Displaying all 18 publications

  1. Ithnin M, Nor NAUM, Juliana N, Effendy NM, Sahar MA, Abdullah KHA, et al.
    An increase in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among Orang Asli in Malaysia was reported to be associated with their lifestyle changes. This study aimed to determine the level of knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) on NCDs among the Orang Asli community and its association with demographic factors of gender, age, and education level.MATERIAL AND METHODS:A cross-sectional study among consented adult Orang Asli in Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan, was conducted by a face-to-face interview using a validated questionnaire. Their knowledge, attitude, and practice on selected NCD risk factors, complications, and treatment was recorded. Bivariate analysis was performed to test the association between their demographic profile and KAP score.RESULTS:A total of 325 respondents with a mean age of 39.9 (±13.2) ranged from 18 to 83 years old participated in this study. Majority of the participants (72.3%) had inadequate knowledge. Despite the inadequacy, they have a good attitude (72.3%) and a moderate practice level (63.4%). Respondents with higher education backgrounds had significantly better knowledge scores compared to lower education background (p
  2. Ithnin M, Teh CK, Ratnam W
    BMC Genet, 2017 04 19;18(1):37.
    PMID: 28420332 DOI: 10.1186/s12863-017-0505-7
    BACKGROUND: The Elaeis oleifera genetic materials were assembled from its center of diversity in South and Central America. These materials are currently being preserved in Malaysia as ex situ living collections. Maintaining such collections is expensive and requires sizable land. Information on the genetic diversity of these collections can help achieve efficient conservation via maintenance of core collection. For this purpose, we have applied fourteen unlinked microsatellite markers to evaluate 532 E. oleifera palms representing 19 populations distributed across Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia.

    RESULTS: In general, the genetic diversity decreased from Costa Rica towards the north (Honduras) and south-east (Colombia). Principle coordinate analysis (PCoA) showed a single cluster indicating low divergence among palms. The phylogenetic tree and STRUCTURE analysis revealed clusters based on country of origin, indicating considerable gene flow among populations within countries. Based on the values of the genetic diversity parameters, some genetically diverse populations could be identified. Further, a total of 34 individual palms that collectively captured maximum allelic diversity with reduced redundancy were also identified. High pairwise genetic differentiation (Fst > 0.250) among populations was evident, particularly between the Colombian populations and those from Honduras, Panama and Costa Rica. Crossing selected palms from highly differentiated populations could generate off-springs that retain more genetic diversity.

    CONCLUSION: The results attained are useful for selecting palms and populations for core collection. The selected materials can also be included into crossing scheme to generate offsprings that capture greater genetic diversity for selection gain in the future.

  3. Abdullah N, Rafii Yusop M, Ithnin M, Saleh G, Latif MA
    C. R. Biol., 2011 Apr;334(4):290-9.
    PMID: 21513898 DOI: 10.1016/j.crvi.2011.01.004
    Studies were conducted to assess the genetic relationships between the parental palms (dura and pisifera) and performance of their progenies based on nine microsatellite markers and 29 quantitative traits. Correlation analyses between genetic distances and hybrids performance were estimated. The coefficients of correlation values of genetic distances with hybrid performance were non-significant, except for mean nut weight and leaf number. However, the correlation coefficient of genetic distances with these characters was low to be used as predicted value. These results indicated that genetic distances based on the microsatellite markers may not be useful for predicting hybrid performance. The genetic distance analysis using UPGMA clustering system generated 5 genetic clusters with coefficient of 1.26 based on quantitative traits of progenies. The genotypes, DP16, DP14, DP4, DP13, DP12, DP15, DP8, DP1 and DP2 belonging to distant clusters and greater genetic distances could be selected for further breeding programs.
  4. Jaafar H, Abd Laziz NA, Ithnin M, Azzeri A
    Inquiry, 2021 12 21;58:469580211062402.
    PMID: 34929109 DOI: 10.1177/00469580211062402
    COVID-19 infection resulted in significant economic implications to patients as well as a considerable financial burden to the general population for preventive measures. A descriptive study was conducted among staff at one of the public universities in Malaysia to estimate the monthly out-of-pocket expenditures for preventive measures used for COVID-19 infection. The study tool includes questions on household out-of-pocket expenditure and the measurements of the impact of the expenditure on household income. It was found that the average cumulative monthly expenditures related to the preventive measures were US$ 45.90 (Ringgit Malaysia 187.77), which was 4.3% of the household income. The highest expenditures were for traditional and complementary medicine followed by nutraceutical/supplements and disposable facemask. 8% of the households in this study incurred more than ten per cents of their monthly household income for expenditures related to COVID-19 preventive measures. Several households are experiencing substantial financial implications for preventive measures related to COVID-19 infection. This study highlights the out-of-pocket expenditures incurred for preventive measures were substantial for certain households. Effective initiatives from the government on providing subsidized protective personal equipment and a cost-sharing approach could help to alleviate the household financial burden.
  5. Othman WMN, Ithnin M, Wan Abdul Aziz WNA, Wan Ali WNS, Ramli H
    J Int Soc Prev Community Dent, 2021 01 30;11(1):33-40.
    PMID: 33688471 DOI: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_336_20
    Aims: This study aimed at exploring the self-perception of Orang Asli (OA) from the Temuan tribe in Jelebu by using the Global Self-rated Oral Health (GSROH) and General Oral Health Assessment Index (GOHAI).

    Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional study involving a two-stage sampling to select the district and villages. A total of 325 participants were selected based on convenience sampling.

    Results: Almost half of the participants rated their oral health as poor or average. The mean GOHAI score was 52.96 (±7.749), ranging from 29 to 60. The GOHAI score was statistically significantly lower for female gender (P = 0.025), lower education level (P = 0.001), and elderly (P = 0.001). The GSROH score was also statistically significant with GOHAI score (P = 0.001).

    Conclusions: A limited number of studies were conducted in this area, particularly in the vulnerable population of OA. Our study found that half of the OA living in the fringe had a poor GOHAI score. It is, therefore, suggested that potential study and intervention programs concentrate on the low GOHAI score group; the male, lower educational context, and the elderly.

  6. Mohamed NA, Solehan HM, Mohd Rani MD, Ithnin M, Che Isahak CI
    PLoS One, 2021;16(8):e0256110.
    PMID: 34388202 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0256110
    BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 is caused by a newly discovered coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. The Malaysian government has planned to procure COVID-19 vaccine through multiple agencies and companies in order to vaccinate at least 70% of the population. This study aimed to determine the knowledge, acceptance and perception of Malaysian adults regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.

    METHODOLOGY: An online survey was conducted for two weeks in December 2020. A bilingual, semi-structured questionnaire was set up using Google Forms and the generated link was shared on social media (i.e., Facebook and WhatsApp). The questionnaire consisted of questions on knowledge, acceptance and perception of COVID-19 vaccine. The association between demographic factors with scores on knowledge about COVID-19 vaccine were analysed using the Mann-Whitney test for two categorical variables, and the Kruskal-Wallis test used for more than two categorical variables.

    RESULTS: A total of 1406 respondents participated, with the mean age of 37.07 years (SD = 16.05) years, and among them 926 (65.9%) were female. Sixty two percent of respondents had poor knowledge about COVID-19 vaccine (mean knowledge score 4.65; SD = 2.32) and 64.5% were willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine. High knowledge scores associated with higher education background, higher-income category and living with who is at higher risk of getting severe COVID-19. They were more likely to be willing to get vaccinated if they were in a lower age group, have higher education levels and were female.

    CONCLUSION: Even though knowledge about vaccine COVID-19 is inadequate, the majority of the respondents were willing to get vaccinated. This finding can help the Ministry of Health plan for future efforts to increase vaccine uptake that may eventually lead to herd immunity against COVID-19.

  7. Ting NC, Zaki NM, Rosli R, Low ET, Ithnin M, Cheah SC, et al.
    J Genet, 2010 Aug;89(2):135-45.
    PMID: 20861564
    This study reports on the detection of additional expressed sequence tags (EST) derived simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers for the oil palm. A large collection of 19243 Elaeis guineensis ESTs were assembled to give 10258 unique sequences, of which 629 ESTs were found to contain 722 SSRs with a variety of motifs. Dinucleotide repeats formed the largest group (45.6%) consisting of 66.9% AG/CT, 21.9% AT/AT, 10.9% AC/GT and 0.3% CG/CG motifs. This was followed by trinucleotide repeats, which is the second most abundant repeat types (34.5%) consisting of AAG/CTT (23.3%), AGG/CCT (13.7%), CCG/CGG (11.2%), AAT/ATT (10.8%), AGC/GCT (10.0%), ACT/AGT (8.8%), ACG/CGT (7.6%), ACC/GGT (7.2%), AAC/GTT (3.6%) and AGT/ACT (3.6%) motifs. Primer pairs were designed for 405 unique EST-SSRs and 15 of these were used to genotype 105 E. guineensis and 30 E. oleifera accessions. Fourteen SSRs were polymorphic in at least one germplasm revealing a total of 101 alleles. The high percentage (78.0%) of alleles found to be specific for either E. guineensis or E. oleifera has increased the power for discriminating the two species. The estimates of genetic differentiation detected by EST-SSRs were compared to those reported previously. The transferability across palm taxa to two Cocos nucifera and six exotic palms is also presented. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products of three primer-pairs detected in E. guineensis, E. oleifera, C. nucifera and Jessinia bataua were cloned and sequenced. Sequence alignments showed mutations within the SSR site and the flanking regions. Phenetic analysis based on the sequence data revealed that C. nucifera is closer to oil palm compared to J. bataua; consistent with the taxanomic classification.
  8. Zolkafli SH, Ithnin M, Chan KL, Zainol Abidin MI, Ismail I, Ting NC, et al.
    Breed Sci, 2021 Apr;71(2):253-260.
    PMID: 34377073 DOI: 10.1270/jsbbs.19022
    Oil palm is continually being improved via controlled crossing of selected palms to ensure sustainable yields and productivity. As such, correct parental assignment is important as the presence of illegitimates will compromise the progress of improvement. In the present study, we determined the optimal number of microsatellite (SSR) markers for detection of illegitimates in selected oil palm crosses with high confidence. Determining the optimal number of markers to assign parentage will ensure that the DNA fingerprinting will be cost effective for routine use as a quality control tool in oil palm improvement programs. Here, we evaluated a wide range of crosses that included a cross derived from wild germplasm palm. The results revealed that markers with high PIC are informative and detect most of the alleles present in a cross, including those exhibited by the illegitimates. A larger number of optimum sets of markers are needed to detect all illegitimates for crosses with higher levels of genetic diversity. The optimal number of polymorphic SSR markers determined in the present study can ensure that appropriate quality control is implemented for oil palm improvement programs.
  9. Ithnin M, Mohd Rani MD, Abd Latif Z, Kani P, Syaiful A, Nor Aripin KN, et al.
    JMIR Mhealth Uhealth, 2017 May 30;5(5):e78.
    PMID: 28559222 DOI: 10.2196/mhealth.6261
    BACKGROUND: Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) cause significant morbidity and mortality. Improved assessment of ADRs to identify the causal relationship, the severity, and the preventability will aid ADRs prevention or reduce patient burden.

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to develop mobile apps in assisting clinical decision in ADR assessments of causality, severity, and preventability using validated tools. The usability of the apps was assessed.

    METHODS: We designed mobile apps using validated assessment tools for ADRs. They are the Liverpool ADRs Causality Assessment Tool, Hartwig's Severity Assessment Scale, and the Modified Schumock and Thronton Preventability Scale. The apps were named "Adverse Drug ReactionCausality," "Adverse Drug ReactionSeverity," and "Adverse Drug RxnPreventability." A survey was conducted using the System Usability Scale (SUS) to assess the usability of the developed apps among health care professionals.

    RESULTS: These apps are available for download through Google Play Store for free since January 2015. From the survey, the mean SUS score was 70.9 based on 26 responses from the pediatric ward of Hospital Ampang, Malaysia.

    CONCLUSIONS: The developed apps received an overall acceptable usability among health care professionals. The usage of these apps will improve detection, assessment, and avoidance of future ADRs. They will also contribute to future research on ADRs, thus increasing drug safety.

  10. Abdul Rashid MR, Syed Mohamad SN, Tajjudin AIA, Roslan N, Jaffar A, Mohideen FBS, et al.
    PMID: 36901486 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph20054476
    This study aimed to explore the socio-demographic characteristics, mental health status, and perceived causes of pandemic fatigue with COVID-19 pandemic fatigue among the general population of Malaysia. The data was collected online during the transition from the COVID-19 pandemic phase to the endemic phase in Malaysia from 1 to 30 April 2022. Sociodemographic data, Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21), perceived causes of pandemic fatigue, and the Fatigue Assessment Scale (FAS) were included in the survey. The chi-square test and a simple logistic regression analysis were used to identify predictors of pandemic fatigue. The completed survey (N = 775) included individuals aged 18 years or above [mean 31.98 (SD = 12.16)] from all states in Malaysia. Pandemic fatigue prevalence was 54.2%. Severe to extremely severe depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms were detected in 11.2%, 14.9%, and 9.1% of the participants, respectively. Younger age, non-Malay ethnicity, living alone, and higher income categories were significantly higher in the fatigued group. Higher DASS-21 scores on all domains were associated with higher FAS scores. Meanwhile, high scores for perceived tiredness from complying with the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), perceived risk of infection from COVID-19, perceived hardship due to the pandemic, perceived public complacency during the pandemic, and perceived changes due to the pandemic were associated with a higher FAS score. This study provides valuable information for policymakers and mental health professionals worldwide on pandemic fatigue and its associated factors, including mental health status in Malaysia.
  11. Ting NC, Jansen J, Mayes S, Massawe F, Sambanthamurthi R, Ooi LC, et al.
    BMC Genomics, 2014;15:309.
    PMID: 24767304 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-309
    Oil palm is an important perennial oil crop with an extremely long selection cycle of 10 to 12 years. As such, any tool that speeds up its genetic improvement process, such as marker-assisted breeding is invaluable. Previously, genetic linkage maps based on AFLP, RFLP and SSR markers were developed and QTLs for fatty acid composition and yield components identified. High density genetic maps of crosses of different genetic backgrounds are indispensable tools for investigating oil palm genetics. They are also useful for comparative mapping analyses to identify markers closely linked to traits of interest.
  12. Sabri MF, Said MA, Magli AS, Pin TM, Rizal H, Thangiah N, et al.
    Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2022 Sep 30;19(19).
    PMID: 36231818 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph191912520
    This cross-sectional study examined the relationships of financial literacy (FL) and financial behaviour (FB) with health-related quality of life (HRQOL) during the COVID-19 pandemic among low-income working population (20-60 years old) in Malaysia. A self-administered questionnaire survey was used with HRQOL data were gathered using the EuroQol 5-Dimension 5-Level (EQ-5D-5L) tool. A generalised linear model was employed to examine the hypothesised relationships between the constructs. From 1186 respondents, the majority were employed (73.9%), had a monthly household income of less than RM 2500 (74.5%), and did not have any chronic medical conditions (74.5%). The mean (SD) values of FL, FB, and EQ-5D-5L were 5.95 (1.48), 22.08 (4.79), and 0.96 (0.10), respectively. The results of the adjusted model revealed lower age group, Malay ethnicity, Indian ethnicity, and increased FB score as significant determinants of higher EQ-5D-5L scores. With the addition of the chronic medical condition factor into the saturated model, the lower age group, ethnicity, and no chronic medical condition were significant determinants of higher HRQOL. The effects of FB on QOL were confounded by chronic diseases, implying that interventions that focus on improving FB for those with chronic medical condition may help to improve the QOL among the low-income working population.
  13. Mansor M, Sabri MF, Mansur M, Ithnin M, Magli AS, Husniyah AR, et al.
    Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2022 Sep 30;19(19).
    PMID: 36231802 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph191912490
    This paper aims to analyse factors affecting financial stress among the Bottom 40 Percent (B40) group of Malaysian households, reflecting overall financial well-being. Data were collected through questionnaires from 1008 respondents across five major regions in Malaysia. The data were analysed using Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and Partial Least Squares-Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM). This study provides evidence that financial behaviour, financial vulnerability (debt and income), and locus of control (luck and self-confidence) significantly affect financial stress among B40 households. The results show a significantly positive relationship between financial stress with financial vulnerability (debt and income) and locus of control (self-confidence). On the contrary, financial behaviour and locus of control (luck) show a significant negative relationship with financial stress. The result also indicates that financial stress affects financial well-being. Overall, the findings indicate that policy-makers should invent more effective and substantial stimulus packages or other measures to reduce the financial burden on B40 households. The findings could eventually provide insights for future research to delve into the social impact of financial stress. This study also has established a valid and reliable instrument to measure financial stress involving B40 households in Malaysia that eventually reflects the financial well-being of this group of people.
  14. Ting NC, Yaakub Z, Kamaruddin K, Mayes S, Massawe F, Sambanthamurthi R, et al.
    BMC Genomics, 2016;17(1):289.
    PMID: 27079197 DOI: 10.1186/s12864-016-2607-4
    The commercial oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) produces a mesocarp oil (commonly called 'palm oil') with approximately equal proportions of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids (FAs). An increase in unsaturated FAs content or iodine value (IV) as a measure of the degree of unsaturation would help to open up new markets for the oil. One way to manipulate the fatty acid composition (FAC) in palm oil is through introgression of favourable alleles from the American oil palm, E. oleifera, which has a more unsaturated oil.
  15. Ngoot-Chin T, Zulkifli MA, van de Weg E, Zaki NM, Serdari NM, Mustaffa S, et al.
    Planta, 2021 Feb 05;253(2):63.
    PMID: 33544231 DOI: 10.1007/s00425-021-03567-7
    MAIN CONCLUSION: Karyotyping using high-density genome-wide SNP markers identified various chromosomal aberrations in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) with supporting evidence from the 2C DNA content measurements (determined using FCM) and chromosome counts. Oil palm produces a quarter of the world's total vegetable oil. In line with its global importance, an initiative to sequence the oil palm genome was carried out successfully, producing huge amounts of sequence information, allowing SNP discovery. High-capacity SNP genotyping platforms have been widely used for marker-trait association studies in oil palm. Besides genotyping, a SNP array is also an attractive tool for understanding aberrations in chromosome inheritance. Exploiting this, the present study utilized chromosome-wide SNP allelic distributions to determine the ploidy composition of over 1,000 oil palms from a commercial F1 family, including 197 derived from twin-embryo seeds. Our method consisted of an inspection of the allelic intensity ratio using SNP markers. For palms with a shifted or abnormal distribution ratio, the SNP allelic frequencies were plotted along the pseudo-chromosomes. This method proved to be efficient in identifying whole genome duplication (triploids) and aneuploidy. We also detected several loss of heterozygosity regions which may indicate small chromosomal deletions and/or inheritance of identical by descent regions from both parents. The SNP analysis was validated by flow cytometry and chromosome counts. The triploids were all derived from twin-embryo seeds. This is the first report on the efficiency and reliability of SNP array data for karyotyping oil palm chromosomes, as an alternative to the conventional cytogenetic technique. Information on the ploidy composition and chromosomal structural variation can help to better understand the genetic makeup of samples and lead to a more robust interpretation of the genomic data in marker-trait association analyses.
  16. Ithnin M, Vu WT, Shin MG, Suryawanshi V, Sherbina K, Zolkafli SH, et al.
    Plant Sci, 2021 Mar;304:110731.
    PMID: 33568284 DOI: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2020.110731
    Existing Elaeis guineensis cultivars lack sufficient genetic diversity due to extensive breeding. Harnessing variation in wild crop relatives is necessary to expand the breadth of agronomically valuable traits. Using RAD sequencing, we examine the natural diversity of wild American oil palm populations (Elaeis oleifera), a sister species of the cultivated Elaeis guineensis oil palm. We genotyped 192 wild E. oleifera palms collected from seven Latin American countries along with four cultivated E. guineensis palms. Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia palms are panmictic and genetically similar. Genomic patterns of diversity suggest that these populations likely originated from the Amazon Basin. Despite evidence of a genetic bottleneck and high inbreeding observed in these populations, there is considerable genetic and phenotypic variation for agronomically valuable traits. Genome-wide association revealed several candidate genes associated with fatty acid composition along with vegetative and yield-related traits. These observations provide valuable insight into the geographic distribution of diversity, phenotypic variation and its genetic architecture that will guide choices of wild genotypes for crop improvement.
  17. Singh R, Low ET, Ooi LC, Ong-Abdullah M, Nookiah R, Ting NC, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2014 Jun 30;5:4106.
    PMID: 24978855 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5106
    Oil palm, a plantation crop of major economic importance in Southeast Asia, is the predominant source of edible oil worldwide. We report the identification of the virescens (VIR) gene, which controls fruit exocarp colour and is an indicator of ripeness. VIR is a R2R3-MYB transcription factor with homology to Lilium LhMYB12 and similarity to Arabidopsis production of anthocyanin pigment1 (PAP1). We identify five independent mutant alleles of VIR in over 400 accessions from sub-Saharan Africa that account for the dominant-negative virescens phenotype. Each mutation results in premature termination of the carboxy-terminal domain of VIR, resembling McClintock's C1-I allele in maize. The abundance of alleles likely reflects cultural practices, by which fruits were venerated for magical and medicinal properties. The identification of VIR will allow selection of the trait at the seed or early-nursery stage, 3-6 years before fruits are produced, greatly advancing introgression into elite breeding material.
  18. Singh R, Low EL, Ooi LC, Ong-Abdullah M, Ting NC, Nookiah R, et al.
    New Phytol, 2020 04;226(2):426-440.
    PMID: 31863488 DOI: 10.1111/nph.16387
    Oil palm breeding involves crossing dura and pisifera palms to produce tenera progeny with greatly improved oil yield. Oil yield is controlled by variant alleles of a type II MADS-box gene, SHELL, that impact the presence and thickness of the endocarp, or shell, surrounding the fruit kernel. We identified six novel SHELL alleles in noncommercial African germplasm populations from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board. These populations provide extensive diversity to harness genetic, mechanistic and phenotypic variation associated with oil yield in a globally critical crop. We investigated phenotypes in heteroallelic combinations, as well as SHELL heterodimerization and subcellular localization by yeast two-hybrid, bimolecular fluorescence complementation and gene expression analyses. Four novel SHELL alleles were associated with fruit form phenotype. Candidate heterodimerization partners were identified, and interactions with EgSEP3 and subcellular localization were SHELL allele-specific. Our findings reveal allele-specific mechanisms by which variant SHELL alleles impact yield, as well as speculative insights into the potential role of SHELL in single-gene oil yield heterosis. Future field trials for combinability and introgression may further optimize yield and improve sustainability.
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