A novel aqueous two-phase system composed of a surfactant and sorbitol was employed for the first time to purify pectinase from Psidium guajava. The influences of different parameters, including the type and concentration of the surfactant and the concentration and composition of the surfactant/sorbitol ratio, on the partitioning behavior and recovery of pectinase were investigated. Moreover, the effects of system pH and the crude load on purification fold and the yield of purified pectinase were studied. The experimental results indicated that the pectinase was partitioned into surfactant-rich top phase, and the impurities were partitioned into the sorbitol-rich bottom phase with the novel method involving an ATPS composed of 26% (w/w) Triton X-100 and 23% (w/w) sorbitol at 54.2% of the TLL crude load of 20% (w/w) at pH 6.0. The enzyme was successfully recovered by this method with a high purification factor of 15.2 and a yield of 98.3%, whereas the phase components were also recovered and recycled at rates above 96%. This study demonstrated that this novel ATPS method can be used as an efficient and economical alternative to the traditional ATPS for the purification and recovery of the valuable enzyme.
The role of the cytoskeleton, actin, and microtubules were examined during the process of Japanese encephalitis (JEV) infection in a human neuroblastoma cell line, IMR32. Cytochalasin D and nocodazole were used to depolymerise the cellular actin and microtubules, respectively, in order to study the effect of JEV infection in the cell. This study shows that depolymerisation of the actin cytoskeleton at early process of infection inhibits JEV infection in the cell; however infection was not inhibited when depolymerisation occurred at the later stage of infection. The microtubules, on the other hand, are required at 2 points in infection. The antigen production in the cells was inhibited when the infected cells were treated at time up to 2 hours after inoculation and there was no significant effect at later times, while the viable virus released continued to be affected until 10 hours after inoculation. In conclusion, infection of JEV in IMR32 cells required actin to facilitate early process in infection and the microtubular network is utilised as the transport system to the virus replication site and the release of mature virus.
Stroke is a multifactorial disease that may be associated with aberrant DNA methylation profiles. We investigated epigenetic dysregulation for the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene among ischemic stroke patients. Cases and controls were recruited after obtaining signed written informed consents following a screening process against the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Serum vitamin profiles (folate, vitamin B12, and homocysteine) were determined using immunoassays. Methylation profiles for CpGs A and B in the MTHFR gene were determined using a bisulfite-pyrosequencing method. Methylation of MTHFR significantly increased the susceptibility risk for ischemic stroke. In particular, CpG A outperformed CpG B in mediating serum folate and vitamin B12 levels to increase ischemic stroke susceptibility risks by 4.73-fold. However, both CpGs A and B were not associated with serum homocysteine levels or ischemic stroke severity. CpG A is a potential epigenetic marker in mediating serum folate and vitamin B12 to contribute to ischemic stroke.
A cross-sectional study was carried out to determine the arsenic (As) and cadmium (Cd) concentrations in blood, urine, and drinking water as well as the health implications on 100 residents in an urban and a rural community. Results showed the blood As, urinary Cd, DNA damage, and water As and Cs were significantly (P < 0.001) higher in the rural community. Findings showed significant (P < 0.005) correlations between blood As and DNA damage with household income, years of residence, and total glasses of daily water consumption among the rural residents. The urinary NAG concentrations, years of residence, milk powder intake (glass/week), and seafood intake (per week) were significantly correlated (P < 0.005) with urinary Cd concentrations among respondents. In addition, urinary Cd level significantly influenced the urinary NAG concentrations (P < 0.001). The rural respondents experienced significantly higher lymphocyte DNA damage and blood As influenced by their years of residence and water consumption. The Cd in drinking water also resulted in the rural respondents having significantly higher urinary NAG which had a significant relationship with urinary Cd.
A series of hexahydro-1,6-naphthyridines were synthesized in good yields by the reaction of 3,5-bis[(E)-arylmethylidene]tetrahydro-4(1H)-pyridinones with cyanoacetamide in the presence of sodium ethoxide under simple mixing at ambient temperature for 6-10 minutes and were assayed for their acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity using colorimetric Ellman's method. Compound 4e with methoxy substituent at ortho-position of the phenyl rings displayed the maximum inhibitory activity with IC50 value of 2.12 μM. Molecular modeling simulation of 4e was performed using three-dimensional structure of Torpedo californica AChE (TcAChE) enzyme to disclose binding interaction and orientation of this molecule into the active site gorge of the receptor.
28 new pyrrolidine types of compounds as analogues for natural polyhydroxy alkaloids of codonopsinine were evaluated for their anti-MRSA activity using MIC and MBC value determination assay against a panel of S. aureus isolates. One pyrrolidine compound, MFM 501, exhibited good inhibitory activity with MIC value of 15.6 to 31.3 μg/mL against 55 S. aureus isolates (43 MRSA and 12 MSSA isolates). The active compound also displayed MBC values between 250 and 500 μg/mL against 58 S. aureus isolates (45 MRSA and 13 MSSA isolates) implying that MFM 501 has a bacteriostatic rather than bactericidal effect against both MRSA and MSSA isolates. In addition, MFM 501 showed no apparent cytotoxicity activity towards three normal cell lines (WRL-68, Vero, and 3T3) with IC50 values of >625 µg/mL. Selectivity index (SI) of MFM 501 gave a value of >10 suggesting that MFM 501 is significant and suitable for further in vivo investigations. These results suggested that synthetically derived intermediate compounds based on natural products may play an important role in the discovery of new anti-infective agents against MRSA.
Background. Education is usually associated with improvement in health; there is evidence that this may not be the case if education is not fully utilised at work. This study examines the relationship between education level, occupation, and health outcomes of individuals in rural Malaysia. Results. The study finds that the incidence of chronic diseases and high blood pressure are higher for tertiary educated individuals in agriculture and construction occupations. This brings these individuals into more frequent contact with the health system. These occupations are marked with generally lower levels of education and contain fewer individuals with higher levels of education. Conclusions. Education is not always associated with better health outcomes. In certain occupations, greater education seems related to increased chronic disease and contact with the health system, which is the case for workers in agriculture in rural Malaysia. Agriculture is the largest sector of employment in rural Malaysia but with relatively few educated individuals. For the maintenance and sustainability of productivity in this key rural industry, health monitoring and job enrichment policies should be encouraged by government agencies to be part of the agenda for employers in these sectors.
Silicon (Si) is one of the most prevalent macroelements, performing an essential function in healing plants in response to environmental stresses. The purpose of using Si is to induce resistance to distinct stresses, diseases, and pathogens. Additionally, Si can improve the condition of soils, which contain toxic levels of heavy metals along with other chemical elements. Silicon minimizes toxicity of Fe, Al, and Mn, increases the availability of P, and enhances drought along with salt tolerance in plants through the formation of silicified tissues in plants. However, the concentration of Si depends on the plants genotype and organisms. Hence, the physiological mechanisms and metabolic activities of plants may be affected by Si application. Peptides as well as amino acids can effectively create polysilicic species through interactions with different species of silicate inside solution. The carboxylic acid and the alcohol groups of serine and asparagine tend not to engage in any significant role in polysilicates formation, but the hydroxyl group side chain can be involved in the formation of hydrogen bond with Si(OH)4. The mechanisms and trend of Si absorption are different between plant species. Furthermore, the transportation of Si requires an energy mechanism; thus, low temperatures and metabolic repressors inhibit Si transportation.
Palm oil is one of the most important agroindustries in Malaysia. Huge quantities of palm oil mill effluent (POME) pose a great threat to aqueous environment due to its very high COD. To make full use of discharged wastes, the integrated "zero discharge" pilot-scale industrial plant comprising "pretreatment-anaerobic and aerobic process-membrane separation" was continuously operated for 1 year. After pretreatment in the oil separator tank, 55.6% of waste oil in raw POME could be recovered and sold and anaerobically digested through 2 AnaEG reactors followed by a dissolved air flotation (DAF); average COD reduced to about 3587 mg/L, and biogas production was 27.65 times POME injection which was used to generate electricity. The aerobic effluent was settled for 3 h or/and treated in MBR which could remove BOD3 (30°C) to less than 20 mg/L as required by Department of Environment of Malaysia. After filtration by UF and RO membrane, all organic compounds and most of the salts were removed; RO permeate could be reused as the boiler feed water. RO concentrate combined with anaerobic surplus sludge could be used as biofertilizer.
Primers corresponding to conserved bacterial repetitive of BOX elements were used to show that BOX-DNA sequences are widely distributed in phosphate solubilizing Pseudomonas strains. Phosphate solubilizing Pseudomonas was isolated from oil palm fields (tropical soil) in Malaysia. BOX elements were used to generate genomic fingerprints of a variety of Pseudomonas isolates to identify strains that were not distinguishable by other classification methods. BOX-PCR, that derived genomic fingerprints, was generated from whole purified genomic DNA by liquid culture of phosphate solubilizing Pseudomonas. BOX-PCR generated the phosphate solubilizing Pseudomonas specific fingerprints to identify the relationship between these strains. This suggests that distribution of BOX elements' sequences in phosphate solubilizing Pseudomonas strains is the mirror image of their genomic structure. Therefore, this method appears to be a rapid, simple, and reproducible method to identify and classify phosphate solubilizing Pseudomonas strains and it may be useful tool for fast identification of potential biofertilizer strains.
Saliva is increasingly recognised as an attractive diagnostic fluid. The presence of various disease signalling salivary biomarkers that accurately reflect normal and disease states in humans and the sampling benefits compared to blood sampling are some of the reasons for this recognition. This explains the burgeoning research field in assay developments and technological advancements for the detection of various salivary biomarkers to improve clinical diagnosis, management, and treatment. This paper reviews the significance of salivary biomarkers for clinical diagnosis and therapeutic applications, with focus on the technologies and biosensing platforms that have been reported for screening these biomarkers.
Zerumbone- (ZER-) loaded nanostructure lipid carrier (NLC) (ZER-NLC) prepared for its antileukemia effect in vitro was evaluated for its toxicological effects by observing changes in the liver, kidney, spleen, lung, heart, and brain tissues, serum biochemical parameters, total haemogram, and bone marrow stem cells. The acute toxicity study for ZER-NLC was conducted by orally treating BALB/c mice with a single dose with either water, olive oil, ZER, NLC, or ZER-NLC for 14 days. The animals were observed for clinical and behavioral abnormalities, toxicological symptoms, feed consumption, and gross appearance. The liver, kidney, heart, lung, spleen, and brain tissues were assessed histologically. Total haemogram was counted by hemocytometry and microhematocrit reader. Bone marrow examination in terms of cellular morphology was done by Wright staining with bone marrow smear. Furthermore, serum biochemical parameters were determined spectrophotometrically. Grossly all treated mice, their investigated tissues, serum biochemical parameters, total haemogram, and bone marrow were normal. At oral doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg ZER-NLC there was no sign of toxicity or mortality in BALB/c mice. This study suggests that the 50% lethal dose (LD50) of ZER-NLC is higher than 200 mg/kg, thus, safe by oral administration.
This study aims to test the translated Hausa version of the stroke impact scale SIS (3.0) and further evaluate its psychometric properties. The SIS 3.0 was translated from English into Hausa and was tested for its reliability and validity on a stratified random sample adult stroke survivors attending rehabilitation services at stroke referral hospitals in Kano, Nigeria. Psychometric analysis of the Hausa-SIS 3.0 involved face, content, criterion, and construct validity tests as well as internal and test-retest reliability. In reliability analyses, the Cronbach's alpha values for the items in Strength, Hand function, Mobility, ADL/IADL, Memory and thinking, Communication, Emotion, and Social participation domains were 0.80, 0.92, 0.90, 0.78, 0.84, 0.89, 0.58, and 0.74, respectively. There are 8 domains in stroke impact scale 3.0 in confirmatory factory analysis; some of the items in the Hausa-SIS questionnaire have to be dropped due to lack of discriminate validity. In the final analysis, a parsimonious model was obtained with two items per construct for the 8 constructs (Chi-square/df < 3, TLI and CFI > 0.9, and RMSEA < 0.08). Cross validation with 1000 bootstrap samples gave a satisfactory result (P = 0.011). In conclusion, the shorter 16-item Hausa-SIS seems to measure adequately the QOL outcomes in the 8 domains.
Background. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) has been reported to possess time-dependent fibrinolytic activity by in vitro assay. This study is aimed at investigating fibrinolytic dose-dependent activity of CAPE using in vitro assays. Methods. Standardized human whole blood (WB) clots were incubated in either blank controls or different concentrations of CAPE (3.75, 7.50, 15.00, 22.50, and 30.00 mM). After 3 hours, D-dimer (DD) levels and WB clot weights were measured for each concentration. Thromboelastography (TEG) parameters were recorded following CAPE incubation, and fibrin morphology was examined under a confocal microscope. Results. Overall, mean DD (μg/mL) levels were significantly different across samples incubated with different CAPE concentrations, and the median pre- and postincubation WB clot weights (grams) were significantly decreased for each CAPE concentration. Fibrin removal was observed microscopically and indicated dose-dependent effects. Based on the TEG test, the Ly30 fibrinolytic parameter was significantly different between samples incubated with two different CAPE concentrations (15.0 and 22.50 mM). The 50% effective dose (ED50) of CAPE (based on DD) was 1.99 mg/mL. Conclusions. This study suggests that CAPE possesses fibrinolytic activity following in vitro incubation and that it has dose-dependent activities. Therefore, further investigation into CAPE as a potential alternative thrombolytic agent should be conducted.
The increased Salmonella resistance to quinolones and fluoroquinolones is a public health concern in the Southeast Asian region. The objective of this study is to develop a high resolution melt curve (HRM) assay to rapidly screen for mutations in quinolone-resistant determining region (QRDR) of gyrase and topoisomerase IV genes. DNA sequencing was performed on 62 Salmonella strains to identify mutations in the QRDR of gyrA, gyrB, parC, and parE genes. Mutations were detected in QRDR of gyrA (n = 52; S83F, S83Y, S83I, D87G, D87Y, and D87N) and parE (n = 1; M438I). Salmonella strains with mutations within QRDR of gyrA are generally more resistant to nalidixic acid (MIC 16 > 256 μg/mL). Mutations were uncommon within the QRDR of gyrB, parC, and parE genes. In the HRM assay, mutants can be distinguished from the wild-type strains based on the transition of melt curves, which is more prominent when the profiles are displayed in difference plot. In conclusion, HRM analysis allows for rapid screening for mutations at the QRDRs of gyrase and topoisomerase IV genes in Salmonella. This assay markedly reduced the sequencing effort involved in mutational studies of quinolone-resistance genes.
Much debate in schizotypal research has centred on the factor structure of the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ), with research variously showing higher-order dimensionality consisting of two to seven dimensions. In addition, cross-cultural support for the stability of those factors remains limited. Here, we examined the factor structure of the SPQ among British and Trinidadian adults. Participants from a White British subsample (n = 351) resident in the UK and from an African Caribbean subsample (n = 284) resident in Trinidad completed the SPQ. The higher-order factor structure of the SPQ was analysed through confirmatory factor analysis, followed by multiple-group analysis for the model of best fit. Between-group differences for sex and ethnicity were investigated using multivariate analysis of variance in relation to the higher-order domains. The model of best-fit was the four-factor structure, which demonstrated measurement invariance across groups. Additionally, these data had an adequate fit for two alternative models: (a) 3-factor and (b) modified 4-factor model. The British subsample had significantly higher scores across all domains than the Trinidadian group, and men scored significantly higher on the disorganised domain than women. The four-factor structure received confirmatory support and, importantly, support for use with populations varying in ethnicity and culture.
Effects of ketamine and lidocaine on electroencephalographic (EEG) changes were evaluated in minimally anaesthetized dogs, subjected to electric stimulus. Six dogs were subjected to six treatments in a crossover design with a washout period of one week. Dogs were subjected to intravenous boluses of lidocaine 2 mg/kg, ketamine 3 mg/kg, meloxicam 0.2 mg/kg, morphine 0.2 mg/kg and loading doses of lidocaine 2 mg/kg followed by continuous rate infusion (CRI) of 50 and 100 mcg/kg/min, and ketamine 3 mg/kg followed by CRI of 10 and 50 mcg/kg/min. Electroencephalogram was recorded during electrical stimulation prior to any drug treatment (before treatment) and during electrical stimulation following treatment with the drugs (after treatment) under anaesthesia. Anaesthesia was induced with propofol and maintained with halothane at a stable concentration between 0.85 and 0.95%. Pretreatment median frequency was evidently increased (P < 0.05) for all treatment groups. Lidocaine, ketamine, and morphine depressed the median frequency resulting from the posttreatment stimulation. The depression of median frequency suggested evident antinociceptive effects of these treatments in dogs. It is therefore concluded that lidocaine and ketamine can be used in the analgesic protocol for the postoperative pain management in dogs.