Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 98 in total

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  1. Gan CS, Yusof R, Othman S
    Acta Trop., 2015 Sep;149:8-14.
    PMID: 25981524 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.05.005
    Dengue virus (DV) infection demonstrates an intriguing virus-induced intracellular membrane alteration that results in the augmentation of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-restricted antigen presentation. As oppose to its biological function in attracting CD8(+) T-cells, this phenomenon appears to facilitate the immune evasion. However, the molecular events that attribute to the dysregulation of the antigen presenting mechanism (APM) by DV remain obscure. In this study, we aimed to characterize the host cell APM upon infection with all serotypes of whole DV. Cellular RNA were isolated from infected cells and the gene expressions of LMP2, LMP7, TAP1, TAP2, TAPBP, CALR, CANX, PDIA3, HLA-A and HLA-B were analyzed via quantitative PCR. The profiles of the gene expression were further validated. We showed that all four DV serotypes modulate host APM at the proteasomal level with DV2 showing the most prominent expression profile.
  2. Srisuka W, Takaoka H, Otsuka Y, Fukuda M, Thongsahuan S, Taai K, et al.
    Acta Trop., 2015 Sep;149:212-9.
    PMID: 26028177 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.05.024
    This is the first study on the seasonal biodiversity of black flies and evaluation of ecological factors influencing their distribution at Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park, northern Thailand. Larvae were collected from six fixed-stream sites in relation to altitude gradients from May 2011 to April 2013. The water temperature, water pH, conductivity, total dissolved solids (TDS), salt, water velocity, stream width and depth, streambed particle sizes, riparian vegetation, and canopy cover were recorded from each site. Monthly collections from the six sites yielded 5475 last-instar larvae, belonging to 29 black fly species. The most frequently found species from all sites were Simulium asakoae (100%) followed by Simulium yuphae (83.3%), and Simulium chiangdaoense, Simulium gombakense, Simulium phahompokense, Simulium fruticosum, Simulium maeaiense and Simulium fenestratum (66.6%). Of the 5475 last-instar larvae, S. maeaiense (19.3%), S. chiangdaoense (15.8%) and S. asakoae (14.8%), were the three most abundant species. The Shannon diversity index (H) at the six sites with different altitudes of 2100m, 2000m, 1500m, 1400m, 700m, and 500m above mean sea level, were 2.042, 1.832, 2.158, 2.123, 1.821 and 1.822, respectively. The Shannon index and number of taxa in the cold season were higher than those in the rainy and hot seasons. Principal component analysis (PCA) indicated that at least three principal components have eigen values >1.0 and accounted for 93.5% of the total variability of ecological factors among sampling sites. The Canonical correspondence analyses (CCA) showed that most species had a trend towards altitude, canopy cover, riparian vegetation and water velocity.
  3. Lim PK, Yamasaki H, Mak JW, Wong SF, Chong CW, Yap IK, et al.
    Acta Trop., 2015 Aug;148:32-7.
    PMID: 25910623 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.04.011
    Human toxocariasis which is caused mainly by the larvae of Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati, is a worldwide zoonotic disease that can be a potentially serious human infection. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using T. canis excretory-secretory (TES) antigens harvested from T. canis larvae is currently the serological test for confirming toxocariasis. An alternative to producing large amounts of Toxocara TES and improved diagnosis for toxocariasis is through the development of highly specific recombinant antigens such as the T. canis second stage larva excretory-secretory 30 kDa protein (recTES-30). The aim of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of a rapid diagnostic kit (RDT, named as iToxocara kit) in comparison to recTES-30 ELISA in Serendah Orang Asli village in Selangor, Malaysia. A total of 133 subjects were included in the study. The overall prevalence rates by ELISA and RDT were 29.3% and 33.1%, respectively, with more positive cases detected in males than females. However, no association was found between toxocariasis and gender or age. The percentage sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of RDT were 85.7%, 90.1%, 80% and 93.2%, respectively. The prevalence for toxocariasis in this population using both ELISA and RDT was 27.1% (36/133) and the K-concordance test suggested good agreement of the two tests with a Cohen's kappa of 0.722, P<0.01. In addition, the followed-up Spearman rank correlation showed a moderately high correlation at R=0.704 and P<0.01. In conclusion, the RDT kit was faster and easier to use than an ELISA and is useful for the laboratory diagnosis of hospitalized cases of toxocariasis.
  4. Yong HS, Eamsobhana P, Lim PE, Razali R, Aziz FA, Rosli NS, et al.
    Acta Trop., 2015 Aug;148:51-7.
    PMID: 25910624 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.04.012
    Angiostrongylus cantonensis is a bursate nematode parasite that causes eosinophilic meningitis (or meningoencephalitis) in humans in many parts of the world. The genomic data from A. cantonensis will form a useful resource for comparative genomic and chemogenomic studies to aid the development of diagnostics and therapeutics. We have sequenced, assembled and annotated the genome of A. cantonensis. The genome size is estimated to be ∼260 Mb, with 17,280 genomic scaffolds, 91X coverage, 81.45% for complete and 93.95% for partial score based on CEGMA analysis of genome completeness. The number of predicted genes of ≥300 bp was 17,482. A total of 7737 predicted protein-coding genes of ≥50 amino acids were identified in the assembled genome. Among the proteins of known function, kinases are the most abundant followed by transferases. The draft genome contains 34 excretory-secretory proteins (ES), a minimum of 44 Nematode Astacin (NAS) metalloproteases, 12 Homeobox (HOX) genes, and 30 neurotransmitters. The assembled genome size (260 Mb) is larger than those of Pristionchus pacificus, Caenorhabditis elegans, Necator americanus, Caenorhabditis briggsae, Trichinella spiralis, Brugia malayi and Loa loa, but smaller than Haemonchus contortus and Ascaris suum. The repeat content (25%) is similar to H. contortus. The GC content (41.17%) is lower compared to P. pacificus (42.7%) and H. contortus (43.1%) but higher compared to C. briggsae (37.69%), A. suum (37.9%) and N. americanus (40.2%) while the scaffold N50 is 42,191. This draft genome will facilitate the understanding of many unresolved issues on the parasite and the disorder it causes.
  5. 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.
  6. Yong HS, Eamsobhana P, Song SL, Prasartvit A, Lim PE
    Acta Trop., 2015 Aug;148:66-71.
    PMID: 25930187 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.04.020
    Angiostrongylus cantonensis is an important emerging zoonotic parasite causing human eosinophilic meningitis (or meningoencephalitis) in many parts of the world. To-date there is only a single study using mitochondrial cytochrome b (CYTB) gene to determine its genetic structure in eight geographical localities in Thailand. The present study examined the molecular phylogeography of this rat lungworm and its phylogenetic relationship with congeners using CYTB gene marker. A total of 15 CYTB haplotypes was found in 37 sequences from 14 geographical localities (covering north, west, east, central and south regions) in Thailand. These CYTB haplotypes were distinct from those of A. cantonensis for China and Hawaii. In Thailand, some CYTB haplotypes appeared to be confined to specific geographical localities. The partial CYTB DNA nucleotide sequences separated unequivocally the A. cantonensis isolates of Thailand, China and Hawaii as well as the congeners Angiostrongylus malaysiensis, A. costaricensis and Angiostrongylus vasorum, with A. malaysiensis grouped with A. cantonensis and A. costaricensis grouped with A. vasorum. Likewise the congeners of Metastrongylus and Onchocerca genera could also be clearly differentiated. The present study added two new definitive hosts (Bandicota savilei and Rattus losea) and three new localities (Mae Hong Son in the north, Tak in the west, and Phang Nga in the south) for A. malaysiensis in Thailand, indicating its wide occurrence in the country. Three CYTB haplotypes were found in the Thailand samples of A. malaysiensis. In addition to differentiation of congeners, CYTB gene marker could be used for determining the genetic diversity of a given population/taxon.
  7. Leong PK, Fung SY, Tan CH, Sim SM, Tan NH
    Acta Trop., 2015 Sep;149:86-93.
    PMID: 26026717 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.05.020
    The low potency of cobra antivenom has been an area of concern in immunotherapy for cobra envenomation. This study sought to investigate factors limiting the neutralizing potency of cobra antivenom, using a murine model. We examined the immunological reactivity and neutralizing potency of a Thai polyvalent antivenom against the principal toxins of Naja sumatrana (Equatorial spitting cobra) venom and two related Asiatic cobra venom α-neurotoxins. The antivenom possesses moderate neutralizing potency against phospholipases A2 (P, potency of 0.98mg/mL) and moderately weak neutralizing potency against long-chain α-neurotoxins (0.26-0.42mg/mL) but was only weakly effective in neutralizing the short-chain α-neurotoxins and cardiotoxins (0.05-0.08mg/mL). The poor neutralizing potency of the antivenom on the low molecular mass short-chain neurotoxins and cardiotoxins is presumably the main limiting factor of the efficacy of the cobra antivenom. Our results also showed that phospholipase A2, which exhibited the highest ELISA reactivity and avidity, was most effectively neutralized, whereas N. sumatrana short-chain neurotoxin, which exhibited the lowest ELISA reactivity and avidity, was least effectively neutralized by the antivenom. These observations suggest that low immunoreactivity (low ELISA reactivity and avidity) is one of the reasons for poor neutralization of the cobra venom low molecular mass toxins. Nevertheless, the overall results show that there is a lack of congruence between the immunological reactivity of the toxins toward antivenom and the effectiveness of toxin neutralization by the antivenom, indicating that there are other factors that also contribute to the weak neutralization capacity of the antivenom. Several suggestions have been put forward to overcome the low efficacy of the cobra antivenom. The use of a 'proper-mix' formulation of cobra venoms as immunogen, whereby the immunogen mixture used for hyperimmunization contains a mix of various types of α-neurotoxins and cardiotoxins in sufficient amount, may also help to improve the efficacy and broaden the neutralization spectrum of the antivenom.
  8. Joanne S, Vythilingam I, Yugavathy N, Leong CS, Wong ML, AbuBakar S
    Acta Trop., 2015 Aug;148:38-45.
    PMID: 25899523 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.04.003
    Wolbachia are maternally transmitted bacteria found in most arthropods and nematodes, but little is known about their distribution and reproductive dynamics in the Malaysian dengue vector Aedes albopictus. In this study, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to determine the presence of Wolbachia from field collected Ae. albopictus from various parts of the country using wsp specific primers. Ae. albopictus had Wolbachia infection ranging from 60 to 100%. No sequence diversity of wsp gene was found within all wAlbA and wAlbB sequences. Our findings suggest that Wolbachia infection amongst the Malaysian Ae. albopictus were not homogenously distributed in all districts in Malaysia. The presence of Wolbachia in different organs of Ae. albopictus was also determined. Wolbachia were only found in the ovaries and midguts of the mosquitoes, while absent in the salivary glands. The effects of Wolbachia on Ae. albopictus fecundity, longevity and egg viability were studied using infected and uninfected colonies. The removal of Wolbachia from Ae. albopictus resulted in reduced fecundity, longevity and egg viability, thus. Wolbachia seem to play a vital role in Ae. albopictus reproductive system.
  9. Bamaga OA, Mahdy MA, Lim YA
    Acta Trop., 2015 Sep;149:59-63.
    PMID: 26001972 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.05.013
    Malaria is still a major public health problem in Yemen. More than 95% of the malaria cases are due to Plasmodium ‎falciparum‎. Recently in Yemen, the antimalarial treatment policy was changed from chloroquine (CQ) to artemisinin combination therapy (ACTs). However, CQ is still available and prescribed in the Yemeni market. The persistence of CQ resistance will be prolonged if the shift to ACT and the simultaneous withdrawal of CQ are not rigorously implemented. The aim of the current survey is to detect chloroquine-resistant mutations in P. falciparum chloroquine-resistance transporter (pfcrt) and P. falciparum multi-drug resistance-1 (pfmdr1) genes. These data will be important for future monitoring and assessment of antimalarial drug policy in Yemen. Blood specimens were collected from 735 individuals from different districts of the Hadhramout province, Yemen by house-to-house visit. Mutation-specific nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) methods were used to investigate the mutations in the pfmdr1(codons 86 and 1246) and pfcrt (codons 76, 271, 326, 356 and 371) genes. The overall prevalence of pfcrt mutations at codons 76, 271, 326 and 371 were 50.4%, 58.7%, 54.3% and 44.9%, respectively. All isolates had wild-type pfcrt 356 allele. The majority of pfmdr1 86 alleles (83.3%) and all pfmdr1 1246 alleles were wild type. There was no association between pfcrt mutations and symptomatology, gender and age groups. In conclusion, point mutations in codons 76, 271, 326 and 371 of pfcrt of P. falciparum are high suggesting a sustained high CQ resistance even after 4 years of shifting to ACTs. These findings warrant complete withdrawal of CQ use from the Yemeni market for P. falciparum and careful usage of CQ for treating Plasmodium vivax.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Chan LL, Mak JW, Low YT, Koh TT, Ithoi I, Mohamed SM
    Acta Trop., 2011 Jan;117(1):23-30.
    PMID: 20858455 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2010.09.004
    During a study on the quality of the indoor environment, Acanthamoeba spp. were detected in 20 out of 87 dust samples collected from air-conditioners installed in a four-story campus building located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Twenty-one cloned Acanthamoeba isolates designated as IMU1 to IMU21 were established from the positive primary cultures. Five species were identified from the 16 isolates according to the morphological criteria of Pussard and Pons; i.e. A. castellanii, A. culbertsoni, A. griffini, A. hatchetti and A. polyphaga. Species identities for the remaining five isolates (IMU4, IMU5, IMU15, IMU20 and IMU21), however, could not be determined morphologically. At genotypic characterization, these isolates were placed into T3 (IMU14); T5 (IMU16 and IMU17) and T4 (all the remaining isolates). To predict the potential pathogenicity of these Acanthamoeba isolates, thermo- and osmotolerance tests were employed; many isolates were predicted as potential human pathogens based on the outcome of these tests. This is the first time potentially pathogenic Acanthamoeba have been isolated from air-conditioners in Malaysia.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
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