The charismatic lance lacewing genus Gryposmylus Krüger, 1913 (Osmylidae: Protosmylinae) from South East Asia is revised with a new species (Gryposmylus pennyi sp. n.) described from Malaysia. The genus is diagnosed and both species in the genus redescribed and figured. An extraordinary example of morphological convergence is presented, with disruptive camouflaging wing markings in Gryposmylus pennyi sp. n. being remarkably similar to the South American green lacewing Vieira leschenaulti Navás (Chrysopidae).
Gallic acid has been suggested as a potential antimicrobial for the control of Campylobacter but its effectiveness is poorly studied. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of gallic acid against Campylobacter jejuni (n = 8) and Campylobacter coli (n = 4) strains was determined. Gallic acid inhibited the growth of five C. jejuni strains and three C. coli strains (MIC: 15.63-250 μg mL(-1)). Gallic acid was only bactericidal to two C. coli strains (MBC: 125 and 62.5 μg mL(-1)). The mechanism of the bactericidal effect against these two strains (and selected non-susceptible controls) was investigated by determining decimal reduction times and by monitoring the loss of cellular content and calcium ions, and changes in cell morphology. Gallic acid did not result in a loss of cellular content or morphological changes in the susceptible strains as compared to the controls. Gallic acid resulted in a loss of calcium ions (0.58-1.53 μg mL(-1) and 0.54-1.17 μg mL(-1), respectively, over a 180 min period) from the susceptible strains but not the controls. Gallic acid is unlikely to be an effective antimicrobial against Campylobacter in a practical sense unless further interventions to ensure an effective bactericidal mode of action against all strains are developed.
Bacterial attachment to abiotic surfaces can be explained as a physicochemical process. Mechanisms of the process have been widely studied but are not yet well understood due to their complexity. Physicochemical processes can be influenced by various interactions and factors in attachment systems, including, but not limited to, hydrophobic interactions, electrostatic interactions and substratum surface roughness. Mechanistic models and control strategies for bacterial attachment to abiotic surfaces have been established based on the current understanding of the attachment process and the interactions involved. Due to a lack of process control and standardization in the methodologies used to study the mechanisms of bacterial attachment, however, various challenges are apparent in the development of models and control strategies. In this review, the physicochemical mechanisms, interactions and factors affecting the process of bacterial attachment to abiotic surfaces are described. Mechanistic models established based on these parameters are discussed in terms of their limitations. Currently employed methods to study these parameters and bacterial attachment are critically compared. The roles of these parameters in the development of control strategies for bacterial attachment are reviewed, and the challenges that arise in developing mechanistic models and control strategies are assessed.
Urinary tract infections (UTI) caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli are one of the most common forms of human disease. In this study, the effect of the presence of newly acquired antibiotic resistance genes on biofilm formation of UTI-associated E. coli strains was examined. Two clinical UTI-associated E. coli strains (SMC18 and SMC20) carrying different combinations of virulence genes were transformed with pGEM-T, pGEM-T::KmΔAmp, or pGEM-T::Km to construct ampicillin-resistant (Km(S)Amp(R)), kanamycin-resistant (Km(R)Amp(S)), or ampicillin- and kanamycin-resistant (Km(R)Amp(R)) strains. Transformed and wild-type strains were characterized for biofilm formation, bacterial surface hydrophobicity, auto-aggregation, morphology, and attachment to abiotic surfaces. Transformation with a plasmid carrying an ampicillin resistance gene alone decreased (p < 0.05) biofilm formation by SMC18 (8 virulence marker genes) but increased (p < 0.05) biofilm formation by SMC20 (5 virulence marker genes). On the other hand, transformation with a plasmid carrying a kanamycin resistance gene alone or both ampicillin and kanamycin resistance genes resulted in a decrease (p < 0.05) in biofilm formation by SMC18 but did not affect (p > 0.05) the biofilm formation by SMC20. Our results suggest that transformation of UTI-associated E. coli with plasmids carrying different antibiotic resistance gene(s) had a significant impact on biofilm formation and that these effects were both strain dependent and varied between different antibiotics.
This study aimed to establish, as a proof of concept, whether bacterial cellulose (BC)-derived plant cell wall models could be used to investigate foodborne bacterial pathogen attachment. Attachment of two strains each of Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes to four BC-derived plant cell wall models (namely, BC, BC-pectin [BCP], BC-xyloglucan [BCX], and BC-pectin-xyloglucan [BCPX]) was investigated. Chemical analysis indicated that the BCPX composite (31% cellulose, 45.6% pectin, 23.4% xyloglucan) had a composition typical of plant cell walls. The Salmonella strains attached in significantly (p<0.05) higher numbers (~6 log colony-forming units [CFU]/cm(2)) to the composites than the Listeria strains (~5 log CFU/cm(2)). Strain-specific differences were also apparent with one Salmonella strain, for example, attaching in significantly (p<0.05) higher numbers to the BCX composite than to the other composites. This study highlights the potential usefulness of these composites to understand attachment of foodborne bacteria to fresh produce.
Tea can inhibit the attachment of Streptococcus mutans to surfaces and subsequent biofilm formation. Five commercial tea extracts were screened for their ability to inhibit attachment and biofilm formation by two strains of S. mutans on glass and hydroxyapatite surfaces. The mechanisms of these effects were investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and phytochemical screening. The results indicated that extracts of oolong tea most effectively inhibited attachment and extracts of pu-erh tea most effectively inhibited biofilm formation. SEM images showed that the S. mutans cells treated with extracts of oolong tea, or grown in medium containing extracts of pu-erh tea, were coated with tea components and were larger with more rounded shapes. The coatings on the cells consisted of flavonoids, tannins and indolic compounds. The ratio of tannins to simple phenolics in each of the coating samples was ∼3:1. This study suggests potential mechanisms by which tea components may inhibit the attachment and subsequent biofilm formation of S. mutans on tooth surfaces, such as modification of cell surface properties and blocking of the activity of proteins and the structures used by the bacteria to interact with surfaces.
The blood clam, Tegillarca granosa, is widely cultivated in China. We isolated 6 microsatellite loci from T. granosa and used them to investigate genetic diversity and population structure of 5 widely distributed populations of blood clam collected from eastern and southeastern China. The allele number per locus varied from 4 to 9, and the polymorphism information content value was 0.301 to 0.830. The mean observed and expected heterozygosities varied from 0.304 to 0.460 and 0.556 to 0.621, respectively; the population from Yueqing had the smallest observed heterozygosity. In the neighbor-joining tree, Shandong, Fenghua and Yueqing populations clustered together, and there was geographic divergence between Shandong and Guangxi populations. Some microsatellite loci that were isolated from these mainland China samples were not found in blood clams collected from Malaysia.
T1 lipase is isolated from the palm Geobacillus zalihae strain T1 in Malaysia, functioning as a secreted protein responsible for the catalyzing hydrolysis of long-chain triglycerides into fatty acids and glycerol at high temperatures. In the current study, using 30 ns molecular dynamics simulations at different temperatures, an aqueous activation was detected for T1 lipase. This aqueous activation in T1 lipase was mainly caused by a double-flap movement mechanism. The double flaps were constituted by the hydrophobic helices 6 and 9. Helix 6 employed two major components with the hydrophilic part at the surface and the hydrophobic part inside. In the aqueous solution, the hydrophobic part could provide enough power for helix 6 to move away, driving the protein into an open configuration and exposing the catalytic triad. Our findings could provide structural evidence to support the double-flap movement, revealing the catalytic mechanism for T1 lipase.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate a new method to improve performance of computer-aided detection (CAD) schemes of screening mammograms with two approaches. In the first approach, we developed a new case based CAD scheme using a set of optimally selected global mammographic density, texture, spiculation, and structural similarity features computed from all four full-field digital mammography images of the craniocaudal (CC) and mediolateral oblique (MLO) views by using a modified fast and accurate sequential floating forward selection feature selection algorithm. Selected features were then applied to a 'scoring fusion' artificial neural network classification scheme to produce a final case based risk score. In the second approach, we combined the case based risk score with the conventional lesion based scores of a conventional lesion based CAD scheme using a new adaptive cueing method that is integrated with the case based risk scores. We evaluated our methods using a ten-fold cross-validation scheme on 924 cases (476 cancer and 448 recalled or negative), whereby each case had all four images from the CC and MLO views. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was AUC = 0.793 ± 0.015 and the odds ratio monotonically increased from 1 to 37.21 as CAD-generated case based detection scores increased. Using the new adaptive cueing method, the region based and case based sensitivities of the conventional CAD scheme at a false positive rate of 0.71 per image increased by 2.4% and 0.8%, respectively. The study demonstrated that supplementary information can be derived by computing global mammographic density image features to improve CAD-cueing performance on the suspicious mammographic lesions.
Micro-expression recognition is still in the preliminary stage, owing much to the numerous difficulties faced in the development of datasets. Since micro-expression is an important affective clue for clinical diagnosis and deceit analysis, much effort has gone into the creation of these datasets for research purposes. There are currently two publicly available spontaneous micro-expression datasets--SMIC and CASME II, both with baseline results released using the widely used dynamic texture descriptor LBP-TOP for feature extraction. Although LBP-TOP is popular and widely used, it is still not compact enough. In this paper, we draw further inspiration from the concept of LBP-TOP that considers three orthogonal planes by proposing two efficient approaches for feature extraction. The compact robust form described by the proposed LBP-Six Intersection Points (SIP) and a super-compact LBP-Three Mean Orthogonal Planes (MOP) not only preserves the essential patterns, but also reduces the redundancy that affects the discriminality of the encoded features. Through a comprehensive set of experiments, we demonstrate the strengths of our approaches in terms of recognition accuracy and efficiency.
A rapid dot immunogold filtration assay (DIGFA) was adopted for specific immunodiagnosis of human cerebral angiostrongyliasis, using purified 31-kDa glycoprotein specific to Angiostrongylus cantonensis as diagnostic antigen and protein A colloidal gold conjugate as antigen-antibody detector. A total of 59 serum samples were assayed - 11 samples from clinically diagnosed patients with detectable A. cantonensis-specific antibody in immunoblotting; 23 samples from patients with other related parasitic diseases, i.e. gnathostomiasis (n= 8), cysticercosis (n= 5), toxocariasis (n= 2), filariasis (n= 4), paragonimiasis (n= 2) and malaria (n= 2); and 25 samples from normal healthy subjects. The sensitivity and specificity of DIGFA to detect anti-A. cantonensis specific antibodies in serologically confirmed angiostrongyliasis cases, were both 100%. No positive DIGFA was observed in cases with other parasitic diseases, and the healthy control subjects. The 3-min DIGFA is as sensitive and specific as the 3-h immunoblot test in angiostrongyliasis confirmed cases that revealed a 31-kDa reactive band. The gold-based DIGFA is more rapid and easier to perform than the traditional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The test utilizing purified A. cantonensis antigen is reliable and reproducible for specific immunodiagnosis of human infection with A. cantonensis - thus can be applied as an additional routine test for clinical diagnostic support. Large-scale sero-epidemiological studies in endemic communities in north-east Thailand are under way to evaluate its usefulness under field conditions.
The vp28 gene encoding an envelope protein (28 kDa) of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) was amplified from WSSV-infected tiger shrimp that originated from Malaysia. Recombinant VP28 protein (r-28) was expressed in Escherichia coli and used as an antigen for preparation of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). Three murine MAbs (6F6, 6H4 and 9C10) that were screened by r-28 antigen-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were also able to recognize viral VP28 protein as well as r-28 on Western blot. Three non-overlapping epitopes of VP28 protein were determined using the MAbs in competitive ELISA; thus, an antigen-capture ELISA (Ac-ELISA) was developed by virtue of these MAbs. Ac-ELISA can differentiate WSSV-infected shrimp from uninfected shrimp and was further confirmed by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Western blot. Approximately 400 pg of purified WSSV sample and 20 pg of r-28 could be detected by Ac-ELISA, which is comparable in sensitivity to PCR assay but more sensitive than Western blot in the detection of purified virus. Hemolymph and tissue homogenate samples collected from a shrimp farm in Malaysia during December 2000 and July 2001 were also detected by Ac-ELISA and PCR with corroborating results.
Since 1994, white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) has been detected in cultured shrimp Penaeus monodon in Peninsular Malaysia. The gross signs, target organs and histo-cytopathology for the viral infection were studied and it was found to infect most organs and tissues including oocytes, but not hepatopancreatocytes and epithelial cells of the midgut, which were regarded as refractory tissues. Based on a time-sequence of ultrastructural cytopathology, 4 cytopathic profiles and 6 phases of viral morphogenesis were described. The virions were elliptical to short rods with trilamilar envelopes that measured 305 +/- 30 x 127 +/- 11 nm. Viral nucleosomes were often present singly in infected nuclei and were associated with the early stages of viral replication. The structure of WSSV pathognomonic white, cuticular lesions was examined at the microscopic and ultrastructural levels and the mechanism of their formation appeared to be related to the disruption of exudate transfer from epithelial cells to the cuticle via cuticular pore canals.
When standing height (StndHt) cannot be assessed, arm span (AS) or sitting height (SitHt) has been used as surrogate variables for prediction of StndHt in adult caucasians and blacks. We examined (1) the relationship between StndHt, AS and SitHt among adult Chinese, Malays and Indians; and (2) whether anthropometry could explain the ethnic differences in lung volumes (as StndHt-adjusted lung volumes are known to differ significantly: Chinese > Malays > Indians). We recruited 1250 consecutive outpatients aged 20-90 years. Prediction equations of StndHt (with AS, SitHt, weight, age as predictors) for each subgroup of race and sex were formulated with multiple linear regressions. Equations with both AS and SitHt as predictors had the best goodness of fit (SEE = 2.37-2.85 cm, adjusted R2 = 0.67-0.87), as compared to equations with either AS (SEE = 3.00-3.91 cm, adjusted R2 = 0.58-0.80) or SitHt alone (SEE = 3.48-4.00 cm, adjusted R2 = 0.45-0.76). GLM general factorial analyses found that age- and weight-adjusted SitHt-to-StndHt ratios differed significantly among Chinese (0.539), Malays (0.529) and Indians (0.518). This paralleled the ethnic differences in lung volumes. The equations with both AS and SitHt as predictors provide the most accurate estimate of StndHt. Ethnic differences in upper body segment length may explain in part the lung volume differences.
Study site: Respiratory clinic, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore
This paper describes a new bacterial white spot syndrome (BWSS) in cultured tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon. The affected shrimp showed white spots similar to those caused by white spot syndrome virus (WSSV), but the shrimp remained active and grew normally without significant mortalities. The study revealed no evidence of WSSV infection using electron microscopy, histopathology and nested polymerase chain reaction. Electron microscopy indicated bacteria associated with white spot formation, and with degeneration and discoloration of the cuticle as a result of erosion of the epicuticle and underlying cuticular layers. Grossly the white spots in BWSS and WSS look similar but showed different profiles under wet mount microscopy. The bacterial white spots were lichen-like, having perforated centers unlike the melanized dots in WSSV-induced white spots. Bacteriological examination showed that the dominant isolate in the lesions was Bacillus subtilis. The occurrence of BWSS may be associated with the regular use of probiotics containing B. subtilis in shrimp ponds. The externally induced white spot lesions were localized at the integumental tissues, i.e., cuticle and epidermis, and connective tissues. Damage to the deeper tissues was limited. The BWS lesions are non-fatal in the absence of other complications and are usually shed through molting.
Forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), single-breath diffusion capacity measurements (effective alveolar volume (VA), carbon monoxide transfer factor (DLCO) and transfer coefficient (KCO)) were determined in 452 healthy Singaporean adults (277 males and 175 females) aged 20-70 years. The ratio of Chinese, Malay and Indian subjects was 5:2:3 in both sexes. Age, height and weight in the males were all significantly correlated with FEV1, FVC, DLCO, VA and PEFR. However, for females, only age and height were significantly correlated with the studied lung function parameters. Significant ethnic differences were observed for most of the pulmonary functions (except KCO and PEFR) among the Chinese, Malays and Indians for both males and females. The predicted FEV1 and FVC values (specific age and height) for both sexes were highest among the Chinese followed by the Malays than Indians, in that order. Regression equations, with age and height as independent variables, were derived for males and females in each ethnic group to predict normal pulmonary function for the Singapore Chinese, Malay and Indian populations. The predicted values of various pulmonary function measurements obtained from these regression equations for subjects of specified age (30 years) and height (165 cm for men, 155 cm for women) were compared with those reported in other studies. Differences were observed among the different races.
Maximal static inspiratory and expiratory mouth pressures (PI,max and PE,max, respectively) enable the noninvasive measurement of global respiratory muscle strength. The aim of this study was primarily to obtain normal values of PI,max and PE,max for adult Chinese, Malays and Indians and, secondarily, to study their effect on lung volumes in these subjects. Four hundred and fifty two healthy subjects (221 Chinese, 111 Malays, 120 Indians) were recruited. Measurements of PI,max from residual volume (RV), PE,max from total lung capacity (TLC) and forced vital capacity (FVC) were obtained in the seated position. There were significant ethnic differences in PI,max and PE,max measurements obtained in males, and FVC measurements in both males and females. Chinese males had higher PI,max values (mean (+/-SD) 88.7+/-32.5 cmH2O) and higher PE,max values (113.4+/-41.5) than Malay males (PI,max 74.0+/-22.7 cmH2O, PE,max 94.7+/-23.4 cmH2O). Chinese males had higher PE,max than Indian males (PI,max = 83.7+/-30.0 cmH2O, PE,max 98.4+/-29.2 cmH2O). There were no significant differences among Chinese females (PI,max 53.6+/-2.3 cmH2O, PE,max 68.3+/-24.0 cmH2O), Malay females (PI,max 50.7+/-18.3 cmH2O, PE,max 63.6+/-21.6 cmH2O) and Indian females (PI,max 50.0+/-15.2 cmH2O, PE,max 60.7+/-20.4 cmH2O). In both sexes, the Chinese had a higher FVC compared with Malays and Indians. After adjusting for age, height and weight, race was still a determinant for PE,max in males, and FVC in both sexes. The FVC only correlated weakly with PI,max and PE,max in both sexes. Ethnic differences in respiratory muscle strength, and lung volumes, occur among Asians. However, respiratory muscle strength does not explain the differences in lung volumes in healthy Asian subjects.
A corrosive environment leaves in-service conductive structures prone to subsurface corrosion which poses a severe threat to the structural integrity. It is indispensable to detect and quantitatively evaluate subsurface corrosion via non-destructive evaluation techniques. Although the gradient-field pulsed eddy current technique (GPEC) has been found to be superior in the evaluation of corrosion in conductors, it suffers from a technical drawback resulting from the non-uniform field excited by the conventional pancake coil. In light of this, a new GPEC probe with uniform field excitation for the imaging of subsurface corrosion is proposed in this paper. The excited uniform field makes the GPEC signal correspond only to the field perturbation due to the presence of subsurface corrosion, which benefits the corrosion profiling and sizing. A 3D analytical model of GPEC is established to analyze the characteristics of the uniform field induced within a conductor. Following this, experiments regarding the imaging of subsurface corrosion via GPEC have been carried out. It has been found from the results that the proposed GPEC probe with uniform field excitation not only applies to the imaging of subsurface corrosion in conductive structures, but provides high-sensitivity imaging results regarding the corrosion profile and opening size.