No practical tests are currently available for screening vitamin B12 deficiency because the available techniques are invasive, expensive, and require a particular level of infrastructure and service that is not available in all places such as rural areas. Thus, we have examined the efficacy of a novel method (Karanth's test) for identifying people with vitamin B12 deficiency as part of a pilot study.
Next-generation transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) has become the standard practice for studying gene splicing, mutations and changes in gene expression to obtain valuable, accurate biological conclusions. However, obtaining good sequencing coverage and depth to study these is impeded by the difficulties of obtaining high quality total RNA with minimal genomic DNA contamination. With this in mind, we evaluated the performance of Phenol-free total RNA purification kit (Amresco) in comparison with TRI Reagent (MRC) and RNeasy Mini (Qiagen) for the extraction of total RNA of Pseudomonas aeruginosa which was grown in glucose-supplemented (control) and polyethylene-supplemented (growth-limiting condition) minimal medium. All three extraction methods were coupled with an in-house DNase I treatment before the yield, integrity and size distribution of the purified RNA were assessed. RNA samples extracted with the best extraction kit were then sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform.
Cytochrome P450s (CYPs) are important heme-containing proteins, well known for their monooxygenase reaction. The human cytochrome P450 4X1 (CYP4X1) is categorized as "orphan" CYP because of its unknown function. In recent studies it is found that this enzyme is expressed in neurovascular functions of the brain. Also, various studies have found the expression and activity of orphan human cytochrome P450 4X1 in cancer. It is found to be a potential drug target for cancer therapy. However, three-dimensional structure, the active site topology and substrate specificity of CYP4X1 remain unclear.
Helicobacter pylori is a human pathogen and during the process of infection, antigens from the bacterium elicit strong host humoral immune responses. In our previous report, native H. pylori UreG protein showed good reactivity with sera from H. pylori patients. This study was aimed at producing the recombinant form of the protein (rUreG) and determining its seroreactivities.
High grade serous ovarian cancer is one of the poorly characterized malignancies. This study aimed to elucidate the mutational events in Malaysian patients with high grade serous ovarian cancer by performing targeted sequencing on 50 cancer hotspot genes.
Over the past several decades, many studies concerning peripheral nerve damage or regeneration have been performed. Mice have been widely used for many of these studies, with the sciatic nerve being the most targeted and preferred nerve. Therefore, techniques for harvesting mouse sciatic nerves of a maximum length that is sufficient for different analyses will be highly valuable. Here we describe a simple step-by-step guide for harvesting the maximum length of mouse sciatic nerve and compare the length of the harvested nerves gathered with the proposed method with nerves obtained using a conventional mid-thigh incision approach.
BACKGROUND: Vision impairment associated with diabetic retinopathy, is well known and low vision rehabilitation is always recommended. In this report, the importance of objective measure of mental health and quality of life screening in diabetic retinopathy low-vision assessment is discussed.
CASE PRESENTATION: We describe the case of a 43-year-old Asian female who has mild vision impairment due to tractional retinal detachment secondary to diabetic retinopathy and how mental health screening and quality of life screening during low vision rehabilitation can improve in the management of this patient.
CONCLUSION: Although vision impairment was mild, the psychological impact was enormous and affected her quality of life substantially. This case report illustrates that recognition of the mental health and quality of life impact on visual impairment is critical to the rehabilitation management of low vision patients with diabetic retinopathy.
Staphylococcus epidermidis is a pathogen associated with nosocomial infections whose medical importance has increased due to progressively invasive medical procedures. In this study, we characterized the molecular epidemiology of S. epidermidis strains circulating in our university hospital situated in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Capsicum annuum and Capsicum frutescens, also known as "chilies", belong to the Solanaceae family and have tremendous beneficial properties. The application of hairy root culture may become an alternative method for future development of these species by adding value, such as by increasing secondary metabolites and improving genetic and biochemical stability compared with normal Capsicum plants. Therefore, in this research, different types of explants of both species were infected with various Agrobacterium rhizogenes strains to provide more information about the morphology and induction efficiency of hairy roots. After 2 weeks of in vitro seed germination, young seedling explants were cut into three segments; the cotyledon, hypocotyl, and radical. Then, the explants were co-cultured with four isolated A. rhizogenes strains in Murashige & Skoog culture media (MS) containing decreasing carbenicillin disodium concentrations for one month.
Cancer therapy in Malaysia primarily focuses on the clinical management of patients with cancer and malnutrition continues to be one of the major causes of death in these patients. There is a dearth of information on the nutrient intake and status of newly diagnosed patients with cancer prior to the initiation of treatment. The present study aims to assess the nutrient intake and status of newly diagnosed patients with cancer from the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Measurement of HbA1c has been widely used for long-term monitoring and management of diabetes control. There is increasing use of point-of-care (POC) devices for measuring HbA1c where quicker results would allow immediate clinical management decisions to be made. Therefore, it is important to evaluate and compare the performance of such devices to the reference laboratory method.
One of the concerns of assembling de novo transcriptomes is determining the amount of read sequences required to ensure a comprehensive coverage of genes expressed in a particular sample. In this report, we describe the use of Illumina paired-end RNA-Seq (PE RNA-Seq) reads from Hevea brasiliensis (rubber tree) bark to devise a transcript mapping approach for the estimation of the read amount needed for deep transcriptome coverage.
Gracilaria tenuistipitata is an agarophyte with substantial economic potential because of its high growth rate and tolerance to a wide range of environment factors. This red seaweed is intensively cultured in China for the production of agar and fodder for abalone. Microsatellite markers were developed from the chloroplast genome of G. tenuistipitata var. liui to differentiate G. tenuistipitata obtained from six different localities: four from Peninsular Malaysia, one from Thailand and one from Vietnam. Eighty G. tenuistipitata specimens were analyzed using eight simple sequence repeat (SSR) primer-pairs that we developed for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification.
γ-Amino butyric acid (GABA) is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter of the mammalian central nervous system that plays a vital role in regulating vital neurological functions. The enzyme responsible for producing GABA is glutamate decarboxylase (GAD), an intracellular enzyme that both food and pharmaceutical industries are currently using as the major catalyst in trial biotransformation process of GABA. We have successfully isolated a novel strain of Aspergillus oryzae NSK that possesses a relatively high GABA biosynthesizing capability compared to other reported GABA-producing fungal strains, indicating the presence of an active GAD. This finding has prompted us to explore an effective method to recover maximum amount of GAD for further studies on the GAD's biochemical and kinetic properties. The extraction techniques examined were enzymatic lysis, chemical permeabilization, and mechanical disruption. Under the GAD activity assay used, one unit of GAD activity is expressed as 1 μmol of GABA produced per min per ml enzyme extract (U/ml) while the specific activity was expressed as U/mg protein.
BACKGROUND: Variations in racial haemoglobin had been previously described in multiple studies locally and abroad. This study was conducted to quantify the differences in haemoglobin of booking primigravidae amongst the three major races in Malaysia at the antenatal clinic of University Malaya Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur.
FINDINGS: One year prospective study of booking full blood count sample of primigravidae taken in one centre was conducted. Multiple comparative analyses of the booking haemoglobin were performed using the One-way ANOVA comparative mean test in each trimester. 622 primigravidae without any known history of haematological disorders were recruited into the study. The mean haemoglobin for the Indian race was the lowest compared to the two other races in the second and the third trimesters, and it was found to be statistically significant lower (p- value 0.001) than the Malay race in the second trimester. It was also found that the Indian race had a significantly higher incidence of moderate to severe anaemia (p- value: 0.029). The prevalence of anaemia in our study population is also significantly higher in the Indian population (p- value: 0.01 ).
CONCLUSIONS: The findings from this study have established that there is racial preponderance to anaemia in pregnancy. The Indian race is at a higher risk of having anaemia in pregnancy particularly in the second trimester.
Study site: Antenatal clinic, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Y-Short Tandem Repeats (Y-STR) data consist of many similar and almost similar objects. This characteristic of Y-STR data causes two problems with partitioning: non-unique centroids and local minima problems. As a result, the existing partitioning algorithms produce poor clustering results.
In developing countries, mothers usually manage diarrhea at home with the pattern of management depending on perceived disease severity and beliefs. The study was carried out with the objective of determining mothers' beliefs and barriers about diarrhea and its management.
Angiogenesis has been reported to be one of the contributory factors to the pathogenesis of psoriasis vulgaris. This study aims to compare the expression of different angiogenesis growth factors namely (1) the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) subfamily: A, B, C, D and placenta growth factor (PlGF); (2) nerve growth factor (NGF) and (3) von Willebrand factor (vWFr) in the skins of patients with psoriasis vulgaris and non-psoriatic volunteers.
Study site: Dermatology Department of Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur and Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital, Seremban, Malaysia
Dengue infection has been an important and serious public health concern in Malaysia ever since its first reported case here in 1902. Nevertheless, to our knowledge, no nationwide investigation has been carried out to determine the actual magnitude of dengue endemicity in the Malaysian population. In this study, we describe a cross sectional seroepidemiology study of dengue IgG seroprevalence in the Malaysian adult population.
From 1000 subjects (35-74 years old), 91.6% subjects were found to be dengue seropositive. Age is found to be a significant risk factor associated with dengue seroposivity, where the seroprevalence increased with every 10 year increase in age. Nevertheless, gender and ethnicity did not have an effect. Interestingly, there were similar seroprevalence rates between urban and rural samples, showing that dengue is presently not confined to urban areas in Malaysia.
High dengue IgG seropositivity found in the population is an indication that dengue might be endemic in Malaysia for a long time into the future. Public awareness, proper vector control and vigilant surveillance are critical to keep the infection rates low and to prevent outbreaks.