A survey was carried out to determine the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies among cattle farmers and cattle in the Gombak District, Selangor. A total of 79 human and 73 cattle serum samples were tested for Toxoplasma gondii antibodies by the immunofluorescent technique (IFAT). Results of the survey showed that anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies were found in 27.8% of the farmers, while in cattle the positive rate was only 3.8%. The prevalence rate obtained in this study did not differ much from the prevalence reported in previous studies. This suggests that the same degree of risk to this infection exists in the community. In view of the relatively low antibody prevalence in cattle, the risk of acquiring this infection from consuming undercooked beef is realtively low. Further survey on larger sample size is needed to validate the observation.
This study was performed to determine the effects of dietary vitamin E and soybean oil (a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids) on the sperm concentration and motility in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Rats with body weights between 250 - 300 gms were randomly allotted into five treatment groups with three animals each. The trial lasted 63 weeks inclusive of a one week acclimatization period. Rats were fed either CTRL (Base Diet + 5 % Soybean Oil + 3000 IU Vitamin E), BD Only (Base Diet Only), BDVitE (Base Diet + 3000 IU Vitamin E Only), BDSBO (Base Diet + Soybean Oil Only) or COMM (Imported Commercial Rat Pellets). At the end of the trial, the rats were euthanized and sperm concentration and motility were evaluated for both left and right testicles. It was found that although sperm motility had no significant difference across treatment groups, animals supplemented with adequate vitamin E and soybean oils had significantly higher concentration of sperms. It was also shown that vitamin E supplementation alone is more important than dietary fat supplementation in influencing sperm concentration in rats.
Biomaterial, an essential component of tissue engineering, serves as a scaffold for cell attachment, proliferation, and differentiation; provides the three dimensional (3D) structure and, in some applications, the mechanical strength required for the engineered tissue. Both synthetic and naturally occurring calcium phosphate based biomaterial have been used as bone fillers or bone extenders in orthopedic and reconstructive surgeries. This study aims to evaluate two popular calcium phosphate based biomaterial i.e., hydroxyapatite (HA) and tricalcium phosphate/hydroxyapatite (TCP/HA) granules as scaffold materials in bone tissue engineering. In our strategy for constructing tissue engineered bone, human osteoprogenitor cells derived from periosteum were incorporated with human plasma-derived fibrin and seeded onto HA or TCP/HA forming 3D tissue constructs and further maintained in osteogenic medium for 4 weeks to induce osteogenic differentiation. Constructs were subsequently implanted intramuscularly in nude mice for 8 weeks after which mice were euthanized and constructs harvested for evaluation. The differential cell response to the biomaterial (HA or TCP/HA) adopted as scaffold was illustrated by the histology of undecalcified constructs and evaluation using SEM and TEM. Both HA and TCP/HA constructs showed evidence of cell proliferation, calcium deposition, and collagen bundle formation albeit lesser in the former. Our findings demonstrated that TCP/HA is superior between the two in early bone formation and hence is the scaffold material of choice in bone tissue engineering.