Suboptimal viral suppression and CD4 response to antiretroviral treatment (HAART) is known to cause poor outcomes with the increase cost of treatment. We aimed to assess factors associated with such control among HIV/AIDS patients in Malaysia. Four hundred and six HIV/AIDS patients, using Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) for at least the past three months, treated as outpatients at medication therapy adherence clinics (MTAC) were recruited. CD4 cell counts, viral load readings along with co-variants such as socio-demographic factors, adverse drug reactions, comorbidities, and medication record were obtained. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS(®) ) version 18 and STATA IC(®) version 12 were used for data analysis. CD4 counts were found highest among those within the age category 41-50 years (390.43 ± 272.28), female (402.64 ± 276.14), other ethnicities (400.20 ± 278.04), and participants with no formal education (414.87 ± 290.90). Patients experiencing adverse effects had a 2.28 (95%CI:1.25-4.18) fold greater risk of poor CD4 control, while patients with comorbidities had 2.46 (95%CI:1.02-5.91) fold greater risk of mild viral suppression. Adverse drug reactions, co-morbidities were found to be significantly associated with poor immunological and virological outcomes in HIV/AIDS patients. However, a comprehensive evaluation is needed to better understand other confounders.
Study site: Medication therapy adherence clinic, Hospital Sungai Buloh, Selangor, Malaysia
According to WHO, Malaysia has been classified as a concentrated epidemic country due to progression of HIV infection in the population of injecting drug users. The main objectives of current study are to determine the prevalence of HBV among HIV-positive individuals in a tertiary care hospital of Malaysia and to assess the predictors involved in the outcomes of HIV-HBV co-infected patients. A retrospective, cross-sectional study is conducted at Hospital Palau Pinang, Malaysia. The collection of socio-demographic data as well as clinical data is done with the help of data collection form. Data were analyzed after putting the collected values of required data by using statistical software SPSS version 20.0 and P > 0.05 is considered as significant. Results show that the overall prevalence of HBV was 86 (13%) including 495 (74.5%) males and 169 (25.5%) females among a total of 664 HIV-infected patients. It was observed that there is a high prevalence of HIV-HBV co-infection in males 76 (11.4%) as compared to females 10 (1.5%) (P = 0.002). The median age of the study population was 39 years. The statistical significant risk factors involved in the outcomes of HIV-HBV co-infected patients were observed in the variables of gender, age groups, and injecting drug users. The findings of the present study shows that the prevalence of HBV infection among HIV-positive patients was 13% and the risk factors involved in the outcomes of HIV-HBV co-infected patients were gender, age, and intravenous drug users.
Nipah virus, member of the Paramyxoviridae family, is classified as a Biosafety Level-4 agent and category C priority pathogen. Nipah virus disease is endemic in south Asia and outbreaks have been reported in Malaysia, Singapore, India, and Bangladesh. Bats of the genus Pteropus appear to be the natural reservoir of this virus. The aim of this study was to investigate the genetic diversity of Nipah virus, to estimate the date of origin and the spread of the infection. The mean value of Nipah virus N gene evolutionary rate, was 6.5 × 10(-4) substitution/site/year (95% HPD: 2.3 × 10(-4)-1.18 × 10(-3)). The time-scaled phylogenetic analysis showed that the root of the tree originated in 1947 (95% HPD: 1888-1988) as the virus entered in south eastern Asiatic regions. The segregation of sequences in two main clades (I and II) indicating that Nipah virus had two different introductions: one in 1995 (95% HPD: 1985-2002) which correspond to clade I, and the other in 1985 (95% HPD: 1971-1996) which correspond to clade II. The phylogeographic reconstruction indicated that the epidemic followed two different routes spreading to the other locations. The trade of infected pigs may have played a role in the spread of the virus. Bats of the Pteropus genus, that are able to travel to long distances, may have contributed to the spread of the infection. Negatively selected sites, statistically supported, could reflect the stability of the viral N protein.
This study aims to assess the incidence rate of Pteropine orthreovirus (PRV) infection in patients with acute upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) in a suburban setting in Malaysia, where bats are known to be present in the neighborhood. Using molecular detection of PRVs directly from oropharyngeal swabs, our study demonstrates that PRV is among one of the common causative agents of acute URTI with cough and sore throat as the commonest presenting clinical features. Phylogenetic analysis on partial major outer and inner capsid proteins shows that these PRV strains are closely related to Melaka and Kampar viruses previously isolated in Malaysia. Further study is required to determine the public health significance of PRV infection in Southeast Asia, especially in cases where co-infection with other pathogens may potentially lead to different clinical outcomes.
Study site: Klinik Kesihatan Rembau, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
HIV drug resistance assessments and interpretations can be obtained from genotyping (GT), virtual phenotyping (VP) and laboratory-based phenotyping (PT). We compared resistance calls obtained from GT and VP with those from PT (GT-PT and VP-PT) among CRF01_AE and subtype B HIV-1 infected patients. GT predictions were obtained from the Stanford HIV database. VP and PT were obtained from Janssen Diagnostics BVBA's vircoType(TM) HIV-1 and Antivirogram®, respectively. With PT assumed as the "gold standard," the area under the curve (AUC) and the Bland-Altman plot were used to assess the level of agreement in resistance interpretations. A total of 80 CRF01_AE samples from Asia and 100 subtype B from Janssen Diagnostics BVBA's database were analysed. CRF01_AE showed discordances ranging from 3 to 27 samples for GT-PT and 1 to 20 samples for VP-PT. The GT-PT and VP-PT AUCs were 0.76-0.97 and 0.81-0.99, respectively. Subtype B showed 3-61 discordances for GT-PT and 2-75 discordances for VP-PT. The AUCs ranged from 0.55 to 0.95 for GT-PT and 0.55 to 0.97 for VP-PT. Didanosine had the highest proportion of discordances and/or AUC in all comparisons. The patient with the largest didanosine FC difference in each subtype harboured Q151M mutation. Overall, GT and VP predictions for CRF01_AE performed significantly better than subtype B for three NRTIs. Although discrepancies exist, GT and VP resistance interpretations in HIV-1 CRF01_AE strains were highly robust in comparison with the gold-standard PT.
The complete VP1 protein of EV71 was truncated into six segments and fused to the C-terminal ends of full-length nucleocapsid protein (NPfl) and truncated NP (NPt; lacks 20% amino acid residues from its C-terminal end) of newcastle disease virus (NDV). Western blot analysis using anti-VP1 rabbit serum showed that the N-terminal region of the VP1 protein contains a major antigenic region. The recombinant proteins carrying the truncated VP1 protein, VP1(1-100), were expressed most efficiently in Escherichia coli as determined by Western blot analysis. Electron microscopic analysis of the purified recombinant protein, NPt-VP(1-100) revealed that it predominantly self-assembled into intact ring-like structures whereas NPfl-VP(1-100) recombinant proteins showed disrupted ring-like formations. Rabbits immunized with the purified NPt-VP(1-100) and NPfl-VP(1-100) exhibited a strong immune response against the complete VP1 protein. The antisera of these recombinant proteins also reacted positively with authentic enterovirus 71 and the closely related Coxsackievirus A16 when analyzed by an immunofluorescence assay suggesting their potential as immunological reagents for the detection of anti-enterovirus 71 antibodies in serum samples.
Nipah virus infection of porcine stable kidney cells (PS), human neuronal cells (SK-N-MC), human lung fibroblasts cells (MRC-5), and human monocytes (THP-1) were examined. Rapid progression of cytopathic effects (CPE) and cell death were noted in PS cell cultures treated with Nipah virus, followed by MRC-5, SK-N-MC, and THP-1 cell cultures, in descending order of rapidity. Significant increase in the intracellular Nipah virus RNA occurred beginning at 24 hr PI in all the infected cells. Whereas, the extracellular release of Nipah virus RNA increased significantly beginning at 48 and 72 hr PI for the infected MRC-5 cells and PS cells, respectively. No significant release of extracellular Nipah virus RNA was detected from the Nipah virus-infected SK-N-MC and THP-1 cells. At its peak, approximately 6.6 log PFU/microl of extracellular Nipah virus RNA was released from the Nipah virus-infected PS cells, with at least a 100-fold less virus RNA was recorded in the Nipah virus-infected SK-N-MC and THP-1. Approximately 15.2% (+/-0.1%) of the released virus from the infected PS cell cultures was infectious in contrast to approximately 5.5% (+/-0.7%) from the infected SK-N-MC cells. The findings suggest that there are no differences in the capacity to support Nipah virus replication between pigs and humans in fully susceptible PS and MRC-5 cells. However, there are differences between these cells and human neuronal cells and monocytes in the ability to support Nipah virus replication and virus release.
Limited data exist regarding whether a high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) infection increases the risk of developing renal cell carcinoma. The aim of this study was to investigate whether HPV infection has a role in the pathogenesis or development of a certain histological subtype of renal cell carcinoma. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) specimens of 122 patients with histopathologically proven renal cell carcinoma and their respective peritumoral tissues were examined. The presence of HPV-DNA was determined by a combination of MY/GP+ consensus primers and HPV-16/18 type specific nested PCRs followed by direct sequencing. Catalyzed signal-amplified colorimetric in situ hybridization (CSAC-ISH) technique was applied to determine the physical status of viral genome. The expression of p16INK4a and HPV L1 capsid proteins was evaluated using immunohistochemistry. HPV genome was detected in 37 (30.3%) tumor specimens and their four (4.1%) corresponding peritumoral tissues. HPV-18 was the most common viral type identified followed by HPV-16 and 58. Immunoexpression of p16INK4a was detected in 24 (20.3%) cases. Data analysis showed a significant correlation between p16INK4a expression and the presence of HR-HPV DNA (P
The immunodominant region of hepatitis B virus (HBV) located in the viral small surface antigen (S-HBsAg) elicits virus-neutralizing and protective antibodies. In order to develop an easy and inexpensive method to produce this region without the need for extensive purification, amino acid residues 111-156 of S-HBsAg were fused to the C-terminal end of the 10B capsid protein of T7 phage. Western blotting and ELISA confirmed the expression of the recombinant protein on the surface of the phage particles. The recombinant phage exhibited the antigenic and immunogenic characteristics of HBsAg, illustrating its potential as an immunological reagent and vaccine.
A random peptide library of heptamers displayed on the surface of M13 bacteriophage was used to identify specific epitopes of antibodies in pooled sera of swine naturally infected by Nipah virus. The selected heptapeptides were aligned with protein sequences of Nipah virus and several putative epitopes were identified within the nucleocapsid protein. A total of 41 of 60 (68%) selected phage clones had inserts resembling a region with the sequence SNRTQGE, located at the C-terminal end (amino acids 503-509) of the nucleocapsid protein. The binding of antibodies in the swine and human antisera to the phage clone was inhibited by a synthetic peptide corresponding to this region. Epitopes identified by phage display are consistent with the predicted antigenic sites for the Nipah virus nucleocapsid protein. The selected phage clone used as a coating antigen discriminated swine and human Nipah virus sera-positive from sera-negative samples exhibiting characteristics, which might be attractive for diagnostic tests.
An outbreak of acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis occurred in French Guiana between April and July 2003, with approximately 6,000 cases in the two major cities Kourou and Cayenne. Since acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis is not a notifiable disease in France, there was no registration of the number of cases. Therefore, these were estimated by comparing the consumption of antibiotic eye drops and ophthalmic ointments during 2002 and 2003. The outbreak rapidly spread into the Caribbean Islands, causing an outbreak in Guadeloupe in October. Viral isolates from conjunctival swabs of 16 patients were confirmed to be enterovirus by PCR directed to the 5' UTR of the genome. The isolates could not be neutralized by the Melnick intersecting pools, but were shown to be CV-A24 variant by limited sequencing within the VP1 and 3C regions of 12 strains. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that they were similar to the genotype III strains causing outbreaks in Korea 2002 and Malaysia 2003. The previous outbreak of conjunctivitis caused by CV-A24 in the Caribbean in the 1980s was also introduced from Asia, and disappeared after 3 years. This new introduction from Asia and its rapid spread into the Caribbean, where the infection disappeared after a few months, indicates that the CV-A24 variant has a different epidemiological pattern in this region compared to South East Asia, since it has not established an endemic infection. It had to be reintroduced from Asia, where it has been circulating since the 1970s.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a malignancy associated closely with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), is prevalent among Chinese of Southern China origin. Epidemiological studies indicate a high prevalence of EBV in Asia with viral isolates having typical characteristics of the putative viral oncogene, latent membrane protein 1 (LMP-1), such as the loss of the Xho1 restriction site in Exon 1 and the 30-bp deletion in Exon 3. The EBV LMP-1 gene from throat washings of 120 nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients and 14 healthy individuals were analyzed. Similar analyses were also carried out on 30 and 12 postnasal space biopsies from nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients and healthy individuals, respectively. The 30-bp deletion was detected in 20% of nasopharyngeal carcinoma throat washes and in 100% of nasopharyngeal carcinoma postnasal space biopsies. Interestingly, 16% of the nasopharyngeal carcinoma biopsies possessed both the deleted and the undeleted variants, suggestive of dual infections. The notion of dual infections in nasopharyngeal carcinoma was further supported by the coexistence of both "F" and "f" (BamH1F region) EBV variants in 11% of the nasopharyngeal carcinoma biopsies. All of the throat washes and biopsies from the healthy controls showed the undeleted variant. The loss of the Xho1 restriction site was found with higher frequency both in throat washes and biopsies from patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The discrepancy in the frequency of the 30-bp deletion between throat washes (20%) and postnasal space biopsies (100%) was an indication that this deletion is specific for viral isolates from primary tumour sites.
The nucleocapsid (N) protein of Nipah virus (NiV) can be produced in three Escherichia coli strains [TOP10, BL21(DE3) and SG935] under the control of trc promoter. However, most of the product existed in the form of insoluble inclusion bodies. There was no improvement in the solubility of the product when this protein was placed under the control of T7 promoter. However, the solubility of the N protein was significantly improved by lowering the growth temperature of E. coli BL21(DE3) cell cultures. Solubility analysis of N- and C-terminally deleted mutants revealed that the full-length N protein has the highest solubility. The soluble N protein could be purified efficiently by sucrose gradient centrifugation and nickel affinity chromatography. Electron microscopic analysis of the purified product revealed that the N protein assembled into herringbone-like particles of different lengths. The C-terminal end of the N protein contains the major antigenic region when probed with antisera from humans and pigs infected naturally.
M13 phages that display random disulfide constrained heptapeptides on their gpIII proteins were used to select for high affinity ligands to hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg). Phages bearing the amino acid sequences C-WSFFSNI-C and C-WPFWGPW-C were isolated, and a binding assay in solution showed that these phages bind tightly to full-length and truncated HBcAg with K D rel values less than 25 nM, which is at least 10 orders of magnitude higher than phage carrying the peptide sequence LLGRMK selected from a linear peptide library. Both the phages that display the constrained peptides were inhibited from binding to HBcAg particles by a monoclonal antibody that binds specifically to the immunodominant region of the particles. A synthetic heptapeptide with the amino acid sequence WSFFSNI derived from one of the fusion peptides inhibits the binding of large surface antigen (L-HBsAg) to core particles with an IC50 value of 12 +/- 2 microM. This study has identified a smaller peptide with a greater inhibitory effect on L-HBsAg-HBcAg association.
A reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was developed for the detection of Chikungunya virus infection. Based on the nonstructural protein 1 (nsP1) and glycoprotein E1 (E1) genes of Chikungunya, two primer sets were designed. Total RNA were extracted from the cell culture fluid of Aedes albopictus C6/36 cells inoculated with the S27 prototype virus, isolated in Tanzania in 1953, and the Malaysian strains (MALh0198, MALh0298, and MALh0398), isolated in Malaysia in 1998. For both sets of RNA samples, the expected 354- and 294-base pair (bp) cDNA fragments were amplified effectively from the nsP1 and E1 genes, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis was conducted for the Malaysian strain and other virus strains isolated from different regions in the world endemic for Chikungunya, using partial E1 gene sequence data. The Malaysian strains isolated during the epidemics of 1998 fell into a cluster with other members of the Asian genotype.
The prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis E virus (HEV) has been examined in many countries, but such studies have generally been limited to majority populations such as those represented in healthy blood donors or cross sections of urban populations. Due to its major route of enteric transmission, large differences in HEV prevalence might be expected between populations in the same country but with different living conditions. Using an ELISA based on GST-ORF2.1 antigen, the prevalence of IgG-class antibodies to HEV was examined in three distinct populations in Malaysia: the normal (urban) blood donor population and two aboriginal communities located at Betau, Pahang and Parit Tanjung, Perak. IgG anti-HEV was detected in 45 (44%) of 102 samples from Betau and 15 (50%) of 30 samples from Parit Tanjung, compared to only 2 (2%) of 100 normal blood donors. The distribution of sample ELISA reactivities was also consistent with ongoing sporadic infection in the aboriginal communities, while there was no significant relationship between HEV exposure and age, sex, or malaria infection. The high prevalence of antibodies to HEV in the two aboriginal communities indicates that this group of people are at high risk of exposure to HEV compared to the general blood donors, and the results suggest that studies of HEV seroprevalence within countries must take into account the possibility of widely varying infection rates between populations with marked differences in living conditions.
Stool specimens from 334 infants and young children hospitalized with diarrhea in the General Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia between August and November, 1987 were analyzed for the presence of rotavirus double-stranded (ds) RNA by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Of the 334 specimens analyzed, 32 (9.6%) were positive for rotavirus RNA. One specimen (designated G147) exhibited a ds RNA electropherotype profile characteristic of Group C rotavirus and was selected for further characterization. In Northern blot hybridization studies, the gene 5 segment of strain G147 hybridized with a cDNA probe generated from the cloned gene 5 (which encodes the VP6 inner capsid protein that is group specific) of porcine Group C rotavirus strain Cowden, confirming the classification of strain G147 in Group C. The association of Group C rotavirus with diarrheal illness in Malaysia is consistent with earlier studies that suggest a global distribution of this virus and supports the need for additional epidemiologic studies.
Since the identification of the new human virus, GB virus C (GBV-C)/hepatitis G-virus (HGV), in 1995/1996, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction remained the sole available diagnostic tool for GBV-C/HGV infection. Recently, a serologic test based on the detection of antibodies to the putative envelope protein 2 (anti-E2) has been introduced. We used this assay for a seroepidemiological survey including 3,314 healthy individuals from different parts of the world, 123 patients from Germany who were suspected to have an increased risk of acquiring GBV-C/HGV infection, 128 multiple organ donors, and 90 GBV-C/HGV RNA positive persons. In European countries, anti-E2 seropositivity ranged from 10.9% (Germany) to 15.3% (Austria). In South Africa (20.3%) and Brazil (19.5%), even higher anti-E2 prevalence rates were recorded. In Asian countries like Bhutan (3.9%), Malaysia (6.3%), and the Philippines (2.7%), anti-E2 positivity was significantly lower. GBV-C/HGV anti-E2 prevalence in potential "risk groups," i.e., patients on hemodialysis and renal transplant recipients, did not vary significantly from anti-E2 seroprevalence in German blood donors. Anti-E2 and GBV-C/HGV RNA were found to be mutually exclusive, confirming the notion that anti-E2 has to be considered as a marker of past infection.
A total of 234 sera from healthy Malaysians of diverse ethnic origins were tested for antibody to the Z29 and prototype GS strains of HHV-6. The prevalence in the races ranged from 58 to 80% for the GS strain and 49 to 76% for the Z29 strain. The highest prevalence was in Malays with semi-urban cultural lifestyles and lowest was in the indigenous rural tribes (Ibans, Kadazans, Bidayuhs, and Orang Asli). The antibody titres to GS and Z29 virus capsid antigens differed in 11 (4.7%) samples by more than 2 dilutions. In 9 of the 11 sera the titres to GS strain were higher than to the Z29 strain. The differences in the antibody titres between strains of HHV-6 may reflect subtle changes in antigen structure of the virus recognised by some individuals.