At the global scale, species diversity is known to strongly increase towards the equator for most taxa. According to theory, a higher resource specificity of consumers facilitates the coexistence of a larger number of species and has been suggested as an explanation for the latitudinal diversity gradient. However, only few studies support the predicted increase in specialisation or even showed opposite results. Surprisingly, analyses for detritivores are still missing. Therefore, we performed an analysis on the degree of trophic specialisation of dung beetles. We summarised 45 studies, covering the resource preferences of a total of 994503 individuals, to calculate the dung specificity in each study region. Our results highlighted a significant (4.3-fold) increase in the diversity of beetles attracted to vertebrate dung towards the equator. However, their resource specificity was low, unrelated to diversity and revealed a highly generalistic use of dung resources that remained similar along the latitudinal gradient.
Gas-Liquid chromatography (GLC) was used to detect the presence of isocaproic acid produced by Clostridium difficile from 54 stool samples grown in cycloserine-cefoxitin broth. Isocaproic acid was detected in 12 samples of which 5 were confirmed to be Clostridium difficile by culture and biochemical tests. The detection of isocaproic acid by GLC together with the presence of presumptive colonies on primary selective culture media provides a more rapid laboratory diagnosis for Clostridium difficile.
Three species of otter can be found throughout Malay Peninsula: Aonyx cinereus, Lutra sumatrana, and Lutrogale perspicillata. In this study, we focused on the A. cinereus population that ranges from the southern and the east coast to the northern regions of Malay Peninsula up to southern Thailand to review the relationships between the populations based on the mitochondrial D-loop region. Forty-eight samples from six populations were recognized as Johor, Perak, Terengganu, Kelantan, Ranong, and Thale Noi. Among the 48 samples, 33 were identified as A. cinereus, seven as L. sumatrana, and eight as L. perspicillata. Phylogenetically, two subclades formed for A. cinereus. The first subclade grouped all Malay Peninsula samples except for samples from Kelantan, and the second subclade grouped Kelantan samples with Thai sample. Genetic distance analysis supported the close relationships between Thai and Kelantan samples compared to the samples from Terengganu and the other Malaysian states. A minimum-spanning network showed that Kelantan and Thailand formed a haplogroup distinct from the other populations. Our results show that Thai subspecies A. cinereus may have migrated to Kelantan from Thai mainland. We also suggest the classification of a new subspecies from Malay Peninsula, the small-clawed otter named A. cinereus kecilensis.
A 16-year-old female from Rantau Panjang, Kelantan reported having diarrhoea for three months. During this period, she lost 15 lb in weight and was treated with antibiotics and anti-spasmodic tablets with no improvement. Stool examinations by private laboratories revealed "worm-like eggs". She was treated for worms with mebendazole which helped to reduce the symptoms but not completely. The patient continued passing out the abnormal "worm-like eggs" which were later identified as pollen grains.
Eimeria tenggilingi is described from the pangolin or scaly anteater, Manis javanica, in Malaysia. The spheroid to subspheroid oocysts average 18.9 X 17.8 mum. The oocyst wall is composed of 3 layers, each approximately 0.6 mum thick. The 2 outer layers are striated and yellowish green. The inner layer is dark brown. One or 2 polar granules are present, but an oocyst residuum is absent. Ellipsoid sporocysts average 12.4 X 6.2 mum. A sporocyst residuum is present. This is the first Eimeria species reported from a host in the order Pholidota.
The phoretic association between Macrocheles muscaedomesticae and flies that inhabited poultry manure in a poultry farm in Sungai Buloh, Selangor, Malaysia was studied. The effects of temperature, relative humidity and fly abundance on phoretic rates also were investigated. The most abundant fly species found was Musca domestica; Musca sorbens, Chrysomyia megacephala and Ophyra chalcogaster were present in relatively large numbers. Representatives of ten families of mites were found on collected Mu. domestica. The most common mite was Ma. muscaedomesticae (Macrochelidae), found on all four species of flies mentioned above. The highest infestation (2.0%) occurred on O. chalcogaster but Mu. domestica had the highest average number infested (5.7). The ventral part of the housefly's abdomen was the most common site of mite attachment. Usually only one mite was found attached per fly. The highest phoretic rate recorded was 64.4 Ma. muscaedomesticae per 1000 Mu. domestica. There was no correlation between phoretic rates and Ma. muscaedomesticae abundance, nor was relative humidity a factor. However, a positive correlation was recorded in this host species between phoretic rates and temperature.
The synovial fluid motion in an artificial hip joint is important in understanding the thermo-fluids effects that can affect the reliability of the joint, although it is difficult to be studied theoretically, as the modelling involves the viscous fluid interacting with a moving surface. A new analytical solution has been derived for the maximum induced fluid motion within a spherical gap with an oscillating lower surface and a stationary upper surface, assuming one-dimensional incompressible laminar Newtonian flow with constant properties, and using the Navier-Stokes equation. The resulting time-dependent motion is analysed in terms of two dimensionless parameters R and β, which are functions of geometry, fluid properties and the oscillation rate. The model is then applied to the conditions of the synovial fluid enclosed in the artificial hip joint and it is found that the motion may be described by a simpler velocity variation, whereby laying the foundation to thermal studies in the joint.
The present study was conducted to determine the prevalence of helminth eggs excreted in the faeces of stray cats, dogs and in soil samples. A total of 505 fresh samples of faeces (from 227 dogs and 152 cats) and soil were collected. The egg stage was detected via microscopy after the application of formalin-ether concentration technique. Genomic DNA was extracted from the samples containing hookworm eggs and used for further identification to the species level using real-time polymerase chain reaction coupled with high resolution melting analysis. Microscopic observation showed that the overall prevalence of helminth eggs among stray cats and dogs was 75.7% (95% CI = 71.2%-79.9%), in which 87.7% of dogs and 57.9% of cats were infected with at least one parasite genus. Five genera of heliminth eggs were detected in the faecal samples, including hookworms (46.4%), Toxocara (11.1%), Trichuris (8.4%), Spirometra (7.4%) and Ascaris (2.4%). The prevalence of helminth infections among stray dogs was significantly higher than that among stray cats (p < 0.001). Only three genera of helminths were detected in soil samples with the prevalence of 23% (95% CI = 15.1%-31%), consisting of hookworms (16.6%), Ascaris (4%) and Toxocara (2.4%). The molecular identification of hookworm species revealed that Ancylostoma ceylanicum was dominant in both faecal and soil samples. The dog hookworm, Ancylostoma caninum, was also detected among cats, which is the first such occurrence reported in Malaysia till date. This finding indicated that there was a cross-infection of A. caninum between stray cats and dogs because of their coexistent within human communities. Taken together, these data suggest the potential role of stray cats and dogs as being the main sources of environmental contamination as well as for human infections.
There have been previous studies associating microorganisms to cancer and with our recent findings of Blastocytsis antigen having a higher in vitro proliferation of cancer cells strengthens the suspicion. Collecting faecal samples alone to associate this parasite with cancer may not be accurate due to the phenomenon of irregular shedding and the possible treatment administrated to the cancer patients. Hence, this become the basis to search for an alternate method of sample collection. Colonic washout is an almost complete washed up material from colon and rectum which includes various microorganisms such as Blastocystis and other lodged material within the villi. The detection of parasite in colonic washouts will give a better reflection on the association between Blastocystis and CRC.
Although the role of primates in seed dispersal is generally well recognized, this is not the case for colobines, which are widely distributed in Asian and African tropical forests. Colobines consume leaves, seeds and fruits, usually unripe. A group of proboscis monkeys (Colobinae, Nasalis larvatus) consisting of 1 alpha-male, 6 adult females and several immatures, was observed from May 2005 to May 2006. A total of 400 fecal samples from focal group members covering 13 months were examined, with over 3500 h of focal observation data on the group members in a forest along the Menanggul River, Sabah, Malaysia. Intact small seeds were only found in 23 of 71 samples in Nov 2005, 15 of 38 in Dec 2005 and 5 of 21 in Mar 2006. Seeds of Ficus (all <1.5 mm in length) were found in all 3 months and seeds from Antidesma thwaitesianum (all <3 mm) and Nauclea subdita (all <2 mm) only in Nov and Dec, which was consistent with members of the study group consuming fruits of these species mostly at these times. To our knowledge, these are the first records of seeds in the fecal samples of colobines. Even if colobines pass relatively few seeds intact, their high abundance and biomass could make them quantitatively significant in seed dispersal. The potential role of colobines as seed dispersers should be considered by colobine researchers.
The fermentation selectivity of a commercial source of a-gluco-oligosaccharides (BioEcolians; Solabia) was investigated in vitro. Fermentation by faecal bacteria from four lean and four obese healthy adults was determined in anaerobic, pH-controlled faecal batch cultures. Inulin was used as a positive prebiotic control. Samples were obtained at 0, 10, 24 and 36 h for bacterial enumeration by fluorescent in situ hybridisation and SCFA analyses. Gas production during fermentation was investigated in non-pH-controlled batch cultures. a-Gluco-oligosaccharides significantly increased the Bifidobacterium sp. population compared with the control. Other bacterial groups enumerated were unaffected with the exception of an increase in the Bacteroides–Prevotella group and a decrease in Faecalibacterium prausnitzii on both a-gluco-oligosaccharides and inulin compared with baseline. An increase in acetate and propionate was seen on both substrates. The fermentation of a-gluco-oligosaccharides produced less total gas at a more gradual rate of production than inulin. Generally, substrates fermented with the obese microbiota produced similar results to the lean fermentation regarding bacteriology and metabolic activity. No significant difference at baseline (0 h) was detected between the lean and obese individuals in any of the faecal bacterial groups studied.