The aim of this study was to develop an economical bioprocess to produce the fermentable sugars at laboratory scales Using Oil Palm Frond (OPF) as substrate in Solid State Fermentation (SSF). OPF waste generated by oil palm plantations is a major problem in terms of waste management. However, this lignocellulosic waste material is a cheap source of cellulose. We used OPF as substrate to produce fermentable sugars. The high content of cellulose in OPF promises the high fermentable sugars production in SSF. Saccharification of OPF waste by A. niger USMAI1 generates fermentable sugars and was evaluated through a solid state fermentation. Physical parameters, e.g., inoculum size, initial substrate moisture, initial pH, incubation temperature and the size of substrate were optimized to obtain the maximum fermentable sugars from oil palm fronds. Up to 77 mg of fermentable sugars per gram substrate was produced under the optimal physical parameter conditions. Lower productivity of fermentable sugars, 32 mg fermentable sugars per gram substrate was obtained under non optimized conditions. The results indicated that about 140.6% increase in fermentable sugar production after optimization of the physical parameters. Glucose was the major end component amongst the fermentable sugars obtained. This study indicated that under optimum physical parameter conditions, the OPF waste can be utilized to produce fermentable sugars which then convert into other products such as alcohol.
Bacterial cells of Enterobacter aerogenes NBO2 were entrapped in calcium alginate beads in order to enhance polygalacturonase production compared to free cells. The optimized condition of 5 % (w/v) sodium alginate concentration, agitation speed of 250 rpm, and 15 beads of calcium alginate with inoculum size of 4 % (v/v; 5.4 × 10(7) cells/ml) produced 23.48 U/mL of polygalacturonase compared to free cells of 18.54 U/ml. There was about 26.6 % increment in polygalaturonase production. However, in this study, there was 296.6 % of increment in polygalacturonase production after improvement parameters compared to before improvement parameters of calcium alginate bead immobilization cells (5.92 U/ml). This research has indicated that optimized physical parameters of calcium alginate bead immobilization cells have significantly enhanced the production of polygalacturonase.
The antibacterial activity of the methanol extract of Wedelia chinensis leave was studied and tested against three pathogenic Gram positive bacteria (Bacillus cereus, B. subtilis and Stapylococcus aureus) and three pathogenic Gram negative bacteria (Escherichia coli, Proteus rettgeri and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) by the disk diffusion assay and broth dilution methods. The extract exhibited favourable antibacterial activity against the bacterial cells but was more potent against Gram positive bacteria with the minimum inhibition concentration of 3.12 to 6.25 mg/ml compared to the Gram negative bacteria which had minimum inhibition concentration values of 25 mg/ml. The time-kill study suggested that the extract possessed bactericidal properties at higher concentrations and eradicated the growth of bacterial cells. The major abnormalities occurred to the bacterial cells after exposed to the extract were complete alterations in their morphology and collapsed of the cells beyond repair. The methanol extract of W. chinensis may be an effective antibacterial agent to treat bacterial infections.
A stretcher is a lightweight and portable apparatus used to facilitate the movement of patients who require medical care. While its design and functions have been known to man for over 600 years, there is still much room for improvement with regard to comfortability, mobility and ergonomics aspects. This study aims to synthesise design features from patents, journals and products for the conceptualisation of multifunctional stretchers. Based on the conceptual synthesis of this study, if a stretcher is redesigned to be foldable, then less storage space would be required, thus allowing the paramedic or medical person to store more stretchers and attend to multiple patients at a time. In comparison to a regular stretcher, a foldable stretcher would not only be smaller and more portable but would also help medical personnel reach the patient in a timelier manner. A reduction in response time for emergency medical services might increase the survival rate among patients who are in critical conditions. In the aspect of multifunctionality, the medical person may also be able to respond to different types of medical transportation needs. Multifunctional stretchers can increase the versatility of emergency medical service teams in adapting to different situations at a reduced cost.
Agitation speed was found to influence the tannase production and fungal growth of Aspergillus niger FETL FT3. The optimal agitation speed was at 200 rpm which produced 1.41 U/ml tannase and 3.75 g/l of fungal growth. Lower or higher agitation speeds than 200 rpm produced lower enzyme production and fungal growth. Based on the SEM and TEM micrograph observation, there was a significant correlation between agitation speed and the morphology of the fungal mycelia. The results revealed an increase of the enzyme production with the change of the fungal growth morphology from filamentous to pelleted growth forms. However, the exposure to higher shear stress with an increasing agitation speed of the shaker also resulted in lower biomass yields as well as enzyme production.
The ability of immobilized cell cultures of Aspergillus niger FETL FT3 to produce extracellular tannase was investigated. The production of enzyme was increased by entrapping the fungus in scouring mesh cubes compared to free cells. Using optimized parameters of six scouring mesh cubes and inoculum size of 1 × 10(6) spores/mL, the tannase production of 3.98 U/mL was obtained from the immobilized cells compared to free cells (2.81 U/mL). It was about 41.64% increment. The immobilized cultures exhibited significant tannase production stability of two repeated runs.
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a major infection control problem in many countries. There have been many reports of outbreaks in neonatal nurseries including, in our part of the world, Australia, Hong Kong and Malaysia. A recent outbreak of MRSA in the neonatal intensive care unit in the Kandang Kerbau Hospital, Singapore, presented us with the opportunity to study the clinical characteristics of the outbreak and the effects of infection control measures. Neonates admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit were studied over a 20-month period. They were all screened for nasal colonisation on admission and weekly thereafter. Infections were documented. Over this period there were altogether 2,576 admissions of which 85 infants had nasal colonisation with MRSA (3.3%) and 28 developed infections (1%). Although the majority of infants colonised by MRSA suffered no ill effects, 3 had septicaemia and 2 had septicaemia with osteomyelitis. There were no deaths. Standard infection control measures with barrier nursing and the use of mupirocin nasal ointment were ineffective, and control was achieved only after strict cohorting together with the use of mupirocin was instituted. This was done without additional costs to the department and without additional nurses or doctors.
Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) are a group at high risk for HIV infection, yet no research has been conducted to understand this population in Malaysia. Semistructured interviews from a combination of YMSM aged 18-25 (n = 20) and local service providers of sexual health services (n = 4) were conducted from May to June 2015. Thematic analysis was used to identify common themes in participant responses from transcripts. Participants reported societal and internalized homophobia, an absence of sex education and difficulty accessing confidential HIV testing. This study provides insights into how homophobia in Malaysian society influences individual risk behavior for HIV in Malaysian YMSM, and makes practical suggestions for more effective HIV prevention in this population.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) purulent pericarditis, characterised by frank pus collection or microscopic pyogenic effusion in the pericardium represents the most serious form of pericardial infection. The route of MRSA acquisition in pericardial abscess commonly occurs via the blood stream infection and it is more commonly observed among immunocompromised individuals. To date, diabetic foot ulcer infection rarely disseminates and becomes a nidus for pericardial infection. Herein, we report an unusual case of MRSA pericardial abscess in a 44-year-old man who presented at Hospital Seri Manjung, Malaysia with cardiac tamponade. Past medical history indicated that he was recently treated for infected diabetic foot ulcer with MRSA bacteraemia one week earlier. Despite adequate pericardial drainage and extended parenteral vancomycin therapy, this case ended in fatality on day 42 of admission due to nosocomial infection. It is hoped that this report serves to increase the vigilance among clinicians that diabetic foot ulcer infections have the potential to progress to pericardial abscess in the presence of MRSA bacteraemia, although they may appear seemingly innocuous at presentation. Systemic vancomycin must be instituted promptly when MRSA bacteraemia is confirmed in order to circumvent the propagation of MRSA.
Identification of Bactrocera carambolae Drew and Hancock, B. papayae Drew and Hancock, B. tau Walker, B. latifrons Hendel, B. cucurbitae Coquillett, B. umbrosa Fabricius and B. caudata Fabricius would pose a problem if only a body part or an immature stage were available. Analysis of polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) of cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene using primers COIR, COIF, UEA7 and UEA10 and restriction enzymes (MseI, RsaI and Alu1) was carried out. The banding profiles in the electrophoresis gel were analysed.
INTRODUCTION: There is a pressing need to better understand the complex biochemical pathways that lead to the pathogenesis of obesity. Increased oxidative stress and decreased antioxidant capacity have been identified to be associated with obesity. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine the plasma total antioxidant capacity (TAC) levels of Malaysian subjects and to evaluate its potential association with obesity and related anthropometric measurements.
METHODS: Plasma TAC of 362 multi-ethnic Malaysian subjects from the Kampar Health Clinic (138 males, 224 females; 124 ethnic Malays, 152 Chinese, 86 Indians; 192 non-obese, 170 obese) was measured using Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) 96-well plate assay.
RESULTS: Plasma TAC was significantly lower in obese subjects (M +/- SE = 292 +/- 10.4 micromol/L) compared to non-obese subjects (397 +/- 8.58 micromol/L), whereas it was significantly higher in males and those in the 21-30 age group. Those with salty food preference and practising a strict vegetarian diet also had significantly higher plasma TAC. However, no association was found for other dietary habits (coffee intake) and lifestyle factors (physical activity, smoking). Plasma TAC was also significantly negatively correlated with diastolic blood pressure, waist and hip circumferences, weight, body mass index, total body fat, % subcutaneous fat, visceral fat level, resting metabolism and % skeletal muscle.
CONCLUSION: Plasma TAC was found to be associated with obesity, strict vegetarian practice, salty food preference and all obesity anthropometric indicators, except systolic blood pressure and pulse rate. Obese people have decreased plasma TAC indicating a compromised systemic antioxidant defence and increased oxidative stress.
This study aimed to investigate the mechanism of action of the cinnamon bark essential oil (CB), when used singly and also in combination with piperacillin, for its antimicrobial and synergistic activity against beta-lactamase TEM-1 plasmid-conferred Escherichia coli J53 R1. Viable count of this combination showed a complete killing profile at 20 h and further confirmed its synergistic effect by reducing the bacteria cell numbers. Analysis on the stability of treated cultures for cell membrane permeability by CB when tested against sodium dodecyl sulfate revealed that the bacterial cell membrane was disrupted by the essential oils. Scanning electron microscopy observation and bacterial surface charge measurement also revealed that CB causes irreversible membrane damage and reduces the bacterial surface charge. In addition, bioluminescence expression of Escherichia coli [pSB1075] and E. coli [pSB401] by CB showed reduction, indicating the possibility of the presence of quorum sensing (QS) inhibitors. Gas-chromatography and mass spectrometry of the essential oil of Cinnamomum verum showed that trans-cinnamaldehyde (72.81%), benzyl alcohol (12.5%), and eugenol (6.57%) were the major components in the essential oil. From this study, CB has the potential to reverse E. coli J53 R1 resistance to piperacillin through two pathways; modification in the permeability of the outer membrane or bacterial QS inhibition.
The 50% increase in HIV-related deaths in youth and adolescents (aged 10-24) from 2005 to 2012 highlights the need to improve HIV treatment and care in this population, including treatment adherence and retention. Youth and adolescents from key populations or young key populations (YKP) in particular are highly stigmatized and may face additional barrier(s) in adhering to HIV treatment and services. We reviewed the current knowledge on treatment adherence and retention in HIV care among YKP to identify gaps in the literature and suggest future directions to improve HIV care for YKP.
Central vein stenosis is not uncommon in hemodialysis-dependent patients as a result of mechanical damage to the vessel walls from prior cannulation. It can cause ipsilateral upper limb swelling and pain, resulting in suboptimal hemodialysis. It is unfortunate for bilateral central vein stenosis to develop concomitantly, and rare in the setting of an in-situ pacemaker. This case illustrates the successful ligation of a nondependent left arteriovenous fistula and stenting of the right subclavian vein with functioning ipsilateral arteriovenous fistula, to overcome the problem of symptomatic bilateral upper limb swelling.
For many years, the battle between humans and the multitudes of infection and disease causing pathogens continues. Emerging at the battlefield as some of the most significant challenges to human health are bacterial resistance and its rapid rise. These have become a major concern in global public health invigorating the need for new antimicrobial compounds. A rational approach to deal with antibiotic resistance problems requires detailed knowledge of the different biological and non-biological factors that affect the rate and extent of resistance development. Combination therapy combining conventional antibiotics and essential oils is currently blooming and represents a potential area for future investigations. This new generation of phytopharmaceuticals may shed light on the development of new pharmacological regimes in combating antibiotic resistance. This review consolidated and described the observed synergistic outcome between essential oils and antibiotics, and highlighted the possibilities of essential oils as the potential resistance modifying agent.
Caulerpa (C.) sertularioides has many therapeutic uses in the practice of traditional medicine in Malaysia. Crude methanolic, diethyl ether extract, ethyl acetate extract and butanolic extract from C. sertularioides were subjected to antimicrobial screening including the three Gram-positive and three Gram-negative diarrhea-caused bacteria.
Keratinous wastes have increasingly become a problem and accumulate in the environment mainly in the form of feathers, generated mainly from a large number of poultry industries. As keratins are very difficult to degrade by general proteases, they pose a major environmental problem. Therefore, microorganisms which would effectively degrade keratins are needed for recycling such wastes. A geophilic dermatophyte, Microsporum fulvum IBRL SD3 which was isolated from a soil sample collected from a chicken feather dumping site using a baiting technique, was capable to produce keratinase significantly. The crude keratinase was able to degrade whole chicken feathers effectively. The end product of the degradation was protein that contained essential amino acids and may have potential application in animal feed production. Thus, M. fulvum could be a novel organism to produce keratinase for chicken feathers degradation.
In this study we investigated the relationship between several selected commercially available essential oils and beta-lactam antibiotics on their antibacterial effect against multidrug resistant bacteria. The antibacterial activity of essential oils and antibiotics was assessed using broth microdilution. The combined effects between essential oils of cinnamon bark, lavender, marjoram, tea tree, peppermint and ampicillin, piperacillin, cefazolin, cefuroxime, carbenicillin, ceftazidime, meropenem, were evaluated by means of the checkerboard method against beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli. In the latter assays, fractional inhibitory concentration (FIC) values were calculated to characterize interaction between the combinations. Substantial susceptibility of the bacteria toward natural antibiotics and a considerable reduction in the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of the antibiotics were noted in some paired combinations of antibiotics and essential oils. Out of 35 antibiotic-essential oil pairs tested, four of them showed synergistic effect (FIC≤0.5) and 31 pairs showed no interaction (FIC>0.5-4.0). The preliminary results obtained highlighted the occurrence of a pronounced synergistic relationship between piperacillin/cinnamon bark oil, piperacillin/lavender oil, piperacillin/peppermint oil as well as meropenem/peppermint oil against two of the three bacteria under study with a FIC index in the range 0.26-0.5. The finding highlighted the potential of peppermint, cinnamon bark and lavender essential oils being as antibiotic resistance modifying agent. Reduced usage of antibiotics could be employed as a treatment strategy to decrease the adverse effects and possibly to reverse the beta-lactam antibiotic resistance.