Displaying all 14 publications

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  1. Lai MY, Lau YL
    Parasit Vectors, 2017 Oct 02;10(1):456.
    PMID: 28969712 DOI: 10.1186/s13071-017-2387-y
    BACKGROUND: The identification of receptors or binding partners of Toxoplasma gondii from humans is an essential activity. Many proteins involved in T. gondii invasion have been characterized, and their contribution for parasite entry has been proposed. However, their molecular interactions remain unclear.

    RESULTS: Yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) experiment was used to identify the binding partners of surface antigens of T. gondii by using SAG2 as bait. Colony PCR was performed and positive clones were sent for sequencing to confirm their identity. The yeast plasmids for true positive clones were rescued by transformation into E. coli TOP 10F' cells. The interplay between bait and prey was confirmed by β-galactosidase assay and co-immunoprecipitation experiment. We detected 20 clones interacting with SAG2 based on a series of the selection procedures. Following the autoactivation and toxicity tests, SAG2 was proven to be a suitable candidate as a bait. Thirteen clones were further examined by small scale Y2H experiment. The results indicated that a strong interaction existed between Homo sapiens zinc finger protein and SAG2, which could activate the expressions of the reporter genes in diploid yeast. Co-immunoprecipitation experiment result indicated the binding between this prey and SAG2 protein was significant (Mann-Whitney U-test: Z = -1.964, P = 0.05).

    CONCLUSIONS: Homo sapiens zinc finger protein was found to interact with SAG2. To improve the understanding of this prey protein's function, advanced investigations need to be carried out.

  2. Lai MY, Lau YL
    Acta Trop., 2020 Aug;208:105511.
    PMID: 32422380 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2020.105511
    In this study, recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) combined with SYBR Green I was developed for the detection of Plasmodium knowlesi. Positive samples were indicated with a green color while negative samples were orange. To increase the efficiency of amplification, an interval mixing step of samples after 3 to 6 min incubation was recommended. Different sets of reaction volumes from 6.25 to 50 µL were tested and the results indicated no differences in detection. RPA's combination with SYBR Green I is fast and easy to perform, hence this method is suitable for use in resource-limited settings.
  3. Lai MY, Ooi CH, Lau YL
    Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 2017 Nov;97(5):1597-1599.
    PMID: 28820700 DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.17-0427
    In this study, we developed a recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) assay for specific diagnosis of Plasmodium knowlesi. Genomic DNA was extracted from whole blood samples using a commercial kit. With incubation at 37°C, the samples were successfully amplified within 20 minutes. The end product of RPA was further examined by loading onto agarose gel and a specific band was observed with a size of 128 bp. The RPA assay exhibited high sensitivity with limits of detection down to one copy of the plasmid. From the specificity experiments, it was demonstrated that all P. knowlesi samples (N = 45) were positive while other Plasmodium spp. (N = 42) and negative samples (N = 6) were negative. Therefore, the RPA assay is a highly promising approach with the potential to be used in resource-limited settings. This assay can be further optimized for bedside and on field application.
  4. Lai MY, Ooi CH, Lau YL
    Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 2018 03;98(3):700-703.
    PMID: 29260656 DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.17-0738
    The aim of this study was to develop a recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) combined with a lateral flow (LF) strip method for specific diagnosis of Plasmodium knowlesi. With incubation at 37°C, the 18S rRNA gene of P. knowlesi was successfully amplified within 12 minutes. By adding a specifically designed probe to the reaction solution, the amplified RPA product can be visualized on a LF strip. The RPA assay exhibited high sensitivity with limits of detection down to 10 parasites/μL of P. knowlesi. Nonetheless, it was demonstrated that all P. knowlesi (N = 41) and other Plasmodium sp. (N = 25) were positive while negative samples (N = 8) were negative. Therefore, a combination of RPA and LF strip detection is a highly promising approach with the potential to be suitable for use in resource-limited settings.
  5. Lai MY, Abdul-Majid N, Lau YL
    Acta Parasitol., 2019 Sep;64(3):575-581.
    PMID: 31165984 DOI: 10.2478/s11686-019-00066-4
    Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most successful human pathogens. To eliminate the infection, identification of receptors or binding partners from humans is indeed urgent. T. gondii surface antigen is the ultimate component involved during the attachment of parasite into host cell. However, mechanism of invasion between SAG and host-cell membrane remains unclear. Yeast two-hybrid experiment was used to identify the binding partners from cDNA human library by using T. gondii SAG1 as bait. Mated yeast cells were plated on DDO/X plates to confirm only prey plasmid that expressing interacting protein was selected. We detected 39 clones interacted with SAG1 based on a series of the selection procedures. After colony PCR, only 29 clones were positive and subsequently sent for sequencing. The yeast plasmids for true positive clones were rescued by transformation into E. coli TOP 10F' cells. Twenty-two clones were further examined by small-scale Y2H experiment. The results indicated that a strong interaction existed between Homo sapiens lysine-rich coil-coiled and SAG1 protein, which could activate the expressions of the reporter genes in diploid yeast. Co-immunoprecipitation experiment result indicated the binding between this prey and SAG1 protein was significant (Mann-Whitney U test, Z = - 1.964, P = 0.05). H. sapiens lysine-rich coil-coiled protein was found to be interacted with SAG1. This prey protein may serve as the potential drug target in vaccination study.
  6. Lau YL, Lai MY, Fong MY, Jelip J, Mahmud R
    Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 2016 Feb;94(2):336-339.
    PMID: 26598573 DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.15-0569
    The lack of rapid, affordable, and accurate diagnostic tests represents the primary hurdle affecting malaria surveillance in resource- and expertise-limited areas. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is a sensitive, rapid, and cheap diagnostic method. Five species-specific LAMP assays were developed based on 18S rRNA gene. Sensitivity and specificity of LAMP results were calculated as compared with microscopic examination and nested polymerase chain reaction. LAMP reactions were highly sensitive with the detection limit of one copy for Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium falciparum, and Plasmodium malariae and 10 copies for Plasmodium knowlesi and Plasmodium ovale. LAMP positively detected all human malaria species in all positive samples (N = 134; sensitivity = 100%) within 35 minutes. All negative samples were not amplified by LAMP (N = 67; specificity = 100%). LAMP successfully detected two samples with very low parasitemia. LAMP may offer a rapid, simple, and reliable test for the diagnosis of malaria in areas where malaria is prevalent.
  7. Thong KL, Lai MY, Teh C SJ, Chua KH
    Trop Biomed, 2011 Apr;28(1):21-31.
    PMID: 21602765 MyJurnal
    A PCR-based assay that can simultaneously detect and differentiate five different types of nosocomial bacterial pathogens was developed. Six pairs of selected primers targeting femA (132 bp) and mecA (310 bp) of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, gltA (722 bp) of Acinetobacter baumannii, phoA (903 bp) of Escherichia coli, mdh (364 bp) of Klebsiella pneumoniae and oprL (504 bp) of Pseudomonas aeruginosa were used in this study. The conditions were optimized for the multiplex PCR to ensure specific amplification of the selected targets. Sensitivity and specificity tests were also carried out using a blind test approach on 50 bacterial cultures and resulted in 100% for both positive and negative predictive values.
  8. Lai MY, Ooi CH, Jaimin JJ, Lau YL
    Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 2020 Jun;102(6):1370-1372.
    PMID: 32228783 DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.20-0001
    The incidence of zoonotic malaria, Plasmodium knowlesi, infection is increasing and now is the major cause of malaria in Malaysia. Here, we describe a WarmStart colorimetric loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for the detection of Plasmodium spp. The detection limit for this assay was 10 copies/µL for P knowlesi and Plasmodium ovale and 1 copy/µL for Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, and Plasmodium malariae. To test clinical sensitivity and specificity, 100 microscopy-positive and 20 malaria-negative samples were used. The WarmStart colorimetric LAMP was 98% sensitive and 100% specific. Amplification products were visible for direct observation, thereby eliminating the need for post-amplification processing steps. Therefore, WarmStart colorimetric LAMP is suitable for use in resource-limited settings.
  9. Lau YL, Lai MY, Anthony CN, Chang PY, Palaeya V, Fong MY, et al.
    Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 2015 Jan;92(1):28-33.
    PMID: 25385862 DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.14-0309
    In this study, three molecular assays (real-time multiplex polymerase chain reaction [PCR], merozoite surface antigen gene [MSP]-multiplex PCR, and the PlasmoNex Multiplex PCR Kit) have been developed for diagnosis of Plasmodium species. In total, 52 microscopy-positive and 20 malaria-negative samples were used in this study. We found that real-time multiplex PCR was the most sensitive for detecting P. falciparum and P. knowlesi. The MSP-multiplex PCR assay and the PlasmoNex Multiplex PCR Kit were equally sensitive for diagnosing P. knowlesi infection, whereas the PlasmoNex Multiplex PCR Kit and real-time multiplex PCR showed similar sensitivity for detecting P. vivax. The three molecular assays displayed 100% specificity for detecting malaria samples. We observed no significant differences between MSP-multiplex PCR and the PlasmoNex multiplex PCR kit (McNemar's test: P = 0.1489). However, significant differences were observed comparing real-time multiplex PCR with the PlasmoNex Multiplex PCR Kit (McNemar's test: P = 0.0044) or real-time multiplex PCR with MSP-multiplex PCR (McNemar's test: P = 0.0012).
  10. Mallepaddi PC, Lai MY, Podha S, Ooi CH, Liew JW, Polavarapu R, et al.
    Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 2018 09;99(3):704-708.
    PMID: 29943720 DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.18-0177
    The present study aims to develop a method for rapid diagnosis of malaria using loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) combined with a lateral flow device (LFD). By adding the biotin-labeled and fluorescein amidite-labeled loop primers to the LAMP reaction solution, the end product can be visualized on a LFD. The entire procedure takes approximately 42 minutes to complete, LAMP assay exhibited high sensitivity, as the detection limit was 0.01 pg/μL for all five Plasmodium species. It was demonstrated that all Plasmodium knowlesi (N = 90) and Plasmodium vivax (N = 56) were positively amplified by LAMP-LFD assay, whereas healthy donor samples (N = 8) were negative. However, not all mixed infections were positive, and other infected nonmalaria samples were negative. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification-LFD represents a robust approach with potential suitability for use in resource-constrained laboratories. We believe that LAMP-LFD has a potential to be developed as point-of-care diagnostic tool in future.
  11. Lau YL, Lai MY, Teoh BT, Abd-Jamil J, Johari J, Sam SS, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2015;10(9):e0138694.
    PMID: 26384248 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138694
    Dengue is usually diagnosed by isolation of the virus, serology or molecular diagnostic methods. Several commercial kits for the diagnosis of dengue are existing, but concerns have arisen regarding to the affordability and performance characteristics of these kits. Hence, the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is potentially ideal to be used especially in resource limited environments. Serum was collected from healthy donors and patients diagnosed with dengue infection. RNA extracted from the serum samples were tested by reverse-transcription-LAMP assay developed based on 3'-NCR gene sequences for DENV 1-4. Results were interpreted by a turbidity meter in real time or visually at the end of the assay. Sensitivity and specificity of RT-LAMP results were calculated and compared to qRT-PCR and ELISA. RT-LAMP is highly sensitive with the detection limit of 10 RNA copies for all serotypes. Dengue virus RNA was detected in all positive samples using RT-LAMP and none of the negative samples within 30-45 minutes. With continuing efforts in the optimization of this assay, RT-LAMP may provide a simple and reliable test for detecting DENV in areas where dengue is prevalent.
  12. Mat Salleh NH, Rahman MFA, Samsusah S, De Silva JR, Ng DC, Ghozali AH, et al.
    PMID: 32511702 DOI: 10.1093/trstmh/traa042
    Five children in Pos Lenjang, Pahang, Malaysia were PCR-positive for vivax malaria and were admitted to the hospital from 5 to 26 July 2019. One of the patients experienced three episodes of recurrence of vivax malaria. Microsatellite analysis showed that reinfection is unlikely. Drug resistance analysis indicated that Riamet (artemether-lumefantrine) is effective. Cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) testing showed that this patient has defective CYP2D6 function. Primaquine failure to clear the Plasmodium vivax hypnozoites may be the cause of recurring infections in this patient. This report highlights the need for the development of liver-stage curative antimalarials that do not require metabolism by the CYP2D6 enzyme.
  13. Lau YL, Ismail I, Mustapa NI, Lai MY, Tuan Soh TS, Hassan A, et al.
    PeerJ, 2020;8:e9278.
    PMID: 32547882 DOI: 10.7717/peerj.9278
    Background: Highly sensitive real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) methods have been developed for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. However, they are costly. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay has emerged as a novel alternative isothermal amplification method for the detection of nucleic acid.

    Methods: A rapid, sensitive and specific real-time reverse transcription LAMP (RT-LAMP) assay was developed for SARS-CoV-2 detection.

    Results: This assay detected one copy/reaction of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in 30 min. Both the clinical sensitivity and specificity of this assay were 100%. The RT-LAMP showed comparable performance with RT-qPCR. Combining simplicity and cost-effectiveness, this assay is therefore recommended for use in resource resource-limited settings.

  14. Amir A, Shahari S, Liew JWK, de Silva JR, Khan MB, Lai MY, et al.
    Acta Trop., 2020 Jun 23;211:105596.
    PMID: 32589995 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2020.105596
    Zoonotic cases of Plasmodium knowlesi account for most malaria cases in Malaysia, and humans infected with P. cynomolgi, another parasite of macaques have recently been reported in Sarawak. To date the epidemiology of malaria in its natural Macaca reservoir hosts remains little investigated. In this study we surveyed the prevalence of simian malaria in wild macaques of three states in Peninsular Malaysia, namely Pahang, Perak and Johor using blood samples from 103 wild macaques (collected by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia) subjected to microscopic examination and nested PCR targeting the Plasmodium small subunit ribosomal RNA gene. As expected, PCR analysis yielded significantly higher prevalence (64/103) as compared to microscopic examination (27/103). No relationship between the age and/or sex of the macaques with the parasitaemia and the Plasmodium species infecting the macaques could be identified. Wild macaques in Pahang had the highest prevalence of Plasmodium parasites (89.7%), followed by those of Perak (69.2%) and Johor (28.9%). Plasmodium inui and P. cynomolgi were the two most prevalent species infecting the macaques from all three states. Half of the macaques (33/64) harboured two or more Plasmodium species. These data provide a baseline survey, which should be extended by further longitudinal investigations that should be associated with studies on the bionomics of the anopheline vectors. This information will allow an accurate evaluation of the risk of zoonotic transmission to humans, and to elaborate effective strategies to control simian malaria.
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