Management of the burn wound still remains a matter of debate, and an ideal dressing for burn wounds has not yet been discovered. Naturally occurring substances such as honey have been found to be useful as a wound cover for burns. Unlike most conventional local chemotherapeutics, honey does not lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and it may be used continuously. Among the challenging problems of using honey for medical purposes are dosage, safety, and formulation. Many approaches have been suggested to overcome such problems. With the increased availability of licensed medical products containing honey, clinical use is expected to increase and further evidence will become available. Honey seems to have the potential to clear infection as well as to be an effective prophylactic agent that may contribute to reducing the risks of cross-infection. A better understanding of the therapeutic and chemical properties of honey is needed to optimise the use of this product in the clinical management of burns. Its use in professional care centres should be limited to those with certified healing activities. The potentials and limitations of using honey as burn dressing are discussed in this review.
Honey and other bee products were subjected to laboratory and clinical investigations during the past few decades and the most remarkable discovery was their antibacterial activity. Honey has been used since ancient times for the treatment of some diseases and for the healing of wounds but its use as an anti-infective agent was superseded by modern dressings and antibiotic therapy. However, the emergence of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria has confounded the current use of antibiotic therapy leading to the re-examination of former remedies. Honey, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom have a strong antibacterial activity. Even antibiotic-resistant strains such as epidemic strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycine resistant Enterococcus (VRE) have been found to be as sensitive to honey as the antibiotic-sensitive strains of the same species. Sensitivity of bacteria to bee products varies considerably within the product and the varieties of the same product. Botanical origin plays a major role in its antibacterial activity. Propolis has been found to have the strongest action against bacteria. This is probably due to its richness in flavonoids. The most challenging problems of using hive products for medical purposes are dosage and safety. Honey and royal jelly produced as a food often are not well filtered, and may contain various particles. Processed for use in wound care, they are passed through fine filters which remove most of the pollen and other impurities to prevent allergies. Also, although honey does not allow vegetative bacteria to survive, it does contain viable spores, including clostridia. With the increased availability of licensed medical stuffs containing bee products, clinical use is expected to increase and further evidence will become available. Their use in professional care centres should be limited to those which are safe and with certified antibacterial activities. The present article is a short review of recent patents on antibiotics of hives.
Developing countries are consuming major part of the global urea production with an anticipated nitrogen use efficiency of 20 to 35%. The release of excess nitrogen in the soil is not only detrimental to the environment but also lessens the efficiency of the conventional urea. The urea performance can be enhanced by encapsulating it with slow release coating materials and synchronizing the nutrients' release with the plant up-taking. However, the present cost of most of the coated fertilizers is considerably higher than the conventional fertilizers. The high cost factor prevents their widespread use in mainstream agriculture. This paper documents a review of literature related to the global urea market, issues pertaining to the conventional urea use, natural and synthetic materials for slow release urea and fluidized bed spray coating process. The aim of the current review is to develop technical understanding of the conventional and non-conventional coating materials and associated spray coating mechanism for slow release urea production. The study also investigated the potential of starch as the coating material in relation to the coatings tested previously for controlled release fertilizers.
Honey is rich in phenolic compounds, which act as natural antioxidants and are becoming increasingly popular because of their potential role in contributing to human health. A wide range of phenolic constituents is present in honey like quercetin, caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), acacetin, kaempferol, galangin which have promising effect in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Many epidemiological studies have shown that regular intake of phenolic compounds is associated with reduced risk of heart diseases. In coronary heart disease, the protective effects of phenolic compounds include mainly antithrombotic, anti-ischemic, anti-oxidant, and vasorelaxant. It is suggested that flavonoids decrease the risk of coronary heart disease by three major actions: improving coronary vasodilatation, decreasing the ability of platelets in the blood to clot, and preventing low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) from oxidizing. In this review paper, we discussed the preventive role of polyphenols of honey against cardiovascular diseases.
To determine the current practices of private practitioners for the management of STIs in Pulau Pinang, Malaysia, evaluation of pharmacotherapy for STIs in private clinics and to ascertain the management of STIs compared to standard guidelines.
Methods: Data was collected by self administered questionnaire for private practitioners, which gathered information on their socio-demographic as well as practice characteristics. Descriptive Statistical analysis was performed by using SPSS for windows version 13.0.
Results: Data was collected from 78 practitioners. Most of the treatment choices mentioned for the treatment of gonorrhea were
inconsistent with the guidelines. About 51.2% of practitioners did not screen their patients for HIV/AIDS. Majority of private practitioners counseled their patients about HIV/AIDS on irregular basis. A high percentage of 59% did not informed health authorities about STI cases and 32.1% mentioned that they did not use any guidelines.
Conclusions: Management of STIs by private practitioners with respect to selection of antibiotics, patient counseling and case notification leaves a lot to be desired. Current management practices can adversely impact on HIV/AIDS transmission in the country. Interventions are needed to improve the management practices of private practitioners.
Key words : Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), Management
Spray coating technology has demonstrated great potential in the slow release fertilizers industry. The better understanding of the key spray parameters benefits both the environment and low cost coating processes. The use of starch based materials to coat the slow release fertilizers is a new development. However, the hydraulic spray jet breakup of the non-Newtonian starchy solutions is a complex phenomenon and very little known. The aim of this research was to study the axial and radial distributions of the Sauter Mean Diameter (SMD) and velocity vectors in pulsing spray patterns of native and modified tapioca starch solutions. To meet the objective, high speed imaging and Phase Doppler Anemometry (PDA) techniques were employed to characterize the four compositions of the starch-urea-borax complex namely S0, S1, S2 and S3. The unheated solutions exhibited very high viscosities ranging from 2035 to 3030 cP. No jet breakup was seen at any stage of the nozzle operation at an injection pressure of 1-5 bar. However, at 80 °C temperature and 5 bar pressure, the viscosity was reduced to 455 to 638 cP and dense spray patterns emerged from the nozzle obscuring the PDA signals. The axial size distribution revealed a significant decrease in SMD along the spray centreline. The smallest axial SMD (51 to 79 μm) was noticed in S0 spray followed by S1, S2 and S3. Unlikely, the radial SMD in S0 spray did not vary significantly at any stage of the spray injection. This trend was attributed to the continuous growth of the surface wave instabilities on the native starch sheet. However, SMD obtained with S1, S2 and S3 varied appreciably along the radial direction. The mean velocity vector profiles followed the non-Gaussian distribution. The constant vector distributions were seen in the near nozzle regions, where the spray was in the phase of development. In far regions, the velocity vectors were poly-dispersed and a series of ups and downs were seen in the respective radial distributions.
AIMS: The aim of this study was to evaluate attitude and treatment satisfaction of women suffering from GDM and their association with glycaemic level.
METHODS: A cross sectional study was conducted in antenatal clinic of Hospital Pulau Pinang, Malaysia from June to December 2013 on the sample of 175 patients. Data was collected through modified version of Diabetes Integration Scale (ATT-19) and Diabetes Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaires (DSTQs). Glycaemic level was evaluated in terms of Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG). Three most recent values of FPG (mmol/l) were taken from patients medical profiles and their mean was calculated. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for data analysis.
RESULTS: A total of 166 patients were included in final analysis. Only 35 (21.1%) patients had positive attitude and 122 (73.5%) of patients had adequate treatment satisfaction. There was no significant association of total mean ATT-19 score with age, ethnicity, educational level, occupational status, family history and type of therapy. For treatment satisfaction statistically significant association was present only between total mean treatment satisfaction score and educational level. Patients with negative attitude and inadequate treatment satisfaction had higher mean glycaemic level.
CONCLUSIONS: It is concluded that more than two folds of patients were satisfied with their ongoing treatment but majority of the patients were feeling difficulty in active coping measures for the management of GDM.
KEYWORDS: Attitude; GDM; Glycaemic level; Treatment satisfaction
Study site: antenatal clinic of Hospital Pulau Pinang
AIMS: The aim of this study was to evaluate the knowledge about GDM and its corresponding relation with glycaemic level in GDM patients.
METHOD: A cross-sectional study was conducted in antenatal clinic of Hospital Pulau Pinang, Malaysia from June 2013 to December 2013 using Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Knowledge Questionnaire (GDMKQ) on the sample of 175 GDM patients. Three most recent fasting plasma glucose (FPG) values (mmol/l) were taken from patients profiles and mean was calculated.
RESULTS: A total of 166 patients were included in final analysis. A total mean knowledge score of 166 patients was 10.01±3.63 and total mean FPG value was 5.50±1.13. Knowledge had a significant negative association with FPG (r=- 0.306, P<0.01). Among different knowledge domains, highest mean score was seen for diet/food values domain and lowest for management of GDM. Educational level seems to be the most significant predictor of GDM knowledge and glycaemic control. Highest mean knowledge score and lowest mean glycaemic levels were recorded for patients aged 25-29 years, Malay ethnicity, working women and family history of DM.
CONCLUSION: Higher Knowledge about GDM is related to better glycaemic control. New educational strategies should be developed to improve the lower health literacy.
KEYWORDS: Educational level; GDM; Glycaemic level; Knowledge
Study site: antenatal clinic of Hospital Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
One of the most challenging issues concerning the gasification of oil palm fronds (OPF) is the presence of tar and particulates formed during the process considering its high volatile matter content. In this study, a tar sampling train custom built based on standard tar sampling protocols was used to quantify the gravimetric concentration of tar (g/Nm3) in syngas produced from downdraft gasification of OPF. The amount of char, ash, and solid tar produced from the gasification process was measured in order to account for the mass and carbon conversion efficiency. Elemental analysis of the char and solid tar samples was done using ultimate analysis machine, while the relative concentration of the different compounds in the liquid tar was determined making use of a liquid gas chromatography (GC) unit. Average tar concentration of 4.928 g/Nm3 and 1.923 g/Nm3 was obtained for raw gas and cleaned gas samples, respectively. Tar concentration in the raw gas sample was found to be higher compared to results for other biomass materials, which could be attributed to the higher volatile matter percentage of OPF. Average cleaning efficiency of 61% which is comparable to that of sand bed filter and venturi scrubber cleaning systems reported in the literature was obtained for the cleaning system proposed in the current study.
Biomass wastes produced from oil palm mills and plantations include empty fruit bunches (EFBs), shells, fibers, trunks, and oil palm fronds (OPF). EFBs and shells are partially utilized as boiler fuel while the rest of the biomass materials like OPF have not been utilized for energy generation. No previous study has been reported on gasification of oil palm fronds (OPF) biomass for the production of fuel gas. In this paper, the effect of moisture content of fuel and reactor temperature on downdraft gasification of OPF was experimentally investigated using a lab scale gasifier of capacity 50 kW. In addition, results obtained from equilibrium model of gasification that was developed for facilitating the prediction of syngas composition are compared with experimental data. Comparison of simulation results for predicting calorific value of syngas with the experimental results showed a satisfactory agreement with a mean error of 0.1 MJ/Nm³. For a biomass moisture content of 29%, the resulting calorific value for the syngas was found to be only 2.63 MJ/Nm³, as compared to nearly double (4.95 MJ/Nm³) for biomass moisture content of 22%. A calorific value as high as 5.57 MJ/Nm³ was recorded for higher oxidation zone temperature values.
Cigarette smoking is associated with sexual dysfunction and impaired fertility in males. The aim of this study was to determine the potential protective effect of honey against the toxic effect of cigarette smoke (CS) on sexual behavior and fertility of male rats. Thirty-two adult Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups (8 rats/group) as control, honey (H), CS and H plus CS (H + CS) groups. Rats in control and CS groups received oral administration of distilled water daily while rats in H and H + CS groups received honey (1.2 g/kg body weight/day) by oral gavage. Rats in CS and H + CS groups were also exposed to CS for 8 min 3 times/day. From 10 to 13 weeks of treatment, each male rat was cohabited with 3 untreated female rats for sexual behavioral and reproductive performance studies. Honey significantly increased the percentages of rats achieving intromission and ejaculation as well as increased mating and fertility indexes of male rats exposed to CS. Thus, honey has a protective effect against CS-induced impaired sexual behavior and fertility in male rats.
The effect of cigarette smoke (CS) on histology of male accessory reproductive organs and the possible protective effect of honey supplementation in rats were investigated in this study. Rats received distilled water, honey, CS exposure or honey plus CS exposure. Honey (1.2 g/kg body weight/day) was administered by gavage and CS exposure (3 times per day) was done in a chamber for 13 weeks. CS exposure significantly increased relative weight of epididymis and ventral prostate. There were also significantly increased number of clear cells and epithelial height of cauda epididymis as well as severe interstitial oedema and decreased epithelial height of prostate gland. However, with the supplementation of honey, these histological changes were significantly reversed suggesting the protective effect of honey against the toxic effect of CS on male accessory reproductive organs in rats.
Among the gynecological malignancies, ovarian cancer is the most fatal due to its high mortality rate. Most of the identified cases are epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) with five distinct subtypes: high-grade serous carcinoma, low-grade serous carcinoma, mucinous carcinoma, endometrioid carcinoma, and clear-cell carcinoma. Lack of an early diagnostic approach, high incidence of tumor relapse and the heterogenous characteristics between each EOC subtypes contribute to the difficulties in developing precise intervention and therapy for the patients. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are single-stranded RNAs that have been shown to function as tumor suppressors or oncomiRs. The miR-200 family, especially miR-200c, has been shown to be implicated in the metastasis and invasion of ovarian carcinoma due to its functional regulation of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). This mini review is aimed to summarize the recent findings of the miR-200c functional role as well as its validated targets in the metastasis cascade of ovarian cancer, with a focus on EMT regulation. The potential of this miRNA in early diagnosis and its dual expression status are also discussed.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the patients' knowledge and awareness of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A face-to-face interview was conducted among the patients visiting the Venereal Diseases Outpatient Department of the General Hospital of Pulau Pinang (Malaysia). A 19-item questionnaire was used. A total of 116 patients participated in the study and 107 patients had valid responses. The reliability and internal consistency of the questionnaire tool was estimated on the basis of Cronbach's alpha (= 0.81). The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 13.0(R)) was used for data analysis. Student's t test and analysis of variance were used to analyse the knowledge differences among the groups.
RESULTS: Of the 107 patients, 82 (76.6%) were diagnosed with syphilis; AIDS was the most commonly known STI among the patients. Of the 107 patients, 35 were sexually active and of these 23 (65.7%) had more than 1 sexual partner. The most popular source of knowledge was newspapers (51 patients, 47.7%), with hospitals (3 patients, 2.8%) being the least popular one. Overall mean score on knowledge questions was 12.21 out of the maximum of 33 points. Knowledge about causative organisms, risk groups, transmission, symptoms, prevention and treatment of STIs was inadequate. The knowledge level was significantly related to gender (p = 0.03), religion (p = 0.005), educational level (p = 0.000), marital status (p = 0.000) and income level (p = 0.036).
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated evidence of poor knowledge of STIs amongst the patients attending an STI service in the General Hospital of Pulau Pinang (Malaysia). Hence there is an immediate need for efforts towards improving patient knowledge of STIs.
Study site: Venereal Diseases Outpatient Department, General Hospital Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Background. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the knowledge and perception of depression among students of University Sains Malaysia (USM), in Penang, Peninsular Malaysia.
Method. Face-to-face interviews were conducted using a pre-validated 21-item questionnaire among students at USM.
Results. A total of 500 respondents participated in the survey comprising 24.6% (n=123) males and 75.4% (n=377) females. Half (50.0%, n=250) were Malays, followed by Chinese (44.0%, n=220) and Indians (6.0%, n=30). Whilst exploring the respondents' knowledge of the symptoms of depression, it was found that Chinese females had a comparatively better knowledge (P=0.058) of the symptoms of depression in comparison with Malays and Indians. Overall, social issues were attributed as the possible cause of depression. A cursory knowledge level was observed regarding medication for depression. Female students were more inclined towards the use of alternative and traditional medicines. However, with regard to seeking professional help, consultation with a psychiatrist was preferred by the majority.
Conclusion. Overall, a moderate level of knowledge about the symptoms of depression and a cursory knowledge of its therapy were observed. Those with personal experience of depression had better knowledge of the symptoms and therapy. Alternative treatments and traditional medicines were also favoured. There is a risk that this may affect the ability of Malaysian youths to seek evidence-based mental health care.
5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) content is an indicator of the purity of honey. High concentrations of HMF in honey indicate overheating, poor storage conditions and old honey. This study investigated the HMF content of nine Malaysian honey samples, as well as the correlation of HMF formation with physicochemical properties of honey. Based on the recommendation by the International Honey Commission, three methods for the determination of HMF were used: (1) high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), (2) White spectrophotometry and (3) Winkler spectrophotometry methods. HPLC and White spectrophotometric results yielded almost similar values, whereas the Winkler method showed higher readings. The physicochemical properties of honey (pH, free acids, lactones and total acids) showed significant correlation with HMF content and may provide parameters that could be used to make quick assessments of honey quality. The HMF content of fresh Malaysian honey samples stored for 3-6 months (at 2.80-24.87 mg/kg) was within the internationally recommended value (80 mg/kg for tropical honeys), while honey samples stored for longer periods (12-24 months) contained much higher HMF concentrations (128.19-1131.76 mg/kg). Therefore, it is recommended that honey should generally be consumed within one year, regardless of the type.