Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 32 in total

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  1. Tappe D, Abdullah S, Heo CC, Kannan Kutty M, Latif B
    Trop Biomed, 2013 Sep;30(3):355-66.
    PMID: 24189667
    Sarcocystosis, an unusual parasitic zoonotic disease, is caused by coccidian/ apicomplexan protozoa in humans and animals. The parasites usually develop in a heteroxenous predator-prey life-cycle involving final (carnivore) and intermediate (omnivore/herbivore) hosts. Besides the intestinal, non-invasive form of the disease in which humans and animals are the definitive hosts for certain Sarcocystis spp., the invasive form has come to recent attention. In the latter, humans and animals serve as intermediate host harbouring sarcocysts in their muscle tissue. Already in 1991 sarcocystosis was seen as a potential emerging food borne zoonosis in Malaysia, and in 2011 and 2012 the largest cluster of symptomatic human muscular sarcocystosis world-wide was reported from Tioman Island, Pahang state. In this review, we focus on invasive sarcocystosis in humans and animals in Malaysia, review the recorded cases and epidemiology, and present hypotheses.
  2. Heo CC, Aisha S, Kurahashi H, Omar B
    Trop Biomed, 2013 Mar;30(1):159-63.
    PMID: 23665723 MyJurnal
    Isomyia paurogonita Fang & Fan, 1986 (Diptera: Calliphoridae), a rare species of the subfamily Rhiniinae (tribe Cosminini) was recorded for the first time in Malaysia. We collected one male and two females during a field trip conducted at Genting Highland, Pahang, peninsular Malaysia in May 2011. A 3-day old cow liver was offered as attractant and dipterans collected were transferred to the laboratory for specimens processing and identification. The adults of I. paurogonita were attracted to the odour and then captured by using a sweep net. Isomyia paurogonita was also recorded from two other localities in Peninsular and Malaysian Borneo, namely Gombak Utara, Selangor and Sibu, Sarawak.
  3. Heo CC, Mohamad AM, John J, Baharudin O
    Trop Biomed, 2008 Apr;25(1):23-9.
    PMID: 18600201
    This entomological study was conducted in a man-made freshwater pond in a palm oil plantation in Tanjung Sepat, Selangor from 23 July 2007 by using pig (Sus scrofa) as a carcass model. A 1.5 month old piglet (5 kg), which died of asphyxia after being accidentally crushed by its mother, was thrown into a pond. Observation was made for ten days; one visit per day and climatological data were recorded. On the first two days, the piglet carcass sunk to the bottom of the pond. The carcass floated to the surface on the third day but no fly activities were seen. The blow fly, Chrysomya megacephala and Chrysomya rufifacies started to oviposit on the fourth day. Other than adult flies, a spider (Arachnida) was also observed on the carcass. Bubbles accumulated at the mouthpart, and the abdomen was greenish black. A lot of blow fly eggs were seen on the body surface on the fifth day (floating decay), along with first and second instars C. megacephala crawling under the piglet's skin. On the sixth day, adult blow fly, C. megacephala,and C. rufifacies,and muscid flies, Ophyra spinigera and Musca domestica were observed on to the carcass. High numbers of first and second instars of flies were observed wandering around the body surface with C. megacephala larvae being the predominant species. Two prominent maggot masses occurred on seventh and eighth days. Bloated deterioration stage began on day eighth exposing rib bones, humerus bones and intestines. Carcass was partially sinking and the maggot masses were at the water level. On day ninth, the carcass was partially sinking and three maggot masses were observed on the exposed surface. There were very few adult flies, including a scarab beetle was sighted on the carcass at this stage. The carcass along with the maggots sunk on day tenth, leaving an oily layer on the water surface.
  4. Heo CC, Mohamad AM, John J, Baharudin O
    Trop Biomed, 2008 Apr;25(1):93-5.
    PMID: 18600210 MyJurnal
    During a forensic entomological study conducted in a palm oil plantation in Tg.Sepat, Selangor in September 2007, a spider (Arachnida), Oxyopes sp. (Oxyopidae) was found to predate on a calliphorid fly (Chrysomya rufifacies). The female spider laid a silk thread, or "drag line", behind it as it moved. This spider bites its prey by using a pairs of chelicerae, and injecting venom into the fly. The fly was moving its wing trying to escape, however, it succumbed to the deadly bite.
  5. Azmiera N, Mariana A, Pimsler ML, Heo CC
    J Med Entomol, 2020 09 07;57(5):1354-1363.
    PMID: 32440683 DOI: 10.1093/jme/tjaa086
    Mite biodiversity and distribution in Malaysia is currently understudied. Most previous works on Malaysian Acari have focused on pest organisms of medical, veterinary, and agricultural concern, with a few recent studies centered on mites in forensic contexts. Previous literatures have targeted collection sites in forest reserves and/or mountains in either Peninsular or Malaysian Borneo, though the state of Sarawak had the least publications related to mite species descriptions despite having the highest number of nature parks of any state in the country. Most publications focused on the three states Selangor, Pahang and Sabah. Most of the mite species reported were from mammals (66.3%), with fewer species from birds (21.7%), arthropods (11.2%), and reptiles (0.8%). We believe that further work on the systematic documentation of mite species throughout Malaysia is necessary as it could generate useful tools, such as the use of mites as biogeographical markers or as forensic indicators. Therefore, this review catalogs mite species that have been documented in or on animal hosts in Malaysia and serves as a foundation for future work.
  6. Azmiera N, Low VL, Heo CC
    Acta Parasitol, 2021 Jan 03.
    PMID: 33389626 DOI: 10.1007/s11686-020-00313-z
    INTRODUCTION: Psychoda sp. is often collected from patchy habitats such as sewers, drains and decomposing organic matters. The discovery of Psychoda sp. in forensic studies indicated that it might have noteworthy value in assisting death investigations.

    PURPOSE: This study reports on the first finding of Psychoda larvae collected from decomposing rabbit carcasses placed in Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia.

    METHODS: The larvae were first observed on rabbit carcasses and were collected using tweezers and carefully preserved in 70% ethanol. They were subsequently mounted on microscopy slides using Hoyer's medium and identified as Psychoda sp. morphologically. The identification was also confirmed through a DNA barcoding analysis.

    RESULTS: Psychoda sp. larvae were collected on day-10 post-mortem where the rabbit carcasses were at the advanced decay stage of decomposition. The cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) gene sequences of the larvae had 90% similarity with the Psychoda spp. in the database.

    CONCLUSION: The finding of these larvae on carrion may provide additional valuable insights into forensic entomology and may assist in death investigations.

  7. Latif B, Vellayan S, Heo CC, Kannan Kutty M, Omar E, Abdullah S, et al.
    Trop Biomed, 2013 Dec;30(4):699-705.
    PMID: 24522140 MyJurnal
    The prevalence of sarcocystosis in cattle and water buffaloes from peninsular Malaysia was investigated in abattoirs in Selangor state, February, 2011, to March, 2012. Fresh muscle samples were collected from the tongue, heart, oesophagus, diaphragm and skeletal muscles of 102 cattle and 18 water buffaloes. Each sample was initially screened by light microscopy and then fixed for further histopathological analysis. Out of 120 animals examined, 49 (40.8%) harboured the microscopic type of Sarcocystis spp. The positivity rate for cattle was 36.2% and for water buffaloes 66.7%. In cattle, the organs highly infected were the skeletal muscles and diaphragm (27% each), followed by tongue and esophagus (24.3% each), and the heart (8%). In water buffaloes, the heart was most often infected (66.7%), followed by the oesophagus (50%) and skeletal muscle (33.3%); no sarcocysts were detected in the tongue and diaphragm. The shape of the sarcocyst was fusiform to oval with a mean cyst size of 151.66 x 75.83 μm and wall thickness of 2.47 μm in cattle, and 114 x 50.81 μm cyst size and the wall thickness of 1.11 μm in water buffaloes, consistent with Sarcocystis cruzi and Sarcocystis levinei, respectively. Remaining tissue from cattle was subjected to parasite specific 18S rRNA gene PCR and Sarcocystis cruzi was confirmed, at least exemplarily. The peripheral metrocytes and the banana-shaped bradyzoites (15.23 x 2.2 μm in cattle and 11.49 x 2.45 μm in water buffalo hosts) were easily recognized. In conclusion, a high positivity rate was found in Malaysian meat-producing animals with possible implications for meat consumption and human health.
  8. Heo CC, Latif B, Hafiz WM, Zhou HZ
    PMID: 23691629
    We report a series of dermatitis cases caused by the staphilinid beetles, Paederusfuscipes Curtis, among university students staying in the residential college in Puncak Alam, Selangor, Malaysia from 1 January to 31 December 2010. A total of 360 cases (6.0%) were recorded in the Student Health Center throughout the year; the majority of patients stayed at a hostel near an oil palm plantation. Skin symptoms included erythema, edema, vesicular papules, painful blisters, burning sensation, pruritus, hyper pigmentation and peeling of skin. The commonly involved sites were the face, neck, shoulders and arms. Most students noticed the symptoms upon awakening in the morning. The patients were treated with fusidic acid cream and the symptoms resolved within 5 days. These beetles are nocturnally active and enter the room whenever a light source is available. The unintentional crushing of these beetles during sleep causes the release of its hemolymph (paederin) which is the cause of the dermatitis.
  9. Latif B, Omar E, Heo CC, Othman N, Tappe D
    Am J Trop Med Hyg, 2011 Nov;85(5):878-81.
    PMID: 22049042 DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.2011.11-0404
    We report a case of visceral pentastomiasis caused by Armillifer moniliformis in a 70-year-old aboriginal farmer from rural Malaysian Borneo. The patient complained of upper abdominal pain, jaundice, and loss of weight. Radiological investigations and subsequent histopathological examination revealed an adenocarcinoma of the pancreas with an adjacent liver nodule containing a nymph of A. moniliformis. This report constitutes the first documented human pentastomid infection in the whole of Malaysia after nearly 40 years, and it is the third description from Malaysian Borneo. Cases of human and animal pentastomiasis in Malaysia are discussed.
  10. Rumiza AR, Khairul O, Zuha RM, Heo CC
    Trop Biomed, 2010 Dec;27(3):373-83.
    PMID: 21399577
    This study was designed to mimic homicide or suicide cases using gasoline. Six adult long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis), weighing between 2.5 to 4.0 kg, were equally divided into control and test groups. The control group was sacrificed by a lethal dose of phenobarbital intracardiac while test group was force fed with two doses of gasoline LD50 (37.7 ml/kg) after sedation with phenobarbital. All carcasses were then placed in a decomposition site to observe the decomposition and invasion process of cadaveric fauna on the carcasses. A total of five decomposition stages were recognized during this study. This study was performed during July 2007. Fresh stage of control and test carcasses occurred between 0 to 15 and 0 to 39 hours of exposure, respectively. The subsequent decomposition stages also exhibited the similar pattern whereby the decomposition process of control carcasses were faster than tested one. The first larvae were found on control carcasses after 9 hours of death while the test group carcasses had only their first blowfly eggs after 15 hours of exposure. Blow flies, Achoetandrus rufifacies and Chrysomya megacephala were the most dominant invader of both carcasses throughout the decaying process. Diptera collected from control carcasses comprised of scuttle fly, Megaselia scalaris and flesh fly, sarcophagid. We concluded that the presence of gasoline and its odor on the carcass had delayed the arrival of insect to the carcasses, thereby slowing down the decomposition process in the carcass by 6 hours.
  11. Heo CC, Mohamad AM, Jeffery J, Kurahashi H, Omar B
    Trop Biomed, 2008 Dec;25(3):252-3.
    PMID: 19287365
    A forensic entomological study conducted in an oil palm plantation in Tanjung Sepat, Selangor, Malaysia on 3 August 2007 revealed that a housefly, Musca domestica Linnaeus oviposited its eggs on a freshly dead pig. This finding indicated that housefly might play an important role in forensic investigation in determining post-mortem interval (PMI), although it was not yet found in human corpses or any animal carrion. This preliminary paper presented a first record of Musca domestica eggs found on animal carcass in the country.
  12. Heo CC, Latif B, Silahuddin SA, Nazni WA, Omar B
    Trop Biomed, 2015 Mar;32(1):151-9.
    PMID: 25801265
    The study on biodiversity of forensically important Diptera in the tropical rain forest in Malaysia is scarce. Thus, a preliminary survey was conducted at a jungle fringe near Kampung Bahagia Bukit Lagong, Sungai Buloh, Selangor. A rat carcass was offered to attract carrion flies and we collected an adult female calliphorid, Hypopygiopsis fumipennis (Walker, 1856) during the fresh stage of carcass decomposition. The female fly was allowed to oviposit on chicken liver in a container and the resulting larvae were reared to the adult stage. Along the developmental process, several individuals from each instar were collected and preserved in 70% ethanol and then processed on the slides. We recorded the duration of development for each instar and described its larval features for the first time. The third instar larvae of H. fumipennis showed accessory oral sclerite present, anterior spiracle with 13-15 papillae, intersegmental spines mostly unicuspid with pointed end, and posterior spiracles heavily sclerotized with inter-slit projections. Some larval differences between H. fumipennis and Hypopygiopsis violacea were noted.
  13. Sharifah N, Heo CC, Ehlers J, Houssaini J, Tappe D
    Acta Trop, 2020 Sep;209:105527.
    PMID: 32447029 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2020.105527
    Ticks are blood-feeding ectoparasites and major vectors of pathogens that cause infectious diseases in humans and animals worldwide including mammals, birds and reptiles. Despite the growing scientific effort in the 20th century, there is still limited information on ticks and tick-borne pathogens in Southeast Asia, especially concerning medical, veterinary, socioeconomic and agricultural aspects in the island nations. This review provides an overview of the current state of knowledge of ticks and their pathogens in the island nations of Southeast Asia and peninsular Malaysia. We aim to stimulate further research studies on ticks and tick-borne pathogens of human and veterinary importance in this geographical region.
  14. Latif B, Heo CC, Razuin R, Shamalaa DV, Tappe D
    Emerg Infect Dis, 2013 Aug;19(8):1340-1.
    PMID: 23876448 DOI: 10.3201/eid1908.121710
  15. Heo CC, Tomberlin JK, Aitkenhead-Peterson JA
    J Forensic Sci, 2020 Dec 08.
    PMID: 33290606 DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.14645
    Under normal circumstances, insects such as blow flies will oviposit and larvae will colonize a carcass as soon as possible. However, insect colonization on a carcass may be delayed due to the effects of wrapping, shallow burial, addition of lime derivatives to mitigate scavenging and odor, or extreme weather. The impacts of delayed insect colonization on carcass decomposition and its subsequent effect on soil chemistry profiles have not been examined to date. The objectives of this study were to determine soil chemistry dynamics associated with porcine carcasses experiencing delayed insect colonization for 7-day or 14-day. Soil chemistry profiles such as ammonium-N (NH4 -N), orthophosphate-P (PO4 -P), and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) were significantly different among treatments: insect inclusion (immediate access of blow fly colonization on porcine carcasses), 7-day insect exclusion and 14-day insect exclusion (blow fly access was delayed up to 7-day and 14-day). Furthermore, significant differences of soil chemical profiles were detected between days of decomposition and soil regions. Soil moisture, NH4 -N, PO4 -P, and DOC were significantly higher when insects were excluded from the porcine carcass suggesting loss of tissue from larval feeding reduced the mass of nutrients entering the soil. This study provides useful information for forensic science in cases where insect colonization is delayed for a period of time postmortem and soil chemistry in the cadaver decomposition island is considered for estimating postmortem interval.
  16. Latif B, Kannan Kutty M, Muslim A, Hussaini J, Omar E, Heo CC, et al.
    Trop Biomed, 2015 Sep;32(3):444-52.
    PMID: 26695204 MyJurnal
    One thousand and forty-five tissue samples of skeletal muscles, tongue, heart, diaphragm and esophagus were collected from 209 animals (43 sheep, 89 goats and 77 cattle) from an abattoir in Selangor between February and October, 2013. Each sample was divided into three pieces with each piece measuring 2-3 mm3. Each piece was then squeezed between two glass slides and examined microscopically at x 10 magnification for the presence of sarcocystosis. Three positive samples from each animal species were then fixed in 10% formalin for histological processing. Seven positive samples collected from each animal species were preserved at -80°C or 90% ethanol for gene expression studies. Microsarcocysts were detected in 114 (54.5%) animals by light microscopy (LM). The infection rates in sheep, goat and cattle were 86, 61.8 and 28.6% respectively. The highest rate of infection was in the skeletal muscles of sheep (64.9%) and goats (63.6%) and in the heart of cattle (63.6%). The cysts were spindle to oval in shape and two stages were recognized, the peripheral metrocytes and centrally located banana-shaped bradyzoites. 18S rRNA gene expression studies confirmed the isolates from the sheep as S. ovicanis, goats as S. capracanis and cattle as S. bovicanis. This, to the best of our knowledge, is the first molecular identification of an isolate of S. ovicanis and S. capracanis in Malaysia. Further studies with electron microscopy (EM) are required in the future to compare the features of different types of Sarcocysts spp.
  17. Kutty MK, Latif B, Muslim A, Hussaini J, Daher AM, Heo CC, et al.
    Trop Anim Health Prod, 2015 Apr;47(4):751-6.
    PMID: 25740651 DOI: 10.1007/s11250-015-0789-4
    A number of methods have been used for the detection of the presence of microsarcocysts in animals, but little information exists on the value between the various methods. This study therefore examined for Sarcocystis spp. using three different methods in 105 samples of skeletal muscle collected from goats slaughtered in an abattoir in Selangor, Malaysia from January to February 2014. Three methods were used, direct light microscopy of squashed fresh muscle tissues; histological examination of fixed, sectioned, and hematoxylin and eosin (H&E)-stained samples of muscle; and molecular identification by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Of the 105 tissue samples, 55 (52.38 %) were positive by light microscopy (LM), 46 (43.8 %) by histology, and 95 (90.48 %) by PCR. Only 29 (27.6 %) and 5 (4.76 %) samples were positive and negative, respectively, by all three methods. The cysts were elongated to a spindle shape with a mean size of 393.30 × 81.6 μm and containing banana-shaped bradyzoites of size 12.32 × 2.08 μm. The wall of the cyst was radially striated with a thickness of 2.83 μm. Samples were tested for the presence of Sarcocystis-specific 18S rRNA and were identified as Sarcocystis capracanis. Of the three methods used, the PCR test appears to be the most useful method for the diagnosis of sarcocystosis especially for species identification.
  18. Chew WK, Kurahashi H, Nazni WA, Heo CC, Heah SK, Jeffery J, et al.
    Trop Biomed, 2012 Sep;29(3):489-92.
    PMID: 23018512
    Lispe orientalis Wiedemann, 1824 is recorded for the first time in peninsular Malaysia. Specimens were collected from a mushroom cultivation farm in Genting Highlands, Pahang (3°25'18"N 101°47'48"E). Previously, this species had been recorded from Azerbaijin, India, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey and South Korea. The male of Lispe orientalis can be determined by the following characteristics: body non-metallic, ashy gray, third antennal segment black, R5 cell not narrow apically, hind metatarsus normal, legs entirely black, femora with long bristle-like hairs on av and pv surfaces, hind tibia without av and pv seta and the palpi orangish in colour.
  19. Heo CC, Mohamad AR, Rosli H, Nurul Ashikin A, Chen CD, John J, et al.
    Trop Biomed, 2009 Apr;26(1):106-9.
    PMID: 19696735
    An observational study was conducted in an oil palm plantation in Tanjung Sepat, Selangor, Malaysia on August until September 2007 to note the decomposition process of pigs and their related faunal succession. We collected six species of ants (Formicidae) from 3 subfamilies: Formicinae (Oecophylla smaragdina and Anoplolepis gracilipes), Myrmicinae (Tetramorium sp. and Pheidologeton sp.) and Ponerinae (Odontoponera sp. and Diacamma sp.) that were associated with pig carcasses placed on the ground. Oecophylla smaragdina, Pheidologeton sp. and Tetramorium sp. were found on a partially burnt pig carcass whereas the other species were recovered from unburned pig carcass. These ants predated on fly eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. Ants could be found at all stages of decomposition starting from fresh until dry stage. Predatory ants can reduce fly population and thus may affect the rate of carcass decomposition but this was not seen in our study. Even though O. smaragdina was seen at all stages of decomposition of the burnt pig, this did not alter much the decomposition process by fly larvae.
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