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  1. Leung R, Ho P, Lam CW, Lai CK
    J Allergy Clin Immunol, 1997 May;99(5):594-9.
    PMID: 9155823
    BACKGROUND: Allergen sensitization is associated with asthma and allergic disease in children, but such a relationship has not been confirmed in Chinese populations.

    OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of allergen sensitization and family history of atopy on asthma and allergic disease in Chinese schoolchildren from three southeast Asian populations.

    METHODS: Written questionnaires on respiratory and allergic symptoms were completed by parents of children of secondary-school age (age range 12 to 18 years) in Hong Kong (n = 1062), Kota Kinabalu in eastern Malaysia (n = 409), and San Bu in southern China (n = 737). A subsample of school-children underwent skin prick testing to common inhalant allergens (Hong Kong 471 children, Kota Kinabalu 321, San Bu 647).

    RESULTS: The prevalence of asthma and allergic disease in schoolchildren was highest in Hong Kong, intermediate in Kota Kinabalu, and lowest in San Bu. However, the overall rate of atopic sensitization was similar in the three populations (49% to 63%). House dust mite and cockroach were the two most common allergens causing sensitization and these gave rise to more than 95% of the positive skin test results in all three populations. By regression analysis, mite allergy was associated with rhinitis and asthma in all three populations, and a family history of asthma, rhinitis, or eczema was strongly associated with respective symptoms in the subjects. After adjusting for age, sex, atopic status, and family history of allergic disease, the place of residence remained a significant independent factor for asthma (odds ratio [OR] = 1.0 for Hong Kong, 0.57 for Kota Kinabalu, 0.15 for San Bu, p < 0.001), rhinitis (OR = 1.0 for Hong Kong, 0.59 for Kota Kinabalu, 0.15 for San Bu, p < 0.001), or eczema (OR = 1.0 for Hong Kong, 0.35 for Kota Kinabalu, 1.01 for San Bu, p < 0.001).

    CONCLUSION: Sensitization to indoor allergens was a significant risk factor for asthma and allergic disease, and familial clustering of disease was common in the region. However, the marked difference in disease prevalence in the three southeast Asian populations of Chinese schoolchildren cannot be explained by atopic sensitization and family history alone, and the place of residence was an independent risk factor for asthma and allergies, which suggests an important environmental role in disease pathogenesis.

  2. Lam CW, AbuBakar S, Chang LY
    J Virol Methods, 2017 05;243:1-9.
    PMID: 28082163 DOI: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2017.01.004
    Nipah virus (NiV) is a highly pathogenic zoonotic paramyxovirus with unusual broad host tropism and is designated as a Category C pathogen by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. NiV infection is initiated after binding of the viral G glycoprotein to the host cell receptor. The aim of this study was to map the NiV G glycoprotein cell binding domain using a phage display system. The NiV G extracellular domain was truncated and displayed as attachment proteins on M13 phage g3p minor coat protein. The binding efficiency of recombinant phages displaying different regions of NiV G to mammalian cells was evaluated. Results showed that regions of NiV G consisting of amino acids 396-602 (recombinant phage G4) and 498-602 (recombinant phage G5) demonstrated the highest binding to both Vero (5.5×103 cfu/ml and 5.6×103 cfu/ml) and THP-1 cells (3.5×103 cfu/ml and 2.9×103 cfu/ml). However, the binding of both of these recombinant phages to THP-1 cells was significantly lower than to Vero cells, and this could be due to the lack of primary host cell receptor expression on THP-1 cells. Furthermore, the binding between these two recombinant phages was competitive suggesting that there was a common host cell attachment site. This study employed an approach that is suitable for use in a biosafety level 2 containment laboratory without the need to use live virus to show that NiV G amino acids 498-602 play an important role for attachment to host cells.
  3. Tiong V, Lam CW, Phoon WH, AbuBakar S, Chang LY
    Jpn. J. Infect. Dis., 2017 Jan 24;70(1):26-31.
    PMID: 27169942 DOI: 10.7883/yoken.JJID.2015.501
    The genes for Nipah virus (NiV) proteins were amplified from viral RNA, cloned into the plasmid pTriEx-3 Hygro, expressed, and purified using immobilized metal affinity chromatography. The recombinant N, F, and G NiV proteins (rNiV-N, rNiV-F, and rNiV-G), were successfully expressed in Escherichia coli and purified with a yield of 4, 16, and 4 mg/L, respectively. All 3 recombinant viral proteins reacted with all 19 samples of NiV-positive human sera. The rNiV-N and rNiV-G proteins were the most immunogenic. The recombinant viral proteins did not react with any of the 12 NiV-negative sera. However, serum from a patient with a late-onset relapsing NiV infection complication was found to be primarily reactive to rNiV-G only. Additionally, there is a distinctive variation in the profile of antigen-reactive bands between the sample from a case of relapsing NiV encephalitis and that of acute NiV infection. The overall findings of this study suggest that the recombinant viral proteins have the potential to be developed further for use in the detection of NiV infection, and continuous biosurveillance of NiV infection in resource-limited settings.
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