Blastocystis hominis has been regarded as an enigmatic parasite as many aspects of its basic biology remain uncertain. Many reproductive processes have been suggested for the organism; however, to date, only the binary fission has been proven. Plasmotomy is one of the modes of reproduction previously suggested to be seen in in vitro cultures. The present study provides trichrome and acridine orange staining evidence for the existence of nucleic acid suggestive of division of nucleus into multinucleate forms with the respective cytoplasm dividing giving rise to two or three progeny B. hominis. Transmission electron micrographs further confirmed that these daughter cells had respective surrounding surface coat, mitochondria, and vacuoles.
The amoeboid form of Blastocystis hominis has been reported infrequently, and its morphological descriptions have yielded conflicting and confusing reports. In the present study, we used the amoeboid forms seen predominantly in symptomatic patients infected with Blastocystis to provide detailed descriptions on the fine surface structure and intracellular morphology. Scanning electron microscopy revealed the irregular shape of the amoeboid form, with an intercalated fibrillar structure and a highly convoluted surface with deep indentations and projected pseudopodia. Transmission electron microscopy showed the existence of two types of amoeboid forms of B. hominis in in vitro culture, one with a large central vacuole containing tiny electron-dense particles while the other contains multiple small vacuoles in the cytoplasm. A surface coat with varying thickness surrounded the amoeboid form, which also showed prominent, extended pseudopodia of varying shape. Irregularly shaped mitochondrion-like organelles with prominent cristae, lipid inclusions, and multiple vacuoles were frequently seen in close proximity with the pseudopodia. The characteristic nucleus with a crescentic band of electron-dense chromatin material was also seen.
Blastocystis hominis is one of the most common human parasites that inhabit the intestinal tract. Conflicting reports continue to exist regarding the existence and the functional role of the amoeboid forms in the life cycle of the parasite. The present study investigates the presence of these forms in 20 isolates obtained from ten symptomatic and asymptomatic patients respectively. A total of 10,000 parasite cells per ml from each isolate were inoculated into three culture tubes each containing 3 ml of Jones' medium supplemented with 10% horse serum, incubated at 37 degrees C. The contents were examined daily for 10 days. Irregular and polymorphic amoeboid forms with multiple extended pseudopodia were observed in all isolates from symptomatic patients, while none of the isolates from asymptomatic patients showed the presence of the amoeboid forms. The amoeboid forms were initially noted on day 2 and the percentages increased from 2% to 28%, with peak percentages from day 3 to day 6. Transmission electron microscopy revealed two types of amoeboid forms; one containing a large central vacuole completely filled with tiny electron-dense granules, and the other which revealed multiple small vacuoles within the central body. The cytoplasm contained strands of electron-dense granules resembling rough endoplasmatic reticulum, which is suggestive of active protein synthesis. The surface coat of the amoeboid form surrounding the parasite showed uneven thickness. Acridine orange stained the central body yellow and the periphery orange, indicating activity at the level of nucleic acids. The amoeboid form could either be an indicator of pathogenicity of B. hominis, or the form likely to contribute to pathogenicity and be responsible for the symptoms seen in patients.
This represents the first study to determine the genetic diversity of Blastocystis sp. among cancer and HIV/AIDS patients. Forty Blastocystis sp. isolates obtained from 20 cancer and 20 HIV/AIDS patients were genotyped by PCR using seven pairs of known sequenced-tagged site primers. Out of the 40 isolates, 38 were identified as one of the known genotypes and two isolates were negative with all the STS primers. Blastocystis sp. subtype 3 which is reported to be associated with disease was found to be predominant among the study subjects.
Despite frequent reports on the presence of Blastocystis hominis in human intestinal tract, its pathogenicity remains a matter of intense debate. These discrepancies may be due to the varying pathogenic potential or virulence of the isolates studied. The present study represents the first to investigate both phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of B. hominis obtained from symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Symptomatic isolates had a significantly greater size range and lower growth rate in Jones' medium than asymptomatic isolates. The parasite cells of symptomatic isolates exhibited rougher surface topography and greater binding affinity to Canavalia ensiformis (ConA) and Helix pomatia (HPA). The present study also identifies further phenotypic characteristics, which aided in differentiating the pathogenic forms from the non-pathogenic forms of B. hominis. Blastocystis subtype 3 was found to be correlated well with the disease.
Blastocystis from infected stools of a person who showed chronic symptoms of abdominal discomfort and diarrhea were examined over a 6-month period, using transmission electron microscopy, for the ultrastructural changes from vacuolar to cystic stage. The study confirms the irregular shedding phenomenon of the organism previously reported, and for the first time, records sequential changes in encystation in stools collected over a time period. The study also confirms the existence of a precystic stage which has an immature cell wall consisting of a layer of a homogenous electron-dense mass surrounding the cell which acts as a intermediatory stage between the vacuolar and cystic stage.
This study was based on a hepatitis B screening program conducted in one of the states in Malaysia in 1989. The majority (84.6%) of the 2986 health employees were screened. One quarter (25%) was found to have serological markers for the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV); 2.1% had Hepatitis B surface Antigen (HBsAg) and 22.8% had antibody to the Hepatitis B surface Antigen (anti-HBs). The occurrence of HBsAg was higher in ethnic Chinese (6.3%) compared to Malays (1.8%) and Indians (0.9%), even when analyzed by sex, but not with age, type of institution and geographical locality. The distribution of anti-HBs was higher with ethnic Chinese (41.6%), male sex (27.2%) and age. There was a wide variation of the prevalence of serological markers among occupations and increased relative risks of HBsAg were found among medical assistants (RR3.7; 95% CI 1.4-9.1) and laboratory staff (RR 3.2; 95% CI 1-8.8), and that of anti-HBs among medical assistants (RR 2.8; 95% CI 1.8-3.7). The variations of HBsAg among occupations by type of institutions was marginal while that of anti-HBs was higher among attendants and midwives in hospitals, medical assistants in health departments, and assistant nurses and dentists in dental centers. The patterns of distribution of serological markers of HBV among health staff reflect the situation in the community with high endemicity and resemble specific occupational factors noted in previous studies in the West.
Publication year is 1992-1993
This study was aimed at establishing a protocol for water sample processing for the detection of Blastocystis sp. using distilled water spiked with Blastocystis sp. cysts. The study established a protocol involving eight technical aspects, namely, storage temperature, storage duration, minimum water sample volume, optimum relative centrifugal force, centrifugation duration, minimum number of cyst for inoculation in Jones' medium and turn-around-time for the detection of vacuolar forms of Blastocystis sp. Results showed a minimum of 1.0 L water sample should be collected and processed on the same day. Otherwise, it should be stored at 4 °C and processed within 3 days. Water sample should be centrifuged at 1400×g for 10 min. For the isolation of Blastocystis sp. cysts, parasite pellet could be layered on top of Ficoll-Paque™ PLUS, centrifuged at 1400×g for 20 min and washed twice using 0.9% saline with centrifugation at 1400×g for 10 min. A minimum of 1 × 105 cysts could then be inoculated in Jones' medium supplement with 10% horse serum, incubated at 37 °C and examined for any presence of vacuolar forms of Blastocystis sp. after 3 days of inoculation. A protocol for water sample processing for the detection of Blastocystis sp. has successfully been established. The protocol was validated using 106 various water samples. This protocol will be very useful in determining the extent of Blastocystis sp. contamination in water sources in order to identify the seriousness of contamination.
Blastocystis cysts were detected in 38% (47/123) (37 Scottish, 17 Malaysian) of sewage treatment works. Fifty percent of influents (29% Scottish, 76% Malaysian) and 28% of effluents (9% Scottish, 60% Malaysian) contained viable cysts. Viable cysts, discharged in effluent, provide further evidence for the potential for waterborne transmission of Blastocystis.
The role and function of the granular life cycle stage in Blastocystis sp, remains uncertain despite suggestions being made that the granules are metabolic, reproductive and lipid in nature. This present study aims to understand granular formation by triggering apoptosis in Blastocystis sp. by treating them with metronidazole (MTZ). Blastocystis sp.cultures of 4 sub-types namely 1, 2, 3 and 5 when treated with 0.01 and 0.0001 mg/ml of metronidazole (MTZ) respectively showed many of the parasites to be both viable and apoptotic (VA). Treated subtype 3 isolates exhibited the highest number of granular forms i.e. 88% (p<0.001) (0.0001 mg/ml) and 69% (p<0.01) (0.01 mg/ml) respectively at the 72 h in in vitro culture compared to other subtypes. These VA forms showed distinct granules using acridine orange (AO) and 4',6-diamino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining with a mean per cell ranging from 5 in ST 5 to as high as 16 in ST 3. These forms showed intact mitochondria in both viable apoptotic (VA) and viable non-apoptotic (VNA) cells with a pattern of accumulation of lipid droplets corresponding to viable cells. Granular VA forms looked ultra-structurally different with prominent presence of mitochondria-like organelle (MLO) and a changed mitochondrial trans-membrane potential with thicker membrane and a highly convoluted inner membrane than the less dense non-viable apoptotic (NVA) cells. This suggests that granular formation during apoptosis is a self-regulatory mechanism to produce higher number of viable cells in response to treatment. This study directs the need to search novel chemotherapeutic approaches by incorporating these findings when developing drugs against the emerging Blastocystis sp. infections.
Dental employees in government institutions in a State in Peninsular Malaysia were screened for exposure to hepatitis B virus (HBV) in 1989. Almost all (96.8%) of the 217 employees responded. One quarter (24.8%) was positive for at least one serological markers to HBV; 2.4% had hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and 22.4% had anti-body to HBsAg (anti-HBs). The presence of HBsAg was unrelated to age, sex, ethnicity, geographical locality and occupations of the subjects. The prevalence of anti-HBs increased with age and was highest for ethnic Chinese (53.6%), followed by Indians (25%), compared to Malays (14.9%) (p less than 0.001) and were increased among dentists (53.1%) and assistant nurses (33.3%). The overall prevalence of HBsAg and anti-HBs were similar to the situation in the community. However, dentists and their chairside assistant nurses, with a higher proportion of Chinese, had higher anti-HBs prevalences compared with that of the general population.
In Malaysia, fresh ulam raja leaves (Cosmos caudatus) are eaten raw with rice. In this study, beef patties incorporated with extracts of ulam raja (UREX) and commercial green tea extract (GTE) added individually at 200 and 500 mg/kg were stored at -18°C for up to 10 weeks. Lipid oxidation, cooking yield, physicochemical properties, textural properties, proximate composition and sensory characteristics of the beef patties were compared between those incorporated with UREX, GTE and the control (pure beef patty). Incorporation of UREX or GTE at 500 mg/kg into beef patties reduced the extent of lipid oxidation significantly (P<0.05). UREX showed a strong lipid oxidation inhibitory effect, comparable with GTE. In addition, a significant improvement (P<0.05) in cooking yield and textural properties was also recorded. However, incorporation of UREX and GTE into beef patties showed no significant influence (P>0.05) on the colour, pH, proximate composition and overall sensory acceptability of the patties.
Blastocystis sp. is a common intestinal parasite found in humans and animals. The possibility of zoonotic transmission to humans from livestock especially goats led us to investigate the genetic diversity of caprine Blastocystis sp. obtained from five different farms in Peninsular Malaysia. Moreover, there is a lack of information on the prevalence as well as genetic diversity of Blastocystis sp. in goat worldwide. Results showed that 73/236 (30.9 %) of the goats were found to be positive for Blastocystis infection. The most predominant Blastocystis sp. subtype was ST1 (60.3 %) followed by ST7 (41.1 %), ST6 (41.1 %), and ST3 (11.0 %) when amplified by PCR using sequenced-tagged site (STS) primers. Four farms had goats infected only with ST1 whereas the fifth showed mixed infections with multiple STs. The proximity of the fifth farm to human dwellings, nearby domesticated animals and grass land as opposed to a sterile captive environment in the first four farms may account for the multiple STs seen in the fifth farm. Since ST1, ST3, ST6 and ST 7 were previously reported in human infection worldwide in particular Malaysia, the potential of the zoonotic transmission of blastocystosis should not be disregarded. The implications of different farm management systems on the distribution of Blastocystis sp. STs are discussed.
Genomic DNA from 16 Blastocystis hominis isolates comprising of eight asymptomatic isolates (A1-A8) and eight symptomatic isolates (S1-S8) was amplified by arbitrarily primed polymerase chain reaction (AP-PCR) using 38 arbitrary 10-mer primers. Six primers (A10, B5, C20, D1, F6, and F10) generated reproducible DNA fingerprints. AP-PCR amplification revealed similar DNA fingerprints among all symptomatic isolates (S1-S8) with common bands at 850 bp using primer A10, 920 bp using primer B5, and 1.3 kbp using primer D1. Isolates A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, and A7 showed similar DNA banding patterns and all asymptomatic isolates (A1-A8) shared a major band at 1 kbp using primer B5. Isolates A2 and A8 showed distinct DNA banding patterns that differed from the remainder of the isolates. The results of the phylogenetic analyses showed that all symptomatic isolates (S1-S8) formed a clade with >70% similarity among the isolates and which were clearly separate from asymptomatic isolates A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, and A7. Asymptomatic isolates A2 and A8 formed two distinct and separate clades. AP-PCR revealed higher genetic variability within the asymptomatic isolates than within the symptomatic isolates. The present study suggests that AP-PCR can be a valuable method for differentiating between isolates of B. hominis and our results support the hypothesis that our asymptomatic and symptomatic B. hominis isolates may represent two different strains/species with varying pathogenic potential.
Previous studies have shown that apoptosis-like features are observed in Blastocystis spp., an intestinal protozoan parasite, when exposed to the cytotoxic drug metronidazole (MTZ). This study reports that among the four subtypes of Blastocystis spp. investigated for rate of apoptosis when treated with MTZ, subtype 3 showed the highest significant increase after 72h of in vitro culture when treated with MTZ at 0.1mg/ml (79%; p<0.01) and 0.0001mg/ml (89%; p<0.001). The close correlation between viable cells and apoptotic cells for both dosages implies that the pathogenic potential of these isolates has been enhanced when treated with MTZ. This suggests that there is a mechanism in Blastocystis spp. that actually regulates the apoptotic process to produce higher number of viable cells when treated. Apoptosis may not just be programmed cell death but instead a mechanism to increase the number of viable cells to ensure survival during stressed conditions. The findings of the present study have an important contribution to influence chemotherapeutic approaches when developing drugs against the emerging Blastocystis spp. infections.
The addition of ribose to bovine or porcine gelatine solutions followed by heating at 95 °C yielded brown solutions with different pH, colour (CIE L(*) and b(*)) and absorbance (A(420*) values. These differences were used for gelatine powder identification, differentiation and quality control. Differentiation analysis of the Maillard reaction parameters was conducted using cluster analysis (CA) and confidence intervals (CI). The potential use of the method as a quality control procedure was evaluated by using statistical process control (SPC). CA revealed that the two types of gelatine could be classified into two different groups. CI (95% confidence) revealed that the absorbance and colour values could be used as indicators for differentiation between the two types of gelatine because the intervals between the Maillard reaction parameters of the samples were far apart. The methodology demonstrated good reproducibility because it behaved predictably based on the X¯-S charts generated from the SPC charts.
Time and temperature parameters of superheated steam (SHS) treatment were optimised using response surface methodology (RSM) for specific lipoxygenase (LOX) activity in soya beans and crude protein content in soya milk. The optimal SHS treatment was obtained at 9.3 min and 119 °C. The predicted values of specific LOX activity and crude protein content by RSM were 0.0098 μmol/(min mg protein) and 3.2%, respectively. These values were experimentally verified to be 0.0081 ± 0.0002 μmol/(min mg protein) and 3.0 ± 0.1%, respectively. Sensory evaluation showed that the beany flavour of soya milk produced from SHS treated soya beans was significantly weaker (P
DNA identification of blow fly species can be a very useful tool in forensic entomology. One of the potential benefits that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has offered in the field of forensic entomology is species determination. Conventional identification methods have limitations for sibling and closely related species of blow fly and stage and quality of the specimen used. This could be overcome by DNA-based identification methods using mitochondrial DNA which does not demand intact or undamaged specimens. Mitochondrial DNA is usually isolated from whole blow fly and legs. Alternate sources for mitochondrial DNA isolation namely, egg, larva, puparium and empty puparium were explored in this study. The sequence of DNA obtained for each sample for every life cycle stage was 100% identical for a particular species, indicating that the egg, 1st instar, 2nd instar, 3rd instar, pupa, empty puparium and adult from the same species and obtained from same generation will exhibit similar DNA sequences. The present study also highlighted the usefulness of collecting all life cycle stages of blow fly during crime scene investigation with proper preservation and subsequent molecular analysis. Molecular identification provides a strong basis for species identification and will prove an invaluable contribution to forensic entomology as an investigative tool in Malaysia.
Estimation of post-mortem interval (PMI) is crucial for time of death determination. The advent of DNA-based identification techniques forensic entomology saw the beginning of a proliferation of molecular studies into forensically important Calliphoridae (Diptera). The use of DNA to characterise morphologically indistinguishable immature calliphorids was recognised as a valuable molecular tool with enormous practical utility. The local entomofauna in most cases is important for the examination of entomological evidences. The survey of the local entomofauna has become a fundamental first step in forensic entomological studies, because different geographical distributions, seasonal and environmental factors may influence the decomposition process and the occurrence of different insect species on corpses. In this study, calliphorids were collected from 13 human corpses recovered from indoors, outdoors and aquatic conditions during the post-mortem examination by pathologists from the government hospitals in Malaysia. Only two species, Chrysomya megacephala and Chrysomya rufifacies were recovered from human corpses. DNA sequencing was performed to study the mitochondrial encoded COI gene and to evaluate the suitability of the 1300 base pairs of COI fragments for identification of blow fly species collected from real crime scene. The COI gene from blow fly specimens were sequenced and deposited in GenBank to expand local databases. The sequenced COI gene was useful in identifying calliphorids retrieved from human corpses.
Hardening issue in starch-based products that arises during storage, is ascribed to the long-term starch retrogradation which involves the recrystallisation of amylopectin. Present study aimed to delay storage hardening with the addition of high diastase honey bee honey (HBH) and low diastase kelulut bee honey (KBH) into glutinous rice flour (GRF) gels. As compared to KBH, retardation of texture deterioration by HBH was more prominent as evidenced by the significantly (p