The study on biodiversity of forensically important Diptera in the tropical rain forest in Malaysia is scarce. Thus, a preliminary survey was conducted at a jungle fringe near Kampung Bahagia Bukit Lagong, Sungai Buloh, Selangor. A rat carcass was offered to attract carrion flies and we collected an adult female calliphorid, Hypopygiopsis fumipennis (Walker, 1856) during the fresh stage of carcass decomposition. The female fly was allowed to oviposit on chicken liver in a container and the resulting larvae were reared to the adult stage. Along the developmental process, several individuals from each instar were collected and preserved in 70% ethanol and then processed on the slides. We recorded the duration of development for each instar and described its larval features for the first time. The third instar larvae of H. fumipennis showed accessory oral sclerite present, anterior spiracle with 13-15 papillae, intersegmental spines mostly unicuspid with pointed end, and posterior spiracles heavily sclerotized with inter-slit projections. Some larval differences between H. fumipennis and Hypopygiopsis violacea were noted.
There has been a worldwide surge in the number and severity of dengue in the past decades. In Singapore, relentless vector control efforts have been put in to control the disease since the 1960's. Space spraying, fogging, chemical treatment and source reduction are some commonly used methodologies for controlling its vectors, particularly Aedes aegypti. Here, as we explored the use of a commercially available delthamethrin-treated net as an alternative strategy and the efficacy of the treated net was found to be limited. Through bioassays and molecular studies, the failure of the treated net to render high mortality rate was found to be associated with the knockdown resistance (kdr) mutation. This is the first report of kdr- mutations in Singapore's Ae. aegypti. At least one point mutation, either homozygous or heterozygous, at amino acid residue V1016G of DIIS6 or F1269C of DIIIS6 was detected in 93% of field strains of Ae. aegypti. Various permutations of wild type and mutant amino acids of the four alleles were found to result in varying degree of survival rate among local field Ae. aegypti when exposed to the deltamethrin treated net. Together with the association of higher survival rate with the presence of both V1016G and F1269C, the data suggest the role of these mutations in the resistance to the deltamethrin. The high prevalence of these mutations were confirmed in a country wide survey where 70% and 72% of the 201 Ae. aegypti analysed possessed the mutations at residues 1016 and 1269 respectively. The highest mutated frequency combination was found to be heterozygous alleles (VG/FC) at both residues 1016 and 1269 (37.8%), followed by homozygous mutation at allele 1269 (24.4%) and homozygous mutation at allele 1016 (22.9%). The kdr- type of resistance among the vector is likely to undermine the effectiveness of pyrethroids treated materials against these mosquitoes.
Dengue serotype surveillance is important as any changes in serotype distribution may result in an outbreak or increase in severe dengue cases. This study aimed to determine circulating dengue serotypes in two hospitals in Selangor. Serum samples were collected from patients admitted for dengue at these two major public hospitals i.e. Hospital Sungai Buloh (HSB) and Hospital Tunku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR) between November 2010 and August 2011 and subjected to real-time RT-PCR using SYBR® Green. All four dengue serotypes were detected in samples from both hospitals. The predominating serotype was dengue 1 in samples from both hospitals (HSB, DENV-1; 25.53 % and HTAR, DENV-1; 32.1 %).
Mosquitoes are principal vectors of major vector-borne diseases. They are widely found throughout urban and rural areas in Malaysia. They are responsible for various vector-borne diseases such as dengue, malaria, filariasis and encephalitis. A total of 158 mosquito larvae specimens were collected from the National Zoo, Malaysia, from 11 types of breeding habitats during the study period from end of May 2007 to July 2007. Aedes albopictus was the predominant species (35.4%), followed by Tripteroides aranoides (26.6%), Lutzia halifaxii (11.4%), Aedes alboscutellatus (10.1%), Aedes caecus (8.9%), Armigeres spp. (4.4%), Malaya genurostris (2.5%) and Culex vishnui (0.6%). It is important to have a mosquito free environment in a public place like the zoo. Routine larval surveillance should be implemented for an effective mosquito control program in order to reduce mosquito population.
Entomological surveillance was conducted in order to determine the abundance and to evaluate any changes of biological vectors or ecology, especially in the dengue outbreak areas. The abundance and breeding preference of Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti were conducted in selected dengue outbreak localities in three states of peninsular Malaysia namely Selangor, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, and Penang Island using ovitraps and larval survey method. It was determined that Ae. albopictus was predominant in most of the localities and found to breed more outdoor than indoor. A wide range of breeding foci were recorded in this study. It was also determined that ovitrap method was more effective to detect the presence of Aedes mosquitoes when the larval survey was at low rate of infestation. The abundance of Ae. albopictus in dengue outbreak localities emphasis that the vector control programme should also target this species together with the primary dengue vector, Ae. aegypti.
Increased susceptibility of diabetics to melioidosis, a disease caused by the Burkholderia pseudomallei bacterium is believed to be attributed to dysfunction of the innate immune system. However, the underlying mechanism of the innate susceptibility is not well-understood. Glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β) plays an important role in the innate inflammatory response caused by bacterial pathogens. The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of GSK3β inhibition by LiCl on levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines; and the activity of transcription factor NF-κB in B. pseudomallei-infected peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) derived from diabetic-induced and normal Sprague Dawley rats. In addition, the effects of LiCl on intracellular bacterial counts were also investigated. Infection of PBMC from diabetic and normal rats with B. pseudomallei resulted in elevated levels of cytokines (TNF-α, IL-12 and IL-10) and phosphorylation of NF-κB in both cell types. Intracellular bacterial counts decreased with time in both cell types during infection. However bacterial clearance was less prominent in diabetic PBMC. Burkholderia pseudomallei infection also caused inactivation (Ser9 phosphorylation) of GSK3β in normal PBMC, an effect absent in infected diabetic PBMC. Inhibition of GSK3β by LiCl lowered the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-12) in both normal and diabetic PBMC. Similarly, phosphorylated NF- κB (pNF-κB) levels in both cell types were decreased with LiCl treatment. Also, LiCl was able to significantly decrease the intracellular bacterial count in normal as well as diabetic PBMC. Interestingly, the levels of anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in both normal and diabetic PBMC were further elevated with GSK3β inhibition. More importantly, GSK3β in infected diabetic PBMC was inactivated as in their non-diabetic counterparts upon LiCl treatment. Taken together, our results suggest that inhibition of dysregulated GSK3β in diabetic PBMC resulted in the inactivation of NF-κB and modulation of inflammatory cytokine levels. This is evidence that dysregulation of GSK3β is a contributing factor in the molecular basis of innate dysfunction and susceptibility of diabetic host to melioidosis infection.
An antiplasmodial screening of Phyllanthus debilis and Phyllanthus urinaria was carried out. The medicinal plants were extracted and evaluated for in vitro antiplasmodial activity against D10 (chloroquine-sensitive, CQS) and Gombak A (chloroquine-resistant, CQR) strains of Plasmodium falciparum. The methanolic crudes from the soxhlet extraction were active against both strains however, P. urinaria (IC50 8.9 μg/ml with CQR strain) exhibited better anti-malarial activity compared to P. debilis (IC50 12.2 μg/ml with CQR strain). Furthermore, the methanolic crude of P. urinaria obtained by the cold extraction has good anti-malarial activity towards CQS (IC50 4.1 μg/ml). The concentration of macronutrients (calcium and magnesium) and trace metals (copper, manganese, iron and zinc) from three Phyllanthus species i.e. P. debilis Klein ex Wild., Phyllanthus niruri L., P. urinaria L. and Alpinia conchigera Griff. were determined using microwave digestion method and analyzed by Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy. Standard Reference Material 1547 (peach leaves) was used to validate the method throughout this study. The recovery values were in the range of 80% to 120% which were in very good agreement with the certified values. The three Phyllanthus species and leaves of A. conchigera showed the highest concentration of calcium compared to other metals and macronutrients studied. The significant presence of all the important macronutrients and trace metals which are essential for human health and well-being substantiate their use medicinally in traditional practices.
Angiostrongylus cantonensis is the most frequent cause of eosinophilic meningitis in humans in Thailand and worldwide. Because of difficulty of recovering the Angiostrongylus larvae from infected patients, detection of parasite-specific antibodies is used to support clinical diagnosis. This study tested serum samples from eosinophilic meningitis patients and individuals at risk of infection with A. cantonensis to evaluate a recently developed simple and rapid dot-immunogold filtration assay (DIGFA) for detection of specific antibodies against A. cantonensis. Purified 31-kDa glycoprotein of A. cantonensis and protein A colloidal gold conjugate were employed to detect the 31-kDa anti-A. cantonensis antibody in patients sera from the parasite endemic areas of northeast Thailand. The results were compared with those obtained by dot-blot enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with 31-kDa A. cantonensis antigen. The overall positivity rate of DIGFA and dot-blot ELISA for A. cantonensis infection in 98 clinically diagnosed cases from three highly endemic districts in Khon Kaen province were 39.79% and 37.75%, respectively. Among 86 sera of subjects at risk of infection with A. cantonensis, 24.41% were positive by DIGFA and 23.25% by dot-blot ELISA. There were good correlation between the visual grading of DIGFA and dot-blot ELISA in both groups of defined sera. DIGFA is as sensitive and specific as dot-blot ELISA for confirming eosinophilic meningitis due to A. cantonensis infection, with advantages of simplicity, rapidity and without the use of specific and expensive equipment, and can be used in field settings.
Space spraying of chemical insecticides is still an important mean of controlling Aedes mosquitoes and dengue transmission. For this purpose, the bioefficacy of space-sprayed chemical insecticide should be evaluated from time to time. A simulation field trial was conducted outdoor in an open field and indoor in unoccupied flat units in Kuala Lumpur, to evaluate the adulticidal and larvicidal effects of Sumithion L-40, a ULV formulation of fenitrothion. A thermal fogger with a discharge rate of 240 ml/min was used to disperse Sumithion L-40 at 3 different dosages (350 ml/ha, 500 ml/ha, 750 ml/ha) against lab-bred larvae and adult female Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. An average of more than 80% adult mortality was achieved for outdoor space spray, and 100% adult mortality for indoor space spray, in all tested dosages. Outdoor larvicidal effect was noted up to 14 days and 7 days at a dosage of 500 and 750 ml/ha for Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus, respectively. Indoor larvicidal effect was up to 21 days (500 ml/ha) and 14 days (750 ml/ha), respectively, after spraying with larval mortality > 50% against Ae. aegypti. This study concluded that the effective dosage of Sumithion L-40 thermally applied against adult Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus indoor and outdoor is 500 and 750 ml/ha. Based on these dosages, effective indoor spray volume is 0.4 - 0.6 ml/m³. Additional indoor and outdoor larvicidal effect will be observed at these application dosages, in addition to adult mortality.
Antimicrobial activities of plants have long been evaluated for their promising use as antimicrobial agent and in minimizing the unwanted resistance effects of microorganisms. The study was conducted to evaluate the antibacterial activity of Quercus infectoria gall crude extracts against multidrug resistant (MDR) bacteria in vitro. The screening test was determined by disc diffusion technique using sterile filter paper discs impregnated with 1 mg/ disc (50 mg/ml) aqueous and ethanol extracts of Q. infectoria galls tested on five selected MDR bacterial strains. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined using the twofold serial micro dilution technique at concentration ranging from 5.00 mg/ml to 0.01 mg/ml. The minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) was determined by sub culturing the microtitre wells showing no turbidity on the agar plate to obtain the MBC value. Both extracts showed substantial inhibitory effects against methicillin resistant coagulase negative Staphylococcus (MRCoNS) and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). A slightly reduced inhibitory zone diameter was observed with MDR Acinetobacter sp. while no inhibitory effect was displayed among the extended spectrum beta lactamases (ESBL) K. pneumoniae and ESBL E. coli isolates. A significant difference in the zone sizes between both extracts was only observed in MRSA (p < 0.05). The MIC values ranged from 0.08 mg/ml to 0.63 mg/ml for aqueous and ethanol extracts against MRSA, MRCoNS and MDR Acinetobacter sp. while their MBC to MIC ratio values were 2 and less. The Q. infectoria gall extracts have shown very promising in vitro antibacterial activities and may be considered as a potentially good source of antimicrobial agent especially against MDR Gram positive bacteria.
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common viral infection among infants and children. The major causative agents of HFMD are enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16). Recently, coxsackievirus A6 (CVA6) infections were reported in neighboring countries. Infected infants and children may present with fever, mouth/throat ulcers, rashes and vesicles on hands and feet. Moreover, EV71 infections might cause fatal neurological complications. Since 1997, EV71 caused fatalities in Sarawak and Peninsula Malaysia. The purpose of this study was to identify and classify the viruses which detected from the patients who presenting clinical signs and symptoms of HFMD in Seri Kembangan, Malaysia. From December 2012 until July 2013, a total of 28 specimens were collected from patients with clinical case definitions of HFMD. The HFMD viruses were detected by using semi-nested reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (snRT-PCR). The positive snRT-PCR products were sequenced and phylogenetic analyses of the viruses were performed. 12 of 28 specimens (42.9%) were positive in snRT-PCR, seven are CVA6 (58.3%), two CVA16 (16.7%) and three EV71 (25%). Based on phylogenetic analysis studies, EV71 strains were identified as sub-genotype B5; CVA16 strains classified into sub-genotype B2b and B2c; CVA6 strains closely related to strains in Taiwan and Japan. In this study, HFMD in Seri Kembangan were caused by different types of Enterovirus, which were EV71, CVA6 and CVA16.
Hymenocallis littoralis (Jacq.) Salisb (Melong kecil) commonly known as 'Spider Lily' is an herbaceous plant from the family Amaryllidaceae. Study was carried out to determine the effect of H. littoralis leaf extract on the growth and morphogenesis of two pathogenic microbes, Candida albicans and Escherichia coli. The leaf extract displayed favourable anticandidal and antibacterial activity with a minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) of 6.25 mg/mL. Time kill study showed both microbes were completely killed after treated with leaf extract at 20 h. Both microbes' cell walls were heavily ruptured based on scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis. The significant anticandidal and antibacterial activities showed by H. littoralis leaf extract suggested the potential antimicrobial agent against C. albicans and E. coli.
Limited data is available on the prevalence of parasitic infections among the island communities in Malaysia with most studies performed between 1960s-1980s. This study was conducted to determine the current prevalence status of parasitic infections among communities living in Pangkor Island Peninsular Malaysia. A total of 131 stool and 298 serum samples were collected and subjected to microscopic examination for intestinal protozoa and helminths and detection of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies using commercial ELISA kits respectively. In addition, thin and thick peripheral blood films were microscopically screened for the presence of Plasmodium spp. and microfilariae respectively. The overall prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among Pangkor Island community was 9.9% (13/131) with T. trichiura (5.3%) being the most common intestinal parasite detected. Toxoplasmosis was reported in almost 60% of the community with the seroprevalence being significantly high among females (64.7%) compared to males (52.8%) (p=0.038). None of those examined samples were infected with intestinal sarcocystosis, malaria and filariasis. This study revealed that the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among Pangkor Island community has been greatly reduced compared to that reported 35 years ago. Massive improvements in the socioeconomic status, personal hygiene, water facilities and sanitation may have contributed to the low prevalence of parasitic infections in this community. Nevertheless, further studies still need to be performed to determine the possible risk factors for the high prevalence of toxoplasmosis in this community.
This study was conducted to determine the occurrence of Anaplasma spp. in the blood samples of cattle, goats, deer and ticks in a Malaysian farm. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing approach, Anaplasma spp. was detected from 81(84.4%) of 96 cattle blood samples. All blood samples from 23 goats and 22 deer tested were negative. Based on the analysis of the Anaplasma partial 16S ribosomal RNA gene, four sequence types (genotypes 1 to 4) were identified in this study. Genotypes 1-3 showed high sequence similarity to those of Anaplasma platys/ Anaplasma phagocytophilum, whilst genotype 4 was identical to those of Anaplasma marginale/ Anaplasma centrale/ Anaplasma ovis. Anaplasma DNA was detected from six (5.5%) of 109 ticks which were identified as Rhipicephalus (formely known as Boophilus) microplus ticks collected from the cattle. This study reported for the first time the detection of four Anaplasma sequence types circulating in the cattle population in a farm in Malaysia. The detection of Anaplasma DNA in R. microplus ticks in this study provides evidence that the ticks are one of the potential vectors for transmission of anaplasmosis in the cattle.
Malaria causes high global mortality and morbidity annually. Plasmodium knowlesi has been recognised as the fifth human Plasmodium sp. and its infection is widely distributed in Southeast Asia. Merozoite surface protein-119 (MSP-119) appears as a potential candidate for malaria blood stage vaccine as it could induce protective immunity. In this study, codon optimized P. knowlesi MSP-119 (pkMSP-119) was expressed and purified in yeast Pichia pastoris expression system. The purified recombinant protein was further evaluated using Western blot assay using knowlesi malaria, non-knowlesi human malaria, non-malarial parasitic infections and healthy serum samples (n = 50). The sensitivity of purified pkMSP-119 towards detection of knowlesi infection was as 28.6% (2/7). pkMSP-119 did not react with all non-malarial parasitic infections and healthy donor sera, yet reacted with some non-knowlesi human malaria sera, therefore lead to a specificity of 86.0% (37/43).
Klebsiella pneumoniae is a healthcare-associated bacterial pathogen which causes severe diseases in immunocompromised individuals. Concanavalin A (conA), a lectin which recognizes proteins with mannose or glucose residues, has been reported to agglutinate K. pneumoniae and hence, is postulated to have therapeutical potential for K. pneumoniae-induced liver infection. This study investigated the conA binding properties of a large collection of clinical isolates of K. pneumoniae. ConA agglutination reaction was demonstrated by 94 (51.4%) of 183 K. pneumoniae isolates using a microtiter plate assay. The conA agglutination reactions were inhibited in the presence of 2.5 mg/ml D-mannose and 2.5 mg/ml glucose, and following pretreatment of the bacterial suspension with protease and heating at 80ºC. Majority of the positive isolates originated from respiratory specimens. Isolation of conA-binding proteins from K. pneumoniae ATCC 700603 strain was performed using conA affinity column and the conA binding property of the eluted proteins was confirmed by western blotting analysis using conA-HRP conjugates. Proteins with molecular weights ranging from 35 to 60 kDa were eluted from the conA affinity column, of which four were identified as outer membrane protein precursor A (37 kDa), outer membrane protein precursor C (40 kDa), enolase (45 kDa) and chaperonin (60 kDa) using mass spectrometry analysis. Several conA binding proteins (including 45 and 60 kDa) were found to be immunogenic when reacted with rabbit anti-Klebsiella antibody. The function and interplay of the conA binding proteins in bacterium-host cell relationship merits further investigation.
Malaysia first reported H5N1 poultry case in 2004 and subsequently outbreak in poultry population in 2007. Here, a recombinant gene encoding of peptide epitopes, consisting fragments of HA1, HA2 and a polybasic cleavage site of H5N1 strain Malaysia, was amplified and cloned into pET-47b(+) bacterial expression vector. DNA sequencing and alignment analysis confirmed that the gene had no alteration and in-frame to the vector. Then, His-tagged truncated HA protein was expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) under 1 mM IPTG induction. The protein expression was optimized under a time-course induction study and further purified using Ni-NTA agarose under reducing condition. Migration size of protein was detected at 15 kDa by Western blot using anti-His tag monoclonal antibody and demonstrated no discrepancy compared to its calculated molecular weight.
A total of 29 female black flies were captured by a hand net as they swarmed around humans in Tam Dao National Park, Vinh Phuc Province, Vietnam. They included one species of the subgenus Gomphostilbia (Simulium (Gomphostilbia) asakoae Takaoka & Davies) and five species of the subgenus Simulium, of which one species is described as Simulium (Simulium) vietnamense sp. nov. and the other four species (S. (S.) chungi Takaoka & Huang, S. (S.) grossifilum Takaoka & Davies, S. (S.) maenoi Takaoka & Choochote, and S. (S.) rufibasis Brunetti) are newly recorded from Vietnam.
Entamoeba histolytica infection is the third-greatest parasitic disease responsible for death in the world. Wild rats harbouring E. histolytica can be the possible reservoir hosts for human amoebiasis. There were numerous studies on prevalence of intestinal parasites among wild rats in Malaysia but none has reported E. histolytica. Rats were captured from Sentul and Chow Kit areas, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The preserved stool samples were used for microscopy examination and molecular analysis. Out of 137 samples collected, 12 were positive for E. histolytica / E. dispar / E. moshkovskii microscopically. Two E. histolytica (1.4%), 1 E. dispar (0.7%) and 6 mixed infections of E. histolytica and E. dispar (4.3%) were detected using PCR. This is the first report of molecular detection of E. histolytica/dispar infection among wild rats in Malaysia. This study provides useful information about the potential risks of zoonotic agents and the importance of developing control measures to prevent zoonotic transmission.
Shigellosis is a foodborne illness caused by the genus Shigella and is an important global health issue. The development of effective techniques for rapid detection of this pathogen is essential for breaking the chain of transmission. Therefore, we have developed a novel loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay targeting the invasion plasmid antigen H (ipaH) gene to rapidly detect Shigella species. This assay could be performed in 90 min at an optimal temperature of 64ºC, with endpoint results visualized directly. Notably, the method was found to be more sensitive than conventional PCR. Indeed, the detection limit for the LAMP assay on pure bacterial cultures was 5.9 x 10(5) CFU/ml, while PCR displayed a limit of 5.9 x 10(7) CFU/ml. In spiked lettuce samples, the sensitivity of the LAMP assay was 3.6 x 10(4) CFU/g, whereas PCR was 3.6 x 10(5) CFU/g. Overall, the assay accurately identified 32 Shigella spp. with one enteroinvasive Escherichia coli displaying positive reaction while the remaining 32 non-Shigella strains tested were negative.