OBJECTIVE: To evaluate Malaysian patients' satisfaction levels and asthma control with Symbicort SMART® in the primary care setting.
METHOD: This is a cross-sectional, multicentre study involving adult patients with persistent asthma who were prescribed only Symbicort SMART in the preceding one month prior to recruitment. Patients' satisfaction with Symbicort SMART and asthma control were evaluated using the self-administered Satisfaction with Asthma Treatment Questionnaire (SATQ) and the Asthma Control Test (ACT).
RESULTS: Asthma was controlled (ACT score >20) in 189 (83%) of 228 patients. The mean overall SATQ score for patients with controlled asthma was 5.65 indicating a high satisfaction level, which was positively correlated with high ACT scores. There were differences in asthma control based on ethnicity, number of unscheduled visits and treatment compliance.
CONCLUSIONS: Symbicort SMART resulted in a high satisfaction level and asthma control among Malaysian patients treated in the primary care setting and it is an effective and appealing treatment for asthmatic patients.
Study site: General practice clinics, Malaysia
X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) is a rare genetic disorder caused by mutations in the Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) gene. These mutations cause defects in early B cell development. A patient with no circulating B cells and low serum immunoglobulin isotypes was studied as were his mother and sister. Monocyte BTK protein expression was evaluated by flow cytometry. The mutation was determined using PCR and followed by sequencing. Flow cytometry showed the patient lacked BTK protein expression in his monocytes while the mother and sister had 62% and 40% of the monocytes showing BTK protein expressions respectively. The patient had a novel base substitution in the first nucleotide of intron 9 in the BTK gene, and the mutation was IVS9+1G
BACKGROUND: Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is a rare primary immunodeficiency (PID) caused by a dysfunctional respiratory burst enzyme NADPH-oxidase. The concurrence of Klinefelter’s Syndrome (KS) and CGD would be extremely rare.
OBJECTIVE: We describe the study of a family where the youngest male child had X-linked CGD (X-CGD) while his older brother was both an X-CGD carrier and a Klinefelter.
METHODS: Flow cytometry was used to study respiratory burst and gp91-phox expression, while genetic investigation was done by RT-PCR, PCR and X-chromosome short tandem repeat (X-STR) analysis.
RESULTS: The Dihydrorhodamine (DHR) assay showed the patient’s neutrophils failed to produce a respiratory burst, while both the mother and an older brother showed a bimodal response. gp91-phox expression was absent in the patient’s neutrophils, and bimodal in the mother’s and brother’s neutrophils. The patient’s cDNA showed a C>T change at nucleotide 676 of the CYBB gene. The same change was seen in the patient’s gDNA, while the brother and mother were heterozygous, with C and T, in this position. The c.676C>T is a nonsense mutation that leads to premature termination of the gp91-phox protein. The brother karyotyped as 47, XXY and X chromosome analysis showed that he had inherited both his mother’s X chromosomes.
CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that the patient had gp91-phox deficient CGD while his older brother was a CGD carrier and a Klinefelter, who had inherited both his mother’s X chromosomes. This is the first report of such a concurrence in an individual, and argues for family members to be included in PID studies.
Key words: Chronic granulomatous disease, CYBB, gp91-phox, Klinefelter’s syndrome NADPHoxidase
We describe the association of the HLA-B*1502 allele in 27 epilepsy patients (19 Malays, 8 Chinese) treated with carbamazepine (CBZ) at the UKM Medical Center (UKMMC), 6 with CBZ-Steven Johnson Syndrome (CBZ-SJS), 11 with CBZ-induced rash, 2 with suspected phenytoin-induced rash and 8 negative controls. Our study showed that 10 (6 Malay, 4 Chinese) patients were positive for HLA-B*1502. Out of the 10 patients, six were confirmed to have CBZ-SJS (p = 0.0006), while four patients developed a skin rash. However there were 6 Malay patients and 1 Chinese patient that developed a skin rash after CBZ administration who were not positive for the allele, indicating that there might be more that one allele associated with CBZ-induced hypersensitivity. Another 2 patients were suspected of having phenytoin-induced rash, instead of CBZ, and these patients did not have HLA-B*1502. In conclusion, this study confirmed the association of HLA-B*1502 with CBZ-SJS among Malaysian epilepsy patients, however there might be other genes that could be responsible for the CBZ-induced rash.
The purpose of this study was to characterize major allergens of Indian scad (Decapterus russelli) which is among the most commonly consumed fish in Malaysia. Raw and cooked extracts of the fish were prepared. Protein profiles and IgE binding patterns were produced by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and immunoblotting using sera from subjects with fish allergy. The major allergens of the fish were then identified by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE), followed by mass spectrometry of the peptide digests. The SDS-PAGE of the raw extract revealed 27 protein fractions over a wide molecular weight range, while the cooked extract demonstrated only six protein fractions. The 1-DE immunoblotting detected 14 IgE-binding proteins, with a molecular weight range from 90 to < 6.5 kDa. Three protein fractions with molecular weights of approximately 51, 46 and 12 kDa were identified as the major allergens of this fish. The approximately 12 kDa band was a heat-resistant protein while the approximately 51 and 46 kDa proteins were sensitive to heat. The 2-DE gel profile of the raw extract demonstrated > 100 distinct protein spots and immunoblotting detected at least 10 different major IgE reactive spots with molecular masses as expected and isoelectric point (pI) values ranging from 4.0 to 7.0. A comparison of the major allergenic spot sequences of the 12 kDa proteins with known protein sequences in databases revealed extensive similarity with fish parvalbumin. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that a parvalbumin which is similar to Gad c 1 is the major allergen of Indian scad. Interestingly, we also detected heat-sensitive proteins as major allergenic components in our fish allergy patients.
One thousand four hundreds and forty-five Malays registered with the Malaysian Marrow Donor Registry were typed for HLA-A, HLA-B and HLA-DR. Fifteen HLA-A, twenty nine HLA-B and fourteen HLA-DR alleles were detected. The most common HLA-A alleles and their frequencies were HLA-A24 (0.35), HLA-A11 (0.21) and HLA-A2 (0.15). The most common HLA-B alleles were HLA-B15 (0.26), HLA-B35 (0.11) and HLA-B18 (0.10) while the most common HLA-DR alleles were HLA-DR15 (0.28), HLA-DR12 (0.27) and HLA-DR7 (0.10). A24-B15-DR12 (0.047), A24-B15-DR15 (0.03) and the A24-B35-DR12 (0.03) were the most frequent haplotypes. This data may be useful in determining the probability of finding a matched donor and for estimating the incidence of HLA associated diseases.
To study the nature of endotoxin or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced inflammation, we developed a method of quantifying intracellular human neutrophil elastase (HNE) in lysed sputum polymorphs as a means to study the degranulation status of LPS-recruited neutrophils. Induced sputum, blood and exhaled nitric oxide (NO) were collected from 10 healthy non-atopic human subjects after inhaling a single 15 microg dose of Escherichia coil LPS in an open study. At 6 hours, LPS inhalation caused significant increase of sputum and blood neutrophils but without parallel increase in myeloperoxidase, HNE or interleukin-8 (IL-8) in sputum sol and blood, or exhaled NO. Intracellular HNE in lysed sputum polymorphs or purified blood neutrophils did not show any significant changes between inhaled LPS and saline, nor was there any appreciable change in percentage HNE release induced by N-Formyl-Met-Leu-Phe (fMLP) in vitro. We concluded that in healthy humans, the transient neutrophilic inflammation induced by a single dose of inhaled 15 microg LPS is mainly characterized by cell recruitment, not enhanced secretion of granular mediators or increased exhaled NO based on our experimental conditions.
Sputum induction with nebulized hypertonic saline is increasingly being used to evaluate airway inflammation. We investigated the procedure-associated risk in 16 asthmatics that were still symptomatic despite on high doses of regular corticosteroid (CS) therapy (7 on daily inhaled CS > or = 800 microg budesonide or equivalent; 9 on additional daily oral CS) and their sputum cellular profile. For comparison, 12 mild stable asthmatics and 10 normal healthy subjects were included. All subjects inhaled 3%, 4% and 5% hypertonic saline sequentially via ultrasonic nebulizer as a means to induce sputum. Maximal percentage fall of Forced Expiratory Volume on One Second (FEV1) during sputum induction was significantly greater in CS-dependent asthmatics (median % [IQR]: 16.0 [11.0-32.3]) than in mild asthmatics (5.3 [4.2-10.8], p = 0.002] and in normal subjects (4.6 [3.4-6.4]), p = 0.0001). The maximal percentage FEV1 fall was inversely correlated with baseline FEV1 (Rs= -0.69; p < 0.0001). Compared to mild asthmatics, induced sputum from CS-dependant asthmatics had proportionately fewer eosinophils (2.2 [0.8-7.0] versus 23.3% [10.7-46.3], p = 0.003) and greater neutrophils (64.2 [43.9-81.2] versus 28.7 [19.0-42.6], p = 0.009). Sputum neutrophils showed a significant inverse correlation to FEV1 (Rs = -0.51, p = 0.01). We concluded that sputum induction using nebulized hypertonic saline should be performed with caution in CS-dependant asthmatics. The airway cellular profile observed suggests that the immunopathology underlying CS-dependant asthmatics may be different or a consequence of CS therapy.
The etiology of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is unknown but genetic factors seem to play a role in the disease pathogenesis. The tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFa) gene, encoded at the TNF locus in the MHC class III region, is now known to be an important candidate gene in SLE, due to the proinflammatory activities of the TNFa. The objectives of this study were to examine the role of the TNFa polymorphism for the susceptibility of Malaysian Chinese lupus patients to SLE and to determine its association with organ involvement. The allelic frequencies of the TNFa polymorphic variant (TNF2) of seventy lupus patients were determined during follow-up at the Medical Clinic of the National University Hospital Malaysia by PCR-RFLP technique. Sixty-four females and 6 males with a mean age of 33+/-12 years were included. Clinical data were obtained from case records. Autoantibody levels were measured by ELISA. Fifty-nine ethnically-matched blood donors were used as controls. The allelic frequency of the TNF2 variant was found to be significantly increased in the patients compared to the controls (52.8% vs 33.8%). SLE patients with the polymorphic TNF2 variant were found to be at increased risk of central nervous system involvement (p = 0.004, RR = 2.59) and to have an increased frequency of anti-La antibodies (p = 0.03). In view of these findings we suggest that TNF2 variant is playing a role in conferring susceptibility to SLE and in the disease pathogenesis.
Study site: Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (PPUKM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A cross sectional study was conducted to determine the auto-antibody profile of Malay SLE patients in Kelantan, North East Malaysia and to correlate them with clinical presentations. Eighty-two Malay SLE patients who fulfilled the ARA criteria underwent the following tests: ANA, anti-dsDNA antibody, anti-ENA antibody and RF. The results revealed that ANA was positive in 91.5% of the patients, anti-dsDNA antibody in 53.7%, however, anti-ENA antibodies were positive in only 9.8% of the cases at the time of the study and none had a positive RF. The profile of autoantibodies was similar to other studies except for a lower incidence of anti-ENA antibodies. Sixty three percent of patients had lupus nephritis. The pattern of clinical presentations were noted to be more similar to those found among Chinese and Indian SLE populations than compared to the Caucasians. There was a significant association between anti-dsDNA antibody and lupus nephritis and between anti-ENA antibody and thrombocytopenia.
Airway inflammation can be demonstrated by the modem method of sputum induction using ultrasonic nebulizer and hypertonic saline. We studied whether compressed-air nebulizer and isotonic saline which are commonly available and cost less, are as effective in inducing sputum in normal adult subjects as the above mentioned tools. Sixteen subjects underwent weekly sputum induction in the following manner: ultrasonic nebulizer (Medix Sonix 2000, Clement Clarke, UK) using hypertonic saline, ultrasonic nebulizer using isotonic saline, compressed-air nebulizer (BestNeb, Taiwan) using hypertonic saline, and compressed-air nebulizer using isotonic saline. Overall, the use of an ultrasonic nebulizer and hypertonic saline yielded significantly higher total sputum cell counts and a higher percentage of cell viability than compressed-air nebulizers and isotonic saline. With the latter, there was a trend towards squamous cell contaminations. The proportion of various sputum cell types was not significantly different between the groups, and the reproducibility in sputum macrophages and neutrophils was high (Intraclass correlation coefficient, r [95%CI]: 0.65 [0.30-0.91] and 0.58 [0.22-0.89], p < 0.001). Overall changes in median FEV, were small and comparable between all groups. Induction using ultrasonic nebulizers together with hypertonic saline was generally less well tolerated than compressed-air nebulizers and isotonic saline. We conclude that in normal subjects, although both nebulizers and saline types can induce sputum with reproducible cellular profile, ultrasonic nebulizers and hypertonic saline are more effective but less well tolerated.
BACKGROUND: The most common autosomal form of Chronic Granulomatous Disease, p47-phox deficient CGD, generally features a GT (deltaGT) deletion in the GTGT sequence at the start of exon 2 on the NCF-1 gene. This consistency is due to the coexistence of and the recombination between 2 homologous pseudogenes (psi s) and NCF-1. The GTGT: deltaGT ratio mirrors the NCF-I: NCF-1 psi ratio and is 2:4 in normal individuals.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the molecular basis of the Autosomal-CGD in a family with 2 children, a male and female, affected by the disease. The female patient suffered recurrent infection, retinitis pigmentosa and discoid lupus.
METHODS: Chemiluminescence (CL) was used to study the respiratory burst, while genetic analysis was done by RT-PCR, PCR, deltaGT and the 20bp gene scans.
RESULTS: The CL response of the patient was profoundly low. The patient's p47-phox band was absent in the RT-PCR for NADPH-oxidase component mRNAs. The deltaGT scan showed that the patient's GTGT: deltaGT ratio was 0:6, the parents' and the younger brother's was 1:5 and the younger sister's was 2:4. Examination of other NCF-1/ NCF-1 psi s differences showed that the father had a compound deltaGT allele ie. deltaGT-20bp, inherited by the patient, and that both parents had compound GTGT alleles with a single 30bp segment in intron 1.
CONCLUSIONS: The patient was a classic, homozygous deltaGT p47-phox deficient CGD with one allele harbouring a compound deltaGT-20bp gene. The deltaGT and 20bp gene scans offer a relatively simple and efficient means of defining a p47-phox deficient CGD patient.
Key words: Chronic Granulomatous Disease, Primary Immunodeficiency, NCF-1, p47-phox, NADPH-oxidas
The antibody levels to viral capsid antigen (VCA) and early antigen (EA) of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in 164 nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients from Sarawak, East Malaysia were significantly higher than those in 147 sex, age and ethnically matched healthy controls. As diagnostic markers of NPC, IgG/VCA at reciprocal titers > or =160 was the most sensitive (89%, with 98% specificity), while IgA/EA at > or =5 was the most specific (100%) but the least sensitive (75%). The sensitivity and specificity of IgA/VCA at reciprocal titers > or =10 were 84% and 97%. IgA/VCA has an advantage over IgG/VCA despite the slightly lower sensitivity due to its consistently more distinct fluorescence reaction. The sensitivity and specificity can be marginally improved by a combination of two tests.
A self-answered, anonymously completed questionnaire survey was performed between June 2002 and May 2003 where doctors from government and private sectors in Malaysia were invited to participate by post or during medical meetings. One hundred and sixteen government doctors and 110 private doctors provided satisfactorily completed questionnaires (effective respondent rate: 30.1%). The most preferred medications for 'first-line', 'second-line' and 'third-line' treatment were for government doctors: inhaled short-acting beta2-agonist (SABA) (98%), inhaled corticosteroids (CS) (75%), and leukotriene antagonist (52%); and for private doctors: oral SABA (81%), inhaled CS (68%), and oral CS (58%). The first choice inhaler device for most government and private doctors were metered dose inhalers, with cost and personal preferences (for private doctors), and technical ability (for government doctors) as the key considerations when deciding on the choice of device. This benchmark data on the asthma prescribing practices of a healthcare delivery system fully dichotomized into government and private sector, provides evidence for practice differences affected by the nature of the healthcare system, and might have implications on healthcare systems of other countries that share similarities with that of Malaysia.
Tamm-Horsfall glycoprotein (THP) and uromodulin are the most abundant glycoproteins in non-pregnant women's/men's and pregnant women's urine, respectively. However, the bioactivities of these glycoproteins are still unclear.
This study aimed to evaluate dry powder inhaler naive asthmatic patients' perception and preference of the Accuhaler, a multidose dry powder inhaler and the pressurized metered dose inhaler (pMDI). After the first instruction, 66.7% of 48 patients enrolled in the study could demonstrate the correct use of the Accuhaler. When the patients were asked to compare the pMDI and the Accuhaler after using the Accuhaler to administer salmeterol for 4 weeks, the Accuhaler scored significantly better than the pMDI for the following features: knowing how many doses are left, presence of an attached cover, taste, instruction for use, attractiveness, ease of use, ease of holding, shape, and comfortable mouthpiece. The pMDI scored better to the Accuhaler in terms of size. More patients preferred the Accuhaler than the pMDI; the presence of a dose counter and perceived ease of use were the main reasons cited for their preference for the Accuhaler.
Study site: Asthma Clinic, University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Lecithin, a major surface active substance of the surfactant system of the lung, was estimated in broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) fluid in four groups of healthy adult male albino rats. Rats from group I were not administered any drug and acted as controls. Group II were administered histamine diphosphate. Group III were given H1 blocker (pyrilamine maleate) followed by histamine diphosphate. Group IV received H2 blocker (ranitidine hydrochloride) followed by histamine diphosphate. Lecithin content of BAL fluid in the control group was compared with that in the other three groups. A significant decrease in lecithin content was observed in the rats that received either histamine diphosphate or H1 blocker followed by histamine diphosphate. However, compared to control rats no significant difference in lecithin content was seen in rats that received H2 blocker followed by histamine diphosphate. The results clearly indicate that the decrease in surface active lecithin content in BAL fluid following administration of histamine diphosphate was unaffected by prior administration of H1 blocker, but was blocked by prior administration of H2 blocker. It was concluded that histamine induced decrease in lecithin content of BAL fluid is mediated through H2 receptors. Since the predominant source of intra-alveolar lecithin are Type II cells of the alveolar epithelium, It is possible that Type II cells have H2 receptors, stimulation of which resulted in decreased intraalveolar lecithin.
The frequency of the HLA class II antigens/alleles (HLA-DR, DQ and DP) were studied in 70 Malaysian Chinese patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) to examine the contribution of these genes to disease susceptibility, their clinical expression and Immunological responses. This was done using modified PCR-RFLP technique. These samples were then compared with 66 ethnically matched controls. We found a strong association of the DQA1*0102 (p corr = 0.032, rr = 3.39), DQB1*0501 (p corr = 0.003, rr = 4.55), *0601 (p corr = 0.006, rr = 4.22) and DPB1* 0901(p corr = 0.02, rr = 4.58) with SLE. Clinically, we found a strong association of DR2 and DQA1*0301 with renal involvement and DQA1*0102 with alopecia. Immunologically, statistical analysis (Chi-square test ) showed a strong association of DQA1*0102 with anti-Ro/La antibodies while DQA1*0301 was observed to be strongly associated with antibodies to ds DNA. DQA1*0102 was found more frequently in those with a later disease onset (30 years of age or above). From these data we suggest that the HLA class II genes play a role in conferring disease susceptibility and clinical and immunological expression.
Study site: SLE clinics, Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (PPUKM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia