Beta-thalassaemia major causes severe anaemia and patients with it may be transfusion-dependent for life. Regular blood transfusions cause iron-overload that leads to oxidative damage which can hasten mortality. The objective of this research was to study the oxidant-antioxidant indices in beta-thalassaemia major patients at the University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) who were on desferrioxamine-chelation or without chelation therapy. Blood was collected from 39 Chinese patients and 20 controls. Plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cell lysates (PBMC) were extracted and biochemical tests to evaluate oxidative stress were performed. Oxidative stress was evident in these patients as advanced oxidized protein products (AOPP) and lipid hydroperoxides were elevated, whereas glutathione peroxidase activity and the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) were reduced. The catalase activity in the patients' PBMC was elevated, possibly as a compensatory mechanism for the reduced glutathione peroxidase activity in both red blood cells and PBMC. The lower FRAP and higher AOPP levels in the non-chelated patients compared with the chelated patients were indicative of a lower oxidative stress level in the chelated patients. The ferritin levels in the chelated and non-chelated patients were high and the mean levels of liver enzyme activities in the majority of patients were elevated regardless of chelation therapy. In conclusion, this study indicates that desferrioxamine chelation therapy does not normalize ferritin level but attenuates oxidative damage and improves total antioxidant level in Malaysian Chinese beta-thalassaemia major patients.
Hemoglobin disorders which include thalassemias are the most common heritable disorders. Effective treatment is available, and these disorders can be avoided as identification of carriers is achievable using simple hematological tests. An in-depth understanding of the awareness, attitudes, perceptions, and screening reservations towards thalassemia is necessary, as Malaysia has a multi-ethnic population with different religious beliefs. A total of 13 focus group discussions (70 participants) with members of the general lay public were conducted between November 2008 and January 2009. Lack of knowledge and understanding about thalassemia leads to general confusions over differences between thalassemia carriers and thalassemia major, inheritance patterns, and the physical and psychologically impact of the disorder in affected individuals and their families. Although most of the participants have not been tested for thalassemia, a large majority expressed willingness to be screened. Views on prenatal diagnosis and termination of fetuses with thalassemia major received mixed opinions from participants with different religions and practices. Perceived stigma and discrimination attached to being a carrier emerged as a vital topic in some group discussions where disparity in the answers exhibited differences in levels of participants' literacy and ethnic origins. The two most common needs identified from the discussion were information and screening facilities. Participants' interest in knowing the severity of the disease and assessing their risk of getting the disorder may imply the health belief model as a possible means of predicting thalassemia public screening services. Findings provide valuable insights for the development of more effective educational, screening, and prenatal diagnostic services in the multi-ethnic Asian society.
Thalassaemia is a common public health problem in Malaysia and about 4.5 to 6% of the Malays and Chinese are carriers of this genetic disorder. The major forms of thalassaemia result in death in utero of affected foetuses (α-thalassaemia) or life-long blood transfusions for survival in β-thalassaemia. This study, the first nationwide population based survey of thalassaemia in Malaysia, aimed to determine differences in public awareness, perceptions and attitudes toward thalassaemia in the multi-racial population in Malaysia.
Thalassaemia is an inherited blood disorder and is a significant public health problem in Malaysia, with many not knowing they carry the gene for thalassaemia. The two major forms are alpha and beta thalassaemia. An individual can co-inherit both the alpha and beta thalassaemia genes. This study determined the frequency of concurrent carriers of alpha thalassaemia in 231 beta thalassaemia carriers. Gap-PCR was done on extracted DNA of the beta thalassaemia samples to check for alpha thalassaemia 1 molecular defect. Eight (3.5%) samples were found to have concurrently inherited the alpha thalassaemia 1 (- -SEA) deletion. The significant carrier rate for alpha thalassaemia 1 indicates the need for the implementation of DNA analysis to complement thalassaemia screening in high risk populations.
p53 gene mutation is not a frequent event in the tumorigenesis of lymphomas and the expression of p53 protein is independent of p53 gene mutations. The present study aimed to investigate mutations in the p53 gene in a series of extranodal B-cell lymphomas, and its association with p53 protein expression. A total of 52 cases were graded histologically into Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3 tumors and p53 protein expression was detected using immunohistochemistry. Mutations in the p53 gene were analyzed using polymerase chain reaction single-strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) and mobility shifts were confirmed by direct sequencing. The tumors comprised 26 (50%) Grade 1, 9 (17%) Grade 2 and 15 (29%) Grade 3. A high proportion of Grade 2 (25%) tumors expressed p53 protein (P = 0.051) and carried p53 gene mutation (33%) (P = 0.218). However, p53 protein expression was not associated with p53 gene mutations (P = 0.057). Transversion mutations (88%) were more frequently detected than transition mutations (12%). The present study revealed that p53 gene mutations and p53 protein expression occurred in higher frequencies in Grade 2 tumors, which may be of pathogenetic importance. The high frequency of transversion mutations may reflect the influence of an etiological agent in the tumorigenesis of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT lymphoma).
t(11;18)(q21;q21) Translocation and trisomy 3 are the most common chromosomal aberrations reported in low-grade mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. The current study aims to investigate the frequency of these chromosomal aberrations in a series of 52 extranodal B-cell lymphomas. The tumours were categorised into three histological grades: grade 1 (low-grade lymphoma of MALT type), grade 2 [diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) with MALT component] and grade 3 (DLBCL without MALT component). Fluorescence in situ hybridisation analyses on paraffin tissue sections were performed using a locus-specific probe for the 18q21 region and a centromeric probe for chromosome 3. The 18q21 rearrangement was detected in 9 of 40 (23%) cases, including 7 of 23 (30%) grade-1 and 2 of 11 (18%) grade-3 tumours. Amplification of the 18q21 region was detected in 10 of 40 (25%) cases, and trisomy 3 was detected in 9 of 34 (26%) cases. Amplification of the 18q21 region may be an important alternative pathogenetic pathway in MALT lymphoma and was found almost exclusively in tumours without 18q21 rearrangement. Our study showed that tumours with 18q21 rearrangement and 18q21 amplification develop along two distinct pathways, and the latter was more likely to transform into high-grade tumours upon acquisition of additional genetic alterations, such as trisomy 3. Trisomy 3 was more frequently found in coexistence with 18q21 abnormalities, suggesting that it was more likely to be a secondary aberration.
Beta-thalassemia is a life-threatening inherited blood disorder. Rapid characterization of β-globin gene mutations is necessary because of the high frequency of Malaysian β-thalassemia carriers. A combination real-time polymerase chain reaction genotyping assay using TaqMan probes was developed to confirm β-globin gene mutations. In this study, primers and probes were designed to specifically identify 8 common β-thalassemia mutations in the Malaysian Malay and Chinese ethnic groups using the Primer Express software. "Blind tests" using DNA samples from healthy individuals and β-thalassemia patients with different genotypes were performed to determine the specificity and sensitivity of this newly designed assay. Our results showed 100% sensitivity and specificity for this novel assay. In conclusion, the TaqMan genotyping assay is a straightforward assay that allows detection of β-globin gene mutations in less than 40 min. The simplicity and reproducibility of the TaqMan genotyping assay permit its use in laboratories as a rapid and cost-effective diagnostic tool for confirmation of common β-thalassemia mutations in Malaysia.
β-Thalassemia is a public health problem where 4.5% of Malaysians are β-thalassemia carriers. The genetic disorder is caused by defects in the β-globin gene complex which lead to reduced or complete absence of β-globin chain synthesis. Five TaqMan genotyping assays were designed and developed to detect the common β-thalassemia mutations in Malaysian Malays. The assays were evaluated with 219 "blinded" DNA samples and the results showed 100% sensitivity and specificity. The in-house designed TaqMan genotyping assays were found to be cost- and time-effective for characterization of β-thalassemia mutations in the Malaysian population.
beta-thalassaemia major, an autosomal recessive hemoglobinopathy, is one of the most common single gene disorders in multi-racial Malaysia. The control of beta-thalassaemia major requires a multi-disciplinary approach that includes population screening, genetic counselling, prenatal diagnosis and the option of termination of affected pregnancies. To achieve this objective, the molecular characterisation of the spectrum of beta-globin gene mutations in each of the affected ethnic groups is required. We studied 88 consecutive unrelated individuals and their respective families with beta-thalassaemia (74 beta-thalassaemia major, 12 HbE-beta-thalassaemia, 2 with HbE homozygotes) and four individuals with beta-thalassaemia trait that contributed a total 180 alleles for study. Using a 2-step molecular diagnostic strategy consisting of amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS) to identify the 8 most common mutations followed by other DNA-based diagnostic techniques, a total of 177 (98.3 per cent) of the 180 beta-thalassaemia alleles were characterised. One out of 91 (1 per cent) of the Chinese alleles, one out of 46 (2.2 per cent) Malay alleles and one out of two Indian alleles remained unknown. A 100 per cent success rate was achieved in studying the Kadazandusun community in this study. A strategy to identify beta-globin gene mutations in Malaysians with beta-thalassaemia is proposed based on this outcome.
Homozygosity for the α-thalassaemia Southeast Asian (α-SEA) and Filipino β°-thalassaemia (β-FIL) deletions can cause serious complications leading to foetal death or life-long blood transfusions. A rapid and accurate molecular detection assay is essential in populations where the deletions are common. In this study, gap-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with high resolution melting (HRM) analysis was developed to detect both the large deletions. Melting curves at 86.9 ± 0.1 °C were generated by normal individuals without the α-SEA deletion, 84.7 ± 0.1 °C by homozygous α-SEA deletion individuals and two melting curves at 84.7 ± 0.1 °C and 86.9 ± 0.1 °C by α-SEA deletion carriers. Normal individuals without the β-FIL deletion produce amplicons with a melting temperature (Tm) at 74.6 ± 0.1 °C, homozygous β-FIL individuals produce amplicons with Tm at 73.6 ± 0.1 °C and heterozygous β-FIL individuals generate two amplicons with Tm at 73.6 ± 0.1 °C and 74.6 ± 0.1 °C. Evaluation using blinded tests on 220 DNA samples showed 100% sensitivity and specificity. The developed assays are sensitive and specific for rapid molecular and prenatal diagnosis for the α-SEA and β-FIL deletions.
Staphylococcus aureus is one of the leading causes of food poisoning. Its pathogenicity results from the possession of virulence genes that produce different toxins which result in self-limiting to severe illness often requiring hospitalization. In this study of 200 sushi and sashimi samples, S. aureus contamination was confirmed in 26% of the food samples. The S. aureus isolates were further characterized for virulence genes and antibiotic susceptibility. A high incidence of virulence genes was identified in 96.2% of the isolates and 20 different virulence gene profiles were confirmed. DNA amplification showed that 30.8% (16/52) of the S. aureus carried at least one SE gene which causes staphylococcal food poisoning. The most common enterotoxin gene was seg (11.5%) and the egc cluster was detected in 5.8% of the isolates. A combination of hla and hld was the most prevalent coexistence virulence genes and accounted for 59.6% of all isolates. Antibiotic resistance studies showed tetracycline resistance to be the most common at 28.8% while multi-drug resistance was found to be low at 3.8%. In conclusion, the high rate of S. aureus in the sampled sushi and sashimi indicates the need for food safety guidelines.
Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the gene encoding the beta chain of the human T cell receptor (TcR) was studied in three ethnic groups in Singapore by Southern blotting. Polymorphism in the beta chain gene was identified in BglII-digested DNA samples using a 770-bp TcR beta cDNA clone containing the joining and constant region segments. The TcR beta/BglII polymorphism was studied in 136 Chinese, 93 Indian and 88 Malay samples. The frequency of the less frequent allele (TcR beta*2) in all the ethnic groups was significantly lower (0.15-0.29, p < 0.01) than that in the Caucasians (0.46). Indians had a significantly lower frequency of this allele (0.15) than the Chinese (0.29) and Malays (0.26).
The spectrum of beta-thalassemia mutations in Malays in Singapore and Kelantan (Northeast Malaysia) was studied. Allele specific priming was used to determine the mutations in beta-carriers at -28, Codon 17, IVSI #1, IVSI #5, Codon 41-42 and IVSII #654 along the beta-globin gene. The most common structural hemoglobin variant in Southeast Asia, Hb E, was detected by DNA amplification with restriction enzyme (Mnl1) analysis. Direct genomic sequencing was carried out to detect the beta-mutations uncharacterized by allele-specific priming. The most prevalent beta-mutations in Singaporean Malays were IVSI #5 (45.83%) followed by Hb E (20.83%), codon 15 (12.5%) and IVSI #1 and IVSII #654 at 4.17% each. In contrast, the distribution of the beta-mutations in Kelantan Malays differed, with Hb E as the most common mutation (39.29%) followed by IVSI #5 (17.86%), codon 41-42 (14.29%), codon 19 (10.71%) and codon 17 (3.57%). The beta-mutations in Kelantan Malays follow closely the distribution of beta-mutations in Thais and Malays of Southern Thailand and Malays of West Malaysia. The AAC-->AGC base substitution in codon 19 has been detected only in these populations. The spectrum of beta-mutations in the Singaporean Malays is more similar to those reported in Indonesia with the beta-mutation at codon 15 (TGG-->TAG) present in both populations. The characterization of beta-mutations in Singaporean and Kelantan Malays will facilitate the establishment of effective prenatal diagnosis programs for beta-thalassemia major in this ethnic group.
The distribution of restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) at the BamH1 site of the beta-globin gene was investigated in the Chinese, Indian, and Malay race in Singapore. The sample comprised of 183 normal individuals and 35 beta-thalassemia carriers in which 13 were couples with at least one beta-major child. The results from this study indicate that BamH1 polymorphism will be informative in 22% of pregnancies at risk for beta-thalassemia major in Chinese, 19% in Malays and 7% in Indians. In prenatal diagnosis using BamH1 polymorphism for one beta-major affected family, the fetus was diagnosed to be normal or beta-carrier. The validity of BamH1 polymorphism in the exclusion of beta-thalassemia major was subsequently confirmed at birth by globin chain biosynthesis.
Thirty patients with early onset breast cancer or familial breast cancer from Malaysia were analysed for germline mutation in the early onset breast cancer I gene (BRCA1). Direct sequencing of the entire coding region of BRCA1 identified a frameshift mutation, c.5447-5448insC (insC5447) (codon 1776 of exon 21) in a patient aged 32 of the Malay ethnic origin, who had no family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer. Eight polymorphisms (2201C > T, 2430T > C, P871L, E1038G, K1183R, 4427T > C, S1613G and IVS8-57delT) were identified in the samples tested.
Gram-negative bacilli of the genus Aeromonas are primarily inhabitants of the aquatic environment. Humans acquire this organism from a wide range of food and water sources as well as during aquatic recreational activities. In the present study, the diversity and distribution of Aeromonas species from freshwater lakes in Malaysia was investigated using glycerophospholipid-cholesterol acyltransferase (GCAT) and RNA polymerase sigma-factor (rpoD) genes for speciation. A total of 122 possible Aeromonas strains were isolated and confirmed to genus level using the API20E system. The clonality of the isolates was investigated using ERIC-PCR and 20 duplicate isolates were excluded from the study. The specific GCAT-PCR identified all isolates as belonging to the genus Aeromonas, in agreement with the biochemical identification. A phylogenetic tree was constructed using the rpoD gene sequence and all 102 isolates were identified as: A. veronii 43%, A. jandaei 37%, A. hydrophila 6%, A. caviae 4%, A. salmonicida 2%, A. media 2%, A. allosaccharophila 1%, A. dhakensis 1% and Aeromonas spp. 4%. Twelve virulence genes were present in the following proportions--exu 96%, ser 93%, aer 87%, fla 83%, enolase 70%, ela 62%, act 54%, aexT 33%, lip 16%, dam 16%, alt 8% and ast 4%, and at least 2 of these genes were present in all 102 strains. The ascV, aexU and hlyA genes were not detected among the isolates. A. hydrophila was the main species containing virulence genes alt and ast either present alone or in combination. It is possible that different mechanisms may be used by each genospecies to demonstrate virulence. In summary, with the use of GCAT and rpoD genes, unambiguous identification of Aeromonas species is possible and provides valuable data on the phylogenetic diversity of the organism.
BACKGROUND: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between soluble RAGE and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) after controlling for the potential confounding factors such as medication usage and enzymatic antioxidants.
METHODS: A total of 222 CKD patients whose eGFR is less than 60ml/min/1.73m(2) and 111 non-CKD individuals were recruited. The study subjects were classified based on their diabetes status. The plasma glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities as well as plasma soluble RAGE level were measured.
RESULTS: The plasma GPx and SOD activities were significantly lower and the plasma soluble RAGE level was significantly higher in the CKD patients than in the non-CKD individuals, regardless of the diabetes status. Soluble RAGE was significantly correlated with eGFR in both diabetic CKD (D-CKD) and non-diabetic CKD (ND-CKD) patients. The association between soluble RAGE and eGFR remained largely unaffected by the confounding factors in D-CKD patients. However, the confounding effect of enzymatic antioxidants in the relationship between eGFR and soluble RAGE was observed in ND-CKD patients.
CONCLUSION: The increased plasma level of soluble RAGE is a better indicator of renal function decline in diabetic CKD patients instead of non-diabetic CKD patients.
KEYWORDS: Chronic kidney disease; Diabetes; Enzymatic antioxidants; Glomerular filtration rate; Medications; Soluble RAGE
In Malaysia, β-thalassaemia is a common inherited blood disorder in haemoglobin synthesis with a carrier rate of 4.5%. Currently, PCR-incorporating techniques such as amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS) or reverse dot blot hybridization (RDBH) are used in β-thalassaemia mutation detection. ARMS allows single-mutation identification using two reactions, one for wild type and another for mutant alleles. RDBH requires probe immobilization and optimization of hybridization and washing temperatures which is time consuming. The aim of our study was to investigate whether β-thalassaemia mutations can be identified in samples with low DNA concentrations.
Beta-thalassemia is one of the most prevalent inherited diseases and a public health problem in Malaysia. Malaysia is geographically divided into West and East Malaysia. In Sabah, a state in East Malaysia, there are over 1000 estimated cases of β-thalassemia major patients. Accurate population frequency data of the molecular basis of β-thalassemia major are needed for planning its control in the high-risk population of Sabah. Characterization of β-globin gene defects was done in 252 transfusion dependent β-thalassemia patients incorporating few PCR techniques. The study demonstrates that β-thalassemia mutations inherited are ethnically dependent. It is important to note that 86.9% of transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia major patients in Sabah were of the indigenous population and homozygous for a single mutation. The Filipino β(0)-deletion was a unique mutation found in the indigenous population of Sabah. Mutations common in West Malaysia were found in 11 (4.3%) patients. Four rare mutations (Hb Monroe, CD 8/9, CD 123/124/125 and IVS I-2) were also found. This study is informative on the population genetics of β-thalassemia major in Sabah.