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Role of dietary phytochemicals in modulation of miRNA expression: Natural swords combating breast cancer
Banzeer Ahsan Abbasi, Javed Iqbal, Tariq Mahmood, Ali Talha Khalil, Barkat Ali, Sobia Kanwal, Sayed Afzal Shah, Riaz Ahmad
September 2018, 11(9):501-509
The National Cancer Institute had projected breast cancer (BC) as one of the topmost prevalent malignancies around the globe. In many cases, BC becomes resistant to chemotherapy, radiation and hormonal therapies. Traditional BC therapies are associated with adverse side effects, drug resistance and recurrence. Extensive research work has shown that these dietary phytochemicals (DPs) may exert therapeutic effects by regulating the miRNA expression. A large number of DPs have been researched as miRNA regulatory agents against BC and some other DPs have not yet been tested against BC. We have discussed the effects of curcumin, diallyl disulphide, 3,3′ diindolylmethane, ellagic acid, genistein, indole-3-carbinol, quercetin, resveratrol, and sulforaphane on regulation of expression of BC miRNAs in a wide range of in vitro and in vivo models. We have also shown some of the possible DPs (Oleanolic acid, capsaicin, benzyl isothiocyanate, epigallocatechin gallate, phenethyl isothiocyanate and ursolic acid) that have shown miRNA regulatory activities and have not yet been tested against BC miRNAs. Finally, current limitations, challenges, future perspectives of DPs and BC research are also critically discussed.
  17 2,205 490
Inhibitory effects of methanolic Olea europaea and acetonic Acacia laeta on growth of Babesia and Theileria
Amany Magdy Beshbishy, Gaber El-Saber Batiha, Oluyomi Stephen Adeyemi, Naoaki Yokoyama, Ikuo Igarashi
September 2019, 12(9):425-434
Objective: To evaluate the antipiroplasmic activities of methanolic extract of Olea europaea (MOE) and acetonic extract of Acacia laeta (AAL) against Babesia and Theileria parasites in vitro and evaluate the chemotherapeutic effects of these extracts against Babesia (B.) microti in vivo. Methods: Fluorescence assay using SYBR Green 1 nucleic acid stain was used to detect inhibitory effects of the two extracts as well as the combination effects of the two extracts with diminazene aceturate and atovaquone on four Babesia species and Theileria equi in vitro while for in vivo experiments, 8-weekold female BALB/c mice were injected intraperitoneally with 1 × 107B. microti-iRBCs and treated orally at a dose of 150 mg/kg of both extracts. Results: The half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of AAL against B. bovis, B. bigemina, B. divergens, B. caballi, and Theileria equi were lower than those of MOE extracts. Toxicity assay on Madin–Darby bovine kidney, mouse embryonic fibroblast (MH/3T3), and human foreskin fibroblast cell lines showed that MOE and AAL affected only the viability of Madin–Darby bovine kidney cell line with half maximal effective concentrations (EC50) of (794.7±41.9) and (873.9±17.5) μg/mL, respectively. The oral treatments of MOE and AAL at 150 mg/kg inhibited the growth of B. microti in mice by 80.4% and 64.4%, respectively. The MOE and diminazene aceturate combination showed a higher chemotherapeutic effect than that of monotherapy. Conclusions: MOE and AAL have the potential to be an alternative remedy for treating piroplasmosis. Furthermore, the combination therapy of MOE + DA was more potent against B. microti infection in mice than their monotherapies.
  13 991 210
Imported cases of 2019-novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infections in Thailand: Mathematical modelling of the outbreak
Pathum Sookaromdee, Viroj Wiwanitkit
March 2020, 13(3):139-140
  12 2,863 569
Dietary isoflavones, the modulator of breast carcinogenesis: Current landscape and future perspectives
Javed Iqbal, Banzeer Ahsan Abbasi, Ali Talha Khalil, Barkat Ali, Tariq Mahmood, Sobia Kanwal, Sayed Afzal Shah, Wajid Ali
March 2018, 11(3):186-193
Breast cancer is a frightful disease and serious concern in women around the world causing significant health care burden in both developed and developing countries. Extensive research work has shown that breast cancer provides strong resistance to chemical agents, UV radiation, and hormonal treatments. It is generally accepted that cell genetics is not the only main reason for breast cancer and genetic risk factors, for example, mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes constitute 5%-10% of all breast cancer rates. Other related factors include age, gender, race, ethnicity, weight, reproductive factors, exo- and endogenous hormonal exposures, oral contraceptives use, ultraviolet radiation, diet, and night work (circadian disruption). Many studies have revealed that dietary isoflavones regulate breast cancer occurrence, recurrence and prognosis. Dietary isoflavones have long been part of Asian population diet and there is a significant increase as compared to dietary isoflavones intake among other populations. Dietary isoflavones are natural phytoestrogens having both estrogenic and anti-estrogenic potentials on breast cancer cells in culture, animal models and in experimental trials. This literature survey provides a comprehensive overview on the tumor preventive and tumor promoting potentials of dietary isoflavones on breast cancer. In addition, this paper provides a literature review of dietary isoflavones and their effects on up-regulation and down-regulation of different signaling pathways, genes and proteins. Finally, future perspectives of dietary isoflavones and breast cancer researchers are also critically discussed, which will provide a deeper insight regarding the inner molecular mechanisms of action.
  8 2,265 350
Scenario of dengue infection & its control in Pakistan: An up—date and way forward
Muhammad Zubair Yousaf, Adeena Siddique, Usman Ali Ashfaq, Muhammad Ali
January 2018, 11(1):15-23
Dengue fever is one of the major health problems in tropical and subtropical areas throughout the world. The causative agent of dengue fever is the dengue virus which is an enveloped single stranded RNA virus belongs to the family Flaviviridae and has five distinct serotypes (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, DENV-4 and DENV-5). Dengue virus is transmitted to human via bite of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. The clinical symptoms of dengue fever ranging from mild to severe fonn as dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. Pakistan is dengue endemic since 1994 but from 2006, Pakistan faced the worst condition regarding dengue in which thousands of people affected by the disease and hundreds of people lost their lives. DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-1 are the prevalent serotypes in Pakistan. Common diagnostic techniques are being used in Pakistan such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, polymerase chain reaction and rapid diagnostic tests, while differential diagnosis, limitations of diagnostic methods and poor health care system are the real challenges in dengue diagnosis. Favorable climatic conditions, unplanned urbanization, travelling etc., are major factors responsible for dengue epidemics in Pakistan. This presentation provides update about dengue circumstances in Pakistan and also describes the way how to improve dengue situation in Pakistan.
  6 12,415 975
Myricetin protects against lipopolysaccharide-induced disseminated intravascular coagulation by anti-inflammatory and anticoagulation effect
Jing-Yi Tan, Xue-Qin Chen, Bi-Jun Kang, Zi-Xi Qin, Jia-Hong Chen, Ren-Dong Hu, Liang-Cai Wu
March 2018, 11(3):255-259
Objective: To explore the therapeutic effect and mechanism of myricetin on disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Methods: The DIC model was established by injection of 60 mg/kg LPS in KM mice, and the treatment groups were injected myricetin with different concentrations (25 or 50 mg/kg) 30 min before the model was established. Both coagulation indicators and organ function were tested, including PT, APTT, fibrinogen, AST, ALT, BUN and tissue section. In vitro, the inflammatory model of RAW 264.7 macrophage cells were established by 10 μg/mL LPS. The treatment group was treated with 50 μmol/mL myricetin for 30 min before LPS, and the expression of TNF and p-NF-κB was detected, further to explore the therapeutic mechanism. Results: LPS-induced DIC led to a reduction of fibrinogen and a rise of PT, APTT, AST, ALT, BUN levels, but the treatment of myricetin significantly inhibited these abnormalities. Histopathology analysis also revealed that myricetin remarkably protected the liver and renal damage. In vitro, the expression of TNF and p-NF-κB induced by LPS was repressed by myricetin. Conclusions: This study provides new insights into the protective effects of myricetin in LPS-induced DIC by anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory via suppressing the activation of p-NF-κB which decreased TNF level.
  4 1,607 209
Anti-cancer effect of ethylacetate fraction from Orostachys japonicus on HT-29 human colon cancer cells by induction of apoptosis through caspase-dependent signaling pathway
Deok-Seon Ryu, Hyun-Ji Lee, Ji-Hye Kwon, Dong-Seok Lee
May 2018, 11(5):330-335
Objective: To investigate the anti-colon cancer effects of ethylacetate fraction from Orostachys japonicus (O. japonicus) on HT-29 cancer cells. Methods: The viability of HT-29 cells was assayed by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium (MTS) method. Apoptosis induction and cell cycle inhibition were confirmed by fluorescein isothiocyanate and propidium iodide staining using flow cytometry. Morphological changes in the nucleus were observed, using a fluorescence microscope with 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) nuclear staining. The expression levels of the upstream and downstream proteins involved in the anti-cancer mechanism were confirmed by Western blotting. Results: After treating HT-29 cells with different concentrations of ethylacetate fraction from O. japonicus, the viability of cells decreased in a concentration-dependent manner, while apoptosis induction and apoptotic body formation increased. Cell cycle analysis showed that the arrest occurred at the sub-G1 and S phase. Among the upstream and downstream proteins involved in anti-cancer activity, the level of B cell lymphoma-2 decreased, and the bcl-2-associated x protein increased. The level of pro-caspase-3, pro-caspase-8, and pro-caspase-9 decreased, while the level of cleaved-caspase-3, cleaved-caspase-8, and cleaved-caspase-9 increased. Moreover, the phosphorylation, that is, activation of extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2, Jun-N-terminal kinase, and p38 increased. Conclusions: Combining the above results, it is thought that the survival of HT-29 cells is suppressed by ethylacetate fraction from O. japonicus through mitochondrial regulation-induced caspase cascade activation, induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest.
  4 1,539 494
Potential effect of Silybum marianum L. and Cistus ladaniferus L. extracts on urine volume, creatinine clearance and renal function
Nawal El Menyiy, Noori Al-Waili, Redouan El-Haskoury, Meryem Bakour, Soumia Zizi, Thia Al-Waili, Badiaa Lyoussi
June 2018, 11(6):393-398
Objective: To investigate the diuretic and renal effects of Silybum marianum L. and Cistus ladaniferus L. in normal rats. Methods: Four groups of rats were used in each experiment. The first group received water, the second group received Cistus ladaniferus L. extract (100 mg/kg b.wt), the third group received Silybum marianum L. extract (100 mg/kg b.wt), and the fourth group received furosemide (10 mg/kg b.wt). Variables including urine volume, plasma and urine sodium, potassium and creatinine, and creatinine clearance were measured. Two experiments were conducted. A single dose of each intervention was used and the variables were measured during 24 h, and the interventions were given daily for a total of 8 d and the variables were measured during various intervals. Results: The single dose of each plant extract increased urine volume at all-time intervals and increased urine sodium and potassium excretion without affecting plasma sodium and potassium (P<0.05). On the day 8 after daily administration, the plant extracts induced a significant diuresis and natriuresis without affecting serum electrolytes (P<0.05), while furosemide caused hypokalemia. Both plant extracts significantly increased creatinine clearance (P<0.05). Conclusions: Silybum marianum L. and Cistus ladaniferus L. increase creatinine clearance and have a significant diuretic effect without affecting serum electrolytes. Silybum marianum L. is more potent than furosemide or Cistus ladaniferus L.
  4 2,382 369
Dengue outbreaks in Taiwan, 1998-2017: Importation, serotype and temporal pattern
Ying-Hen Hsieh
August 2018, 11(8):460-466
Objective: To ascertain the role of imported cases and serotypes on dengue outbreaks in Taiwan which have been sporadic yet highly volatile during the past two decades, exhibiting record-breaking magnitude in recent years. Methods: Confirmed case and serotype data from Taiwan Centers for Disease Control during 1998-2017 were fully examined, with fitting of weekly and daily case data of each city/county to a mathematical model to pinpoint the waves of cases and their locations. Moreover, we quantify the timing of turning point and transmission potential of each wave and determine its circulating serotype, to ascertain any pattern or connection between the variations in circulating serotypes and the magnitude/transmissibility of outbreak. Results: While the number of imported case increased steadily during past two decades, the yearly number of indigenous cases fluctuated wildly. Moreover, while yearly percentages of serotypes for imported cases remains steady, that of indigenous cases does not exhibit any clear pattern. There was at least one wave of reported cases somewhere in Taiwan every year from 1998 to 2015, except in 2016-2017. The effective reproduction number R for all waves in all locations ranged from 1.14 to 2.87, with the exception of two Tainan waves, in 2010 (3.95) and 2015 (6.84). Four major outbreaks of over 2000 cases reveal circulation of one dominant serotype. Conclusions: Correlation between imported cases and indigenous outbreak prove to be difficult to ascertain, even with the availability of serotype data. However, although there had been occasional co-circulation of serotypes in one location, and for some years with different serotypes circulating in different locations, all major outbreaks of over 2 000 cases during the past two decades are due to circulation of mainly a single serotype, perhaps indicating greater transmission potential with one dominating serotype.
  4 1,838 385
Distribution and ecological aspects of sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) species in Northeastern Iran
Aioub Sofizadeh, Yavar Rassi, Ahmad Ali Hanafi-Bojd, Hamid Reza Shoraka, Fatemeh Mesgarian, Sayena Rafizadeh
September 2018, 11(9):526-533
Objective: To determine both the distribution and the ecological characteristics of sand flies in Golestan Province, northeast of Iran in 2016. Methods: In this study, 34 villages were selected based on their geographical conditions. Sticky paper traps were used for collecting the sand flies. Sampling was carried out in each of villages from May to November. In each village, 60 traps for indoors and 60 for outdoors were monthly installed. The species of all collected sand flies were determined using approved morphological keys. Pearson coefficient correlation was used to find the relationship between the number of collected Phlebotomus papatasi from different villages and incidence rate of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis as well as the number of positive cases of the disease. The altitude of the studied villages was extracted from digital elevation model of the area using GIS and vegetation cover density index of the province was extracted from Modis satellite imagery and distribution map of sand flies drown up. Results: Overall, 5 428 sand flies were collected and identified, belonging to 18 species. Phlebotomus wenyoni was reported for the first time from the area in this study. The frequency of sand flies in the villages located in northeast of the Golestan province (the plateau area, lower altitude, arid and semi-arid climates, and lower vegetation cover density), were more than other villages in this province. There was a significant correlation between the number of collected Phlebotomus papatasi and incidence rate of the zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis cases in different villages (r=0.837, P=0.019) as well as the number of positive cases of the disease (r=0.688, P<0.001). Conclusions: In the northeaster areas of Golestan Province which is known as the endemic foci of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis, the abundance of sand flies were more and the conditions for their growth and development were more appropriate.
  4 1,446 282
Emerging and re-emerging human infectious diseases: A systematic review of the role of wild animals with a focus on public health impact
Marli C Cupertino, Michely B Resende, Nicholas AJ Mayer, Lorendane M Carvalho, Rodrigo Siqueira-Batista
March 2020, 13(3):99-106
Infectious diseases continue to impose unpredictable burdens on global health and economies, a subject that requires constant research and updates. In this sense, the objective of the present article was to review studies on the role of wild animals as reservoirs and/or dispersers of etiological agents of human infectious diseases in order to compile data on the main wild animals and etiological agents involved in zoonotic outbreaks. A systematic review was carried out using PRISMA guidelines, using the PubMed, Scopus and SciELO platforms as data banks. The descriptors used were “zoonosis”, “human infectious diseases” and “wild animals”. The results show that wild animals (mainly bats, birds and primates) play an important role in the dissemination of etiological agents (mainly viruses, as a new coronavirus called 2019 Novel Coronavirus) in extensive geographic regions. Moreover, these wild animal organisms can act as the site for essential biotic synergy among several pathogenic microorganisms, promoting a higher rate of adaptation, mutation and even genetic recombination, with consequent stimulation of new strains and subtypes, inducing new infectious agents with unknown virulent potential. In conclusion, the monitoring of these diseases and adequate preparation for possible epidemics and pandemics are fundamental conditions for the mitigation of their future impact. The zoonotic threat of these etiological agents and the impact on public health can be enormous as shown by the ongoing epidemic of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019- nCoV) infections.
  4 3,105 768
Exploring dynamic biomedical algorithm of Eurycoma longifolia Jack and its bioactive phytochemicals: A review of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic implications and future prospects
Hnin Ei Thu, Zahid Hussain, Isa Naina Mohamed, Ahmad Nazrun Shuid
February 2018, 11(2):89-97
Eurycoma longifolia Jack (E. longifolia) is a well-recognized traditional herbal medicine that offers a wide dynamic range of biomedical applications including anti-osteoporotic, anticancer, anti-proliferative, anti-malarial, antimicrobial, antioxidant, aphrodisiac, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, anti-diabetic, anti-rheumatism and anti-ulcer properties. This review aims to overview the pharmacokinetic and a pharmacodynamic algorithm of E. longifolia and its bioactive components. Analysis of pharmacokinetic profile revealed that E. longifolia exhibit higher bioavailability, high volume of distribution, slow elimination rate, and does not show inhibitory effects on cytochrome P450 isoenzymes. E. longifolia has been used, alone or in combination with other pharmacological agents, in the form of crude extracts, standard extracts, or decoctions of different plant parts (i.e., herbs, shrubs, stem, leaves, and roots) for the treatment of various ailments in animals and humans. Among various bioactive constituents, eurycomanone has been found to be the most remarkable, super-stable, versatile, and most potent phytochemical (isolated or extracted from root extracts) against various types of animals and human diseases. Based on its well-established pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles, we suggested that E. longifolia can be a well-accepted complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of different types of human ailments.
  4 3,186 565
Resistance status of main malaria vector, Anopheles stephensi Liston (Diptera: Culicidae) to insecticides in a malaria Endemic Area, Southern Iran
Madineh Abbasi, Ahmad Ali Hanafi-Bojd, Mohammad Reza Yaghoobi-Ershadi, Hassan Vatandoost, Mohammad Ali Oshaghi, Teimour Hazratian, Mohammad Mehdi Sedaghat, Sajjad Fekri, Reza Safari, Abdol Rasoul Mojahedi, Yousef Salari
January 2019, 12(1):43-48
Objective: To evaluate the susceptibility of Anopheles stephensi (An. stephensi) Liston, the main malaria vector in southern Iran, to WHO recommended insecticides. Methods: Larvae of An. stephensi were collected from three different larval habitats in both urban and rural area of Bandar Abbas city and one rural area in Rudan county southern Iran. WHO standard method was used for evaluation of adult and larval mosquito susceptibility. Bendiocarb, permethrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, deltamethrin as insecticide and temephos and chlorpyriphos as larvicide were used at the diagnostic dosages recommended by WHO. Results: Findings of this study showed all larval populations of An. stephensi were completely susceptible to temephos and candidate for resistance to chlorpyriphos. Adult mosquitoes in rural areas of Bandar Abbas city were resistant to pyrethroid and carbamate insecticides. Conclusion: Comparison of the results of this survey with previous studies indicates that the resistance to pyrethroids and carbamates in this malaria endemic region is increasing. Wide use of pesticides in agriculture is certainly effective in increasing resistance. The inter-sectoral coordination and collaboration in health and agriculture seem to be necessary to manage insecticide resistance in malaria vectors.
  3 1,682 312
Optimized combinations of statins and azoles against Acanthamoeba trophozoites and cysts in vitro
Ines Sifaoui, Carmen M Martín-Navarro, Atteneri López-Arencibia, María Reyes-Batlle, Basilio Valladares, José E Piñero, Sutherland K Maciver, Jacob Lorenzo-Morales
June 2019, 12(6):283-287
Objective: To evaluate the combination of several statins (atorvastatin, fluvastatin and simvastatin) and azoles (voriconazole, posaconazole and itraconazole) against Acanthamoeba spp. Methods: The efficiency of the different drug combinations against the trophozoite stage of different Acanthamoeba strains were evaluated by Alamar Blue assay. Effect on the cyst stage was observed by inverted microscope. Cytotoxicity of combinations of azoles and statins was evaluated by measuring the release of lactate dehydrogenase from a murine macrophage cell line. Results: Combinations of any of the tested statins and voriconazole or posaconazole were more efficient in inhibiting Acanthamoeba compared to statins or azoles individually. The drug combinations at the combined inhibitory concentrations 50% showed lower toxicity compared to that of the compounds alone. Conclusions: The combinations of statins together with voriconazole and posaconazole are more efficient than these drugs alone, and these combinations have lower cytotoxicity in mammalian cell lines.
  3 823 185
Evaluation of antiparasitic, anticancer, antimicrobial and hypoglycemic properties of organic extracts from Panamanian mangrove plants
Dioxelis Lopez, Lilia Cherigo, Alejandro de Sedas, Carmenza Spadafora, Sergio Martinez-Luis
January 2018, 11(1):32-39
Objective: To investigate 33 organic extracts of mangrove plants for: antiparasitic, anticancer, and antibacterial activities, as well as their ability to inhibit the activity of the α-glucosidase enzyme. Methods: Leaves from all different plant mangrove species located in five mangrove zones of the Pacific coast of Panama were collected according to standard procedures. Qualitative phytochemical analysis of the organic extracts was performed by thin layer chromatography. The antiparasitic activity against Plasmodium falciparum, Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania donovani, toxicity against Artemia salina, anticancer activity in MCF-7 cell line, and antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa of all organic extract were investigated according protocols stablished in our institution. Finally, the ability to inhibit the enzymatic activity of α-glucosidase was evaluated by monitoring the hydrolysis of p-nitrophenyl α-D- glucopyranoside. Results: Thirty-three different samples belonging to nine different species of vascular plants with seeds of true mangroves were collected. Triterpenoids, phenolics, and tannins were the main groups of compounds found in the sampled mangroves. Saponins, quinones, and coumarins were found in less than 50% of the samples. Laguncularia racemosa showed moderate activity against Plasmodium falciparum. None of the extracts presented anticancer activity. Rhizophora mangle exhibited potent activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis [(90.41±7.33)% and (96.02±6.14)% of inhibition]; Avicennia germinans and Conocarpus erectus had activity against Escherichia coli [(71.17±6.15)% and (60.60±5.13)% of inhibition, respectively]. About 60% of the mangroves showed α-glucosidase inhibitory activity. In particular, extracts from Laguncularia racemosa, Pelliciera rhizophorae, Conocarpus erectus, Mora oleifera, and Tabebuia palustris species showed α-glucosidase inhibitory potential, with IC50 values of (29.45±0.29), (20.60±0.70), (730.06±3.74), (25.59±0.37), and (853.39±5.30) μg/mL, respectively. Conclusions: Panamanian mangroves are mainly a promising potential source of hypoglycemic compounds, specifically α-glucosidase inhibitors. These results highlight the therapeutic virtues of extracts from American mangrove plants.
  3 3,418 836
The largest dengue outbreak in Argentina and spatial analyses of dengue cases in relation to a control program in a district with sylvan and urban environments
Aníbal E Carbajo, Alejandra Rubio, María J Viani, María R Colombo
March 2018, 11(3):227-234
Objective: To analyze the largest outbreak of dengue in Argentina in the municipality of Tigre during 2016, through detailed spatial analyses of the occurrence of cases in relation to demographic factors and vector control actions. Methods: Detailed and georreferenced data on dengue cases with laboratory results (NS1 or IgM) were analyzed. The occurrences of imported and autochthonous cases by census tract were modeled using demographic variables (population by age class, proportion of foreigners, proportion with university grade, proportion of males), dwelling variables (number of homes, proportion of dwellings with latrine, number of dwellings, proportion of houses, proportion of flats, proportion of slums) and census tract area as explanatory variables. The probability of occurrence of autochthonous and imported cases was modeled separately. The spatio-temporal occurrence of cases was studied in relation to focal and perifocal control actions (involving education campaigns, removal of Aedes aegypti breeding sites and exhaustive insecticide spraying) to assess the efficiency in stopping autochthonous cases spreading. Results: All autochthonous cases occurred in the urban environment with no sylvan cases. The majority of the imported cases registered came from Paraguay and Northeastern Argentina. The age structure of imported and autochthonous cases did not differ from the age structure of the municipality, while that of the negative cases did. When studied spatially, the occurrence of imported cases by census tract was mildly associated with a higher proportion of foreign population and more people at active age, while occurrence of autochthonous cases was not significantly associated with any of the studied variables. For census tracts with laboratory confirmed results, the models showed higher probability of autochthonous cases related to higher population density and population age structure. The clustering of autochthonous cases was generally mild, with prevailing isolated cases and a weak spread inside the municipality. The biggest outbreak focus was associated with a delay in the focal vector control. Conclusions: Results confirmed the virus pressure coming from neighboring countries and related to population movement by workers. All autochthonous cases occurred in the urban environment with no sylvan cases. The susceptibility of residents to dengue may be similar among age classes and the laboratory tests were performed more frequently in the younger. Autochthonous cases incidence was low and spatio-temporal clustering of cases weak, suggesting that control measures were effective when no delay occurred in their application.
  3 1,959 262
Therapeutic role of Ricinus communis L. and its bioactive compounds in disease prevention and treatment
Waseem Mohammed Abdul, Nahid H Hajrah, Jamal S.M. Sabir, Saleh M Al-Garni, Meshaal J Sabir, Saleh A Kabli, Kulvinder Singh Saini, Roop Singh Bora
March 2018, 11(3):177-185
Ricinus communis L. (R. communis), commonly known as castor oil plant, is used as a traditional natural remedy or folkloric herb for the control and treatment of a wide range of diseases around the globe. Various studies have revealed the presence of diverse phytochemicals such as alkaloids, flavonoids, terpenes, saponins, phenolic compounds such as kaempferol, gallic acid, ricin, rutin, lupeol, ricinoleic acid, pinene, thujone and gentisic acid. These phytochemicals have been responsible for pharmacological and therapeutic effects, including anticancer, antimicrobial, insecticidal, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, bone regenerative, analgesic, and anticonvulsant activity. R. communis harbours phytochemicals which have been shown to target peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR), nuclear factor NF- κ -B, cytochrome p450, P38 mitogen-activated protein kinases kinase (p38 MAPK), tumor protein P53, B-cell lymphoma-extra-large (Bcl-xL) and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2). Considering its wide variety of phytochemicals, its pharmacological activity and the subsequent clinical trials, R. communis could be a good candidate for discovering novel complementary drugs. Further experimental and advanced clinical studies are required to explore the pharmaceutical, beneficial therapeutic and safety prospects of R. communis with its phytochemicals as a herbal and complementary medicine for combating various diseases and disorders.
  3 9,889 1,258
Melioidosis in India and Bangladesh: A review of case reports
Meghan Tipre, Paul Vijay Kingsley, Tamika Smith, Mark Leader, Nalini Sathiakumar
May 2018, 11(5):320-329
Objective: To conduct an epidemiological and clinical review of published case reports of melioidosis from India and Bangladesh. Methods: Data from published case reports were abstracted and summarized. We further compared the clinical epidemiology of the melioidosis cases in India with case series from highly endemic areas in Northern Australia and Southeast Asia to elucidate any differences in presentations and risk factors between the regions. Results: We identified a total of 99 cases published between 1953 and June 2016, originating from India (n=85) or Bangladesh (n=14). Cases were predominantly male and ranged in age from 1 month to 90 years. Diabetes mellitus was the most common risk factor reported (58%). About 28% of the cases had history of exposure via high-risk occupations or exposure to contaminated water. The overall case fatality rate (CFR) was 26%. Factors influencing mortality included the occurrence of septic shock (CFR, 80%), environmental exposure (CFR, 39%), primary presentation of pneumonia (CFR, 38%), misdiagnosed and/or mistreated cases (CFR, 33%) or the presence of a risk factor (CFR, 29%). Because of the small number of cases in Bangladesh, pattern of clinical epidemiology is limited to India. Soft tissue abscess (37%) was the most common clinical presentation reported from India followed by pneumonia (24%) and osteomyelitis/septic arthritis (18%). Neurological melioidosis (n=10, 12%) presented as pyemic lesions of the brain or meninges. A few cases of prostatic abscess (n=4) in men and parotid abscess (n=4) were also noted. The above patterns were consistent with case series from Southeast Asia and Northern Australia for the most part, in terms of risk factors associated with infection and factors influencing mortality. Differences included clinical presentation of pneumonia which was notably lower than that reported in Southeast Asia and Northern Australia; a higher proportion of neurological and parotid abscess presentation; and a lower CFR compared to that reported in case series in Southeast Asia. About 39% of the cases were misdiagnosed and/or mistreated, suggesting underreporting and under estimation of the true disease burden. Conclusions: The concentration of melioidosis cases in southern and eastern states in India and in Bangladesh, which share climatic conditions and rice farming activities with known endemic areas in Southeast Asia, suggests an endemicity of melioidosis in this region. Thus, increased awareness among healthcare personnel, particularly among clinicians and nurses practicing in rural areas, and improved surveillance through case registries is essential to guide early diagnosis and prompt treatment.
  3 2,374 333
Knowledge, attitudes and practice survey on Zika virus infection among pregnant women in Brunei Darussalam
Li Ling Chaw, Nik A. A. Tuah, Justin Yun Yaw Wong, Lin Naing
November 2018, 11(11):638-644
Objective: To assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) on Zika virus infection among pregnant women in Brunei Darussalam by a cross-sectional survey. Methods: Between February and June 2017, we recruited 234 pregnant women from all government healthcare centres at Brunei-Muara district, using a modified systematic sampling approach. A pre-tested and self-administered questionnaire was used and data analysis was conducted using descriptive statistics and multiple logistic regression analyses. Results: The study participants were mainly Malay (87.2%) and their mean age was 28.0 years. The median knowledge score was 13, out of a possible score of 28. Most participants (92.7%) knew that Zika virus was transmitted by mosquito bites whereas some (34.6%) knew that sexual transmission was also possible. Media (radio, television or newspapers) was the preferred source of updated information on Zika virus, followed by healthcare workers (44.0%), government announcements (43.2%), and social media (38.0%). Pregnant women who were 25 years old or older [Adj. OR=3.62 (95% CI: 1.57, 9.51)], not Malays [Adj. OR=3.32 (95% CI: 1.35, 8.55)], and had an average monthly household income of more than BND $3 000 [Adj. OR=4.06 (95% CI: 1.81, 19.44)] were more likely to score higher for knowledge on Zika virus. The median prevention practice score was 23, out of a possible score of 36. Most participants reported wearing covering clothes (98.3%) and kept their living surroundings clean (99.6%). Most participants (88.0%) agreed that Zika is an important issue in their community. Conclusion: We found a lack of knowledge on Zika virus infection among pregnant women attending government maternal and child healthcare centres in Brunei Darussalam, in particular that Zika virus can be sexually transmitted. Such information could be well disseminated at the healthcare centre level. Health literacy studies should be conducted to understand the facilitators and barriers of KAP on Zika virus infection among pregnant women.
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Plants used in traditional medicine for treatment of malaria by Tetun ethnic people in West Timor Indonesia
Maximus M Taek, Bambang EW Prajogo, Mangestuti Agil
November 2018, 11(11):630-637
Objective: To document the medicinal plants used for the treatment of malaria by the Tetun ethnic people in West Timor–Indonesia. Methods: The ethnobotany and anthropology methods were used in the field surveys. Ninety four informants from 29 villages of 15 sub-districts in Belu and Malaka were interviewed since April to December 2017. Medicinal plants specimen were collected from the field and identified according to taxonomic methods. Results: Ninety six medicinal plants species belong to 41 families were found to be used by the Tetun ethnic people in their traditional medicine for the treatment of malaria. These plants have been used in various formulas for drinking, massage, bath, inhalation or cataplasm. Strychnos ligustrina, Calotropis gigantea, Cleome rutidosperma, Physalis angulata, Alstonia spectabilis, Carica papaya, Melia azedarach, Alstonia scholaris, Jatropha curcas, Garuga floribunda, and Tamarindus indica were the most cited plants. Conclusions: The documented plants are valuable sources for the future development of new drugs and strategies to support malaria eliminating programs that are culturally acceptable in these areas.
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Larvicidal, pupicidal and oviposition deterrent activities of essential oils from Umbelliferae plants against house fly Musca domestica
Aksorn Chantawee, Mayura Soonwera
November 2018, 11(11):621-629
Objective: To evaluate the toxicity against house fly Musca domestica L. (M. domestica)-larvicidal, pupicidal, and oviposition deterrent activities of essential oils (EOs) from five plants: Anethum graveolens L. (A. graveolens), Centratherum anthelminticum L. (C. anthelminticum), Foeniculum vulgare Mill. (F. vulgare), Pimpinella anisum L. (P. anisum), and Trachyspermum ammi L. (T. ammi) Sprague. Methods: Dipping, topical and dual-choice assays were performed by using each EO at three concentrations (1%, 5% and 10%) as well as cypermethrin (positive control) and ethyl alcohol (negative control) in order to determine their larvicidal, pupicidal and oviposition deterrent activities against M. domestica mortality rate and morphogenic abnormality of larvae and pupae were recorded after 3 and 10 days of incubation. Oviposition deterrent activity was recorded for 5 consecutive days from the beginning of the assay. Results: All EOs at the highest concentration (10%) were highly effective in oviposition deterrent with 100% effective repellency and an oviposition activity index of -1.00. Ten percent of F. vulgare oil exhibited the highest efficacy against the larvae with 89.6% mortality rate at 3 days and an LC50 value of 5.4%. Ten percent of A. graveolens and T. ammi oils showed the highest efficacy against the pupae with 100% mortality and an LC50 value ranging from 1.81%-2.24%. Conclusions: These results indicate that F. vulgare, A. graveolens and T. ammi EOs are effective larvicidal, pupicidal and oviposition deterrent agents against house fly M. domestica.
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Seroprevalence of varicella zoster virus in Colombo district, Sri Lanka
Hathshya M Munasingha, Ananda Amarasinghe, Neelika G Malavige, Nalini Sathiakumar
January 2018, 11(1):53-57
Objective: To determine the seroprevalence of varicella zoster virus (VZV) antibodies among the population residing in the Colombo district of Sri Lanka. Methods: A cross-sectional population-based study was conducted which included 1 258 participants. Blood samples were collected and questionnaires administered to obtain sociodemographic information and history of varicella and/or herpes zoster. Serum samples were assayed for VZV IgG antibodies using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. Results: Overall, the seroprevalence was 54.2% (95% CI = 51.5% 57.0%). Children below 1 year of age were seronegative, and only about 20.0% of children between 1 and 10 years of age were seropositive. Seropositivitiy increased with age and by the age of 40 years 74.3% were seropositive. Among women of childbearing age, the overall seroprevalence was about 62.0% (95% CI = 57.7%-66.1%) but was low 37.0% in the 15-19 age group. Conclusion In this population, 45.8% lacked natural immunity against varicella. Of women of childbearing age, 39.9% lacked immunity and in the subgroup of women 15-19 years of age, 63.0% women lacked immunity. In light of the country's success with the control and high coverage of other vaccine preventable diseases and that the vaccine is available in the private sector, the inclusion of varicella vaccine in the national immunization program may be considered.
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In vitro antiproliferative and apoptosis inducing effect of a methanolic extract of Azadirachta indica oil on selected cancerous and noncancerous cell lines
Muhammad Kashif, Dongwook Kim, Gonhyung Kim
October 2018, 11(10):555-561
Objective: To find the cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of neem oil extract on the selected cancerous (A-549, PC-3 and DU-145) and noncancerous (NIH3T3 and CCD-18Co) cell lines. Methods: Viability and cytotoxic effect induced by the extract was measured by using MTT assay and apoptotic effect of the extract was evaluated by using Hoechst 33342 and propidium iodide dual staining through a fluorescent microscope and activity of caspases 3, 8 and 9 through colorimetric assay kits. Results: The results showed that neem oil extract significantly reduced the viability in all selected cancer cells treated with varying concentrations of extract as compared with untreated cells and had less effect on noncancerous cell lines. It significantly increased the percentage of necrotic and apoptotic cells, and caspases 3, 8 and 9 activities in all cancer cells treated with extract as compared with untreated cells whereas no effect on noncancerous cell lines. It suggested that neem oil extract exerted a higher cytotoxic effect on cancer cells than normal cells and lower concentration induced apoptosis only in cancer cells. One of the apoptosis-inducing mechanism was through the activation of caspases signaling pathways. Conclusion: Conclusively, it implies that neem oil extract may contain one or more potential agents that can be used as a safe and effective anticancer therapy.
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Acute kidney injury in leptospirosis: Overview and perspectives
Geraldo Bezerra da Silva Junior, Nattachai Srisawat, Gabriela Studart Galdino, Ênio Simas Macedo, José Reginaldo Pinto, Geysa Maria Nogueira Farias, Renan Lima Alencar, Roberto da Justa Pires Neto, Elvino José Guardão Barros, Elizabeth De Francesco Daher
October 2018, 11(10):549-554
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease disseminated through the centuries in the whole world which causes symptoms that go from self-limited diseases to hemorrhagic manifestations and organ failure, including acute kidney injury (AKI), composing the severe disease known as the Weil's syndrome. Mortality rates varies according to the clinical presentation and usually increases when kidney injury is present, and is even higher in the setting of pulmonary hemorrhage. There are recent advances in the search for novel biomarkers of renal involvement and early detection of AKI in leptospirosis, as well as in its pathophysiology. We review in this article the clinical aspects of leptospirosis-associated AKI and the perspectives for future research.
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Salacca zalacca: A short review of the palm botany, pharmacological uses and phytochemistry
Mohammed S. M. Saleh, Mohammad Jamshed Siddiqui, Ahmed Mediani, Nor Hadiani Ismail, Qamar Uddin Ahmed, Siti Zaiton Mat So'ad, Salima Saidi-Besbes
December 2018, 11(12):645-652
Salacca zalacca (Gaertn.) Voss (family Arecaceae) is the snake fruit commonly known in Malay language as salak in Malaysia. This exotic fruit has diverse and potential pharmacological properties due to its high antioxidant content. It is often consumed due to its sweet taste. The abundant natural sugar and fibre along with minerals and vitamin makes it a nutritious fruit. Phytochemical investigation on this fruit has revealed the presence of flavonoids, phenolics, glycosides as well as some volatile and aromatic compounds, including gallic acid, quercetin, chlorogenic acid, epicatechin, proanthocyanidins, lycopene and β-carotene. Pharmacological studies on the fruit flesh and peel have shown some tremendous antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antidiabetic potential. This review provides the botanical information of Salacca zalacca as well as its scientific investigations involving the distinct pharmacological and phytochemical benefits. This could help in highlighting the lacking data and research gaps on this plant.
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* Source: CrossRef