We carried out a cross sectional study to detect emotional and behavioral problems among adolescents who smoke and their help-seeking behavior. This study was conducted in Sarawak, East Malaysia, between July and September 2006. Emotional and behavioral problems were measured using the Youth Self-Report (YSR/11-18) questionnaire; help seeking behavior was assessed using a help-seeking questionnaire. Three hundred ninety-nine students participated in the study; the smoking prevalence was 32.8%. The mean scores for emotional and behavioral problems were higher among smokers than non-smokers in all domains (internalizing, p = 0.028; externalizing, p = 0.001; other behavior, p = 0.001). The majority of students who smoked (94.7%) did not seek help from a primary health care provider for their emotional or behavioral problems. Common barriers to help-seeking were: the perception their problems were trivial (60.3%) and the preference to solve problems on their own (45.8%). Our findings suggest adolescent smokers in Sarawak, East Malaysia were more likely to break rules, exhibit aggressive behavior and have somatic complaints than non-smoking adolescents. Adolescent smokers preferred to seek help for their problems from informal sources. Physicians treating adolescents should inquire about smoking habits, emotional and behavioral problems and offer counseling if required.
We report a case of Cryptococcus humicolus meningitis complicated by communicating hydrocephalus in an apparently immunocompetent 49-year-old psychiatric patient from a nursing home. He presented with a history of poor oral intake, weight loss, headache, vomiting, blurred vision, frequent falls and unsteady gait for the previous three months. He had a history of chronic cough, productive of whitish sputum for the previous month but no hemoptysis. Cerebrospinal fluid culture was positive for Cryptococcus humicolus. He was treated with intravenous amphotericin B and oral fluconazole and had clinical and microbiological improvement after three weeks of treatment. Unfortunately, the patient acquired nosocomial methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection and died due to overwhelming sepsis.
Assessment of schoolchildren's knowledge, attitudes, and practices towards influenza A (H1N1) is crucial as schools play a major role in spreading the infection. The aims of this study were to determine the level of knowledge, attitudes, and practices on influenza A (H1N1) and the factors associated with practices of preventive behavior.A cross sectional study was conducted from July until December 2010. Two public secondary schools for two districts in Kelantan, Malaysia were randomly selected. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of five constructs: sociodemographic, risk factors of containing influenza A (H1N1) infection, knowledge, attitudes, and practices. The questionnaire had been te,sted for its construct validity and reliability. General linear regression was applied in the data analysis. A sample of 436 secondary school students were recruited in this study involved Malay students aged 16 years old. The total knowledge, attitudes and practices scores for the overall respondents were 69.4, 82.2, and 73.8%, respectively. The significant influencing factors for the practices of preventive behavior were attended talk on H1N1 and attitudes score.This study suggested that health education is important for promoting the health of adolescents and contributing to the overall health of the public so that they will take precautions against the H1N1 infection.
Group B beta-hemolytic streptococcus (GBS) sepsis is a serious bacterial infection in neonates, with significant morbidity and mortality. We report here a neonate with late onset GBS infection manifesting as a urinary tract infection (UTI) in an infant presenting with prolonged neonatal jaundice. The pathogenesis of this late onset is postulated.
Many of the most widely spread vector-borne diseases are water related, in that the mosquito vectors concerned breed or pass part of their lifecycle in or close to water. A major reason for the study of mosquito larval ecology is to gather information on environmental variables that may determine the species of mosquitoes and the distribution of larvae in the breeding habitats. Larval surveillance studies were conducted six times between May 2008 and October 2009 in Pos Lenjang, Kuala Lipis, Pahang. Twelve environmental variables were recorded for each sampling site, and samples of mosquito larvae were collected. Larval survey studies showed that anopheline and culicine larvae were collected from 79 and 67 breeding sites, respectively. All breeding sites were classified into nine habitat groups. Culicine larvae were found in all habitat groups, suggesting that they are very versatile and highly adaptable to different types of environment. Rock pools or water pockets with clear water formed on the bank of rivers and waterfalls were the most common habitats associated with An. maculatus. Environmental variables influence the suitability of aquatic habitats for anopheline and culicine larvae, but not significantly associated with the occurrence of both larvae genera (p>0.05). This study provides information on mosquito ecology in relation to breeding habitats that will be useful in designing and implementing larval control operations.
This study was conducted to determine the inhibitory effects of ribavirin and hydroxyurea on dengue virus replication in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Female Ae. aegypti mosquitoes were infected with dengue-2 virus and fed ribavirin at a dose of 0.3 mg/ml and/or hydroxyurea at a dose of 6 mg/ml via artificial membrane feeding technique. The virus in infected mosquitoes was isolated using C6/36 cell culture. Peroxidase-antiperoxidase (PAP) staining was used to detect dengue-infected C6/36 cells and to quantify the level of infection by determining the presence of infected cells. In mosquitoes treated with ribavirin alone, hydroxyurea alone or both drugs in combination had reductions in dengue infection rates of 87.72, 89.47 and 95.61%, respectively. The mortalities of female Ae. aegypti mosquitoes fed with these drugs were significantly higher than the control. Ribavirin also had an inhibitory effect on the fecundity of female Ae. aegypti mosquitoes.
Aural tick usually menisfests as intolerable otalgia. The severity of pain makes the patient to seek early treatment. Other uncommon symptoms include inner ear dyfunctions such as vertigo and tinnitus. The diagnosis is established by clinical examinaion either by otoscopic evidence of the tick itself, or its fecal remnant. We report a case of patient with acute labyrinthitis features with concurent otoscopic findings of tick fecal material.
This retrospective study was conducted among 59 HIV/AIDS patients with opportunistic infections admitted to the University Malaya Medical Centre between 2000 and 2009. Fifty-five point nine percent of cases were Chinese, 25.4% were Malays, 11.9% were Indians and 6.8% were of unknown ethnic origin. The male:female ratio was 2.9:1 (44 males and 15 females). The highest prevalence (38.9%) occurred in the 30-39 year old age group. Men comprised 47.7% and women 53.3%; the majority of both were married. The majority of cases were Malaysians (89.8%) and the rest (10.2%) were immigrants. Most of the patients (18.6%) were non-laborers, followed by laborers (11.9%), the unemployed (5.1%) and housewives (3.4%). The most common risk factor was unprotected sexual activity (20.3%). The two most common HIV/AIDS related opportunistic infections were Pneumocystis carinii (jirovecii) pneumonia (PCP) (62.7%) and toxoplasmosis (28.8%). Seventy-two point nine percent of patients had a CD4 count <200 cells/microl and 5.1% had a CD4 count >500 cells/microl. Eleven point nine percent of cases died during study period. A low CD4 count had a greater association with opportunistic infections. Most of the patients presented with fever (44.1%), cough (42.4%) and shortness of breath (28.8%). Detection of the etiologic pathogens aids clinicians in choosing appropriate management strategies.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that injury will be the second leading cause of morbidity of disease burden worldwide by the year 2020. We conducted a community-based survey to determine the prevalence of recent illness and injury, in Malaysia. The survey was a cross sectional population-based household survey conducted using face to face interviews. The information was on self-reported recent illness and injury (SRRII) over the previous 2 weeks. This study was conducted during April - August 2006 and as a part of the third National Health and Morbidity Survey of Malaysia. A total of 56,710 respondents were interviewed with a response rate of 98.2% (55,660/56,710). The overall prevalence of combined SRRII was 23.6%; for injuries the prevalence was 3.1%. The groups with the highest SRRII were children 0-5 years old (31.2%), males (24.3%), Indians (26.9%), those with secondary education level (22.9%), those earning RM 1,000/ month (25.0%) and rural dwellers (25.5%). Age, sex, ethnicity, and locality were significantly associated with SRRII while monthly household income and educational level were marginally associated. On multivariate analysis, age, gender, race, ethnicity, education, income and locality were significantly associated with SRRII. The most common reported recent illness was related to the respiratory system (42.0%). The information obtained from this survey is useful to policy makers in the Ministry of Health to review and strengthen existing health programs.
Study name: National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS-2006)
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of HCV infection and the signal/cutoff (S/CO) value for false reactive, false positive, indeterminate and true positive HCV infection among apparently healthy blood donors in our area. This retrospective study was conducted at the Transfusion Medicine Unit, Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia from June 2008 to June 2009. Blood samples were screened for anti-HCV using enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Reactive cases were confirmed by recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA). Sixty-one blood donors were found to be reactive after the first screening test. Twenty-nine blood donors had reactive repeat screening, with only 9 samples being true positives. The S/ CO for false reactive, false positive, indeterminate and true positive anti-HCV samples were 1.02 to 1.45, 1.01 to 2.09, 1.07 to 2.43 and 35.95 to 119.89, respectively. The analysis showed the low incidence of HCV infections among blood donors in our area, however, thorough donor screening and stringent selection criteria are still recommended to eliminate high risk donors to improve our blood transfusion service.
Viruses in the family Picornaviridae are classified into nine genera. Within the family Picornaviridae, two species: Encephalomyocarditis virus and Theilovirus, are listed under the genus Cardiovirus. A novel Theilovirus, Saffold virus (SAFV), was first reported in 2007. Since then, numerous SAFV isolates have been detected around the world and genetic recombinations have been reported among them. In 2009, SAFV-Penang was isolated from a febrile child with influenza-like illness in Malaysia. SAFV-Penang is a genotype 3 SAFV. In this study we investigated the genome features of SAFV-Penang to exclude the possibility it is a recombinant variant. SAFV-Penang was found not to be a recombinant variant but to have three unique non-synonymous substitutions, alanine [A689], lysine [K708] and isoleucine [I724] in the VP1 protein.
There is a high rate of unintended pregnancies in Malaysia due to low contraceptive use. Only 30% of married women use modern contraceptive methods. Emergency contraception (EC) is used within a few days of unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding EC pill use among Malay women. A cross sectional study was conducted among married female staff using stratified random sampling from 15 faculties in the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). Data about sociodemographic factors, reproductive health, knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding EC use were gathered using validated self-administered questionnaire. The response rate was 87%. Half the 294 subjects who participated had a low knowledge, 33.0% a moderate knowledge and 17.0% a good knowledge about the EC pill. Eighty-eight percent of respondents had a positive attitude and 12.0% a negative attitude toward EC. Eleven percent of respondents had previously used EC. Unplanned and unwanted pregnancies were reported by 35.0% and 14.0% of respondents, respectively. Most respondents lacked knowledge about the indications for using EC, its mechanism of action, when it can be used and its side effects. Our findings show a need to educate women about EC.
Study site: 15 faculties in Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang. Selangor, Malaysia
Biweekly ovitrap surveillance (OS) was conducted for a year (August 2007 - September 2008) at two different dengue endemic sites in Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia, 50 km from Kuala Lumpur. Aedes aegypti collected from these 2 locations were raised to the F3 stage and subjected to a WHO standard bioassay method to determine lethal time (LT) against pyrethroids (permethrin 0.75%, cyfluthrin 0.15%), organophosphates (malathion 5.0%, fenitrothion 1.0%), carbamates (propoxur 0.1%, bendiocarb 0.1%) and organochlorine (DDT 4.0%). Insecticide susceptibilities were analyzed for one year. Aedes aegypti were resistant to DDT with a mortality range of 0 - 13.3% throughout the year at both sites. Susceptibilities to pyrethroids and carbamates varied throughout the year. In contrast, susceptibilities to pyrethroids and carbamates varied throughout the year: resistant to propoxur, bendiocarb and permethrin with mortality of < 80% in most months; but, showed incipient resistant to cyfluthrin in most months. Mosquitoes were consistently susceptible to malathion and fenitrothion, with complete mortality during most months. They were especially susceptible to malathion with LT50 values of 21.32 - 36.37 minutes, suggesting effectiveness of malathion for control of dengue.
Detection of Toxoplasma gondii infection is essential in pregnant women and immunosuppressed patients. Numerous studies have shown that the recombinant production of several Toxoplasma antigens, including dense granule antigens (GRAs) has high potential as diagnostic reagents. In the present study, we produced GRA2 using Pichia pastoris system. RNA of T. gondii RH strain tachyzoite was used as a template to produce cDNA clones of full-length GRA2 via reverse transcriptase PCR. Amplicons were inserted into pPICZalpha A and the recombinant plasmid transformed into P. pastoris, X-33 strain. The expressed recombinant protein was identified by SDS-PAGE and Western blotting. A recombinant protein of -28 kDa was produced, which could be detected by toxoplasmosis positive human sera indicating that the recombinant protein retained its antigenicity. The present study indicates that P. pastoris-expressed GRA2 should be useful for detection of Toxoplasma infection.
This study was conducted to determine the antibiotic susceptibility pattern and distribution of exoU and exoS among 44 clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa collected from different patients over a 3-month period in 2010 at a major Malaysian hospital. Susceptibility data by disk diffusion method for cefepime (30 microg), ceftazidime (30 microg), gentamicin (10 microg), piperacillin-tazobactam (100/10 microg) and ciprofloxacin (5 microg) were available for 38 isolates. Resistance to ceftazidime and piperacillin-tazobactam was the most common (74%) with five isolates not susceptible to three or more different antibiotics. PCR detection of exoU and exoS of all 44 isolates showed the former gene to be present in 18 and exoS in 41. In analyzing the two genes together, 17 isolates were detected for exoU and exoS with only two being negative for both genes. Only one isolate was detected for exoU alone whereas 24 for exoS alone. Distribution of the genes in relation to antibiotic susceptibility was inapplicable due to the majority of the isolates having similar susceptibility patterns, but the tendency of exoU-carrying isolates to be present in male patients (83%) and respiratory sites (61%) was observed (p < 0.050). The finding warrants further investigation in a larger sample of isolates.\
This study was conducted to determine the Campylobacter contamination rate of chicken carcasses and the processing lines of modern processing plants in Malaysia. Three hundred sixty samples were collected from 24 flocks of broiler chickens at 12 modern poultry processing plants in 6 states of Malaysia. Fresh fecal droppings were collected from crates in the arrival area. Neck skin samples were taken from processed chicken carcasses at 3 different processing stages: before inside-outside washing, after inside-outside washing and post chilling. Swab samples from the scalding tank, chilling tank and conveyer belt before chilling were also collected to determine contamination with Campylobacter in the slaughter house environment prior to slaughter. Isolation for Campylobacter was performed following ISO 10272-1:2006(E). The overall of contamination rate with Campylobacter at the 12 plants was 61.0% (220/360). Eighty point six percent of the samples from before the inside-outside wishing step were contaminated with Campylobacter, as were 62.5% of the samples after the inside washing and 38.9% after the post-chilling step. This study shows extensive contamination of chicken carcasses and slaughtering houses in Malaysia with Campylobacter.
We studied the use of exhaled carbon monoxide (CO) to identify nicotine dependence among adult Malaysian male smokers. We conducted a cross-sectional study among 107 male smoking staff at a university hospital. We measured their exhaled CO using a piCO+ Smokerlyzer and diagnosed nicotine dependence using a Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). The optimal cut-off value for exhaled CO was determined. The correlation between exhaled CO level and the Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND) was also assessed. The mean exhaled CO level among subjects with nicotine dependence (15.78 ppm) was significantly higher than subjects without nicotine dependence (9.62 ppm). The cut-off value used to identify smokers with nicotine dependence was set at 10 ppm (specificity = 0.721, sensitivity = 0.731, positive predictive value = 0.817 and negative predictive value = 0.617). Psychometric properties were stable with various durations of smoking. Exhaled CO correlated positively with FTND scores (Pearson's rho = 0.398, p = 0.01). Our findings show exhaled CO can be used to identify nicotine dependence among adult Malaysian male smokers.
A higher occurrence of iron deficiency anemia is present in rural Malaysia than urban Malaysia due to a lower socio-economic status of rural residents. This study was conducted in Tanah Merah, a rural district of Kelantan, Malaysia. Our objective was to investigate the impact of nutrition education alone, daily iron, folate and vitamin C supplementation or both on knowledge, attitudes and hemoglobin status of adolescent students. Two hundred eighty fourth year secondary students were each assigned by school to 1 of 4 different treatment groups. Each intervention was carried out for 3 months followed by 3 months without treatment. A validated self-reported knowledge and attitude questionnaire was administered; hemoglobin levels were measured before and after intervention. At baseline, no significant difference in hemoglobin was noted among the 4 groups (p = 0.06). The changes in hemoglobin levels at 3 months were 11, 4.6, 3.9 and -3.7% for the supplementation, nutrition education, combination and control groups, respectively. The changes at 6 months were 1.0, 6.8, 3.7 and -14.8%, respectively. Significant improvements in knowledge and attitude were evidenced in both the nutritional education and combination groups. The supplementation and control groups had no improvement in knowledge or attitudes. This study suggests nutritional education increases knowledge, attitudes and hemoglobin levels among Malaysian secondary school adolescents.
IgE-mediated allergic reaction to squid is one of the most frequent molluscan shellfish allergies. Previously, we have detected a 36 kDa protein as the major allergen of Loligo edulis (white squid) by immunoblotting using sera from patients with squid allergy. The aim of this present study was to further identify this major allergen using a proteomics approach. The major allergen was identified by a combination of two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE), immunoblotting, mass spectrometry and bioinformatics tools. The 2-DE gel fractionated the cooked white squid proteins to more than 50 different protein spots between 10 to 38 kDa and isoelectric point (pI) from 3.0 to 10.0. A highly reactive protein spot of a molecular mass of 36 kDa and pI of 4.55 was observed in all of the patients' serum samples tested. Mass spectrometry analysis led to identification of this allergen as tropomyosin. This finding can contribute to advancement in component-based diagnosis, management of squid allergic patients, to the development of immunotherapy and to the standardization of allergenic test products as tools in molecular allergology.
Clostridium perfringens (CP) and sulphite reducing clostridia (SRC) densities in the Selangor River, Bernam River and Tengi River Canal were examined between April 2007 and January 2008. Water samples were taken from two or three locations along each river, using either depth-integration or grab sampling methods. The downstream sampling site of the Selangor River, Rantau Panjang, reported the highest arithmetic mean of CP and SRC densities (583.45 and 8,120.08 cfu/100 ml, respectively). Both CP and SRC densities in the Selangor River increased further downstream, but the reverse was true in the Bernam River. The SRC densities in these rivers were significantly different from each other (p < 0.05) when comparing upstream and downstream results, but CP densities were not significantly different (p > 0.05). SRC densities were significantly correlated (p < 0.05) in different locations along the Selangor River and the Bernam River. The CP densities did not show such pattern (p > 0.05). River discharge had no significant correlation with SRC or CP densities by study site (p > 0.05). Since the Selangor River has a denser human population along its banks, this study confirms CP as a suitable indicator of human fecal contamination. However, tracing CP distribution along the river is more difficult than SRC. To our knowledge, this is the first study of CP and SRC densities from Malaysian rivers. CP densities found in this study were within the range of general water bodies reported from other countries.