New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) is a relatively recent carbapenemase enzyme that inactivates all β-lactam antibiotics with the exception of aztreonam. This study aims to ascertain the baseline prevalence and antibiotic susceptibility patterns of NDM-1-producing Enterobacteriaceae in a tertiary medical center in Malaysia.
Immortalized human endothelial cells are widely used as in vitro models for debilitating conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular and ocular diseases. Human microvascular endothelial cell (HMEC-1) is immortalized via stable transfection with a gene encoding SV40 large antigen whilst telomerase-immortalized human microvascular endothelial (TIME) cells is immortalized by engineering the human telomerase catalytic protein (hTERT) into primary microvascular endothelial cells. Here, we established a three-dimensional (3D) spheroid invasion assay with HMEC-1 and TIME and compared the difference in their ability to invade through the collagen matrix in response to exogenous growth factors, namely vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF).
In June 2015, invitations were sent by email to 151 APAME journals to participate in an online survey with an objective of gaining insight into the common publication misconduct encountered by APAME editors. The survey, conducted through SurveyMonkey over a 20-day-period, comprised 10 questions with expansions to allow anecdotes limited to 400 characters, estimated to take less than 10 minutes to complete. Only one invitation was issued per journal, targeting (in order of priority) editors, editorial board members and editorial staff, and limited by email availability. 54 (36%) journals responded. 98% of respondents held Editor or Editorial Board positions. All respondent journals have editorial policies on publication ethics and 96% provide instructions related to ethics. 45% use anti-plagiarism software to screen manuscripts, the most popular being iThenticate, CrossCheck and Turnitin. Up to 50% of journals had encountered studies without IRB approval. Author misconduct encountered were (in rank order): plagiarism (75%), duplicate publication (58%), unjustified authorship (39%), authorship disputes (33%), data falsification (29%), data/image manipulation (27%), conflict of interest (25%), copyright violation (17%) and breach of confidentiality (10%). Reviewer misconduct encountered were: conflict of interest (19%), plagiarism (17%), obstructive behavior (17%), abusive language (13%) and breach of confidentiality (13%). Notwithstanding the limitations of the survey and the response rate, a few insights have been gained: (1) the need for strengthening the ethical culture of researchers/authors and reviewers, (2) anti-plagiarism software can improve plagiarism detection by about 15%, and (3) the need for technical support to detect plagiarism, duplicate publication and image manipulation.
Haemoglobin (Hb) Lepore is a variant Hb consisting of two α-globin and two δβ-globin chains. In a heterozygote, it is associated with clinical findings of thalassaemia minor, but interactions with other haemoglobinopathies can lead to various clinical phenotypes and pose diagnostic challenges. We reported a pair of siblings from a Malay family, who presented with pallor and hepatosplenomegaly at the ages of 21 months and 14 months old. The red cell indices and peripheral blood smears of both patients showed features of thalassaemia intermedia. Other laboratory investigations of the patients showed conflicting results. However, laboratory investigation results of the parents had led to a presumptive diagnosis of compound heterozygote Hb Lepore/β-thalassaemia and co-inheritance α+-thalassaemia (-α3.7). Hb Lepore has rarely been detected in Southeast Asian countries, particularly in Malaysia. These two cases highlight the importance of family studies for accurate diagnosis, hence appropriate clinical management and genetic counseling.
Suicidal feelings and a sense of hopelessness have been regarded as part of the ageing process more so in the context of being elderly and having physical difficulties. As older adults are the fastest growing population in the world, suicides among this population is also expected to increase. The authors retrospectively reviewed all cases recorded by the National Suicide Registry Malaysia (NSRM) for the year 2009. Suicide in victims 65 years and older totaled 23 in number and accounted for 7.1% of all suicides. All the cases were autopsied. The case records were retrospectively analyzed with respect to age, gender, ethnicity and method of death. Comparisons were also made between males and females, levels of education, presence of stressor and life events antecedent to suicide. The ages of these suicide victims ranged from 65 to 94 years. Men comprised almost 70% of the cases. The average age of the victim was 73 years. Hanging was the most common method of suicide, accounting for 56.5% of the cases. Other methods included jumping from height (13.1%), exposure to unspecified chemicals (13.1% ), jumping/lying before moving object (4.3%), exposure to pesticides (4.3%) and injuring oneself using sharp object (4.3%). Death of a loved one, legal problems, financial problems and physical illness were the stressors identified contributing to the suicide act.
BACKGROUND: In the past, lupus nephritis was histologically classified according to the 1995 WHO Classification. With the introduction of the 2003 ISN/RPS Classification, many nephropathology services converted to this new classification. This study was undertaken to compare both classification systems in a single centre practice.
METHODS: 103 consecutive adequate renal biopsies initially reported as lupus nephritis in the Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya were reassessed using the criteria of both the 1995 WHO Classification and the 2003 ISN/ RPS Classification.
RESULTS: The relative prevalence for each class using the WHO Classification were: Class I (1%), Class II (8.7%), Class III (6.8%), Class IV (60.2%), Class V (20.4%), Class VI (2.9%) while the prevalence using the 2003 ISN/RPS Classification were: Class I (1%), Class II (8.7%), Class III (6.8%), Class IV (61.2%), Class V (21.3%), Class VI (1%). Both classifications were essentially comparable with regards to Classes I, II and III. The differences in Classes IV, V and VI were significant in potential to alter patient management. The identification of segmental lesions (Class IV-S) over and above a global nephritis (Class IV-G) deserves more focused clinicopathological studies to gauge whether these groups have different clinical manifestations and outcomes. With regards Class V, the ISN/RPS system, by requiring that all mixed classes be stipulated in the diagnostic line, minimizes the chances of patients missing out on additional treatment. The ISN/ RPS system has stricter criteria for Class VI, which again minimizes patients missing out on therapy. On the whole, the ISN/RPS system is more user-friendly as criteria are more clearly defined which translates to more benefits to patient care.
Study site: Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A rare case of double Philadelphia chromosome-positive B Acute lymphoblastic Leukaemia (B-ALL) is reported here. A 60-year-old lady presented with one month history of fever, submandibular lymphadenopathy, loss of appetite and weight loss. Physical examination revealed multiple palpable cervical lymph nodes. Blood film showed leucocytosis with 72% blasts. Bone marrow assessment confirmed a diagnosis of B-ALL with presence of double Philadelphia (Ph) chromosomes. As she was very ill, she was initially treated with an attenuated regimen of induction chemotherapy consisting of rituximab, cyclophosphamide, vincristine and prednisolone (R-CVP) along with intrathecal chemotherapy comprising methotrexate, cytarabine and hydrocortisone. Bone marrow examination post-induction chemotherapy showed >5% blasts. She was subsequently re-induced with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisolone (R-CHOP) along with intrathecal chemotherapy, following which she went into complete remission. Consolidation chemotherapy consisting of methotrexate, methylprednisolone, cytarabine, intrathecal chemotherapy and imatinib was subsequently administered followed by maintenance chemotherapy consisting of vincristine, prednisolone and imatinib (IDEAMOP). She developed spontaneous bruises and relapsed four months into her maintenance chemotherapy with 90% blasts in the bone marrow which was treated with fludarabine, cytarabine and granulocyte colony stimulating factor (FLAG). Unfortunately she developed neutropenic sepsis which was complicated by invasive lung aspergillosis. Bone marrow examination post-FLAG showed 80% blasts. Despite aggressive antifungal therapy, her lung infection worsened and she finally succumbed to her illness 13 months after the initial diagnosis. We highlight a rare case of elderly B-ALL with double Ph chromosomes which carries a poor prognosis despite aggressive treatment for the disease and its complications.
Entamoeba histolytica, the causative agent for human amoebiasis, is among the most deadly parasites, accounting for the second highest mortality rate among parasitic diseases. Because this parasite dwells in low oxygen tension, for its cultivation, microaerophilic conditions are required to mimick the human gut environment. Several methods developed for optimal growth environment are commercially available and some are conventionally modified in-house which include the Anaerocult A and oil blocking preparation methods. This study was undertaken to compare the reliability of the Anaerocult A and the oil blocking methods in generating anaerobic environment for cultivation of E. histolytica. The trophozoites of E. histolytica HM1: IMSS strains were axenically cultivated in TYI-S-33 medium in culture incubated anaerobically by using Anaerocult A (Merck) and mineral oil blocking method. The outcomes of both methods were determined by the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of metronidazole against E. histolytica by giving a score to the growth pattern of the trophozoites. The reliability of both methods was assessed based on susceptibility testing of E. histolytica to metronidazole. The MIC obtained by both anaerobic condition methods was 6.25 ug/ ml, thus showing that oil-blocking method is comparable to the Anaerocult A method and therefore, considered as a reliable method for generating an anaerobic environment for the cultivation of E. histolytica.
NK/T cell lymphoma, nasal type is an aggressive and uncommon malignancy. Disease that occurs outside of the aerodigestive tract exhibits an even more aggressive clinical behaviour and does not respond as well to conventional therapy compared to its nasal counterpart. We report such a case of NK/T cell lymphoma, nasal type, that presented as an anterior chest wall mass, arising from the left pectoralis muscle. An interesting feature we wish to highlight is the associated eosinophilia that corresponded to disease activity, exhibiting fluctuations with surgical resection and chemotherapy. To the best of our knowledge this is the third reported case of NK/T cell lymphoma that is associated with peripheral eosinophilia. Our case highlights the role of certain NK cell subsets that play a major role in eosinophilic activation in NK/T lymphomas and calls for more research into further classification of this disease by virtue of its NK cell subsets.
Prenatal diagnosis is essential in the new era of diagnosis and management of genetic diseases in obstetrics. Multiple ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) is a recent technique for prenatal diagnosis for the relative quantification of 40 different nucleic acid sequences in one single reaction. We had utilized the MLPA technique in detecting aneuploidies in amniotic fluid samples from 25 pregnant women from the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department UKMMC, versus the quantitative fluorescent polymerase chain reaction (QF-PCR) method. Conclusive results were obtained in 18 cases and all were concordant with that of the QF-PCR. All four cases of trisomies were correctly identified including one case with maternal cell contamination.
The incidence of breast cancer in Malaysia and other Asian countries is on the increase, reflecting lifestyle changes some of which are known risk factors for the development of breast cancer. Most breast cancers are amenable to adjuvant therapies that target hormone receptors or HER2 receptors on the surface of the cancer cells and bring about significant improvement in survival. However, approximately 17% of Malaysian women with breast cancer, present with tumours that are devoid of these receptors and are consequently termed 'triple negative' breast cancers. These triple negative breast cancers typically occur in women of a younger age than receptor positive cancers, are predominantly of high grade tumours and the prognosis is usually poor. There is therefore a pressing need to understand the biological pathways that drive these tumours, in order that effective strategies are developed to treat these aggressive tumours. With the increasing affluence of developing countries, obesity and Type II Diabetes are also on the rise. These diseases are associated with an increased risk of developing a range of cancers including those of the breast. In particular, the metabolic syndrome has been shown to be associated with triple negative breast cancer. This article reviews some of the metabolic pathways and biomarkers which have been shown to be aberrantly expressed in triple negative breast cancer and highlights some of the ongoing work in this area.
Ruptured dissecting aortic aneurysm more commonly occur in men in the 40 to 70 age group, and most commonly is associated with atherosclerosis. Uncommon causes are previous heart surgery, connective tissue disorders and aortitis. Despite its rarity, Clostridium spp aortitis progresses very rapidly with a mortality rate of approximately 79% in adults, typically occurring within 48 hours of infection. We present a case of sudden death due to clostridial aortitis causing ruptured aortic dissection in an apparently healthy adult female, 7 weeks post-spontaneous vaginal delivery. This case highlights the pathology of aortic dissection and cystic media necrosis as presentations of clostridium spp infection in young female adult.
Thalassaemia carriers are common in the Asian region including Malaysia. Asymptomatic patients can be undiagnosed until they present for their antenatal visits. Devastating obstetric outcome may further complicate the pregnancy if both parents are thalassaemia carriers leading to hydrophic fetus due to haemoglobin Bart's disease. However in certain cases where unexplained hydrops fetalis occur in parents with heterozygous thalassaemia carrier,mutated α genes should be suspected. We report a twenty-nine year old woman in her third pregnancy with two previous pregnancies complicated by early neonatal death at 21 and 28 weeks of gestation due to hydrops fetalis. DNA analysis revealed the patient to have heterozygous (--SEA) α-gene deletion, while her husband has a compound heterozygosity for α(3.7) deletion and codon 59 (GGC → GAC) mutation of the α-gene. This mutation, also known as hemoglobin Adana, can explain hydrops fetalis resulting from two alpha gene deletions from the patient (mother) and a single alpha gene deletion with mutation from the father. The third pregnancy resulted in a grossly normal baby boy with 3 α-gene deletions (HbH disease). We postulate that, in view of heterogenisity of the α-thalassaemia in this patient with severely unstable haemoglobin Adana chains from her husband, there will be a 25% possibility of fetal hydrops in every pregnancy.
Monitoring treatment response to anti-tuberculous therapy remains unsatisfactory in resource-limited countries where sophisticated and expensive tests are not readily available. Sputum culture for mycobacterium is desirable, but not obtainable in many developing countries. Sputum acid-fast bacilli (AFB) smear alone can be misinterpreted in the presence of unviable bacilli or non-tuberculous mycobacteria. Hence the search for a cheaper but reliable monitoring tool, or a combination of several tools, continues. Interesting reports from studies in third world nations have considered weight gain/loss as one such monitoring tool. Since pulmonary tuberculosis is endemic in this country, we take the opportunity to evaluate weight gain and chest radiograph, compared to sputum AFB smear in monitoring patient's response.
We report a rare case of homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH), a 22-year-old Malay woman who presented initially with minor soft tissue injury due to a cycling accident. She was then incidentally found to have severe xanthelasma and hypercholesterolemia (serum TC 15.3 mmol/L and LDL-C 13.9 mmol/L). She was referred to the Specialized Lipid Clinic and was diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) based on the Simon Broome (SB) diagnostic criteria. There was a family history of premature coronary heart disease (CHD) in that three siblings had sudden cardiac death, and of consanguineous marriage in that her parents are cousins. DNA screening of LDLR and APOB genes was done by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), followed by Denaturing High Performance Liquid Chromatography (DHPLC). Homozygous mutation C255S in Exon 5 of her LDLR gene was found. There was no mutation was found in Exon 26 and Exon 29 of the APOB gene. This report is to emphasize the importance of identifying patients with FH and cascade screening through established diagnostic criteria and genetic studies in order to ensure early detection and early treatment intervention to minimize the risk of developing CHD and related complications.
Follicular lymphoma is characterised by the t(14;18)(q32;q21) chromosomal translocation causing BCL2 protein overexpression. A proportion of follicular lymphomas do not carry the t(14;18) translocation and lacked BCL2 protein expression. We describe a case of a BCL2 protein- and t(14;18)-negative follicular lymphoma that caused diagnostic difficulty. The usefulness of several immunomarkers including Ki67, CD79a and CD21 in aiding the diagnosis is discussed. The patient is a 51-year-old male who presented with gradually enlarging lymphadenopathy. Histopathological examination of the lymph node showed complete architectural effacement by neoplastic follicles containing expanded CD21-positive follicular dendritic cell meshwork. The neoplastic cells expressed pan-B cell markers (CD20, CD79a) and germinal centre marker (BCL6) but not BCL2 and CD10. Of interest are the staining patterns of Ki67 and CD79a. We observed that the Ki67- positive proliferating cells were evenly distributed within the neoplastic follicles without zonation. In addition, CD79a was homogeneously strong within the neoplastic follicles. These staining patterns were distinctly different from that observed in reactive lymphoid follicles. Fluorescent insitu hybridisation (FISH) analysis however showed absence of BCL2 gene rearrangement. Despite the atypical immunophenotype and lack of BCL2 gene rearrangement, the diagnosis of follicular lymphoma was made based on careful observation of the morphology as well as immunoarchitecture of the Ki67, CD79a and CD21 markers.
Murder is the most notorious crime that violates religious, social and cultural norms. Examining the types and number of different killing methods that used are pivotal in a murder case. However, the psychological traits underlying specific and multiple killing methods are still understudied. The present study attempts to fill this gap in knowledge by identifying the underlying psychological traits of different killing methods among Malaysian murderers. The study adapted an observational cross-sectional methodology using a guided self-administered questionnaire for data collection. The sampling frame consisted of 71 Malaysian male murderers from 11 Malaysian prisons who were selected using purposive sampling method. The participants were also asked to provide the types and number of different killing methods used to kill their respective victims. An independent sample t-test was performed to establish the mean score difference of psychological traits between the murderers who used single and multiple types of killing methods. Kruskal-Wallis tests were carried out to ascertain the psychological trait differences between specific types of killing methods. The results suggest that specific psychological traits underlie the type and number of different killing methods used during murder. The majority (88.7%) of murderers used a single method of killing. Multiple methods of killing was evident in 'premeditated' murder compared to 'passion' murder, and revenge was a common motive. Examples of multiple methods are combinations of stabbing and strangulation or slashing and physical force. An exception was premeditated murder committed with shooting, when it was usually a single method, attributed to the high lethality of firearms. Shooting was also notable when the motive was financial gain or related to drug dealing. Murderers who used multiple killing methods were more aggressive and sadistic than those who used a single killing method. Those who used multiple methods or slashing also displayed a higher level of minimisation traits. Despite its limitations, this study has provided some light on the underlying psychological traits of different killing methods which is useful in the field of criminology.
Deaths due to blunt force trauma to the head as a result of assault are some of the most common cases encountered by the practicing forensic pathologist. Previous studies have shown inflicting injury to the head region is one of the most effective methods of murder. The important factors that determine severity of trauma include the type of weapon used, type and site of skull fracture, intracranial haemorrhage and severity of brain injury. The aim of this study was to determine the characteristics of blunt force trauma to the skull produced by different instruments. Nine adult monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) skulls were used as models. Commonly found blunt objects comprising of Warrington hammer, hockey stick and open face helmet were used in this study. A machine calibrated force generator was used to hold the blunt object in place and to hit the skulls at forces of 12.5N and 25N. Resultant traumatic effects and fractures (linear, depressed, basilar, comminuted, and distastic) were analyzed according to type of blunt object used; surface area of contact and absolute force (N/cm(2)) delivered. Results showed that all investigated instruments were capable of producing similar injuries. The severity of trauma was not related to the surface area of contact with the blunt objects. However, only high absolute forces produced comminuted fractures. These findings were observational, as the samples were too small for statistical conclusions.
Alpha (Α) thalassaemia is the most common inherited disorder in Malaysia. The clinical severity is dependant on the number of Α genes involved. Full blood count (FBC) and haemoglobin (Hb) analysis using either gel electrophoresis, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) or capillary zone electrophoresis (CE) are unable to detect definitively alpha thalassaemia carriers. Definitive diagnosis of Α-thalassaemias requires molecular analysis and methods of detecting both common deletional and non-deletional molecular abnormailities are easily performed in any laboratory involved in molecular diagnostics. We carried out a retrospective analysis of 1623 cases referred to our laboratory in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC) for the diagnosis of Α-thalassaemia during the period October 2001 to December 2012. We examined the frequency of different types of alpha gene abnormalities and their haematologic features. Molecular diagnosis was made using a combination of multiplex polymerase reaction (PCR) and real time PCR to detect deletional and non-deletional alpha genes relevant to southeast Asian population. Genetic analysis confirmed the diagnosis of Α-thalassaemias in 736 cases. Majority of the cases were Chinese (53.1%) followed by Malays (44.2%), and Indians (2.7%). The most common gene abnormality was ΑΑ/--(SEA) (64.0%) followed by ΑΑ/-Α(3.7) (19.8%), -Α(3.7) /--(SEA) (6.9%), ΑΑ/ΑΑCS (3.0%), --(SEA)/--(SEA) (1.2%), -Α(3.7)/-Α(3.7) (1.1%), ΑΑ/-Α(4.2) (0.7%), -Α(4.2)/--(SEA (0.7%), -Α(3.7)/-Α(4.2) (0.5%), ΑΑ(CS)/-- SEA) (0.4%), ΑΑ(CS)/ΑΑ(Cd59) (0.4%), ΑΑ(CS)/ΑΑ(CS) (0.4%), -Α(3.7)/ΑΑ(Cd59) (0.3%), ΑΑ/ΑΑ(Cd59) (0.1%), ΑΑ(Cd59)/ ΑΑ(IVS I-1) (0.1%), -Α(3.7)/ΑΑ(CS) (0.1%) and --(SEA) /ΑΑ(Cd59) (0.1%). This data indicates that the molecular abnormalities of Α-thalassaemia in the Malaysian population is heterogenous. Although Α-gene deletion is the most common cause, non-deletional Α-gene abnormalities are not uncommon and at least 3 different mutations exist. Establishment of rapid and easy molecular techniques is important for definitive diagnosis of alpha thalassaemia, an important prerequisite for genetic counselling to prevent its deleterious complications.