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1.  Postharvest intervention technologies for safety enhancement of meat and meat based products; a critical review 
Globally, the demand for safe, healthy and nutritious meat and allied products possesses improved taste with extended shelf life is mounting. Microbial safety is among the imperative challenges that prevails in meat products because they provide an ideal medium for the growth of microorganisms particularly pathogenic bacteria. The incidence of these microbes can result quality deterioration of products leading towards food borne diseases when consumed by peoples. Several preservation technologies like chemical and biological interventions are effective to retard or inactivate the growth of micro-organisms most commonly related to food-borne diseases. Despite these, innovative approaches like hydrostatic pressure processing, active packaging, pulse electric field, hurdle approach and use of natural antimicrobials can be deployed to enhance the safety of meat and meat products. The objective of review is to describe the current approaches and developing technologies for enhancing safety of meat and allied meat products.
doi:10.1007/s13197-015-1985-y
PMCID: PMC4711421  PMID: 26787929
Food safety; Intervention technologies; Organic acid; Irradiation; Ozone; HPP; Essential oils
2.  Preduodenal Portal Vein Associated with Duodenal Obstruction of other Etiology: A Case Series 
DuodenalPreduodenal portal vein is a rare and interesting entity which often causes duodenal obstruction. It is also associated with other congenital anomalies. We report here three cases of preduodenal portal vein associated with other anomalies causing duodenal obstruction not related to direct compression by portal vein itself.
doi:10.21699/jns.v5i4.341
PMCID: PMC5117277  PMID: 27896162
Preduodenal portal vein ;  Duodenal Atresia; Polysplenia; Situs inversus; Heterotaxy
3.  On different results for new three step iteration process in Banach spaces 
SpringerPlus  2016;5(1):1616.
In this paper we propose a new iteration process, called AK iteration process, for approximation of fixed points for contraction mappings. We show that our iteration process is faster than the leading Vatan Two-step iteration process for contraction mappings. Numerical examples are given to support the analytic proofs. Stability of AK iteration process and data dependence result for contraction mappings by employing AK iteration process are also discussed.
doi:10.1186/s40064-016-3056-x
PMCID: PMC5028375  PMID: 27652189
Banach space; Iteration process; Stability; Data dependence; Primary 47H09; Secondary 47H10
4.  Association of rs1800668 polymorphism in glutathione peroxidase- 1 gene and risk of rheumatoid arthritis in Pakistani population 
Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences  2016;32(5):1204-1207.
Objective:
To investigate the role of glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPX1) C/T polymorphism (rs1800668) in modulating the chances of Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Pakistani population.
Methods:
A total of 400 individuals including 200 controls and 200 patients of RA, were genotyped. Detection of rs1800668 polymorphism was carried out using PCR based amplification strategy (allele specific).
Results:
The results for Hardy Weinberg Equilibrium (HWE) indicated that the allele frequencies for GPX1 polymorphism were not deviant from HWE in whole population under observation. The statistical analysis indicated that significant association existed between rs1800668 polymorphism and RA (p<0.01). CT genotype increased the risk of RA development by 1.8582 times (OR: 1.8582; 95% CI 1.2154 to 2.8409). CC genotype was found to have protective effect against the disease development (OR: 0.5133; 95% CI 0.3403 to 0.7742) while TT genotype was found to have association with RA development but the risk level was marginal (OR: 1.5319; 95% CI 0.6124 to 3.8322).
Conclusion:
The present finding suggests the importance of GPX1 C/T polymorphism (rs1800668) in development of RA in Pakistani population. The protective role of CC genotype against the development of RA in local population was also observed.
doi:10.12669/pjms.325.10325
PMCID: PMC5103134  PMID: 27882022
GPX1 C/T Polymorphism; Rheumatoid Arthritis; rs1800668
5.  Seroprevalence and Spatial Distribution of Toxoplasmosis in Sheep and Goats in North-Eastern Region of Pakistan 
Toxoplasmosis is a protozoan disease that is caused by Toxoplasma gondii in livestock and humans. Due to its medical and veterinary importance, it is essential to study the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection among humans and animals in various parts of the world. The major objective of this study was to determine the seroprevalence and spatial distribution of toxoplasmosis in small ruminants (sheep and goats) of north-eastern region, Pakistan. A total of 1,000 animals comprising of sheep (n=470) and goats (n=530) were examined for T. gondii infection by using ELISA. An epidemiological data was collected in the form of questionnaire. A surface has been generated by using method of interpolation in Arc GIS with the help of IDW (inverse distance weight). The results showed higher seroprevalence of T. gondii in goats (42.8%) as compared to sheep (26.2%). The seroprevalence was higher in females as compared to males in all examined ruminants. Similarly, there is a wide variation in the seroprevalence of T. gondii in different breeds of sheep and goats showing higher seroprevalence in Teddy (52.8%) and Damani breed (34.5%) of goat and sheep’s, respectively. The geographical and spatial distribution of T. gondii shows that it is widely distributed in different parts of the north-eastern region of Pakistan. Our results suggest widespread environmental contamination with T. gondii oocysts. It suggests us that small ruminants could be a potentially important source of T. gondii infection if their infected meat is consumed undercooked.
doi:10.3347/kjp.2016.54.4.439
PMCID: PMC5040087  PMID: 27658595
Toxoplasma gondii; ELISA; seroprevalence; sheep; goat; spatial distribution; Pakistan
6.  One Pot Selective Arylation of 2-Bromo-5-Chloro Thiophene; Molecular Structure Investigation via Density Functional Theory (DFT), X-ray Analysis, and Their Biological Activities 
Synthesis of 2,5-bisarylthiophenes was accomplished by sequential Suzuki cross coupling reaction of 2-bromo-5-chloro thiophenes. Density functional theory (DFT) studies were carried out at the B3LYP/6-31G(d, p) level of theory to compare the geometric parameters of 2,5-bisarylthiophenes with those from X-ray diffraction results. The synthesized compounds are screened for in vitro bacteria scavenging abilities. At the concentration of 50 and 100 μg/mL, compounds 2b, 2c, 2d, 3c, and 3f with IC50-values of 51.4, 52.10, 58.0, 56.2, and 56.5 μg/mL respectively, were found most potent against E. coli. Among all the synthesized compounds 2a, 2d, 3c, and 3e with the least values of IC50 77, 76.26, 79.13 μg/mL respectively showed significant antioxidant activities. Almost all of the compounds showed good antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, whereas 2-chloro-5-(4-methoxyphenyl) thiophene (2b) was found most active among all synthesized compound with an IC50 value of 51.4 μg/mL. All of the synthesized compounds were screened for nitric oxide scavenging activity as well. Frontier molecular orbitals (FMOs) and molecular electrostatic potentials of the target compounds were also studied theoretically to account for their relative reactivity
doi:10.3390/ijms17070912
PMCID: PMC4964363  PMID: 27367666
2-bromo-5-chloro thiophenes; Suzuki coupling; density functional theory (DFT); antibacterial; antioxidant
7.  Synthesis and structural properties of 2-((10-alkyl-10H-phenothiazin-3-yl)methylene)malononitrile derivatives; a combined experimental and theoretical insight 
Background
Donor acceptor moieties connected through π-conjugated bridges i.e. D-π-A, in order to facilitate the electron/charge transfer phenomenon, have wide range of applications. Many classes of organic compounds, such as cyanine, coumarin carbazole, indoline, perylene, phenothiazine, triphenylamine, tetrahydroquinoline and pyrrole can act as charge transfer materials. Phenothiazines have been extensively studied as electron donor candidates due to their potential applications as electrochemical, photovoltaic, photo-physical and DSSC materials.
Results
Two phenothiazine derivatives, 2-((10-hexyl-10H-phenothiazin-3-yl)methylene)malononitrile (3a) and 2-((10-octyl-10H-phenothiazin-3-yl)methylene)malononitrile (3b) have been synthesized in good yields and characterized by various spectroscopic techniques like FT-IR, UV–vis, 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, and finally confirmed by single crystal X-ray diffraction studies. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations have been performed to compare the theoretical results with the experimental and to probe structural properties. In order to investigate the excited state stabilities the absorption studies have been carried out experimentally as well as theoretically.
Conclusions
Compound 3a crystallises as monoclinic, P2 (1)/a and 3b as P-1. The X-ray crystal structures reveal that asymmetric unit contains one independent molecule in 3a, whereas 3b exhibits a very interesting behavior in having a higher Z value of 8 and four independent molecules in its asymmetric unit. The molecular electrostatic potential (MEP) mapped over the entire stabilized geometries of the molecules indicates the potential sites for chemical reactivities. Furthermore, high first hyperpolarizability values entitle these compounds as potential candidates in photonic applications.Graphical abstractPhenothiazines; a comparison of experimental and theoretical analysis
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13065-016-0158-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13065-016-0158-z
PMCID: PMC4791767  PMID: 26981150
Phenothiazine; X-ray; DFT; MEP; NBO; NLO
8.  Microneedle Coating Techniques for Transdermal Drug Delivery 
Pharmaceutics  2015;7(4):486-502.
Drug administration via the transdermal route is an evolving field that provides an alternative to oral and parenteral routes of therapy. Several microneedle (MN) based approaches have been developed. Among these, coated MNs (typically where drug is deposited on MN tips) are a minimally invasive method to deliver drugs and vaccines through the skin. In this review, we describe several processes to coat MNs. These include dip coating, gas jet drying, spray coating, electrohydrodynamic atomisation (EHDA) based processes and piezoelectric inkjet printing. Examples of process mechanisms, conditions and tested formulations are provided. As these processes are independent techniques, modifications to facilitate MN coatings are elucidated. In summary, the outcomes and potential value for each technique provides opportunities to overcome formulation or dosage form limitations. While there are significant developments in solid degradable MNs, coated MNs (through the various techniques described) have potential to be utilized in personalized drug delivery via controlled deposition onto MN templates.
doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics7040486
PMCID: PMC4695830  PMID: 26556364
microneedles; coatings; drug delivery; coating process; films; particles
9.  Biomonitoring of Toxic Effects of Pesticides in Occupationally Exposed Individuals 
Safety and Health at Work  2015;7(2):156-160.
Background
Workers in pesticide manufacturing industries are constantly exposed to pesticides. Genetic biomonitoring provides an early identification of potential cancer and genetic diseases in exposed populations. The objectives of this biomonitoring study were to assess DNA damage through comet assay in blood samples collected from industry workers and compare these results with those of classical analytical techniques used for complete blood count analysis.
Methods
Samples from controls (n = 20) and exposed workers (n = 38) from an industrial area in Multan, Pakistan, were subjected to various tests. Malathion residues in blood samples were measured by gas chromatography.
Results
The exposed workers who were employed in the pesticide manufacturing industry for a longer period (i.e., 13–25 years) had significantly higher DNA tail length (7.04 μm) than the controls (0.94 μm). Workers in the exposed group also had higher white blood cell and red blood cell counts, and lower levels of mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), MCH concentration, and mean corpuscular volume in comparison with normal levels for these parameters. Malathion was not detected in the control group. However, in the exposed group, 72% of whole blood samples had malathion with a mean value of 0.14 mg/L (range 0.01–0.31 mg/L).
Conclusion
We found a strong correlation (R2 = 0.91) between DNA damage in terms of tail length and malathion concentration in blood. Intensive efforts and trainings are thus required to build awareness about safety practices and to change industrial workers' attitude to prevent harmful environmental and anthropogenic effects.
doi:10.1016/j.shaw.2015.11.001
PMCID: PMC4909848  PMID: 27340604
comet assay; DNA damage; genotoxicity; hematological tests; malathion
10.  Crucial and Diverse Role of the Interleukin-33/ST2 Axis in Infectious Diseases 
Infection and Immunity  2015;83(5):1738-1748.
Interleukin-33 (IL-33) has now emerged as a cytokine with diverse and pleiotropic functions in various infectious and inflammatory diseases. IL-33 is expressed by epithelial cells, endothelial cells, fibroblasts, and hepatocytes. The target cells of IL-33 are Th2 cells, basophils, dendritic cells, mast cells, macrophages, NKT cells, and nuocytes, newly discovered natural helper cells/innate lymphoid cells bearing the ST2 receptor. IL-33 has dual functions, both as a traditional cytokine and as a nuclear factor that regulates gene transcription. IL-33 functions as an “alarmin” released following cell death, as a biomarker, and as a vaccine adjuvant, with proinflammatory and protective effects during various infections. The exacerbated or protective role of the IL-33/ST2 axis during different infections is dependent upon the organ involved, type of infectious agent, whether the infection is acute or chronic, the invasiveness of the infectious agent, the host immune compartment, and cellular and cytokine microenvironments. In this review, we focus on recent advances in the understanding of the role of the IL-33/ST2 axis in various viral, bacterial, fungal, helminth, and protozoal infectious diseases gained from animal models and studies in human patients. The functional role of IL-33 and ST2 during experimentally induced infections has been summarized by accumulating the data for IL-33- and ST2-deficient mice or for mice exogenously administered IL-33. In summary, exploring the crucial and diverse roles of the IL-33/ST2 axis during infections may help in the development of therapeutic interventions for a wide range of infectious diseases.
doi:10.1128/IAI.02908-14
PMCID: PMC4399062  PMID: 25712928
11.  Electrolyte Disturbance and the Type of Malarial Infection 
Iranian Journal of Public Health  2015;44(11):1492-1497.
Background:
Electrolytes play an important role in the normal functioning of human body. Electrolyte imbalance and mineral disturbances is the common clinical manifestation in several infectious diseases including malaria. Malaria is a mosquito borne serious infectious disease of the world. Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum are the main agents responsible for malaria in Pakistan. Electrolyte imbalance in malarial infection may lead towards the severity of disease.
Methods:
The present study analyzed the electrolytes levels (Na, K, Ca and Mg) in malarial patients and healthy individuals. Patients were categorized into two groups, P. falciparum and P. vivax, based on causative species of Plasmodium. Study consisted of 173 individuals, out of which 73 were malarial patients and 100 were normal healthy individuals.
Results:
Concentrations of Na, K, and Ca were low in the blood of malarial patients as compared to healthy individuals (P<0.05). No significant difference for these electrolytes exists between P. falciparum and P. vivax infected groups (P>0.05). The concentration of Mg was changed based on exposure to the type of parasite. In P. falciparum infection, the level of Mg was lower than healthy individuals was (P<0.05). Discordantly, in case of P. vivaxinfection, Mg level was higher than healthy individuals were (P<0.05). No variation was noticed in electrolytes levels due to gender differences (P>0.05).
Conclusion:
Variation in Mg levels occurs due to exposure of Plasmodium depending on its type. The levels of Na, K and Ca are also changed due to Plasmodium, regardless of its type.
PMCID: PMC4703228  PMID: 26744706
Malaria; Electrolytes; Plasmodium falciparum; Plasmodium vivax
12.  Unraveling Health Risk and Speciation of Arsenic from Groundwater in Rural Areas of Punjab, Pakistan 
This study determined the total and speciated arsenic (As) concentrations and other health-related water quality parameters for unraveling the health risk of As from drinking water to humans. Groundwater samples (n = 62) were collected from three previously unexplored rural areas (Chichawatni, Vehari, Rahim Yar Khan) of Punjab in Pakistan. The mean and median As concentrations in groundwater were 37.9 and 12.7 µg·L−1 (range = 1.5–201 µg·L−1). Fifty three percent groundwater samples showed higher As value than WHO safe limit of 10 µg·L−1. Speciation of As in groundwater samples (n = 13) showed the presence of inorganic As only; arsenite (As(III)) constituted 13%–67% of total As and arsenate (As(V)) ranged from 33% to 100%. For As health risk assessment, the hazard quotient and cancer risk values were 11–18 and 46–600 times higher than the recommended values of US-EPA (i.e., 1.00 and 10−6, respectively). In addition to As, various water quality parameters (e.g., electrical conductivity, Na, Ca, Cl−, NO3−, SO42−, Fe, Mn, Pb) also enhanced the health risk. The results show that consumption of As-contaminated groundwater poses an emerging health threat to the communities in the study area, and hence needs urgent remedial and management measures.
doi:10.3390/ijerph121012371
PMCID: PMC4626974  PMID: 26445051
arsenic; groundwater; speciation; health risk; cancer; contamination; toxicity
13.  Phosphorylation of apoptosis repressor with caspase recruitment domain by protein kinase CK2 contributes to chemotherapy resistance by inhibiting doxorubicin induced apoptosis 
Oncotarget  2015;6(29):27700-27713.
The development of cancer resistance to chemotherapy is the major obstacle to cancer therapy. Here, we identified that the phosphorylation of apoptosis repressor with caspase recruitment domain (ARC) at threonine 149 was essential to inhibit doxorubicin (DOX) induced apoptosis and mitochondrial fission in cancer cells. Our further study showed that casein kinase II (CK2) inhibitors could decrease the phosphorylation levels of ARC and make cancer cells sensitive to undergoing apoptosis. Furthermore, CK2α and CK2α', catalytic subunits of CK2, were observed to translocate into nuclear in cancer cells with the treatment of DOX. Finally, the synergistically therapeutic effect by combining DOX and CK2 inhibitor was confirmed in tumor xenograft model. Taken together, our results revealed that CK2-mediated phosphorylation of ARC contributed to chemotherapy resistance by inhibiting DOX induced apoptosis and combining DOX with CK2 inhibitor could induce apoptosis of cancer cells synergistically by down-regulating the phosphorylation of ARC. Therefore, development of new therapeutic strategies based on ARC and CK2, is promising for overcoming cancer resistance to chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4695019  PMID: 26172393
chemotherapy resistance; ARC; CK2; apoptosis; doxorubicin
14.  Endobronchial Carcinoid Tumor in a Girl with Initial Histologic Diagnosis of Leiomyoma 
Endobronchial tumors represent the rarest cause of airway obstruction in pediatric population. Due to rarity of the condition, a high index of suspicion is required for early diagnosis. We report a patient in whom diagnostic bronchoscopic biopsy was reported as leiomyoma while post resection histopathology showed an atypical carcinoid.
PMCID: PMC4648144  PMID: 26623257
Endobronchial carcinoid; Leiomyoma; Pediatric
15.  Role of S180L polymorphism in etiology of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum in a small group of Pakistani population 
The aim of our study was to investigate the role of S180L polymorphism in modulation of acquisition of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum in a small group of Pakistani population. A total of 133 individuals including 60 controls and 73 patients of malaria, caused by Plasmodium falciparum, were genotyped using allele-specific PCR. Ninety-two samples successfully demonstrated the PCR amplification results, while forty-one samples could not be genotyped due to failure in PCR amplification. The allele frequency for S180L polymorphism was deviant from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) of the population under observation. Association was found between the observed polymorphism and the occurrence of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum (p = 0.01). Chances of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum were low in CC genotype carriers in comparison to other genotypes (Odds ratio 0.3016; 95% CI: 0.124-0.729). The present findings suggest that S180L polymorphism is important in modulating the probability of acquisition of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum in Pakistani population. The CC genotype plays a protective role in local population against this type of malaria.
doi:10.17305/bjbms.2015.413
PMCID: PMC4690437  PMID: 26614847
S180L; polymorphism; malaria; Plasmodium falciparum; MAL/TIRAP
16.  Gene expression profile in the fat tissue of Fsp27 deficient mice 
Genomics Data  2015;5:326-328.
Fsp27 is a lipid droplet-associated protein almost exclusively expressed in adipocytes where it facilitates unilocular lipid droplet formation. In mice, Fsp27 deficiency is associated with increased basal lipolysis, browning of white fat and a healthy metabolic profile, whereas energetically challenged Fsp27 deficient mice (ob/ob/Fsp27−/−) show dramatically reduced fat mass, hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance which represents a typical lipodystrophy phenotype. Here, we investigate the effect of Fsp27 depletion on the gene expression of gonadal white adipose tissue (GWAT) under normal or energetically challenged condition (Fsp27−/− vs Wild type; ob/ob/Fsp27−/− vs ob/ob). We systematically analyzed the change in signaling pathway in Fsp27 deficient mice. The raw data have been deposited into Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO): GSE59807 and GSE22693.
doi:10.1016/j.gdata.2015.07.003
PMCID: PMC4583699  PMID: 26484280
Obesity; Fsp27; Fat tissue; Microarray
17.  Oxidative stability and quality characteristics of whey protein coated rohu (Labeo rohita) fillets 
Background
Edible coatings have beneficial effect on quality of fish and act as barrier against moisture transfer and uptake of oxygen. Edible coating made up of biodegradable materials is helpful to control the quality deterioration and enhance the shelf life.
Methods
The present study was designed to elucidate the effects of whey based protein using two plasticizers i.e. sorbitol and glycerol on oxidative stability and quality characteristics of Rohu (Labeo rohita). Coating solutions were prepared by incorporating whey (8 % protein; w/ w) in distilled water followed addition of sorbitol and glycerol. Dipping method was used to apply coating on fish fillets. The coated fillets were subjected to quality characterictics, pH, color, TBARS, peroxide value, volatile basic nitrogen (TVBN) and sensory evaluation during 40 days of storage.
Results
The results showed significant impact on different quality attributes of fish fillets. Highest (TVBN) and TBARS were observed in control samples (T0) (12.60 ± 0.25, mg/100 g, 0.820 ± 0.02 mg MDA/kg) while lowest in T3 coated samples (8.81 ± 0.18 mg/100 g., 0.352 ± 0.01 mg MDA/kg of meat). Moreover, sensorial findings did not showed adverse effects and T3 coated samples were ranked higher by consumers.
Conclusion
In conclusion, coating fish with Whey: Glycerol: Sorbitol (1:1:1) in current investigation enhances the storage life and quality of fish fillets.
doi:10.1186/s12944-015-0060-z
PMCID: PMC4484698  PMID: 26099651
Whey protein coating; Fish fillets; TBARS; TVBN; Oxidative stability; Quality
18.  Molecular basis of arsenite (As+3)-induced acute cytotoxicity in human cervical epithelial carcinoma cells 
The Libyan Journal of Medicine  2015;10:10.3402/ljm.v10.26875.
Background
Rapid industrialization is discharging toxic heavy metals into the environment, disturbing human health in many ways and causing various neurologic, cardiovascular, and dermatologic abnormalities and certain types of cancer. The presence of arsenic in drinking water from different urban and rural areas of the major cities of Pakistan, for example, Lahore, Faisalabad, and Kasur, was found to be beyond the permissible limit of 10 parts per billion set by the World Health Organization. Therefore the present study was initiated to examine the effects of arsenite (As+3) on DNA biosynthesis and cell death.
Methods
After performing cytotoxic assays on a human epithelial carcinoma cell line, expression analysis was done by quantitative polymerase chain reaction, western blotting, and flow cytometry.
Results
We show that As+3 ions have a dose- and time-dependent cytotoxic effect through the activation of the caspase-dependent apoptotic pathway. In contrast to previous research, the present study was designed to explore the early cytotoxic effects produced in human cells during exposure to heavy dosage of As+3 (7.5 µg/ml). Even treatment for 1 h significantly increased the mRNA levels of p21 and p27 and caspases 3, 7, and 9. It was interesting that there was no change in the expression levels of p53, which plays an important role in G2/M phase cell cycle arrest.
Conclusion
Our results indicate that sudden exposure of cells to arsenite (As+3) resulted in cytotoxicity and mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis resulting from up-regulation of caspases.
doi:10.3402/ljm.v10.26875
PMCID: PMC4412877  PMID: 25922308
apoptosis; epithelial carcinoma; cytotoxicity; arsenite; caspases; Pakistan
19.  Paederus beetles: the agent of human dermatitis 
Background
Rove beetles of the genus Paederus cause dermatitis when they come in contact with human skin. This condition is prevalent in some tropical and subtropical regions, such as in northern Pakistan, where it was recorded for the first time by US troops. Despite much research from other countries on this subject, few studies, mostly clinical, have been performed in a Pakistani context. A survey was carried out in villages, towns and cities of Punjab province, Pakistan, to explore the rove beetle population dynamics and to develop a model to elucidate the symptoms, preventive measures and treatment strategies for this dermatitis.
Methods
The prospective observational and patient surveys were performed bimonthly over a period of two years, in different districts of Punjab province. Collection was carried out in fields, gardens and houses during every visit with the aid of a pitfall trap, light trap, flight intercept trap, Berlese funnel trap and sweep netting. These traps were installed for four days during every visit. Interviews of ten individuals of different ages and sexes from each site were recorded during each visit.
Results
Out of 980 individuals, 26.4% were found to suffer from Paederus dermatitis. Lesions were most commonly found on the neck followed by the face. In July-August during the rainy season, this skin irritation was most prevalent and the population of these beetles peaked (36.2%). During May-June, the beetle population was lowest (7.85%) due to soil dryness. About 70% of such irritation cases were from individuals living in farming villages or in farmhouses. Their houses typically (80%) had broken doors and screen-less windows while 97% of the residents were unaware of how they may have come into contact with these beetles. In most cases (91% from villages/small towns and 24% from cities and adjoining areas) the local residents were unaware of modern treatment strategies.
Conclusions
Paederus dermatitis is extremely frequent in villages with poor housing facilities and could be avoided via community awareness.
doi:10.1186/s40409-015-0004-0
PMCID: PMC4357090  PMID: 25767507
Dermatitis linearis; Irritation; Lesions; Paederus; Rove beetle; Skin dermatitis
20.  Factors Affecting the Use of Impedance Spectroscopy in the Characterisation of the Freezing Stage of the Lyophilisation Process: the Impact of Liquid Fill Height in Relation to Electrode Geometry 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2013;15(2):261-269.
This study aims to investigate the application of impedance spectroscopy using fixed electrode geometries on a standard glass vial in the characterisation of the freezing process of solutions at different fill liquid volumes. Impedance spectra (between 10 and 106 Hz) were recorded every 3 min, during the freezing cycle on a solution of 30 mg/mL sucrose contained within 10 mL glass vials having an electrode system (two thin copper foils: w, 18 mm; h, 5 mm) affixed to the external surface of the vial. A fill factor (Φ) was defined in terms of the relative height of the solution volume to the height of the electrodes from the base of the vial. Solution volumes of 1.5 to 5 mL (corresponding to Φ= 0.5–1.6) were investigated to establish the applicability of having a fixed electrode geometry for a range of solution volumes. A linear relationship between the time duration of the ice formation/solidification phase and the fill factor suggests that fixed electrode geometries may be used to investigate a range of fill volumes. The benefit of this approach is that it does not invade the solution and hence records the freezing process without providing additional nucleation sites and in a manner which is representative of the entire fill volume.
doi:10.1208/s12249-013-0054-y
PMCID: PMC3969478  PMID: 24306675
fill height; freezing; impedance spectroscopy; sucrose
21.  Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles for Revolutionizing Agriculture: Synthesis and Applications 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:925494.
Nanotechnology is the most innovative field of 21st century. Extensive research is going on for commercializing nanoproducts throughout the world. Due to their unique properties, nanoparticles have gained considerable importance compared to bulk counterparts. Among other metal nanoparticles, zinc oxide nanoparticles are very much important due to their utilization in gas sensors, biosensors, cosmetics, drug-delivery systems, and so forth. Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) also have remarkable optical, physical, and antimicrobial properties and therefore have great potential to enhance agriculture. As far as method of formation is concerned, ZnO NPs can be synthesized by several chemical methods such as precipitation method, vapor transport method, and hydrothermal process. The biogenic synthesis of ZnO NPs by using different plant extracts is also common nowadays. This green synthesis is quite safe and ecofriendly compared to chemical synthesis. This paper elaborates the synthesis, properties, and applications of zinc oxide nanoparticles.
doi:10.1155/2014/925494
PMCID: PMC4243478  PMID: 25436235
22.  Increasing Burn Severity in Mice is Associated with Delayed Mobilization of Circulating Angiogenic Cells 
Angiogenesis is an important component of wound healing. Mobilization of circulating angiogenic cells (CACs) has been observed in patients with cutaneous burn wounds, but a systematic exploration of the phenomenon in an animal model has not been carried out. Using a murine model, in which burn depth can be varied precisely, and a validated culture method for quantifying circulating CACs, we found that increasing burn depth resulted in a progressive delay in the time to mobilization of circulating CACs. This delay in CAC mobilization was associated with a delay in perfusion and vascularization of the burn wound tissue. Analysis of CACs in the peripheral blood of human burn patients, using the same culture assay, confirmed results previously obtained by flow cytometry, that CAC levels peak early after the burn wound, and point to the clinical relevance of findings from the murine model.
doi:10.1001/archsurg.2009.285
PMCID: PMC4209728  PMID: 20231626
23.  In Vitro Antimycobacterial Activity of Pakistani Beri Honey Using BACTEC MGIT 960 
Background. Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic bacterial disease. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, being the leading member of the MTB complex, is the main cause of tuberculosis worldwide. Tuberculosis is managed with combination of drugs: streptomycin, isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide. Over the recent past years resistance against first line antituberculous drugs has emerged rapidly throughout the world resulting in MDR strains. The new threat in the management of MDR-TB is the development of resistance against second line drugs: aminoglycosides, polypeptides, fluoroquinolones, and thioamides. Multidrug resistant (MDR) and extensively drug resistant TB (XDR) strains have become a major concern to control TB particularly in the developing countries. The need of the hour is to look for new modalities having antimycobacterial activity. Honey has been well known for its antibacterial activity. We intended to explore its antimycobacterial activity against MDR-TB. Objective. The objective of this study was to determine whether Pakistani Beri honey has any antimycobacterial activity. Method. The study was conducted in the Department of Microbiology, University of Health Sciences, Lahore. Clinical isolates (n = 21) of MDR-MTB were evaluated for their susceptibility to Beri honey. The isolates were provided, courtesy of Pakistan Medical Research Council. These isolates were identified by MTBc ID test (Becton & Dickinson) and further tested for their antimycobacterial activity using Beri honey. The honey was tested at the following concentrations (v/v): 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, and 5% in MGIT 960. Growth controls were also inoculated with each isolate (growth control has no concentration of honey, only containing growth of isolate). Results. MDR-TB isolates (n = 21) were tested; 3 (14%) isolates were susceptible at 1% v/v honey, while at 2% v/v of honey 18 (86%) isolates were found to be susceptible. All the 21 isolates (n = 21) were susceptible at 3% v/v of honey. Conclusion. The present study clearly demonstrates that Pakistani Beri honey possesses significant antimycobacterial activity in vitro. The antimycobacterial activity of Pakistani Beri honey may, therefore, be exploited in an appropriate mouse model.
doi:10.1155/2014/490589
PMCID: PMC4897373  PMID: 27379286
24.  Crystal structure of 1-benzoyl-3-(4-fluoro­phen­yl)thio­urea 
The title compound, C14H11FN2OS, contains two mol­ecules (A and B) in the asymmetric unit, with different conformations. In mol­ecule A, the dihedral angles between the central thio­urea grouping and the phenyl and fluoro­benzene rings are 28.77 (8) and 41.82 (8)°, respectively, and the dihedral angle between the ring planes is 70.02 (9)°. Equivalent data for mol­ecule B are 8.46 (8), 47.78 (8) and 52.99 (9)°, respectively. Both mol­ecules feature an intra­molecular N—H⋯O hydrogen bond, which closes an S(6) ring. In the crystal, A+B dimers linked by pairs of N—H⋯S hydrogen bonds generate R 2 2(8) loops.
doi:10.1107/S1600536814018376
PMCID: PMC4186107  PMID: 25309204
crystal structure; thio­urea; amide; hydrogen-bonded dimers
25.  Quantitative ethnomedicinal study of plants used in the skardu valley at high altitude of Karakoram-Himalayan range, Pakistan 
Background
The tribal inhabitants of the Skardu valley (Pakistan) live in an area of great endemic botanic diversity. This paper presents the first quantitative ethnomedicinal spectrum of the valley and information on the uses of medicinal plant. This paper aims to analyze and catalogue such knowledge based on Relative Frequency Citation (RFC) and Use Value (UV) of medicinal plants in addition to the configuration of the Pearson correlation coefficient.
Methods
The field study was carried out over a period of approximately 2 years (2011–2013) using semi-structured interviews with 71 informants (most of the informants belonged to an age between 50 and 70 years) in six remote locations in the valley. Ethnomedicinal data was analyzed using frequency citation (FC), relative frequency of citation (RFC) and use value (UV) along with a Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC). Demographic characteristics of participants, ethnobotanical inventory of plants and data on medicinal application and administration were recorded.
Results
A total of 50 medicinal plants belonging to 25 families were reported to be used against 33 different ailments in the valley. The maximum reported medicinal plant families were Asteraceae (7 report species), Lamiaceae (6) , Polygonaceae (4) and Rosaceae (4), the most dominant life form of the species includes herbs (38) followed by shrubs and subshrubs (12), the most frequent used part was leaves (41%) followed by root (26%), flower (14%), fruit (9%), seeds (8%), bulb (1%) and bark (1%), the most common preparation and administration methods were infusion (32%), decoction (26%), paste (18%), herbal juice (17%) and powder drug (7%). The Pearson correlation coefficient between RFC and UV was 0.732 showing highly positive significant association.
Conclusions
In this study, we have documented considerable indigenous knowledge about the native medicinal plants in Skardu valley for treating common ailments which are ready to be further investigated phytochemically and pharmacologically which leads to natural drug discovery development. The study has various socioeconomic dimensions which are associated with the local communities.
doi:10.1186/1746-4269-10-43
PMCID: PMC4039317  PMID: 24885937
Quantitative ethnobotany; Medicinal plants; Skardu valley; Northern Pakistan

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