Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 153 in total

  1. Tay ST, Kho KL, Wee WY, Choo SW
    Acta Trop, 2016 Mar;155:25-33.
    PMID: 26658020 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.11.019
    Bartonella elizabethae has been known to cause endocarditis and neuroretinitis in humans. The genomic features and virulence profiles of a B. elizabethae strain (designated as BeUM) isolated from the spleen of a wild rat in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia are described in this study. The BeUM strain has a genome size of 1,932,479bp and GC content of 38.3%. There is a high degree of conservation between the genomes of strain BeUM with B. elizabethae type strains (ATCC 49927 and F9251) and a rat-borne strain, Re6043vi. Of 2137 gene clusters identified from B. elizabethae strains, 2064 (96.6%) are indicated as the core gene clusters. Comparative genome analysis of B. elizabethae strains reveals virulence genes which are known in other pathogenic Bartonella species, including VirB2-11, vbhB2-B11, VirD4, trw, vapA2-5, hbpA-E, bepA-F, bepH, badA/vomp/brp, ialB, omp43/89 and korA-B. A putative intact prophage has been identified in the strain BeUM, in addition to a 8kb pathogenicity island. The whole genome analysis supports the zoonotic potential of the rodent-borne B. elizabethae, and provides basis for future functional and pathogenicity studies of B. elizabethae.
  2. Cheong FW, Fong MY, Lau YL
    Acta Trop, 2016 Feb;154:89-94.
    PMID: 26624919 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.11.005
    Plasmodium knowlesi can cause potentially life threatening human malaria. The Plasmodium merozoite surface protein-142 (MSP-142) is a potential target for malaria blood stage vaccine, and for diagnosis of malaria. Two epitope mapping techniques were used to identify the potential epitopes within P. knowlesi MSP-142. Nine and 14 potential epitopes were identified using overlapping synthetic peptide library and phage display library, respectively. Two regions on P. knowlesi MSP-142 (amino acid residues 37-95 and residues 240-289) were identified to be the potential dominant epitope regions. Two of the prominent epitopes, P10 (TAKDGMEYYNKMGELYKQ) and P31 (RCLLGFKEVGGKCVPASI), were evaluated using mouse model. P10- and P31-immunized mouse sera reacted with recombinant P. knowlesi MSP-142, with the IgG isotype distribution of IgG2b>IgG1>IgG2a>IgG3. Significant higher level of cytokines interferon-gamma and interleukin-2 was detected in P31-immunized mice. Both P10 and P31 could be the suitable epitope candidates to be used in malaria vaccine designs and immunodiagnostic assays, provided further evaluation is needed to validate the potential uses of these epitopes.
  3. Dieng H, Hassan RB, Hassan AA, Ghani IA, Abang FB, Satho T, et al.
    Acta Trop, 2015 May;145:68-78.
    PMID: 25617636 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.01.004
    Even with continuous vector control, dengue is still a growing threat to public health in Southeast Asia. Main causes comprise difficulties in identifying productive breeding sites and inappropriate targeted chemical interventions. In this region, rural families keep live birds in backyards and dengue mosquitoes have been reported in containers in the cages. To focus on this particular breeding site, we examined the capacity of bird fecal matter (BFM) from the spotted dove, to support Aedes albopictus larval growth. The impact of BFM larval uptake on some adult fitness traits influencing vectorial capacity was also investigated. In serial bioassays involving a high and low larval density (HD and LD), BFM and larval standard food (LSF) affected differently larval development. At HD, development was longer in the BFM environment. There were no appreciable mortality differences between the two treatments, which resulted in similar pupation and adult emergence successes. BFM treatment produced a better gender balance. There were comparable levels of blood uptake and egg production in BFM and LSF females at LD; that was not the case for the HD one, which resulted in bigger adults. BFM and LSF females displayed equivalent lifespans; in males, this parameter was shorter in those derived from the BFM/LD treatment. Taken together these results suggest that bird defecations successfully support the development of Ae. albopictus. Due to their cryptic aspects, containers used to supply water to encaged birds may not have been targeted by chemical interventions.
  4. Yap MK, Fung SY, Tan KY, Tan NH
    Acta Trop, 2014 May;133:15-25.
    PMID: 24508616 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2014.01.014
    The proteome of Naja sumatrana (Equatorial spitting cobra) venom was investigated by shotgun analysis and a combination of ion-exchange chromatography and reverse phase HPLC. Shotgun analysis revealed the presence of 39 proteins in the venom while the chromatographic approach identified 37 venom proteins. The results indicated that, like other Asiatic cobra venoms, N. sumatrana contains large number of three finger toxins and phospholipases A2, which together constitute 92.1% by weight of venom protein. However, only eight of the toxins can be considered as major venom toxins. These include two phospholipases A2, three neurotoxins (two long neurotoxins and a short neurotoxin) and three cardiotoxins. The eight major toxins have relative abundance of 1.6-27.2% venom proteins and together account for 89.8% (by weight) of total venom protein. Other venom proteins identified include Zn-metalloproteinase-disintegrin, Thaicobrin, CRISP, natriuretic peptide, complement depleting factors, cobra venom factors, venom nerve growth factor and cobra serum albumin. The proteome of N. sumatrana venom is similar to proteome of other Asiatic cobra venoms but differs from that of African spitting cobra venom. Our results confirm that the main toxic action of N. sumatrana venom is neurotoxic but the large amount of cardiotoxins and phospholipases A2 are likely to contribute significantly to the overall pathophysiological action of the venom. The differences in toxin distribution between N. sumatrana venom and African spitting cobra venoms suggest possible differences in the pathophysiological actions of N. sumatrana venom and the African spitting cobra venoms, and explain why antivenom raised against Asiatic cobra venom is not effective against African spitting cobra venoms.
  5. Leong PK, Tan CH, Sim SM, Fung SY, Sumana K, Sitprija V, et al.
    Acta Trop, 2014 Apr;132:7-14.
    PMID: 24384454 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2013.12.015
    Snake envenomation is a serious public health threat in many rural areas of Asia and Africa. Antivenom has hitherto been the definite treatment for snake envenomation. Owing to a lack of local production of specific antivenom, most countries in these regions fully depend on foreign supplies of antivenoms. Often, the effectiveness of the imported antivenoms against local medically important species has not been validated. This study aimed to assess cross-neutralizing capacity of a recently developed polyvalent antivenom, Hemato Polyvalent Snake Antivenom (HPAV), against venoms of a common viper and some pit vipers from Southeast Asia. Neutralisation assays showed that HPAV was able to effectively neutralize lethality of the common Southeast Asian viperid venoms examined (Calloselasma, Crytelytrops, Popeia, and Daboia sp.) except for Tropidolaemus wagleri venom. HPAV also effectively neutralized the procoagulant and hemorrhagic activities of all the venoms examined, corroboratively supporting the capability of HPAV in neutralizing viperid venoms which are principally hematoxic. The study also indicated that HPAV fully prevented the occurrence of hematuria and proteinuria in mice envenomed with Thai Daboia siamensis venom but was only partially effective against venoms of Myanmar D. siamensis. Thus, HPAV appears to be useful against its homologous venoms and venoms from Southeast Asian viperids including several medically important pit vipers belonging to the Trimeresurus complex. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of HPAV as a paraspecific antivenom for treatment of viperid envenomation in Southeast Asian region requires further assessment from future clinical trials.
  6. Dieng H, Rajasaygar S, Ahmad AH, Rawi CS, Ahmad H, Satho T, et al.
    Acta Trop, 2014 Feb;130:123-30.
    PMID: 24239749 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2013.11.001
    Despite major insecticide-based vector control programs, dengue continues to be a major threat to public health in urban areas. The reasons for this failure include the emergence of insecticide resistance and the narrowing of the spectrum of efficient products. Cigarette butts (CBs), the most commonly discarded piece of waste, also represent a major health hazard to human and animal life. CBs are impregnated with thousands of chemical compounds, many of which are highly toxic and none of which has history of resistance in mosquitoes. This study was performed to examine whether exposure to CB alters various biological parameters of parents and their progeny. We examined whether the mosquito changes its ovipositional behaviors, egg hatching, reproductive capacity, longevity and fecundity in response to CB exposure at three different concentrations. Females tended to prefer microcosms containing CBs for egg deposition than those with water only. There were equivalent rates of eclosion success among larvae from eggs that matured in CB and water environments. We also observed decreased life span among adults that survived CB exposure. Extracts of CB waste have detrimental effects on the fecundity and longevity of its offspring, while being attractive to its gravid females. These results altogether indicate that CB waste indirectly affect key adult life traits of Aedes aegypti and could conceivably be developed as a novel dengue vector control strategy, referring to previously documented direct toxicity on the larval stage. But this will require further research on CB waste effects on non-target organisms including humans.
  7. Dieng H, Rajasaygar S, Ahmad AH, Ahmad H, Rawi CS, Zuharah WF, et al.
    Acta Trop, 2013 Dec;128(3):584-90.
    PMID: 23999373 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2013.08.013
    Annually, 4.5 trillion cigarette butts (CBs) are flicked into our environment. Evidence exists that CB waste is deadly to aquatic life, but their lethality to the aquatic life of the main dengue vector is unknown. CBs are full of toxicants that occur naturally, during planting and manufacturing, which may act as larvicidal agents. We assessed Aedes aegypti vulnerability to Marlboro butts during its development. Overall, CBs showed insecticidal activities against larvae. At early phases of development, mortality rates were much higher in two CBs solution (2CBSol) and 3CBSol microcosms (MICRs). Larval survival gradually decreased with development in 1CBSol-MICRs. However, in great presence of CBs, mortality was high even for the late developmental stages. These results suggest that A. aegypti larvae are vulnerable to CB presence in their habitats, but this effect was seen most during the early developmental phases and in the presence of increased amounts of cigarette remnants. CB filters are being used as raw material in many sectors, i.e., brick, art, fashion, plastic industries, as a practical solution to the pollution problem, the observed butt waste toxicity to mosquito larvae open new avenues for the identification of novel insecticide products.
  8. Ngui R, Mahdy MA, Chua KH, Traub R, Lim YA
    Acta Trop, 2013 Oct;128(1):154-7.
    PMID: 23774318 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2013.06.003
    Ancylostoma ceylanicum is the only zoonotic hookworm species that is able to produce patent infections in humans with the majority of cases reported in South East Asia. Over the past few years, there have been an increasing number of studies investigating the prevalence of this parasitic zoonosis using molecular diagnostic tools and a single genetic locus as marker for species identification. As there can be limitations in using a single genetic locus for epidemiological studies and genetic discrimination, the complementary use of a more variable locus will provide additional evidence to support the zoonotic exchange of hookworm species between humans and animals. In the present study, the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox 1) sequence of A. ceylanicum from positive human and animal fecal samples were determined and compared with published reference sequences. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that isolates of A. ceylanicum were divided into two clusters, one consisting 3 human isolates and the other comprising 19 isolates of human and animal origin from different geographical locations within Malaysia. The two groups of A. ceylanicum could be distinguished from one another through five fixed nucleotide differences at locations 891, 966, 1008, 1077 and 1083. The detection of genetically distinct groups and considerable level of genetic variation within the cox 1 sequence of A. ceylanicum might suggest potential haplotype-linked differences in zoonotic, epidemiological and pathobiological characteristics, a hypothesis that still needs further investigation.
  9. Tan CH, Tan NH, Sim SM, Fung SY, Gnanathasan CA
    Acta Trop, 2012 Jun;122(3):267-75.
    PMID: 22322247 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2012.01.016
    Envenomation by hump-nosed pit viper (Hypnale hypnale, Hh) in Sri Lanka has caused significant morbidity and mortality, attributed to 35% of total venomous snakebites. In Southwestern India (Kerala), H. hypnale was increasingly identified as a dangerous and common source of envenomation, second to the Russell's viper but ahead of the cobra bites. Unfortunately, there is still no specific antivenom to date. This study aims to investigate the immunological properties of the venom and to assess the feasibility of specific Hh antivenom production as well as the development of a diagnostic assay. Hh venom elicited satisfactory titers of anti-Hh IgG in rabbits after 3rd immunization. The anti-Hh IgG, isolated with caprylic acid precipitation method, was effective in neutralizing the venom lethality (potency=48 LD(50) per ml IgG) as well as its procoagulant, hemorrhagic and necrotic effects, indicating the possibility to produce the specific antivenom using the common immunization regime. Cross-reactivity studies using indirect ELISA showed that anti-Hh IgG cross-reacted extensively with several Asiatic crotalid venoms, particularly that of Calloselasma rhodostoma (73.6%), presumably due to the presence of venom antigens common to both snakes. Levels of immunological cross-reactivity were vastly reduced with double-sandwich ELISA. Further work demonstrated that the assay was able to distinguish and quantify venoms of H. hypnale, Daboia russelii and Echis carinatus sinhaleyus (three common local viperid) used to spike human sera at various concentrations. The assay hence may be a useful investigating tool for diagnosing biting species and studying the time course profile of venom concentrations in blood.
  10. Antinori S, Galimberti L, Milazzo L, Corbellino M
    Acta Trop, 2013 Feb;125(2):191-201.
    PMID: 23088834 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2012.10.008
    Plasmodium knowlesi was initially identified in the 30s as a natural Plasmodium of Macaca fascicularis monkey also capable of experimentally infecting humans. It gained a relative notoriety in the mid-30s as an alternative to Plasmodium vivax in the treatment of the general paralysis of the insane (neurosyphilis). In 1965 the first natural human infection was described in a US military surveyor coming back from the Pahang jungle of the Malaysian peninsula. P. knowlesi was again brought to the attention of the medical community when in 2004, Balbir Singh and his co-workers reported that about 58% of malaria cases observed in the Kapit district of the Malaysian Borneo were actually caused by P. knowlesi. In the following years several reports showed that P. knowlesi is much more widespread than initially thought with cases reported across Southeast Asia. This infection should also be considered in the differential diagnosis of any febrile travellers coming back from a recent travel to forested areas of Southeast Asia. P. knowlesi can cause severe malaria with a rate of 6-9% and with a case fatality rate of 3%. Respiratory distress, acute renal failure, shock and hyperbilirubinemia are the most frequently observed complications of severe P. knowlesi malaria. Chloroquine is considered the treatment of choice of uncomplicated malaria caused by P. knowlesi.
  11. Tan CH, Leong PK, Fung SY, Sim SM, Ponnudurai G, Ariaratnam C, et al.
    Acta Trop, 2011 Feb;117(2):119-24.
    PMID: 21073851 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2010.11.001
    Hypnale hypnale (hump-nosed pit viper) is a medically important venomous snake in Sri Lanka and Southwestern India. Bite of this snake may result in hemostatic dysfunction, acute kidney injury and death. Clinical studies indicated that the locally available polyvalent antivenoms produced in India are not effective against hump-nosed pit viper envenoming. Hence, there is an urgent need to search for effective antivenom. In this paper, we examined the ability of Calloselasma rhodostoma (Malayan pit viper) monovalent antivenom and the Hemato polyvalent antivenom (both produced by Thai Red Cross Society, TRCS) to neutralize the lethality and toxic effects of H. hypnale venom, as C. rhodostoma is considered a sister taxon of H. hypnale. In vitro neutralization studies showed that the Hemato polyvalent antivenom effectively neutralized the lethality of H. hypnale venom (1.52mgvenom/mL antivenom) as well as the hemorrhagic, procoagulant and necrotic activities of the venom. The monovalent C. rhodostoma antivenom could also neutralize the lethality and toxic activities of the venom, but the potency was lower. The Hemato polyvalent antivenom also effectively protected mice from the lethal and local effects of H. hypnale venom in an in vivo rodent model of envenoming. Furthermore, the polyvalent antivenom could also effectively neutralize the venom of Daboia russelii (2.50mgvenom/mL antivenom), another common cause of snake bites in Sri Lanka and South India. These findings suggested that the Hemato polyvalent antivenom may be beneficial in the antivenom treatment of H. hypnale envenoming.
  12. Mohammed Mahdy AK, Surin J, Wan KL, Mohd-Adnan A, Al-Mekhlafi MS, Lim YA
    Acta Trop, 2009 Oct;112(1):67-70.
    PMID: 19560431 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2009.06.012
    This study was conducted to identify genotypes related risk factors of Giardia intestinalis in an Orang Asli (aboriginal) community in Pahang, Malaysia. Stool samples were collected from 321 individuals aged between 2 and 76 years old, of whom 160 were males and 161 were females. Faecal samples were processed with trichrome staining technique for the primary identification of G. intestinalis. Molecular identification was carried out by the amplification of a partial SSU rRNA gene using nested PCR. PCR products were purified and genotyped. 42 samples successfully amplified from the 76 positive faecal samples, only 1 was Assemblage A, the rest were Assemblage B. Risk analysis based on the detected genotypes of Giardia using univariate analysis and logistic regression identified three significant risk factors of giardiasis caused by assemblage B which included children =12 years (OR=13.56, 95% CI=1.79-102.64, p=0.012), females (OR=2.52, 95% CI=1.11-5.75, p=0.027) and eating fresh fruits (OR=7.78, 95% CI=1.01-60.00, p=0.049). Assemblage B infection was significantly correlated with clinical symptoms of giardiasis (OR=2.4, 95% CI=1.13-5.12, p=0.019). Females infected with Assemblage B were at higher risk of manifesting gastroenteritis signs and symptoms (OR=3.9, 95% CI=1.50-10.31, p=0.004). It has been concluded that giardiasis is still a public health problem in Orang Asli community and most commonly caused by assemblage B. The dynamic of transmission is most probably anthroponotic which is human to human either directly or indirectly through contaminated food. This route of transmission should be considered in the control strategy of the disease. Mass treatment together with health education could be the most practical intervention for reducing the infection. Those at high risk should receive more attention from public health authorities.
  13. Hesham Al-Mekhlafi M, Surin J, Atiya AS, Ariffin WA, Mohammed Mahdy AK, Che Abdullah H
    Acta Trop, 2008 Aug;107(2):200-4.
    PMID: 18582430 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2008.05.022
    Data on soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections and reinfection among Orang Asli (aborigine) schoolchildren and their nutritional and socioeconomic status were analyzed to investigate the pattern and the possible predictors of STH reinfection. In this longitudinal study, 120 (60 males and 60 females) Orang Asli primary schoolchildren aged 7-12 years and living in remote areas in Pos Betau, Kuala Lipis, Pahang were screened for the presence of STH using modified cellophane thick smear and Harada Mori techniques. The overall prevalence of ascariasis, trichuriasis and hookworm infections were 65.8, 97.5 and 10.8%, respectively. After complete deworming with a 3-day course of 400mg/daily of albendazole tablets, children were re-examined at 3 and 6 months from baseline. The reinfection rate, by one or more of STH species, at 3 months after deworming was high (49.5%) while 79.6% of the children were reinfected at 6 months after deworming. Logistic regression analyses showed that females, stunted children and those living in houses without toilets had significantly higher reinfection rates than others at 3 months (P<0.05). At 6 months, maternal employment status emerged as another predictor where children of working mothers had significantly higher reinfection rates (P=0.026). In conclusion, reinfection rate of STH is high and thus necessitates frequent and periodic deworming among children. Public health personnel need to re-look at the current control measures and identify innovative and integrated ways in order to reduce STH significantly in the rural communities.
  14. Noordin R, Smith HV, Mohamad S, Maizels RM, Fong MY
    Acta Trop, 2005 Jan;93(1):57-62.
    PMID: 15589798
    Diagnosis of human toxocariasis, caused by Toxocara canis or Toxocara cati, normally relies on a combination of the presence of clinical signs and symptoms backed by positive serology. The use of Toxocara excretory-secretory antigen (TES) in ELISA assays increases the test specificity. However, in tropical countries where soil-transmitted helminths are endemic, cross-reactivity from antibodies to these intestinal parasites poses a significant limitation for Toxocara serodiagnosis. To increase the specificity of serodiagnosis, we compared the use of IgG-ELISA to the use of IgG4-ELISA using commercially manufactured TES-coated plates. The sensitivity of the IgG-ELISA was 97.1%, while that of the IgG4-ELISA was 45.7%; the specificities were 36.0 and 78.6%, respectively. The study shows that employing both assays can improve the serodiagnosis of toxocariasis. An IgG4 immunoassay would also be useful in the secondary screening of antigen clones in the effort to develop improved serological tests for toxocariasis.
  15. Hassan M, Sulaiman MH, Lian CJ
    Acta Trop, 2013 May;126(2):142-5.
    PMID: 23416121 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2013.02.001
    A parasitological survey of 16 pangolins, confiscated from the Department of Wildlife and Nature Park Peninsular Malaysia (DWNP) at Kelantan and Pulau Pinang, Malaysia was conducted in 2011. Amblyomma javanense (family: Ixodidae) was the only ectoparasite found on the pangolins. The prevalence, intensity and life cycle of A. javanense were observed together with the respective pangolins' age and sex. It was found that 68.8% of the pangolins were infected, and significant difference, χ(2)(1, N=16)=4.02, p=0.05 were observed with males higher in infestation (88.9%) as compared to the females (42.9%). However, the mean intensity was higher on females (72) as compared to males (31.6). In addition, significant difference, χ(2) (2, N=16)=6.73, p=0.05 was recorded between adults and juveniles with juveniles found to be 100% infected as compared to adult (63.6%). Nevertheless, the mean intensity was slightly higher on adults (47) than juveniles (35). Adult ticks were found in higher numbers as compared to the nymph and larvae with number of male ticks higher (236) as compared to the females (53). Similarly, a high significant difference χ(2)(2, N=469)=203.47, p=0.05 was recorded in the composition of the tick's life stages with a higher number of adult ticks (61.6%) followed by nymph (30.3%) and larvae (8.1%). As such, the results of this study revealed a picture of the A. javanense life cycle which is related to the age and gender of the Malayan Pangolin.
  16. Alam MT, Das MK, Ansari MA, Sharma YD
    Acta Trop, 2006 Jan;97(1):10-8.
    PMID: 16125659
    Anopheles (Cellia) sundaicus (Rodenwaldt) is an important malaria vector in the Andaman and Nicobar islands of India where it breeds in freshwater as well as in brackish water. To establish the molecular identity of An. sundaicus on these islands we analyzed samples from four geographically isolated areas-Teressa, Nancowry, Car Nicobar and Katchal islands. PCR-amplification and nucleotide sequence analysis were performed for internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) and domain-3 (D3) of 28S rRNA. The ITS2 region of An. sundaicus from all four islands was identical but different from An. sundaicus A of Vietnam and An. sundaicus s.s of Malaysia. Furthermore, freshwater and brackish water forms of An. sundaicus did not reveal any sequence variation. Similarly, the D3 sequences were identical among all An. sundaicus samples from the four islands. D3 sequences for a species of the Sundaicus Complex are reported here for the first time and thus could not be compared with other regional isolates of this species. In conclusion, probably only one member of the Sundaicus Complex exists on the Andaman and Nicobar islands, which breeds in freshwater as well as in brackish water and is different from the An. sundaicus A and Malaysian An. sundaicus s.s. The identification of a new sibling species of the Sundaicus Complex in these islands is significant from the viewpoint of vector control strategies.
  17. Vythilingam I, Chan ST, Shanmugratnam C, Tanrang H, Chooi KH
    Acta Trop, 2005 Oct;96(1):24-30.
    PMID: 16076459
    A study was carried out from July 2001 until January 2003 in the Kinabatangan area of Sabah, part of Borneo island, where malaria used to be mesoendemic. Vector surveys determined that Plasmodium falciparum was the predominant species and Anopheles balabacensis the primary vector. Malaria cases have dropped drastically over the years but P. falciparum is still predominant. In the present study, Anopheles donaldi was the predominant species and was positive for sporozoites. Although An. balabacensis was present, none were infective. An. donaldi bite more outdoors than indoors and have a peak biting time from 18:00 to 19:00 h when most people are still out of their homes. An integrated malaria control programme along with area development has helped in the control of malaria and its vector.
  18. Yong HS, Song SL, Eamsobhana P, Goh SY, Lim PE
    Acta Trop, 2015 Dec;152:157-164.
    PMID: 26348256 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.09.001
    Angiostrongylus cantonensis is a zoonotic parasite that causes eosinophilic meningitis in humans. Earlier work on its mitochondrial genome was based on long polymerase chain reaction method. To date, only the mitogenome of the isolates from China has been studied. We report here the complete mitogenome of the Thailand isolate based on next generation sequencing and compare the genetic diversity with other isolates. The mitogenome of the Thailand isolate (13,519bp) is longer than those of the China isolates (13,497-13,502bp). Five protein-coding genes (atp6, cox1, cox2, cob, nad2) show variations in length among the isolates. The stop codon of the Thailand isolate differs from the China and Taiwan isolates in 4 genes (atp6, cob, nad2, nad6). Additionally, the Thailand isolate has 4 incomplete T stop codon compared to 3 in the China and Taiwan isolates. The control region is longer in the Thailand isolate (258bp) than the China (230-236bp) and Taiwan (237bp) isolates. The intergenic sequence between nad4 and cox1 genes in the Thailand isolate lacks 2bp (indels) at the 5'-end of the sequence as well as differs at 7 other sites compared to the China and Taiwan isolates. In the Thailand isolate, 18 tRNAs lack the entire TΨC-arm, compared to 17 in the China isolate and 16 in the Taiwan isolate. Phylogenetic analyses based on 36 mt-genes, 12 PCGs, 2 rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes and control region all indicate closer genetic affinity between the China and Taiwan isolates compared to the Thailand isolate. Based on 36 mt-genes, the inter-isolate genetic distance varies from p=3.2% between China and Taiwan isolates to p=11.6% between Thailand and China isolates. The mitogenome will be useful for population, phylogenetics and phylogeography studies.
  19. Ya'cob Z, Takaoka H, Pramual P, Low VL, Sofian-Azirun M
    Acta Trop, 2016 Jan;153:57-63.
    PMID: 26476394 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.10.007
    To investigate the breeding habitat preference of black flies, a comprehensive black fly survey was conducted for the first time in Peninsular Malaysia. Preimaginal black flies (pupae and larvae) were collected manually from 180 stream points encompassing northern, southern, central and east coast of the Peninsular Malaysia. A total of 47 black fly species were recorded in this study. The predominant species were Simulium trangense (36.7%) and Simulium angulistylum (33.3%). Relatively common species were Simulium cheongi (29.4%), Simulium tani (25.6%), Simulium nobile (16.2%), Simulium sheilae (14.5%) and Simulium bishopi (10.6%). Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of all stream variables revealed four PCs that accounted for 69.3% of the total intersite variance. Regression analysis revealed that high species richness is associated with larger, deeper, faster and higher discharge streams with larger streambed particles, more riparian vegetation and low pH (F=22.7, d.f.=1, 173; P<0.001). Relationship between species occurrence of seven common species (present in >10% of the sampling sites) was assessed. Forward logistic regression analysis indicated that four species were significantly related to the stream variables. S. nobile and S. tani prefer large, fast flowing streams with higher pH, large streambed particles and riparian trees. S. bishopi was commonly found at high elevation with cooler stream, low conductivity, higher conductivity and more riparian trees. In contrast, S. sheilae was negatively correlated with PC-2, thus, this species commonly found at low elevation, warmer stream with low conductivity and less riparian trees. The results of this study are consistent with previous studies from other geographic regions, which indicated that both physical and chemical stream conditions are the key factors for black fly ecology.
  20. Fong MY, Wong SS, Silva JR, Lau YL
    Acta Trop, 2015 Dec;152:145-150.
    PMID: 26384455 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.09.009
    The simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi is now recognized as a species that can cause human malaria. The first report of large scale human knowlesi malaria was in 2004 in Malaysia Borneo. Since then, hundreds of human knowlesi malaria cases have been reported in Southeast Asia. The present study investigates the genetic polymorphism of P. knowlesi DI domain of the apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1), a protein considered as a promising vaccine candidate for malaria. The DI domain of AMA-1 gene of P. knowlesi clinical isolates from Peninsular Malaysia was amplified by PCR, cloned into Escherichia coli, then sequenced and analysed. Ninety-seven DI domain sequences were obtained. Comparison at the nucleotide level against P. knowlesi strain H as reference sequence showed 21 synonymous and 25 nonsynonymous mutations. Nonetheless, nucleotide sequence analysis revealed low genetic diversity of the DI domain, and it was under purifying (negative) selection. At the amino acid level, 26 different haplotypes were identified and 2 were predominant haplotypes (H1, H2) with high frequencies. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the 26 haplotypes could be clustered into 2 distinct groups (I and II). Members of the groups were basically derived from haplotypes H1 and H2, respectively.
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