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author:("Nam, Hae seen")
1.  Effect of Activated Charcoal Fibers on the Survival of the House Dust Mite, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus: A Pilot Study 
ISRN Allergy  2012;2012:868170.
House dust mites produce potent allergens that exacerbate asthma in sensitized patients, whom are recommended to practice allergen avoidance within their home environment. We tested the effect of activated charcoal impregnated fibers on house dust mite survival. One hundred live adult house dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) were added to eight culture dishes preequilibrated at room temperature (n = 4) and 70% humidity (n = 4) containing house dust mite food and active charcoal fibers. At 10 minute intervals, live and dead house dust mites were counted. All house dust mites instantly attached to the activated charcoal fibers and started to shrink almost immediately. There were no live house dust mites present as early as 40 minutes in some dishes while after 190 minutes all house dust mites were dead. In conclusion, activated charcoal fibers, if incorporated into bedding items, have the potential to control house dust mites in the indoor environment.
PMCID: PMC3671713  PMID: 23762605
2.  Evaluation of Peptide Nucleic Acid Probe-based Real-time PCR for Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex and Nontuberculous Mycobacteria in Respiratory Specimens 
Annals of Laboratory Medicine  2012;32(4):257-263.
A peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probe-based real-time PCR (PNAqPCR™ TB/NTM detection kit; PANAGENE, Korea) assay has been recently developed for the simultaneous detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) and nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) in clinical specimens. The study was aimed at evaluation of the performance of PNA probe-based real-time PCR in respiratory specimens.
To evaluate potential cross-reactivity, the extracted DNA specimens from Mycobacterium species and non-mycobacterial species were tested using PNA probe-based real-time PCR assay. A total of 531 respiratory specimens (482 sputum specimens and 49 bronchoalveolar washing fluid specimens) were collected from 230 patients in July and August, 2011. All specimens were analyzed for the detection of mycobacteria by direct smear examination, mycobacterial culture, and PNA probe-based real-time PCR assay.
In cross-reactivity tests, no false-positive or false-negative results were evident. When the culture method was used as the gold standard test for comparison, PNA probe-based real-time PCR assay for detection of MTBC had a sensitivity and specificity of 96.7% (58/60) and 99.6% (469/471), respectively. Assuming the combination of culture and clinical diagnosis as the standard, the sensitivity and specificity of the new real-time PCR assay for detection of MTBC were 90.6% (58/64) and 99.6% (465/467), respectively. The new real-time PCR for the detection of NTM had a sensitivity and specificity of 69.0% (29/42) and 100% (489/489), respectively.
The new real-time PCR assay may be useful for the detection of MTBC in respiratory specimens and for discrimination of NTM from MTBC.
PMCID: PMC3384806  PMID: 22779066
Peptide nucleic acids; PCR; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Mycobacterium
3.  Evaluation of a New Immunochromatographic Assay Kit for the Rapid Detection of Norovirus in Fecal Specimens 
Annals of Laboratory Medicine  2011;32(1):79-81.
Rapid and accurate detection of norovirus is essential for the prevention and control of norovirus outbreaks. This study compared the effectiveness of a new immunochromatographic assay kit (SD BIOLINE Norovirus; Standard Diagnostics, Korea) and real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) for detecting norovirus in fecal specimens. Compared with real-time RT-PCR, the new assay had sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of 76.5% (52/68), 99.7% (342/343), 98.1% (52/53), and 95.5% (342/358), respectively. The sensitivity of the assay was 81.8% (18/22) for GII.3 and 75.7% (28/37) for GII.4. None of the 38 enteric virus-positive specimens (3 for astrovirus, 5 for enteric adenovirus, and 30 for rotavirus) tested positive in the cross-reactivity test performed by using this assay. The new immunochromatographic assay may be a useful screening tool for the rapid detection of norovirus in sporadic and outbreak cases; however, negative results may require confirmatory assays of greater sensitivity.
PMCID: PMC3255496  PMID: 22259783
Immunochromatographic assay; Norovirus; Sensitivity; Specificity
4.  Expression of the c-Met Proteins in Malignant Skin Cancers 
Annals of Dermatology  2011;23(1):33-38.
The expression of c-Met is substantially elevated in most malignant human cancers. We therefore searched for c-Met expression and compared the expression level among malignant skin cancers.
The aim of this study was to determine the c-Met expression pattern and the protein expression level in selected malignant cutaneous tumors.
G361 cells (malignant melanoma cell line) and A431 cells (squamous cell carcinoma cell line) were cultured and analyzed, using immunoprecipitation and Western blot analysis, for expression of c-Met. Additionally, 16 separate specimens of malignant melanomas (MMs), 16 squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), 16 basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and 16 normal tissues were analyzed for the expression of c-Met using immunohistochemical studies.
Based on cultured cell immunoprecipitation and Western blot analysis, both A431 cells and G361 cells expressed c-Met, however, c-Met was expressed substantially more in G361 cells. Immunohistochemical examination of c-Met showed that it was over-expressed in all malignant skin cancers. In addition, c-Met expression was more increased in MM compared to other cancers.
In our study, c-Met is involved in malignant skin cancer development and the level of its expression is thought to be related to the degree of malignancy in melanoma cancers.
PMCID: PMC3119996  PMID: 21738360
c-Met expression; Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF); Skin cancers
5.  Evaluation of New Rapid Antigen Test for Detection of Pandemic Influenza A/H1N1 2009 Virus ▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2010;48(6):2260-2262.
We evaluated the SD Bioline Influenza Ag A/B/A(H1N1) Pandemic test kit and compared it with real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) for its ability to detect H1N1 2009. The sensitivity and specificity of the test kit for H1N1 2009 were 77% and 100%, respectively.
PMCID: PMC2884507  PMID: 20357213
6.  Chemokine Receptor CCR3 Expression in Malignant Cutaneous Tumors 
Annals of Dermatology  2010;22(4):412-417.
Chemokines and their receptors are important players in tumorigenesis by facilitating tumor proliferation and metastasis. Little is known about the possible function of chemokine receptors in relation to the development and progression of malignant cutaneous tumors.
The aim of this study was to determine the chemokine receptor CCR3 expression pattern and the protein expression level in selected malignant cutaneous tumors.
Four types of cell lines (G361, A431, SK-MEL-2, SK-MEL-24) were analyzed, using Western blotting, for the expression of CCR3 protein. Immunohistochemical staining for CCR3 was done on 36 skin cancer tissue samples that included 16 squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), 16 basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), 16 malignant melanomas (MMs) and 6 normal tissue samples.
Western blot analysis showed that CCR3 protein was more expressed in the MM cell lines (G361, SK-MEL-2,SK-MEL-24) than that in the SCC cell line (A431), and the immunohistochemical analysis showed that CCR3 protein was overexpressed in MM and SCC, it was mildly expressed in BCC and it was hardly expressed in normal tissue.
This study demonstrated via immunochemistry that CCR3 was more expressed in MM, followed by SCC and BCC. The existence of CCR3 protein may enhance the tumorigenic potential of malignant cutaneous tumors.
PMCID: PMC2991717  PMID: 21165210
CC chemokine receptors; CCR3; Chemokine
7.  Elevated c-Src and c-Yes expression in malignant skin cancers 
Src family kinases (SFKs) play an important role in cancer proliferation, survival, motility, invasiveness, metastasis, and angiogenesis. Among the SFKs, c-Src and c-Yes are particularly over-expressed or hyper-activated in many human epithelial cancers. However, only a few studies have attempted to define the expression and role of c-Src and c-Yes in cutaneous carcinomas.
To investigate the expression of c-Src and c-Yes in cutaneous carcinomas to include malignant melanoma (MM), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC).
We examined 6 normal skin tissues and 18 malignant skin tumor tissues using western blotting for the expression of c-Src and c-Yes. In another set, 16 specimens of MM, 16 SCCs and 16 BCCs were analyzed for the expression of c-Src and c-Yes using immunohistochemical staining.
Western blotting showed that c-Src was expressed in all malignant skin tumors, but not in normal skin, while c-Yes was expressed in MM and SCC, but not in BCC and normal skin. Immunohistochemical staining results of c-Src and c-Yes in MM, SCC, and BCC mirrored those of the western blot analysis.
c-Src, rather than c-Yes, plays a key role in the proliferation and progression of malignant skin cancers.
PMCID: PMC2936336  PMID: 20796316
8.  House Dust Mite Allergens in Domestic Homes in Cheonan, Korea 
House dust mites produce inhalant allergens of importance to allergic patients. We measured the major group 1 allergens, Der p 1 and Der f 1, from the house dust mites Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farina, respectively in 100 randomly selected domestic homes from Cheonan, Korea. Dust samples were collected by vacuuming from the living room floor and 1 mattress in each home. Der p 1 and Der f 1 were measured by double monoclonal ELISA. Der p 1 levels were very low, with geometric mean levels for floors and mattresses being 0.11 µg/g (range: 0.01-4.05) and 0.14 µg/g (range: 0.01-30.0), respectively. Corresponding levels of Der f 1 were higher, 7.46 µg/g (range: 0.01-262.9) and 10.2 µg/g (range: 0.01-230.9) for floors and mattresses, respectively. D. farinae appears to be the dominant house dust mite in Cheonan.
PMCID: PMC2553341  PMID: 18830061
Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus; Dermatophagoides farina; house dust mite; allergen; asthma; Korea
9.  Validity of MAST-CLA for diagnosis of arthropod allergy using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis 
Many allergists are currently focusing on the development of new diagnostic tools, and are attempting to improve both the sensitivity and specificity. A multiple allergen simultaneous test-chemiluminescent assay (MAST-CLA) is one of the most popular diagnostic tools used in the Republic of Korea. However, there remains controversy among allergists with regard to the cut-off point for a positive result. The present study was conducted in order to determine the validity of MAST-CLA as compared with that of the skin prick test, with particular emphasis on arthropod allergens, on the basis of percentage agreement rates and κ-values, and also to suggest the optimal positive cut-off points using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. The study was conducted with 97 subjects (54 men, 43 women). Optimal individual cut-off points were calculated as follows; class II for Dermatophagoides farinae, class I for Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, and trace for a cockroach mix. These findings suggest that attempting to apply optimal individual cut-off points will be a good way of improving diagnostic tests, particularly MAST-CLA.
PMCID: PMC2526320  PMID: 17876172
Dermatophagoides farinae; Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus; allergy; arthropod; skin prick test; MAST-CLA; ROC; cut-off point
10.  Activated Charcoal Suppresses Breeding of the House Dust Mite, Dermatophagoides Pteronyssinus, in Culture 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2007;22(2):383-385.
House dust mite sensitized asthmatics are advised to practice allergen avoidance. Charcoal pillows are used in Korea with unsubstantiated claims regarding their efficacy in alleviating asthma symptoms. We tested the effects of activated charcoal on breeding of house dust mites in culture. Twenty live adult house dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) were inoculated, 10 replicates, on culture media containing 0%, 1%, 3%, 5%, 10%, and 20% activated charcoal and incubated at 25℃ and a relative humidity of 75%. After four weeks, the mean numbers of live house dust mites were 286, 176, 46, 16, 7, and 0 for the 0%, 1%, 3%, 5%, 10%, and 20% charcoal-containing culture media, respectively. Thus, activated charcoal suppresses breeding of house dust mites and offers a new promising method for house dust mite control.
PMCID: PMC2693615  PMID: 17449957
Dermatophagoides Pteronyssinus; House Dust Mite; Activated Charcoal; Survival; Allergy
11.  Endotoxin and House Dust Mite Allergen Levels on Synthetic and Buckwheat Pillows 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2004;19(4):505-508.
Pillows are known to contain significant levels of indoor allergens and endotoxin, that are of importance to house dust mite sensitized asthmatics. Buckwheat pillows are commonly used in Korea. We studied the levels of the house dust mite allergen, Der f 1, and endotoxin on new synthetic and buckwheat pillows and their accumulation over three months. Endotoxin levels were significantly higher on new buckwheat pillows compared to synthetic pillows; geometric mean levels (95% CI) were 60,950 EU/g (30,270-122,700) and 4,887 EU/g (2,570-9,311) respectively (p<0.001). No Der f 1 was detected on the new pillows. After three months Der f 1 levels were similar on buckwheat and synthetic pillows, geometric mean levels (95% CI) were 1.16 µg/g (0.02-8.13) and 1.08 µg/g (0.19-1.68) respectively. These results indicate that buckwheat pillows are a source of very high endotoxin levels that may be of relevance to asthma severity of atopic asthmatics.
PMCID: PMC2816881  PMID: 15308838
Pillows; Buckwheat; Endotoxins; House Dust Mite; Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus; Dermatophagoides farinae; Asthma; Atopy
12.  Prevalence of arthropod antibodies in Korean patients with allergic rhinitis 
Arthropod antigens are main causative agents which induce allergic reponses in humans. However, little information is known about the prevalence of specific arthropod allergens in Koreans with allergic diseases. The current study was designed to determine the positive rates of arthropod antibodies by the Korean inhalant panel of MAST-CLA. One hundred sixty patients, who were diagnosed with allergic rhinitis from an out-patient center at the Soonchunhyang University Chunan Hospital, were studied between August 1998 to July 2000. The overall positive rate, at least more than one specific antibody of arthropods such as Dermatophagoides farinae (Df), Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Dp), and cockroach mix (Cm), was 46.9%. Each positive rate of Df, Dp, and Cm was 45.0%, 43.1%, and 8.8%, respectively. A significant agreement among arthropod allergens was observed (Df and Dp: 95.6%, Kappa = 0.911, P < 0.001). Our data supported the fact that arthropods were the most common allergens in Korean patients with allergic rhinitis; however, the MAST-CLA should be modified to increase specificity of arthropod allergens.
PMCID: PMC2721098  PMID: 11441508
arthropods; hypersensitivity; mites; cockroaches; allergic rhinitis
13.  Infection status with trematode metacercariae in pond smelts, Hypomesus olidus 
Many Koreans usually eat raw pond smelts, Hypomesus olidus, in the winter. This study was performed to evaluate the infection status with trematode metacercariae in pond smelts from January 1998 through February 1999. Among 1,305 fish collected, 459 were purchased from wholesale dealers in Chinchon-gun, Chungchongbuk-do, and the rest of them were caught with a casting net in Soyangho (Lake), Taehoman (Bay) and Paekkokchosuchi (Pond). Seven species of trematode metacercariae including two unidentified ones were detected from 1,305 pond smelts. The number of detected trematode metacercariae according to the species are as follow: Clonorchis sinensis 8, Holostephanus nipponicus 7, Cyathocotyle orientalis 24, Diplostomum sp. 14, and Metorchis orientalis 7. From the above results, it was confirmed that H. olidus plays a role as the second intermediate host of some kinds of trematode including C. sinensis in Korea. Our report shows possible clonorchiasis caused by eating raw pond smelts.
PMCID: PMC2721106  PMID: 10743358
Hypomesus olidus; Clonorchis sinensis; Holostephanus nipponicus; Cyathocotyle orientalis; Diplostomum sp.; Metorchis orientalis

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