Research in Malaysia

Recent research output from Malaysia (via PubMed). Updated automatically.

Salting-out assisted liquid-liquid extraction coupled with hydrophilic interaction chromatography for the determination of biguanides in biological and environmental samples.

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2017 Dec 09;1073:51-59

Authors: Alshishani A, Salhimi SM, Saad B

A new salting-out assisted liquid-liquid extraction (SALLE) sample preparation method for the determination of the polar anti-diabetic biguanide drugs (metformin, buformin and phenformin) in blood plasma, urine and lake water samples were developed. The SALLE was performed by mixing samples (plasma (0.2mL), urine or lake water (1.0mL)) with acetonitrile (0.4mL for plasma, 0.5mL for urine or lake water), sodium hydroxide powder was then added for the phase separation. The effects of type of salting-out reagent, type of extraction solvent, volumes of acetonitrile and sample, amount of sodium hydroxide, vortexing and centrifugation times on the extraction efficiency were investigated. The upper layer, containing the biguanides, was directly injected into a HPLC unit using ZIC-HILIC column (150mm×2.1mm×3.5μm) and was detected at 236nm. The method was validated and calibration curves were linear with r2>0.99 over the range of 20-2000μgL-1 for plasma and 5-2000μgL-1 for urine and lake water samples. The limits of detection were in the range (3.8-5.6)μgL-1, (0.8-1.5)μgL-1 and (0.3-0.8)μgL-1 for plasma, urine and lake water, respectively. The accuracies in the three matrices were within 87.3-103%, 87.4-109%, 82.2-109% of the nominal concentration for metformin, buformin and phenformin, respectively. The relative standard deviation for inter- and intra -day precision were in the range of 1.0-17% for all analytes in the three matrices.

PMID: 29241085 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Factors influencing women in physical activity programs in Malaysia.

Health Promot Int. 2017 Dec 11;:

Authors: Hanlon C, Khoo S, Morris T, Eime R

The majority of research on factors associated with women participation in physical activity (PA) has been in developed countries with limited research in developing countries. Few women in Malaysia are active at the recommended levels for health, and activity rates are less than developed countries. Little research has focused specially on physically active Malaysian women and the factors that contribute to them becoming and staying active in PA programs. This lack of knowledge hinders the tailored development and implementation of PA programs to meet their needs. The aim of this study was to identify the factors of participation in PA programs for Malaysian women. The social-ecological model was used to investigate and theme the factors. Focus group discussion was conducted with participants in six PA programs targeted specifically to women. Thirty-seven women were involved in the focus group discussion, with ages ranging from 19 to 82 years. Inductive and deductive content analysis was conducted from verbatim transcripts using NVivo. Inductive content analysis allowed raw data and second-order themes to emerge. Findings revealed social support structures, tailored programs for women, and location were key contributors that encouraged women to participate in these programs. The similarity in contributors between women in non-western and western countries signifies a prime opportunity for bi-lateral relationships to be formed to enable the enhancement of program development relevant to different ethnicities and cultures within or across countries.

PMID: 29240897 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Mercury Hair Concentration among Primary School Children in Malaysia.

Children (Basel). 2017 Dec 14;4(12):

Authors: Abdul Samad NI, Md Isa Z, Hod R

The main concern regarding mercury exposure is the adverse health effect on the developing nervous system. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to determine hair mercury levels and their association with socio-demographic characteristics, complaints about mercury poisoning symptoms and the fish consumption pattern among children in Malaysia. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 215 school children aged 11 years old. Hair was collected from the children and the total mercury was analyzed using oxygen combustion-gold amalgamation atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Anthropometric data, a fish consumption questionnaire and mercury poisoning symptoms were collected during a personal interview. The mean hair mercury level among primary school children was 0.63 ± 0.59 µg/g with the geometric mean of 0.47 µg/g. A total of 14% of respondents had hair mercury levels above 1 µg/g. A multiple binary logistic regression analysis outlined that fish consumption of at least one meal per week increased the likelihood of having a high mercury level (odds ratio (OR) 3.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3-10.4). This study confirms the existence of a mercury burden among Malaysian children and the level is high compared to other regional studies. This study provides important baseline data regarding the mercury level among children in Malaysia.

PMID: 29240681 [PubMed]

Cardiac magnetic resonance assessment of diastolic dysfunction in acute coronary syndrome.

J Int Med Res. 2017 Jan 01;:300060517698265

Authors: Azarisman SM, Teo KS, Worthley MI, Worthley SG

Chest pain is an important presenting symptom. However, few cases of chest pain are diagnosed as acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in the acute setting. This results in frequent inappropriate discharge and major delay in treatment for patients with underlying ACS. The conventional methods of assessing ACS, which include electrocardiography and serological markers of infarct, can take time to manifest. Recent studies have investigated more sensitive and specific imaging modalities that can be used. Diastolic dysfunction occurs early following coronary artery occlusion and its detection is useful in confirming the diagnosis, risk stratification, and prognosis post-ACS. Cardiac magnetic resonance provides a single imaging modality for comprehensive evaluation of chest pain in the acute setting. In particular, cardiac magnetic resonance has many imaging techniques that assess diastolic dysfunction post-coronary artery occlusion. Techniques such as measurement of left atrial size, mitral inflow, and mitral annular and pulmonary vein flow velocities with phase-contrast imaging enable general assessment of ventricular diastolic function. More novel imaging techniques, such as T2-weighted imaging for oedema, T1 mapping, and myocardial tagging, allow early determination of regional diastolic dysfunction and oedema. These findings may correspond to specific infarcted arteries that may be used to tailor eventual percutaneous coronary artery intervention.

PMID: 29239257 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Vitamin E improved bone strength and bone minerals in male rats given alcohol.

Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2017 Dec;20(12):1360-1367

Authors: Zakaria S, Mat-Husain SZ, Ying-Hwey K, Xin-Kai K, Mohd-Badawi A, Abd-Ghani NA, Aziz MA, Mohamed N

Objectives: Alcohol consumption induces oxidative stress on bone, which in turn increases the risk of osteoporosis. This study determined the effects of vitamin E on bone strength and bone mineral content in alcohol-induced osteoporotic rats.
Materials and Methods: Three months old Sprague Dawley male rats were randomly divided into 5 groups: (I) control group; (II) alcohol (3g/kg) + normal saline; (III) alcohol (3g/kg) + olive oil; (IV) alcohol (3g/kg) + alpha-tocopherol (60mg/kg) and (V) alcohol (3g/kg) + palm vitamin E (60mg/kg). The treatment lasted for three months. Following sacrifice, the right tibia was subjected to bone biomechanical test while the lumbar (fourth and fifth lumbar) and left tibia bones were harvested for bone mineral measurement.
Results: Alcohol caused reduction in bone biomechanical parameters (maximum force, ultimate stress, yield stress and Young's modulus) and bone minerals (bone calcium and magnesium) compared to control group (P<0.05). Palm vitamin E was able to improve bone biomechanical parameters by increasing the maximum force, ultimate stress and Young's modulus (P<0.05) while alpha-tocopherol was not able to. Both alpha-tocopherol and palm vitamin E were able to significantly increase tibia calcium and magnesium content while only alpha-tocopherol caused significant increase in lumbar calcium content (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Both palm vitamin E and alpha-tocopherol improved bone mineral content which was reduced by alcohol. However, only palm vitamin E was able to improve bone strength in alcohol treated rats.

PMID: 29238472 [PubMed]

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Isolation and characterization of probiotics from dairies.

Iran J Microbiol. 2017 Aug;9(4):234-243

Authors: Haghshenas B, Nami Y, Almasi A, Abdullah N, Radiah D, Rosli R, Barzegari A, Khosroushahi AY

Background and Objectives: Probiotics are live microorganisms, which show beneficial health effects on hosts once consumed in sufficient amounts. LAB group can be isolated and characterized from traditional dairy sources. This study aimed at isolating, identifying, and in vitro characterizing (low pH/high bile salt tolerance, antibacterial activity, and antibiotic susceptibility) LAB strains from traditional Iranian dairy products.
Materials and Methods: Isolated strains were identified by Gram staining, catalase assay, and 3 molecular identification methods; namely, (GTG) 5-PCR fingerprinting, ARDRA, and 16S rDNA gene sequencing.
Results: A total of 19 LAB strains belonging to 4 genera (Lactococcus, Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus and Enterococcus) were identified.
Conclusion: The experiments revealed that L. plantarum 15HN, L. lactis subsp. cremoris 44L and E. mundtii 50H strains, which were isolated from shiraz, cheese and shiraz, respectively, displayed a desirable tolerance to low pH and high bile salts, favorable anti-pathogen activity, and acceptable antibiotic susceptibility; hence, they could be considered as novel probiotic candidates and applied in the food industry.

PMID: 29238459 [PubMed]

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In Situ SEM Nanomanipulation and Nanomechanical/Electrical Characterization.

Scanning. 2017;2017:8016571

Authors: Lu Y, Shen Y, Liu X, Ahmad MRB, Chen Y

PMID: 29238439 [PubMed - in process]

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Cognitive Dysfunction in Asian Patients with Depression (CogDAD): A Cross-Sectional Study.

Clin Pract Epidemiol Ment Health. 2017;13:185-199

Authors: Manit S, Yee Ming M, Yen Kuang Y, Herng-Nieng C, Constantine D D, Zuraida ZN, Stephen J, Nurmiati A, Pranabi K

Background: Cognitive dysfunction is a predominant symptom of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), contributing to functional impairment.
Objective: The primary objective of this study was to assess and describe perceived cognitive dysfunction amongst Asian patients diagnosed with MDD. The secondary objective was to explore the associations between depression severity, perceived cognitive dysfunction and functional disability.
Methods: This was a multi-country, multi-centre, cross-sectional study. Adults with a current episode of MDD were recruited from 9 university/general hospital clinics in Asia. During a single study visit, psychiatrists assessed depression severity (Clinical Global Impression-Severity, CGI-S); patients completed questionnaires assessing depression severity (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 items, PHQ-9), perceived cognitive dysfunction (Perceived Deficit Questionnaire-Depression, PDQ-D) and functional disability (Sheehan Disability Scale, SDS).
Results: Patients (n=664), predominantly women (66.3%), were aged 46.5±12.5 years, lived in urban areas (81.3%) and were employed (84.6%). 51.5% of patients were having their first depressive episode; 86.7% were receiving treatment; 82.2% had a current episode duration >8 weeks. Patients had mild-to-moderate depression (CGI-S=3.3±1.0; PHQ-9=11.3±6.9). Patients reported perceived cognitive dysfunction (PDQ-D=22.6±16.2) and functional disability (SDS=11.3±7.9). PHQ-9, PDQ-D and SDS were moderately-to-highly correlated (PHQ-9 and SDS: r=0.72; PHQ-9 and PDQ-D: r=0.69; PDQ-D and SDS, r=0.63). ANCOVA showed that after controlling for patient-reported depression severity (PHQ-9), perceived cognitive dysfunction (PDQ-D) was significantly associated with functional disability (SDS) (p<0.001).
Conclusions: Asian patients with MDD reported perceived cognitive dysfunction. There is a need for physicians to evaluate cognitive dysfunction in the clinical setting in order to reach treatment goals, including functional recovery beyond remission of mood symptoms.

PMID: 29238395 [PubMed]

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Immunopathogenesis and Virus-Host Interactions of Enterovirus 71 in Patients with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.

Front Microbiol. 2017;8:2249

Authors: Cox JA, Hiscox JA, Solomon T, Ooi MH, Ng LFP

Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a global infectious disease that affects millions of people. The virus is the main etiological agent for hand, foot, and mouth disease with outbreaks and epidemics being reported globally. Infection can cause severe neurological, cardiac, and respiratory problems in children under the age of 5. Despite on-going efforts, little is known about the pathogenesis of EV71, how the host immune system responds to the virus and the molecular mechanisms behind these responses. Moreover, current animal models remain limited, because they do not recapitulate similar disease patterns and symptoms observed in humans. In this review the role of the host-viral interactions of EV71 are discussed together with the various models available to examine: how EV71 utilizes its proteins to cleave host factors and proteins, aiding virus replication; how EV71 uses its own viral proteins to disrupt host immune responses and aid in its immune evasion. These discoveries along with others, such as the EV71 crystal structure, have provided possible targets for treatment and drug interventions.

PMID: 29238324 [PubMed]

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Predictors of Mortality within Prison and after Release among Persons Living with HIV in Indonesia.

Res Rep Trop Med. 2017;8:25-35

Authors: Culbert GJ, Crawford FW, Murni A, Waluyo A, Bazazi AR, Sahar J, Altice FL

Objectives: HIV-related mortality is increasing in Indonesia, where prisons house many people living with HIV and addiction. We examined all-cause mortality in HIV-infected Indonesian prisoners within prison and up to 24 months post-release.
Materials and Methods: Randomly selected HIV-infected male prisoners (n=102) from two prisons in Jakarta, Indonesia completed surveys in prison and were followed up for 2 years (until study completion) or until they died or were lost to follow-up. Death dates were determined from medical records and interviews with immediate family members. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards regression models were analyzed to identify mortality predictors.
Results: During 103 person-years (PYs) of follow-up, 15 deaths occurred, including ten in prison. The crude mortality rate within prison (125.2 deaths per 1,000 PYs) was surpassed by the crude mortality rate in released prisoners (215.7 deaths per 1,000 PYs). HIV-associated opportunistic infections were the most common probable cause of death. Predictors of within-prison and overall mortality were similar. Shorter survival overall was associated with being incarcerated within a specialized "narcotic" prison for drug offenders (hazard ratio [HR] 9.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1-76.5; P=0.03), longer incarceration (HR 1.06, 95% CI 1.01-1.1; P=0.01), and advanced HIV infection (CD4+ T-cell count<200cells/μL; HR 4.8, 95% CI 1.2-18.2; P=0.02). Addiction treatment was associated with longer survival (HR 0.1, 95% CI 0.01-0.9; P=0.03), although treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART) or methadone was not.
Conclusions: Mortality in HIV-infected prisoners is extremely high in Indonesia, despite limited provision of ART in prisons. Interventions to restore immune function with ART and provide prophylaxis for opportunistic infections during incarceration and after release would likely reduce mortality. Narcotics prisons may be especially high-risk environments for mortality, emphasizing the need for universal access to evidence-based HIV treatments.

PMID: 29238241 [PubMed]

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