Malakand region is an endemic area for cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). However, there are limited number of studies of this disease in Pakistan. Therefore, a study was conducted to understand the level of awareness attitude and practice among the residents of Makaland towards CL and the disease vectors. This study adopted a cross-sectional approach with a total of 400 respondents (n=93 rural and n= 307 urban). Overall, the population in Malakand region (61.2%) were well-informed in the role of sand fly in transmitting diseases, but most lack knowledge on the vector's behavior and almost a quarter (24.5%) were unable to provide knowledge on proper control measures. Alarmingly, the practice and attitudes of the general population was not satisfactory as close to half (49.8%) of the population did adopt any control method. This study calls for increase in awareness through health education campaign to reduce the risk of cutaneous leishmaniasis outbreaks in the future.
Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), a pathogen responsible for rice bacterial leaf blight, produces biofilm to protect viable Xoo cells from antimicrobial agents. A study was conducted to determine the potency of Acacia mangium methanol (AMMH) leaf extract as a Xoo biofilm inhibitor. Four concentrations (3.13, 6.25, 9.38, and 12.5 mg/mL) of AMMH leaf extract were tested for their ability to inhibit Xoo biofilm formation on a 96-well microtiter plate. The results showed that the negative controls had the highest O.D. values from other treatments, indicating the intense formation of biofilm. This was followed by the positive control (Streptomycin sulfate, 0.2 mg/mL) and AMMH leaf extract at concentration 3.13 mg/mL, which showed no significant differences in their O.D. values (1.96 and 1.57, respectively). All other treatments at concentrations of 6.25, 9.38, and 12.5 mg/mL showed no significant differences in their O.D. values (0.91, 0.79, and 0.53, respectively). For inhibition percentages, treatment with concentration 12.5 mg/mL gave the highest result (81.25%) followed by treatment at concentrations 6.25 and 9.38 mg/mL that showed no significant differences in their inhibition percentage (67.75% and 72.23%, respectively). Concentration 3.13 mg/mL resulted in 44.49% of biofilm inhibition and the positive control resulted in 30.75% of biofilm inhibition. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) analysis of Xoo biofilm inhibition and breakdown showed the presence of non-viable Xoo cells and changes in aggregation size due to increase in AMMH leaf extract concentration. Control slides showed the absence of Xoo dead cells.
Drawbacks associated with the use of chemical fungicides to control plant pathogenic fungi such as Botrytis cinerea stimulate the need for alternatives. Therefore, the present study was carried out to determine the antifungal potentials of Moringa oleifera extracts against B. cinerea. Phytochemical analysis using qualitative chemical tests revealed the presence of huge amount of crucial phytochemicals compounds like phenolic compounds, alkaloids and saponins in the M. oleifera leaf extract. Antifungal bioassay of the crude extracts indicated better mycelial growth inhibition by methanol leaf extract (99%). The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was 5 mg/ml with 100% spore germination inhibition and minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) was 10 mg/ml with 98.10% mycelial growth inhibition using broth micro dilution and poisoned food techniques. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis led to the identification of 67 volatile chemical compounds in the leaf extract with 6-decenoic acid (Z)- (19.87%) was the predominant compound. Further chemical elucidation of the crude extracts performed by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) showed the presence of non-volatile chemical compounds, mostly flavones, flavonoids and phenolic acids (i.e. quercetin and kaempferol). Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy analysis showed positive effect of M. oleifera leaf extract on the treated conidia and mycelium of B. cinerea. Findings revealed that irreversible surface and ultra-structural changes with severe detrimental effects on conidia and mycelium morphology compared to control treatment. Overall findings suggested that M. oleifera leaf extract is a promising candidate for biological control of fungal pathogens, thus limiting overdependence on chemical fungicides.