRAGE/pentosidine ratio were determined as the risk factors for DR. This study suggests that sRAGE/pentosidine ratio could serve as a risk factor determinant for type 2 DR as it has a positive correlation with the severity of DR.
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