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1.  PCR/RFLP-Based Analysis of Genetically Distinct Plasmodium vivax Population of Pvmsp-3α and Pvmsp-3β genes in Pakistan 
Malaria Journal  2014;13(1):355.
Background
Plasmodium vivax is one of the widespread human malarial parasites accounting for 75% of malaria epidemics. However, there is no baseline information about the status and nature of genetic variation of Plasmodium species circulating in various parts of Pakistan. The present study was aimed at observing the molecular epidemiology and genetic variation of Plasmodium vivax by analysing its merozoite surface protein-3α (msp-3α) and merozoite surface protein-3β (msp-3β) genes, by using suballele, species-specific, combined nested PCR/RFLP detection techniques.
Methods
A total of 230 blood samples from suspected subjects tested slide positive for vivax malaria were collected from Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan during the period May 2012 to December 2013. Combined nested PCR/RFLP technique was conducted using Pvmsp-3α and Pvmsp-3β genetic markers to detect extent of genetic variation in clinical isolates of P. vivax in the studied areas of Pakistan.
Results
By PCR, P. vivax, 202/230 (87.82%), was found to be widely distributed in the studied areas. PCR/RFLP analysis showed a high range of allelic variations for both msp-3α and msp-3β genetic markers of P. vivax, i.e., 21 alleles for msp-3α and 19 for msp-3β. Statistically a significant difference (p ≤ 0.05) was observed in the genetic diversity of the suballelic variants of msp-3α and msp-3β genes of P. vivax.
Conclusion
It is concluded that P. vivax populations are highly polymorphic and diverse allelic variants of Pvmsp-3α and Pvmsp-3β are present in Pakistan.
doi:10.1186/1475-2875-13-355
PMCID: PMC4164714  PMID: 25199951
Plasmodium vivax; PCR/RFLP; Genetic polymorphism; MSP3α and MSP3β genes
2.  Aurora kinase-C-T191D is constitutively active mutant 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:8.
Background
Aurora kinases (Aurora-A, B and C) belong to a family of conserved serine/threonine kinases which are key regulators of cell cycle progression. Aurora-A and Aurora-B are expressed in somatic cells and involved in cell cycle regulation while aurora-C is meiotic chromosome passenger protein. As Aurora kinase C is rarely expressed in normal somatic cells and has been found over expressed in many cancer lines. It is suggested that Aurora-C-T191D is not hyperactive mutant.
Result
Aurora-C-T191D variant form was investigated and compared with wild type. The overexpression of Aurora-C-T191D was observed that it behaves like Aurora-C wild type (aurC-WT). Both Aurora-C-T191D and aurC-WT induce abnormal cell division resulting in centrosome amplification and multinucleation in transiently transfected cells as well as in stable cell lines. Similarly, Aurora-C-T191D and aurC-WT formed foci of colonies when grown on soft agar, indicating that a gain of Aurora-C activity is sufficient to transform cells. Furthermore, we reported that NIH-3 T3 stable cell lines overexpressing Aurora-C-T191D and its wild type partner induced tumour formation when injected into nude mice, demonstrating the oncogenic activity of enzymatically active Aurora kinase C. Interestingly enough tumour aggressiveness was positively correlated with the rate of kinase activity, making Aurora-C a potential anti-cancer therapeutic target.
Conclusion
These findings proved that Aurora C-T191D is not hyperactive but is constitutively active mutant.
doi:10.1186/1471-2121-13-8
PMCID: PMC3324370  PMID: 22443468
Aurora-C; Oncogene; Centrosome; Multinucleation; Tumour
3.  Rising burden of Hepatitis C Virus in hemodialysis patients 
Virology Journal  2011;8:438.
Aim
High prevalence of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been reported among the dialysis patients throughout the world. No serious efforts were taken to investigate HCV in patients undergoing hemodialysis (HD) treatment who are at great increased risk to HCV. HCV genotypes are important in the study of epidemiology, pathogenesis and reaction to antiviral therapy. This study was performed to investigate the prevalence of active HCV infection, HCV genotypes and to assess risk factors associated with HCV genotype infection in HD patients of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as comparing this prevalence data with past studies in Pakistan.
Methods
Polymerase chain reaction was performed for HCV RNA detection and genotyping in 384 HD patients. The data obtained was compared with available past studies from Pakistan.
Results
Anti HCV antibodies were observed in 112 (29.2%), of whom 90 (80.4%) were HCV RNA positive. In rest of the anti HCV negative patients, HCV RNA was detected in 16 (5.9%) patients. The dominant HCV genotypes in HCV infected HD patients were found to be 3a (n = 36), 3b (n = 20), 1a (n = 16), 2a (n = 10), 2b (n = 2), 1b (n = 4), 4a (n = 2), untypeable (n = 10) and mixed (n = 12) genotype.
Conclusion
This study suggesting that i) the prevalence of HCV does not differentiate between past and present infection and continued to be elevated ii) HD patients may be a risk for HCV due to the involvement of multiple routes of infections especially poor blood screening of transfused blood and low standard of dialysis procedures in Pakistan and iii) need to apply infection control practice.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-438
PMCID: PMC3180426  PMID: 21920054
Dialysis patients; HCV; HCV Genotype; Epidemiology; Pakistan
4.  Prevalence of Hepatitis B virus genotypes in HBsAg positive individuals of Afghanistan 
Virology Journal  2011;8:281.
Background
The structural and functional differences between hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes are the mainstay to severity, complications, treatment and possibly vaccination against the virus. This study was conducted to determine the HBV genotypes in HBsAg positive patients of Afghanistan as no such large scale data available previously.
Methods
Two hundred and fourteen HBsAg-positive patients were included in this study. All patients were anti-HCV and anti-HIV negative. All the samples were confirmed for HBV DNA with nested PCR while HBV DNA positive samples were subjected to type specific PCR for HBV genotyping (A-F).
Results
Of the total samples, 168 (78.5%) were males and 46 (21.49%) females, aged ranged between 18 to 71 years. This study demonstrated that genotype D (35.67%) is the predominant genotype circulating in Afghani's population. Genotype C was observed in 32.16% followed by genotype A (19.30%), and genotype B (7.02%) while 6.07% of the individuals were not typed.
Conclusion
This study has shown a heterogeneous distribution of HBV genotypes. Further more, extensive studies are required to investigate genetic and geographical divergence and characteristics of the virus in the country, as no such large sample sized study has been carried out so far in this country.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-281
PMCID: PMC3118365  PMID: 21649888
5.  Prevalence of HBV and HBV vaccination coverage in health care workers of tertiary hospitals of Peshawar, Pakistan 
Virology Journal  2011;8:275.
Background
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) may progress to serious consequences and increase dramatically beyond endemic dimensions that transmits to or from health care workers (HCWs) during routine investigation in their work places. Basic aim of this study was to canvass the safety of HCWs and determine the prevalence of HBV and its possible association with occupational and non-occupational risk factors. Hepatitis B vaccination coverage level and main barriers to vaccination were also taken in account.
Results
A total of 824 health care workers were randomly selected from three major hospitals of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Blood samples were analyzed in Department of Zoology, Kohat University of Science and Technology Kohat, and relevant information was obtained by means of preset questionnaire. HCWs in the studied hospitals showed 2.18% prevalence of positive HBV. Nurses and technicians were more prone to occupational exposure and to HBV infection. There was significant difference between vaccinated and non-vaccinated HCWs as well as between the doctors and all other categories. Barriers to complete vaccination, in spite of good knowledge of subjects in this regard were work pressure (39.8%), negligence (38.8%) un-affordability (20.9%), and unavailability (0.5%).
Conclusions
Special preventive measures (universal precaution and vaccination), which are fundamental way to protect HCW against HBV infection should be adopted.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-275
PMCID: PMC3121707  PMID: 21645287
6.  Response to combination therapy of HCV 3a infected Pakistani patients and the role of NS5A protein 
Virology Journal  2011;8:258.
Background
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 3a is known to show comparatively better response to combination therapy than genotype 1 and 4. Mutations within NS5A gene of HCV have earlier been implicated with response to interferon (IFN) therapies in chronic HCV patients among various populations. As response to therapy are available in different populations because of the ethnic and viral factors and there was no study available on the phenomenon of resistivity to IFN.
Results
Chronic HCV 3a infected Pakistani patients were kept on IFN-α and ribavirin therapy for six months. NS5A gene of HCV was amplified and sequenced in the case of all the patients prior to therapy and the sequences were analysed for mutations. Out of the total 27 patients, 20 (74.07%) were observed with sustained virological response (SVR), 4 (14.81%) patients were non responder (NR) while 3 (11.11%) patients exhibited in end of treatment response (ETR). Three (3/20) (15%) SVR patients and two (2/3) ETR patients had mutations (ranging from I-V amino acids) within the NS5A ISDR regions. While the rest of the SVR patients (85%) and the NR had no mutations at ISDR region when compared with HCV K3a ISDR.
Conclusions
Mutations within the NS5A gene of HCV 3a genotype may not influence the outcome of combination therapy in Pakistani populations.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-258
PMCID: PMC3118205  PMID: 21609495
HCV; genotype 3a; IFN; NS5A gene

Results 1-6 (6)