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1.  Comparison between open and closed methods of herniorrhaphy in calves affected with umbilical hernia 
Journal of Veterinary Science  2009;10(4):343-347.
Umbilical hernias in calves commonly present to veterinary clinics, which are normally secondary to failure of the normal closure of the umbilical ring, and which result in the protrusion of abdominal contents into the overlying subcutis. The aim of this study was to compare the suitability of commonly-used herniorrhaphies for the treatment of reducible umbilical hernia in calves. Thirty-four clinical cases presenting to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Chittagong, Bangladesh from July 2004 to July 2007 were subjected to comprehensive study including history, classification of hernias, size of the hernial rings, presence of adhesion with the hernial sacs, postoperative care and follow-up. They were reducible, non-painful and had no evidence of infection present on palpation. The results revealed a gender influence, with the incidence of umbilical hernia being higher in female calves than in males. Out of the 34 clinical cases, 14 were treated by open method of herniorrhaphy and 20 were treated by closed method. Complications of hernia were higher (21%) in open method-treated cases than in closed method-treated cases (5%). Hernia recurred in three calves treated with open herniorrhaphy within 2 weeks of the procedure, with swelling in situ and muscular weakness at the site of operation. Shorter operation time and excellent healing rate (80%) were found in calves treated with closed herniorrhaphy. These findings suggest that the closed herniorrhaphy is better than the commonly-used open method for the correction of reducible umbilical hernia in calves.
PMCID: PMC2807272  PMID: 19934601
calves; herniorrhaphy; reducible umbilical hernia
2.  Development of puffed ginseng-rice snack from ginseng powder and map rice flour using steam and compression process 
A new manufacturing method for producing a puffed ginseng-rice snack (PGRS) was developed using ginseng powder and map rice flour through a steam and compression process (SCP). The physical and sensory properties of the PGRS were characterized. The pellets for puffing were prepared from ginseng powder and map rice flour. The pellets were subjected to 16, 18, and 20% moisture contents and were puffed at 225, 235, and 245° C. The specific volumes of the PGRSs increased with heating temperature and moisture content. However, the breaking strength of the PGRSs decreased. In addition, the SCP imposed special features in the PGRSs that made them more acceptable. The Hunter L-value increased with heating temperature and moisture content. These results indicate that a PGRS with functional additives could be effectively developed into a functional food with the use of a puffing machine, and that the PGRS shows potential as a new snack product.
PMCID: PMC3550922  PMID: 24425934
Puffed ginseng-rice snack; Steam; Compression; Map rice
3.  Conventional or Interpersonal Communication: Which Works Best in Disseminating Malaria Information in an Endemic Rural Bangladeshi Community? 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90711.
Since 2007, BRAC has been implementing malaria prevention and control programme in 13 endemic districts of Bangladesh under the National Malaria Control Programme. This study was done to examine the role of different communication media in bringing about changes in knowledge and awareness which facilitate informed decision-making for managing malaria-like illnesses.
A baseline survey in 2007 before inception of the programme, and a follow-up survey in 2012 were done to study changes in different aspects of programme interventions including the communication component. Both the surveys used the same sampling technique to select 25 households at random from each of the 30 mauza/villages in a district. A pre-tested, semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect relevant information from respondents in face-to-face interview. Analysis was done comparing the study areas at two different times. Statistical tests were done as necessary to examine the differences.
The intervention succeeded in improving knowledge in some trivial areas (e.g., most frequent symptom suggestive of malaria, importance of using insecticidal bed nets) but not in critical domains necessary for taking informed action (e.g., mode of malaria transmission, awareness about facilities providing free malaria treatment). Inequity in knowledge and practice was quite common depending upon household affluence, location of households in high or low endemic districts, and sex. Of the different media used in Information, Education and communication (IEC) campaigns during the study period, interpersonal communication with community health workers/relatives/neighbours/friends was found to be more effective in improving knowledge and practice than conventional print and audio-visual media.
This study reiterates the fact that conventional media may not be user-friendly or culture-sensitive for this semi-literate/illiterate community where dissemination through ‘words of mouth’ is more common, and as such, interpersonal communication is more effective. This is especially important for initiating informed action by the community in managing malaria-like illnesses.
PMCID: PMC3948336  PMID: 24603849
4.  Infrastructure and Contamination of the Physical Environment in Three Bangladeshi Hospitals: Putting Infection Control into Context 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89085.
This paper describes the physical structure and environmental contamination in selected hospital wards in three government hospitals in Bangladesh.
The qualitative research team conducted 48 hours of observation in six wards from three Bangladeshi tertiary hospitals in 2007. They recorded environmental contamination with body secretions and excretions and medical waste and observed ward occupant handwashing and use of personal protective equipment. They recorded number of persons, number of open doors and windows, and use of fans. They measured the ward area and informally observed waste disposal outside the wards. They conducted nine focus group discussions with doctors, nurses and support staff.
A median of 3.7 persons were present per 10 m2 of floor space in the wards. A median of 4.9 uncovered coughs or sneezes were recorded per 10 m2 per hour per ward. Floors in the wards were soiled with saliva, spit, mucous, vomitus, feces and blood 125 times in 48 hours. Only two of the 12 patient handwashing stations had running water and none had soap. No disinfection was observed before or after using medical instruments. Used medical supplies were often discarded in open containers under the beds. Handwashing with soap was observed in only 32 of 3,373 handwashing opportunities noted during 48 hours. Mosquitoes and feral cats were commonly observed in the wards.
The physical structure and environment of our study hospitals are conducive to the spread of infection to people in the wards. Low-cost interventions on hand hygiene and cleaning procedures for rooms and medical equipment should be developed and evaluated for their practicality and effectiveness.
PMCID: PMC3929649  PMID: 24586516
5.  Prevalence and Diversity of Avian Haematozoan Parasites in Wetlands of Bangladesh 
The parasites of genera Haemoproteus, Plasmodium, and Leucocytozoon are well-known avian haematozoa and can cause declined productivity and high mortality in wild birds. The objective of the study was to record the prevalence of haematozoan parasites in a wide range of wetland birds in Bangladesh. Six species of Haemoproteus, seven species of Plasmodium, one unidentified species of Leucocytozoon, and one unidentified microfilaria of the genus Paronchocerca were found. Data on the morphology, size, hosts, prevalence, and infection intensity of the parasites are provided. The overall prevalence among the birds was 29.5% (95 out of 322 birds). Of those, 13.2% (42 of 319) of birds were infected with Haemoproteus spp., 15.1% with Plasmodium spp. (48 of 319) and 0.6% with Leucocytozoon spp. (2 of 319). Two birds were positive for both Haemoproteus sp. and Plasmodium sp. A single resident bird, Ardeola grayii, was found positive for an unidentified microfilaria. Prevalence of infection varied significantly among different bird families. Wild birds of Bangladesh carry several types of haematozoan parasites. Further investigation with a larger sample size is necessary to estimate more accurately the prevalence of haematozoan parasites among wild birds as well as domestic ducks for better understanding of the disease ecology.
PMCID: PMC3918735  PMID: 24587896
6.  Prevalence and Correlates of Smokeless Tobacco Consumption among Married Women in Rural Bangladesh 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e84470.
To estimate the prevalence and identify correlates of smokeless tobacco consumption among married rural women with a history of at least one pregnancy in Madaripur, Bangladesh.
Materials and Methods
We conducted a cross-sectional survey using an interviewer administered, pre-tested, semi-structured questionnaire. All women living in the study area, aged 18 years and above with at least one pregnancy in their lifetime, who were on the electoral roll and agreed to participate were included in the study. Information on socio-demographic characteristics and smokeless tobacco consumption was collected. Smokeless tobacco consumption was categorized as ‘Current’, ‘Ever but not current’ and ‘Never’. Associations between smokeless tobacco consumption and the explanatory variables were estimated using simple and multiple binary logistic regression.
8074 women participated (response rate 99.9%). The prevalence of ‘Current consumption’, ‘Ever consumption but not current’, and ‘Never consumption’ was 25%, 44% and 31%, respectively. The mean age at first use was 31.5 years. 87% of current consumers reported using either Shadapata or Hakimpuree Jarda. Current consumption was associated with age, level of education, religion, occupation, being an income earner, marital status, and age at first use of smokeless tobacco. After adjustment for demographic variables, current consumption was associated with being over 25 years of age, a lower level of education, being an income earner, being Muslim, and being divorced, separated or widowed.
The prevalence of smokeless tobacco consumption is high among rural women in Bangladesh and the age of onset is considerably older than that for smoking. Smokeless tobacco consumption is likely to be producing a considerable burden of non-communicable disease in Bangladesh. Smokeless tobacco control strategies should be implemented.
PMCID: PMC3885568  PMID: 24416234
7.  Changing Trends in the Prevalence of Shigella Species: Emergence of Multi-Drug Resistant Shigella sonnei Biotype g in Bangladesh 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82601.
Shigellosis, caused by Shigella species, is a major public health problem in Bangladesh. To determine the prevalence and distribution of different Shigella species, we analyzed 10,827 Shigella isolates from patients between 2001 and 2011. S. flexneri was the predominant species isolated throughout the period. However, the prevalence of S. flexneri decreased from 65.7% in 2001 to 47% in 2011, whereas the prevalence of S. sonnei increased from 7.2% in 2001 to 25% in 2011. S. boydii and S. dysenteriae accounted for 17.3% and 7.7% of the isolates respectively throughout the period. Of 200 randomly selected S. sonnei isolates for extensive characterization, biotype g strains were predominant (95%) followed by biotype a (5%). Resistance to commonly used antibiotics including trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, nalidixic acid, ciprofloxacin, mecillinam and ampicillin was 89.5%, 86.5%, 17%, 10.5%, and 9.5%, respectively. All isolates were susceptible to ceftriaxone, cefotaxime, ceftazidime and imipenem. Ninety-eight percent of the strains had integrons belonging to class 1, 2 or both. The class 1 integron contained only dfrA5 gene, whereas among class 2 integron, 16% contained dhfrAI-sat1-aadA1-orfX gene cassettes and 84% harbored dhfrA1-sat2 gene cassettes. Plasmids of ∼5, ∼1.8 and ∼1.4 MDa in size were found in 92% of the strains, whereas only 33% of the strains carried the 120 MDa plasmid. PFGE analysis showed that strains having different integron patterns belonged to different clusters. These results show a changing trend in the prevalence of Shigella species with the emergence of multidrug resistant S. sonnei. Although S. flexneri continues to be the predominant species albeit with reduced prevalence, S. sonnei has emerged as the second most prevalent species replacing the earlier dominance by S. boydii and S. dysenteriae in Bangladesh.
PMCID: PMC3867351  PMID: 24367527
8.  Implication of Lateral Genetic Transfer in the Emergence of Aeromonas hydrophila Isolates of Epidemic Outbreaks in Channel Catfish 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80943.
To investigate the molecular basis of the emergence of Aeromonas hydrophila responsible for an epidemic outbreak of motile aeromonad septicemia of catfish in the Southeastern United States, we sequenced 11 A. hydrophila isolates that includes five reference and six recent epidemic isolates. Comparative genomics revealed that recent epidemic A. hydrophila isolates are highly clonal, whereas reference isolates are greatly diverse. We identified 55 epidemic-associated genetic regions with 313 predicted genes that are present in epidemic isolates but absent from reference isolates and 35% of these regions are located within genomic islands, suggesting their acquisition through lateral gene transfer. The epidemic-associated regions encode predicted prophage elements, pathogenicity islands, metabolic islands, fitness islands and genes of unknown functions, and 34 of the genes encoded in these regions were predicted as virulence factors. We found two pilus biogenesis gene clusters encoded within predicted pathogenicity islands. A functional metabolic island that encodes a complete pathway for myo-inositol catabolism was evident by the ability of epidemic A. hydrophila isolates to use myo-inositol as a sole carbon source. Testing of A. hydrophila field isolates found a consistent correlation between myo-inositol utilization as a sole carbon source and the presence of an epidemic-specific genetic marker. All epidemic isolates and one reference isolate shared a novel O-antigen cluster. Altogether we identified four different O-antigen biosynthesis gene clusters within the 11 sequenced A. hydrophila genomes. Our study reveals new insights into the evolutionary changes that have resulted in the emergence of recent epidemic A. hydrophila strains.
PMCID: PMC3835674  PMID: 24278351
9.  Complete Genome Sequence of a Channel Catfish Epidemic Isolate, Aeromonas hydrophila Strain ML09-119 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(5):e00755-13.
Aeromonas hydrophila is a Gram-negative, rod-shaped, mesophilic bacterium that infects both aquatic poikilothermic animals and mammals, including humans. Here, we present the complete genome sequence of Aeromonas hydrophila strain ML09-119, which represents a clonal group of A. hydrophila isolates causing outbreaks of bacterial septicemia in channel catfish since 2009.
PMCID: PMC3778208  PMID: 24051325
10.  Complete Genome Sequence of Staphylococcus aureus Tager 104, a Sequence Type 49 Ancestor 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(5):e00706-13.
We report here the complete genome sequence of Staphylococcus aureus Tager 104, originally isolated from a cutaneous abscess in 1947 by Morris Tager. Sequence typing of the strain revealed its membership in sequence type 49 (ST49), a previously unknown multilocus sequence type (MLST) in clinical samples.
PMCID: PMC3772141  PMID: 24029757
11.  Role for the Conserved N-terminal Cysteines in the Anti-Chemokine Activities by the Chemokine-like Protein MC148R1 Encoded by Molluscum Contagiosum Virus 
Virology  2011;417(2):449-456.
Molluscum contagiosum poxvirus (MCV) type 1 and type 2 encode two chemokine-like proteins MC148R1 and MC148R2. It is believed that MC148R proteins function by blocking the inflammatory response. However, the mechanism of the proposed biological activities of MC148R proteins and the role of the additional C-terminal cysteines that do not exist in other chemokines are not understood. Here, we demonstrated in two different assay systems that His-tagged MC148R1 displaces the interaction between CXCL12α and CXCR4. The N-terminal cysteines but not the additional C-terminal cysteines modulate this displacement. His-tagged MC148R1 blocked both CXCL12α-mediated and MIP-1α-mediated chemotaxis. In contrast, MC148R2 blocked MIP-1α-mediated but not CXCL12α-mediated chemotaxis. Immunoprecipitation by antibodies to MC148R1 or CXCL12α followed by immunoblotting and detection by antibodies to the other protein demonstrated physical interaction of His-tagged CXCL12α and His-tagged MC148R1. Interaction with chemokines might mask the receptor interaction site resulting in decreased binding and impairment of the biological activities.
PMCID: PMC3760151  PMID: 21802105
Chemokines; Chemotaxis; CXCL12; MCV; HIV
12.  Study of total phenol, flavonoids contents and phytochemical screening of various leaves crude extracts of locally grown Thymus vulgaris 
To prepare various crude extracts using different polarities of solvent and to quantitatively evaluate their total phenol, flavonoids contents and phytochemical screening of Thymus vulgaris collected from Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Nizwa, Sultanate of Oman.
The leave sample was extracted with methanol and evaporated. Then it was defatted with water and extracted with different polarities organic solvents with increasing polarities. The prepare hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, butanol and methanol crude extracts were used for their evaluation of total phenol, flavonoids contents and phytochemical screening study. The established conventional methods were used for quantitative determination of total phenol, flavonoids contents and phytochemical screening.
Phytochemical screening for various crude extracts were tested and shown positive result for flavonoids, saponins and steroids compounds. The result for total phenol content was the highest in butanol and the lowest in methanol crude extract whereas the total flavonoids contents was the highest in methanol and the lowest hexane crude extract.
The crude extracts from locally grown Thymus vulgaris showed high concentration of flavonoids and it could be used as antibiotics for different curable and uncurable diseases.
PMCID: PMC3757278  PMID: 23998010
Thymus vulgaris L.; Various crude extracts; Phytochemical screening; Soxhlet extractor; Total phenol; Flavonoids contents
13.  Screening Utility, Local Perceptions, and Care-seeking for Reported Jaundeesh among Respondents Lacking Signs of Icterus in Rural Bangladesh 
In rural Bangladesh, acute viral hepatitis presents a significant burden on the public-health system. As part of the formative work for a large epidemiologic study of hepatitis E in rural Bangladesh, we sought to identify local terms that could be used for population-based screening of acute viral hepatitis. Exploration of the local term jaundeesh for screening utility identified a high burden of reported jaundeesh among individuals without symptoms of icterus. Recognizing that local perceptions of illness may differ from biomedical definitions of disease, we also sought to characterize the perceived aetiology, care-seeking patterns, diagnostic symptoms, and treatments for reported jaundeesh in the absence of icteric symptoms to inform future population-based studies on reported morbidities. We conducted a cross-sectional survey among 1,441 randomly-selected subjects to identify the prevalence of reported jaundeesh and to test the validity of this local term to detect signs of icterus. To characterize the perceived aetiology and care-seeking patterns for jaundeesh among the majority of respondents, we conducted in-depth interviews with 100 respondents who self-reported jaundeesh but lacked clinical signs of icterus. To describe diagnostic symptoms and treatments, in-depth interviews were also performed with 25 kabirajs or traditional faith healers commonly visited for jaundeesh. Of the 1,441 randomly-selected participants, one-fourth (n=361) reported jaundeesh, with only a third (n=122) reporting yellow eyes or skin, representative of icterus; Jaundeesh had a positive predictive value of 34% for detection of yellow eyes or skin. Anicteric patients with reported jaundeesh perceived their illnesses to result from humoral imbalances, most commonly treated by amulets, ritual handwashing, and bathing with herbal medicines. Jaundeesh patients primarily sought folk and spiritual remedies from informal care providers, with only 19% visiting allopathic care providers. Although the local term jaundeesh appeared to have limited epidemiologic utility to screen for acute symptomatic viral hepatitis, this term described a syndrome perceived to occur frequently in this population. Future population-based studies conducting surveillance for acute hepatitis should use caution in the use and interpretation of self-reported jaundeesh. Further study of jaundeesh may provide insight into the appropriate public-health response to this syndrome.
PMCID: PMC3805887  PMID: 24288951
Ethnography; Hepatitis; HEV; Jaundice; Medical anthropology; Morbidity; Traditional healers; Bangladesh
14.  Serogroup W135 Meningococcal Disease, The Gambia, 2012 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2013;19(9):1507-1515.
In 2012, an outbreak of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup W135 occurred in The Gambia. The attack rate was highest among young children. The associated risk factors were male sex, contact with meningitis patients, and difficult breathing. Enhanced surveillance facilitates early epidemic detection, and multiserogroup conjugate vaccine could reduce meningococcal epidemics in The Gambia.
PMCID: PMC3810914  PMID: 23965435
Neisseria meningitidis; serogroup W135; meningitis; the Gambia; epidemic; outbreak; bacteria
15.  Health Care Utilization and Attitudes Survey: Understanding Diarrheal Disease in Rural Gambia 
Diarrheal disease causes ∼1.34 million deaths per year among children under 5 years of age globally. We conducted a Health Care Utilization and Attitudes Survey of 1,012 primary caregivers of children aged 0–11, 12–23, and 24–59 months randomly selected from a Demographic Surveillance population in rural Gambia. Point prevalence of diarrhea was 7.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 6.1–9.8); 23.3% had diarrhea within the previous 2 weeks. Caregivers of 81.5% of children with diarrhea sought healthcare outside their home, but only 48.4% of them visited a health center. Only 17.0% (95% CI = 12.1–23.2) of children with diarrhea received oral rehydration solution (ORS) at home. Abbreviated surveys conducted on six occasions over the subsequent 2 years showed no change in prevalence or treatment-seeking behavior. Diarrhea remains a significant problem in rural young Gambian children. Encouraging care-seeking behavior at health centers and promoting ORS use can reduce mortality and morbidity in this population.
PMCID: PMC3748496  PMID: 23629926
16.  Molecular epidemiology of canine GM1 gangliosidosis in the Shiba Inu breed in Japan: relationship between regional prevalence and carrier frequency 
Canine GM1 gangliosidosis is a fatal disease in the Shiba Inu breed, which is one of the most popular traditional breeds in Japan and is maintained as a standard breed in many countries. Therefore, it is important to control and reduce the prevalence of GM1 gangliosidosis for maintaining the quality of this breed and to ensure supply of healthy dogs to prospective breeders and owners. This molecular epidemiological survey was performed to formulate an effective strategy for the control and prevention of this disease.
The survey was carried out among 590 clinically unaffected Shiba Inu dogs from the 8 districts of Japan, and a genotyping test was used to determine nation-wide and regional carrier frequencies. The number and native district of affected dogs identified in 16 years from 1997 to June 2013 were also surveyed retrospectively. Of the 590 dogs examined, 6 dogs (1.02%, 6/590) were carriers: 3 dogs (2.27%, 3/132) from the Kinki district and the other 3 dogs from the Hokkaido, Kanto, and Shikoku districts. The retrospective survey revealed 23 affected dogs, among which, 19 dogs (82.6%) were born within the last 7 years. Of the 23 affected dogs, 12 dogs (52.2%) were from the Kinki district. Pedigree analysis demonstrated that all the affected dogs and carriers with the pedigree information have a close blood relationship.
Our results showed that the current carrier frequency for GM1 gangliosidosis is on the average 1.02% in Japan and rather high in the Kinki district, which may be related to the high prevalence observed over the past 16 years in this region. This observation suggests that carrier dogs are distributed all over Japan; however, kennels in the Kinki district may face an increased risk of GM1 gangliosidosis. Therefore, for effective control and prevention of this disease, it is necessary to examine as many breeding dogs as possible from all regions of Japan, especially from kennels located in areas with high prevalence and carrier frequency.
PMCID: PMC3701567  PMID: 23819787
GM1 Gangliosidosis; Shiba Inu Dog; Molecular Epidemiology; Canine Inherited Disease
17.  Human and Methodological Sources of Variability in the Measurement of Urinary 8-Oxo-7,8-dihydro-2′-deoxyguanosine 
Antioxidants & Redox Signaling  2013;18(18):2377-2391.
Aims: Urinary 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) is a widely used biomarker of oxidative stress. However, variability between chromatographic and ELISA methods hampers interpretation of data, and this variability may increase should urine composition differ between individuals, leading to assay interference. Furthermore, optimal urine sampling conditions are not well defined. We performed inter-laboratory comparisons of 8-oxodG measurement between mass spectrometric-, electrochemical- and ELISA-based methods, using common within-technique calibrants to analyze 8-oxodG-spiked phosphate-buffered saline and urine samples. We also investigated human subject- and sample collection-related variables, as potential sources of variability. Results: Chromatographic assays showed high agreement across urines from different subjects, whereas ELISAs showed far more inter-laboratory variation and generally overestimated levels, compared to the chromatographic assays. Excretion rates in timed ‘spot’ samples showed strong correlations with 24 h excretion (the ‘gold’ standard) of urinary 8-oxodG (rp 0.67–0.90), although the associations were weaker for 8-oxodG adjusted for creatinine or specific gravity (SG). The within-individual excretion of 8-oxodG varied only moderately between days (CV 17% for 24 h excretion and 20% for first void, creatinine-corrected samples). Innovation: This is the first comprehensive study of both human and methodological factors influencing 8-oxodG measurement, providing key information for future studies with this important biomarker. Conclusion: ELISA variability is greater than chromatographic assay variability, and cannot determine absolute levels of 8-oxodG. Use of standardized calibrants greatly improves intra-technique agreement and, for the chromatographic assays, importantly allows integration of results for pooled analyses. If 24 h samples are not feasible, creatinine- or SG-adjusted first morning samples are recommended. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 18, 2377–2391.
PMCID: PMC3671631  PMID: 23198723
18.  Shaping T Cell – B Cell Collaboration in the Response to Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Envelope Glycoprotein gp120 by Peptide Priming 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e65748.
Prime-boost vaccination regimes have shown promise for obtaining protective immunity to HIV. Poorly understood mechanisms of cellular immunity could be responsible for improved humoral responses. Although CD4+ T-cell help promotes B-cell development, the relationship of CD4+ T-cell specificity to antibody specificity has not been systematically investigated. Here, protein and peptide-specific immune responses to HIV-1 gp120 were characterized in groups of ten mucosally immunized BALB/c mice. Protein and peptide reactivity of serum antibody was tested for correlation with cytokine secretion by splenocytes restimulated with individual gp120 peptides. Antibody titer for gp120 correlated poorly with the peptide-stimulated T-cell response. In contrast, titers for conformational epitopes, measured as crossreactivity or CD4-blocking, correlated with average interleukin-2 and interleukin-5 production in response to gp120 peptides. Antibodies specific for conformational epitopes and individual gp120 peptides typically correlated with T-cell responses to several peptides. In order to modify the specificity of immune responses, animals were primed with a gp120 peptide prior to immunization with protein. Priming induced distinct peptide-specific correlations of antibodies and T-cells. The majority of correlated antibodies were specific for the primed peptides or other peptides nearby in the gp120 sequence. These studies suggest that the dominant B-cell subsets recruit the dominant T-cell subsets and that T-B collaborations can be shaped by epitope-specific priming.
PMCID: PMC3679139  PMID: 23776539
19.  In vitro antioxidant, cytotoxic, thrombolytic activities and phytochemical evaluation of methanol extract of the A. philippense L. leaves 
To study the leaves of Adiantum philippense L. for their antioxidant, cytotoxicity and thrombolytic activities and to perform phytochemical evaluation.
In-vitro antioxidant activity of extract was studied using DPPH radical scavenging, reducing power, total phenol and total flavonoid content determination assays. The cytotoxic activity was determined using brine shrimp lethality bioassay, thrombolytic activity by clot disruption and phytochemical potential by qualitative analysis.
The antioxidant activity of the extracts was found promising. The reducing power of this crude extract increase with the increase of concentration; IC50 values of DPPH scavenging activity was (140.00±0.86) µg/mL as compared to ascorbic acid [IC50 (130.00±0.76) µg/mL]; Total phenol and total flavonoids content were (148.26±0.24) mg/mL and (163.06±0.56) mg/mL respectively. In cytotoxicity assay the LC50 values of the sample was (106.41±0.78) µg/mL where as for standard vincristin sulphate was (08.50±0.24) µg/mL as a positive control and the extract shows (12.86±1.02)% clot lytic whereas standard streptokinase shows (30.86±0.44% clot lytic activity in thrombolytic assay. The phytochemical evaluation indicates the presence of chemical constituents including carbohydrates, alkaloids, saponins, glycosides, flavonoids.
This study shows that the methanol extract of leaves of Adiantum philippense L. has bioactivity but further compound isolation is necessary to confirm the activities of individual compounds.
PMCID: PMC3644574  PMID: 23730559
Adiantum philippense L.; Antioxidant; Cytotoxicity; Phytochemical evaluation
20.  VIPhyb, an Antagonist of Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Receptor, Enhances Cellular Antiviral Immunity in Murine Cytomegalovirus Infected Mice 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63381.
Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is a neuropeptide hormone that suppresses Th1-mediated cellular immunity. We previously reported that VIP-knockout (VIP-KO) mice have enhanced cellular immune responses and increased survival following murine cytomegalovirus (mCMV) infection in C57BL/6 mice. In this study, we tested whether treatment with a VIP receptor antagonistic peptide protects C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice from mCMV-infection. One week of daily subcutaneous injections of VIPhyb was non-toxic and did not alter frequencies of immune cell subsets in non-infected mice. VIPhyb administration to mCMV-infected C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice markedly enhanced survival, viral clearance, and reduced liver and lung pathology compared with saline-treated controls. The numbers of effector/memory CD8+ T-cells and mature NK cells were increased in VIPhyb-treated mice compared with PBS-treated groups. Pharmacological blockade of VIP-receptor binding or genetic blockade of VIP-signaling prevented the up-regulation of PD-L1 and PD-1 expression on DC and activated CD8+ T-cells, respectively, in mCMV-infected mice, and enhanced CD80, CD86, and MHC-II expression on conventional and plasmacytoid DC. VIPhyb-treatment increased type-I IFN synthesis, numbers of IFN-γ- and TNF-α-expressing NK cells and T-cells, and the numbers of mCMV-M45 epitope-peptide-MHC-I tetramer CD8+ T-cells following mCMV infection. VIP-treatment lowered the percentage of Treg cells in spleens compared with PBS-treated WT mice following mCMV infection, while significantly decreasing levels of serum VEGF induced by mCMV-infection. The mice in all treated groups exhibited similar levels of anti-mCMV antibody titers. Short-term administration of a VIP-receptor antagonist represents a novel approach to enhance innate and adaptive cellular immunity in a murine model of CMV infection.
PMCID: PMC3664580  PMID: 23723978
21.  An Extracelluar Protease, SepM, Generates Functional Competence-Stimulating Peptide in Streptococcus mutans UA159 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(21):5886-5896.
Cell-cell communication in Gram-positive bacteria often depends on the production of extracellular peptides. The cariogenic bacterium Streptococcus mutans employs so-called competence-stimulating peptide (CSP) to stimulate mutacin (bacteriocin) production and competence development through the activation of the ComDE two-component pathway. In S. mutans, CSP is secreted as a 21-residue peptide; however, mass spectrometric analysis of culture supernatant indicates the presence of an 18-residue proteolytically cleaved species. In this study, using a transposon mutagenesis screening, we identified a cell surface protease that is involved in the processing of 21-residue CSP to generate the 18-residue CSP. We named this protease SepM for streptococcal extracellular protease required for mutacin production. We showed that the truncated 18-residue peptide is the biologically active form and that the specific postexport cleavage is a prerequisite to activate the ComDE two-component signal transduction pathway. We also showed that the CSP and the mutacins are exported outside the cell by the same ABC transporter, NlmTE. Our study further confirmed that the ComDE two-component system is absolutely necessary for mutacin production in S. mutans.
PMCID: PMC3486099  PMID: 22923597
22.  Sex-specific effects of early life cadmium exposure on DNA methylation and implications for birth weight 
Epigenetics  2013;8(5):494-503.
Dietary cadmium exposure was recently found to alter DNA methylation in adults, but data on effects early in life are lacking. Our objective was to evaluate associations between prenatal cadmium exposure, DNA methylation and birth weight. In total 127 mother-child pairs from rural Bangladesh were studied. For comparison, we included 56 children at 4.5 y. Cadmium concentrations in mothers’ blood (gestational week 14) and children’s urine were measured by ICPMS. Global DNA methylation was analyzed by Infinium HumanMethylation450K BeadChip in cord blood and children’s blood. Maternal cadmium exposure was associated with cord blood DNA methylation (p-value < 10–16). The association was markedly sex-specific. In boys, 96% of the top 500 CpG sites showed positive correlations (rS-values > 0.50), whereas most associations in girls were inverse; only 29% were positive (rS > 0.45). In girls we found overrepresentation of methylation changes in genes associated with organ development, morphology and mineralization of bone, whereas changes in boys were found in cell death-related genes. Several individual CpG sites that were positively associated with cadmium were inversely correlated with birth weight, although none statistically significant after correction for multiple comparisons. The associations were, however, fairly robust in multivariable-adjusted linear regression models. We identified CpG sites that were significantly associated with cadmium exposure in both newborns and 4.5-y-old children. In conclusion, cadmium exposure in early life appears to alter DNA methylation differently in girls and boys. This is consistent with previous findings of sex-specific cadmium toxicity. Cadmium-related changes in methylation were also related to lower birth weight.
PMCID: PMC3741219  PMID: 23644563
CpG; epigenetic; fetal development; gender; gene-environment interaction; growth; 450K
24.  Cardiac myxoma: A surgical experience of 38 patients over 9 years, at SSKM hospital Kolkata, India 
South Asian Journal of Cancer  2013;2(2):83-86.
Cardiac myxoma is the most common benign intracardiac tumor. We studied its clinical presentation, morbidity, mortality and recurrence following surgery over a period of 9 years.
Materials and Methods:
This study was performed at cardiothoracic and vascular surgery department of a tertiary level hospital of eastern India, Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial hospital, Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research Kolkata. Near 6000 cardiac cases were operated at our center over this period. Preoperative diagnosis was made with clinical presentation and preoperative echocardiography. Complete tumor excision was done and all patients were followed up for recurrence and complications.
A total of 38 cases of cardiac myxoma were operated over a period from October 2002 to October 2011. Cardiac myxoma constituted about 0.6% of all cardiac cases operated at our institute. This most commonly presented at fifth decade of life. Of these, 35 cases were left atrial and 2 cases were right atrial, and 1 case was having both atrial involvements. The left atrial myxoma mostly presented as mitral stenosis and very few presented with embolic and constitutional symptoms. No death or recurrence was observed during the follow up period.
Cardiac myxomas form a very small percentage of the cardiac cases. A high index of suspicion is essential for diagnosis. Echocardiography is the ideal diagnostic tool as also for follow-up. Immediate surgical treatment is indicated in all patients. Cardiac myxomas can be excised with a low rate of mortality and morbidity.
PMCID: PMC3876665  PMID: 24455563
Atrial myxoma; cardiac tumour; biatrial myxoma
25.  Mobile phones improve case detection and management of malaria in rural Bangladesh 
Malaria Journal  2013;12:48.
The recent introduction of mobile phones into the rural Bandarban district of Bangladesh provided a resource to improve case detection and treatment of patients with malaria.
During studies to define the epidemiology of malaria in villages in south-eastern Bangladesh, an area with hypoendemic malaria, the project recorded 986 mobile phone calls from families because of illness suspected to be malaria between June 2010 and June 2012.
Based on phone calls, field workers visited the homes with ill persons, and collected blood samples for malaria on 1,046 people. 265 (25%) of the patients tested were positive for malaria. Of the 509 symptomatic malaria cases diagnosed during this study period, 265 (52%) were detected because of an initial mobile phone call.
Mobile phone technology was found to be an efficient and effective method for rapidly detecting and treating patients with malaria in this remote area. This technology, when combined with local knowledge and field support, may be applicable to other hard-to-reach areas to improve malaria control.
PMCID: PMC3585886  PMID: 23374585
Mobile phones; Malaria; Bangladesh; Rapid test; Artemisinin; Surveillance; Rapid diagnostic test; mHealth

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