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Ivermectin as an adjunct treatment for hospitalized adult COVID-19 patients: A randomized multi-center clinical trial
Morteza Shakhsi Niaee, Peyman Namdar, Abbas Allami, Leila Zolghadr, Amir Javadi, Amin Karampour, Mehran Varnaseri, Behzad Bijani, Fatemeh Cheraghi, Yazdan Naderi, Fatemeh Amini, Masoumeh Karamyan, Mohammad Jafar YadYad, Ramin Jamshidian, Nematollah Gheibi
June 2021, 14(6):266-273
Objective: To evaluate different doses of ivermectin in adult patients with mild COVID-19 and to evaluate the effect of ivermectin on mortality and clinical consequences. Methods: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial was performed at five hospitals. A total of 180 mild hospitalized patients with COVID-19 confirmed by PCR or chest image tests were enrolled and allocated to six arms including hydroxychloroquine 200 mg twice per day, placebo plus hydroxychloroquine 200 mg twice per day, single dose ivermectin (200 μg/kg), three low interval doses of ivermectin (200, 200, 200 μg/kg), single dose ivermectin (400 μg/kg), and three high interval doses of ivermectin (400, 200, 200 μg/kg). The primary endpoint of this trial was all-cause of mortality or clinical recovery. The radiographic findings, hospitalization and low O2 saturation duration, and hematological variables of blood samples were analyzed. Results: A total of 16.7% (5/30) and 20.0% (6/30) patients died in arms treated with hydroxychloroquine 200 mg twice per day and placebo plus hydroxychloroquine 200 mg twice per day, respectively, and a reduction in mortality rate in patients receiving ivermectin treatment to 0%, 10%, 0% and 3.3% for arms 1-4 were observed. Risk of mortality was also decreased about 15% in the ivermectin treated arms. Conclusions: Ivermectin as an adjunct reduces the rate of mortality, time of low O2 saturation, and duration of hospitalization in adult COVID-19 patients. The improvement of other clinical parameters shows that ivermectin, with a wide margin of safety, had a high therapeutic effect on COVID-19.
  77,486 3,147 22
Knowledge and attitude toward COVID-19 among healthcare workers at District 2 Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City
Giao Huynh, Thi Ngoc Han Nguyen, Van Khanh Tran, Kim Ngan Vo, Van Tam Vo, Le An Pham
June 2020, 13(6):260-265
Objective: To assess the knowledge and attitude toward coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) among healthcare workers at District 2 Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed between January 2020 and February 2020 at District 2 Hospital. A systematic random sampling strategy was carried out and the data was collected through a self-administered questionnaire of the knowledge and attitude of healthcare workers regarding COVID-19. Descriptive analysis was reported to describe the demographic, mean knowledge and attitude score of healthcare workers. Inferential statistics including t-test, ANOVA and Spearman’s correlation were used to evaluate the relationship between study variables. Results: A total of 327 eligible healthcare workers had a mean score of knowledge and attitude of 8.17±1.3 (range 4-10) and 1.86±0.43 (range 1-5), respectively. They showed good knowledge and a positive attitude. However, approximately two thirds of the participants knew the mode of transmission, the isolation period and treatment (67.0%, 65.8%, and 58.4%, respectively), and 82.3% and 79.8%, respectively, held positive attitude regarding the risk of personal and family members getting illness. There was a negative correlation between knowledge scores and attitude scores (r=-0.21, P<0.001). Additionally, healthcare workerspredominately used social media to inform themselves about COVID-19 (91.1%). Conclusions: The majority of healthcare workers had good knowledge and positive attitude toward COVID-19. However, the level of some knowledge and attitude lower than that expected for their position level towards the virus. Additional education interventions and campaigns are required for healthcare workers.
  56,673 4,222 212
Therapeutic role of Ricinus communis L. and its bioactive compounds in disease prevention and treatment
Waseem Mohammed Abdul, Nahid H Hajrah, Jamal S.M. Sabir, Saleh M Al-Garni, Meshaal J Sabir, Saleh A Kabli, Kulvinder Singh Saini, Roop Singh Bora
March 2018, 11(3):177-185
Ricinus communis L. (R. communis), commonly known as castor oil plant, is used as a traditional natural remedy or folkloric herb for the control and treatment of a wide range of diseases around the globe. Various studies have revealed the presence of diverse phytochemicals such as alkaloids, flavonoids, terpenes, saponins, phenolic compounds such as kaempferol, gallic acid, ricin, rutin, lupeol, ricinoleic acid, pinene, thujone and gentisic acid. These phytochemicals have been responsible for pharmacological and therapeutic effects, including anticancer, antimicrobial, insecticidal, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, bone regenerative, analgesic, and anticonvulsant activity. R. communis harbours phytochemicals which have been shown to target peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR), nuclear factor NF- κ -B, cytochrome p450, P38 mitogen-activated protein kinases kinase (p38 MAPK), tumor protein P53, B-cell lymphoma-extra-large (Bcl-xL) and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2). Considering its wide variety of phytochemicals, its pharmacological activity and the subsequent clinical trials, R. communis could be a good candidate for discovering novel complementary drugs. Further experimental and advanced clinical studies are required to explore the pharmaceutical, beneficial therapeutic and safety prospects of R. communis with its phytochemicals as a herbal and complementary medicine for combating various diseases and disorders.
  28,102 2,249 21
Effects of some common additives on the antimicrobial activities of alcohol-based hand sanitizers
Nzekwe Ifeanyi Thaddeus, Egbuna Chukwuemeka Francis, Okpara Ogonna Jane, Agubata Chukwuma Obumneme, Esimone Charles Okechukwu
March 2018, 11(3):222-226
Objective: To study the effects of some common additives on the antimicrobial activities of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Methods: The antibacterial activities of varying aqueous concentrations of ethanol and isopropyl alcohol were tested by the agar well diffusion method. The influences of different concentrations of glycerin was similarly tested. Finally, isopropyl alcohol and benzalkonium chloride were combined in different ratios within the safe use concentrations of each, and the effects of these combinations were compared with values obtained for the two agents used alone. Statistical methods, such as student t test and one-way ANOVA were used when appropriate to evaluate the differences in activity. Results: The activities of the alcohols showed marked concentration dependence, and both showed peak activity at 85%–95% concentration range. Over the concentration range of 60%–100%, isopropyl alcohol inhibited more bacterial and fungal organisms than ethanol, though the inhibition zone diameters it produced were not statistically different from those of ethanol for organisms which were sensitive to both of them. Addition of glycerin reduced the antimicrobial activities of the isopropyl alcohol, as shown by reduction in the inhibition zone diameters produced in vitro, which may be due to reduced drug diffusion with increase in viscosity. Addition of benzalkonium to isopropyl alcohol systems improved the activity of the alcohol, but the overall activity of the combination was not superior to that seen in the use of benzalkonium alone. Conclusion: Alcohol-based hand sanitizers should not be used outside the concentration range of 85%–95% and isopropyl alcohol inhibits more bacterial and fungal organisms than ethanol for most concentrations. Inclusion of benzalkonium improves the antimicrobial spectrum and activity of isopropyl alcohol, and the combination may justifiably be used to achieve both immediate and long lasting effect. Glycerin may adversely affect the antimicrobial activities of isopropyl alcohol-based hand sanitizers and should be used with caution.
  24,939 1,392 7
Psychological impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic on Chinese people: Exposure, post-traumatic stress symptom, and emotion regulation
Hong-juan Jiang, Jiang Nan, Zhi-yue Lv, Juan Yang
June 2020, 13(6):252-259
Objective: To examine the effects of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) exposure, expressive suppression/cognitive reappraisal, and demographic variables on post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTS) among Chinese. Methods: Participants were recruited by social media through WeChat and 6 049 Chinese (aged from 17 to 63 years; median=24) from 31 provinces were included in the study. PTS symptoms, expressive suppression, and cognitive reappraisal were assessed after the outbreak of COVID-19. A regression mixture analysis was conducted in Mplus 7. Results: A regression mixture model identified three latent classes that were primarily distinguished by differential effects of COVID- 19 exposures on PTS symptoms: (1) Class 1 (mildly PTS symptoms, 80.9%), (2) Class 2 (moderate PTS symptoms, 13.0%), and (3) Class 3 (high PTS symptoms, 6.1%). The results demonstrated that the young, women and people with responsibilities and concerns for others were more vulnerable to PTS symptoms; and they had more expression inhibition and less cognitive reappraisal in three latent classes. Conclusions: The findings suggest that more attention needs to be paid to vulnerable groups such as the young, women and people with responsibilities and concerns for others. Therapies to encourage emotional expression and increase cognitive reappraisal may also be helpful for trauma survivors.
  19,861 2,087 61
Scenario of dengue infection & its control in Pakistan: An up—date and way forward
Muhammad Zubair Yousaf, Adeena Siddique, Usman Ali Ashfaq, Muhammad Ali
January 2018, 11(1):15-23
Dengue fever is one of the major health problems in tropical and subtropical areas throughout the world. The causative agent of dengue fever is the dengue virus which is an enveloped single stranded RNA virus belongs to the family Flaviviridae and has five distinct serotypes (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, DENV-4 and DENV-5). Dengue virus is transmitted to human via bite of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. The clinical symptoms of dengue fever ranging from mild to severe fonn as dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. Pakistan is dengue endemic since 1994 but from 2006, Pakistan faced the worst condition regarding dengue in which thousands of people affected by the disease and hundreds of people lost their lives. DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-1 are the prevalent serotypes in Pakistan. Common diagnostic techniques are being used in Pakistan such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, polymerase chain reaction and rapid diagnostic tests, while differential diagnosis, limitations of diagnostic methods and poor health care system are the real challenges in dengue diagnosis. Favorable climatic conditions, unplanned urbanization, travelling etc., are major factors responsible for dengue epidemics in Pakistan. This presentation provides update about dengue circumstances in Pakistan and also describes the way how to improve dengue situation in Pakistan.
  20,400 1,378 12
Emerging and re-emerging human infectious diseases: A systematic review of the role of wild animals with a focus on public health impact
Marli C Cupertino, Michely B Resende, Nicholas AJ Mayer, Lorendane M Carvalho, Rodrigo Siqueira-Batista
March 2020, 13(3):99-106
Infectious diseases continue to impose unpredictable burdens on global health and economies, a subject that requires constant research and updates. In this sense, the objective of the present article was to review studies on the role of wild animals as reservoirs and/or dispersers of etiological agents of human infectious diseases in order to compile data on the main wild animals and etiological agents involved in zoonotic outbreaks. A systematic review was carried out using PRISMA guidelines, using the PubMed, Scopus and SciELO platforms as data banks. The descriptors used were “zoonosis”, “human infectious diseases” and “wild animals”. The results show that wild animals (mainly bats, birds and primates) play an important role in the dissemination of etiological agents (mainly viruses, as a new coronavirus called 2019 Novel Coronavirus) in extensive geographic regions. Moreover, these wild animal organisms can act as the site for essential biotic synergy among several pathogenic microorganisms, promoting a higher rate of adaptation, mutation and even genetic recombination, with consequent stimulation of new strains and subtypes, inducing new infectious agents with unknown virulent potential. In conclusion, the monitoring of these diseases and adequate preparation for possible epidemics and pandemics are fundamental conditions for the mitigation of their future impact. The zoonotic threat of these etiological agents and the impact on public health can be enormous as shown by the ongoing epidemic of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019- nCoV) infections.
  16,946 1,802 20
Acute kidney injury in leptospirosis: Overview and perspectives
Geraldo Bezerra da Silva Junior, Nattachai Srisawat, Gabriela Studart Galdino, Ênio Simas Macedo, José Reginaldo Pinto, Geysa Maria Nogueira Farias, Renan Lima Alencar, Roberto da Justa Pires Neto, Elvino José Guardão Barros, Elizabeth De Francesco Daher
October 2018, 11(10):549-554
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease disseminated through the centuries in the whole world which causes symptoms that go from self-limited diseases to hemorrhagic manifestations and organ failure, including acute kidney injury (AKI), composing the severe disease known as the Weil's syndrome. Mortality rates varies according to the clinical presentation and usually increases when kidney injury is present, and is even higher in the setting of pulmonary hemorrhage. There are recent advances in the search for novel biomarkers of renal involvement and early detection of AKI in leptospirosis, as well as in its pathophysiology. We review in this article the clinical aspects of leptospirosis-associated AKI and the perspectives for future research.
  17,440 1,297 6
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: A review and an update on cases in Africa
AbdulAzeez A Anjorin
May 2020, 13(5):199-203
The world has experienced several epidemics posing serious threat to global public health, including the 2002 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic that caused 800 deaths out of about 8 000 cases, the 2009 H1N1 pandemic with 18 500 deaths, the 2012 Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) epidemic that caused 800 deaths out of 2 500 cases, the 2014 Ebola outbreak with 28 616 cases and 11 310 deaths, and the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic with more than 35 000 deaths out of over 730 000 confirmed cases till now. Emerging infectious diseases continue to infect and reduce human populations. The COVID-19 pandemic has spread to more than 114 countries before it was officially declared as a pandemic by the WHO on the 11th March 2020. Here, the first set of index cases in Africa, and the differences between SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses in addition to the preventive strategies on the emergence of COVID-19 were reviewed.
  17,008 1,536 45
Plants used in traditional medicine for treatment of malaria by Tetun ethnic people in West Timor Indonesia
Maximus M Taek, Bambang EW Prajogo, Mangestuti Agil
November 2018, 11(11):630-637
Objective: To document the medicinal plants used for the treatment of malaria by the Tetun ethnic people in West Timor–Indonesia. Methods: The ethnobotany and anthropology methods were used in the field surveys. Ninety four informants from 29 villages of 15 sub-districts in Belu and Malaka were interviewed since April to December 2017. Medicinal plants specimen were collected from the field and identified according to taxonomic methods. Results: Ninety six medicinal plants species belong to 41 families were found to be used by the Tetun ethnic people in their traditional medicine for the treatment of malaria. These plants have been used in various formulas for drinking, massage, bath, inhalation or cataplasm. Strychnos ligustrina, Calotropis gigantea, Cleome rutidosperma, Physalis angulata, Alstonia spectabilis, Carica papaya, Melia azedarach, Alstonia scholaris, Jatropha curcas, Garuga floribunda, and Tamarindus indica were the most cited plants. Conclusions: The documented plants are valuable sources for the future development of new drugs and strategies to support malaria eliminating programs that are culturally acceptable in these areas.
  16,663 960 6
Using twitter and web news mining to predict COVID-19 outbreak
Kia Jahanbin, Vahid Rahmanian
August 2020, 13(8):378-380
  14,909 997 38
Herbal remedies, vaccines and drugs for dengue fever: Emerging prevention and treatment strategies
Rinku Rozera, Surajpal Verma, Ravi Kumar, Anzarul Haque, Anshul Attri
April 2019, 12(4):147-152
Dengue fever is a disease that is caused by five dengue virus (DENV) serotypes. It is endemic in more than 128 countries. Millions of people are affected by this disease. But still, there is no specific treatment available till now to combat it. Some of the preventive measures using plant extracts showed certain promising ovicidal activity against Aedes aegypti. There are some vaccines as preventive measure and antiviral agents to cure the dengue fever, which are under clinical trials but their results have not been reported or approved yet. Dengvaxia is the only licensed vaccine to prevent dengue fever in some South American countries, but it is not approved by other regulatory authorities worldwide. Scientific research has been going on to find a permanent cure for dengue fever, but till now, no successful invention has been done. There are some general treatments for dengue patient by employing analgesics and fluid replacement; however, specific treatment is needed to overcome the lethal effect of dengue fever. Since this disease has affected millions of people and not much invention has been made in this field; therefore, advancement in dengue therapy is required for the safety and well-being of dengue patients. Herein we collectively describe the different chemotherapeutics agents, alternative methods like vaccines and antiviral agents to prevent and cure this lethal disease. Furthermore, the future perspective for the treatment of dengue is discussed in this review.
  14,716 1,111 2
Brucellosis: Pathophysiology and new promising treatments with medicinal plants and natural antioxidants
Mohsen Alizadeh, Ali Safarzadeh, Mahmoud Bahmani, Fatemeh Beyranvand, Mehdi Mohammadi, Kimia Azarbaijani, Mahmoud Rafieian-Kopaei, Saber Abbaszadeh
November 2018, 11(11):597-608
Brucellosis is an old, infectious and common zoonosis whose causative agents are Gramnegative bacteria from the Brucella genus. Brucellosis is transmitted through direct contact with infected animals or using unpasteurized dairy products of goats, pigs, camels, sheep, buffalo and cows. Brucellosis is still the most common zoonosis in the world, with most of cases occurring in developing countries. Today, an approach to traditional medicine and medicinal plants, especially with regards to the repeated recommendations of the World Health Organization, is a necessity. One-third of chemical drugs are produced by using plants and there is a high potential to produce more drugs from plants. Medicinal plants are helpful in the management of various conditions, especially bacterial diseases. Although there is not enough scientific evidence regarding the clinical effectiveness of herbal drugs for the treatment of brucellosis, there is strong evidence on the antimicrobial effects of herbal drugs to prevent infection. Therefore, this article seeks to describe the antibacterial effects of some plant-derived essential oils or extracts, so that they can serve as promising choices to develop new anti-Brucella medications, as suitable alternatives to conventional antibiotics for brucellosis, as much as possible, taking into account the benefits of these herbal drugs.
  14,081 870 7
Biological, chemical and pharmacological aspects of Madhuca longifolia
Dhruv Jha, Papiya Mitra Mazumder
January 2018, 11(1):9-14
Madhuca longifolia (M. longifolia) is also known as Mahua belonging to the family sapoteace family. M. longifolia is used in traditional and folklore system of medicine widely across India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka for its various pharmacological properties as in snake bites and in diabetes. Phytochemicals studies documented the different bioactive constituents, namely, glycosides, flavonoids, terpenes and saponins. The pharmacological studies proved that it possess wide range of biological activities such as antiulcer, antiinflammatory, antioxidant and antidiabetic activities. The toxicity studies reveal its non-toxic effect even at larger doses. Thus M. longifolia can be considered as a therapeutic agent for specific diseases. Scientific investigation on various isolated bioactive components and its efficacy on diseases proved the future usefulness of different species of Madhuca. This review summarizes the phytochemical, pharmacological, medicinal and non-medicinal uses of M. longifolia. Further exploration on M. longifolia for its therapeutic potential is however required for depth traditional knowledge.
  12,326 1,312 8
Current trends in the epidemiology and management of enteric fever in Africa: A literature review
Oluwaseyitan A Adesegun, Oluwafunmilola O Adeyemi, Osaze Ehioghae, David F Rabor, Tolulope O Binuyo, Bisola A Alafin, Onyedikachi B Nnagha, Akolade O Idowu, Ayokunle Osonuga
May 2020, 13(5):204-213
Enteric fever remains a tropical disease of public health significance in Africa, due to its high endemicity and transmission rates, more in sub-Saharan Africa with 7.2 million cases of typhoid fever annually and incidence rate of 762 per 100 000 person-years when compared with Northern Africa with a reported incidence rate of 557 per 100 000 person-years and lower. Recent studies show that almost all regions of sub-Saharan Africa are tending towards high incidence rates, especially Central and Western Africa. Though clinically indistinguishable from paratyphoid fever, typhoid fever causes more morbidity and mortality than paratyphoid fever, with a greater threat to children. Risk factors include consumption of contaminated water, patronizing food vendors and a history of contact with a case or a chronic carrier, amongst others. Environmental factors such as the rainy season, open sewers, contaminated water bodies and areas of low elevation have been implicated. Diagnosis in Africa is challenging due to resource constraints, as many centres still depend on clinical diagnosis and serodiagnosis using Widal test, in an era where more sensitive and specific tests exist. The polymerase chain reaction is one of the most sensitive diagnostic methods, while culture (particularly bone marrow) is considered to be one of the most specific. Quinolones (ciprofloxacin) and third-generation cephalosporins, amongst others, remain potent in the management of enteric fever, with resistance to quinolones gradually on the rise. Poor diagnostics, poor antibiotic stewardship and lack of drug (antibiotic) regulation are contributors to the problem of antibiotic resistance in Africa. Prevention of typhoid fever through vaccination, especially in children is still under investigation, with steady progress being documented. Overall, long term prevention strategies for typhoid fever should be based on improved sources of drinking water, good sanitation and hygiene, food safety and poverty alleviation.
  12,332 686 5
COVID-19 vaccination intention among healthcare workers in Vietnam
Giao Huynh, Thien Thuan Tran, Han Thi Ngoc Nguyen, Le An Pham
April 2021, 14(4):159-164
Objective: To assess the acceptance of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine among healthcare workers at two general hospitals in Vietnam when it is available. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a convenience sampling from January to February 2021 among 410 healthcare workers at two general hospitals in Vietnam via a self-administered questionnaire. A multivariable regression analysis was performed to determine predictors of vaccine acceptance including the demographic factors, COVID-19 knowledge, and vaccine beliefs based on the domains of Health Belief Model. Results: Among 410 healthcare workers, 76.10% showed vaccination willingness. Predictors of acceptance were determined that the group reporting as “vaccine acceptance” was more likely to be positive towards the perceived susceptibility and severity of COVID-19 (OR 2.45; 95% CI 1.48-4.06, P<0.05), perceived benefits of vaccination, and cues to action (OR 4.36; 95% CI 2.35-8.09, and OR 5.49; 95% CI 2.84-10.61, respectively, all P<0.001), but less likely to have the perceived barriers to vaccination (OR 0.19; 95% CI 0.09-0.38; P<0.001) compared with the no acceptance group. Besides, people who had a good knowledge regarding the severity of illness were 3.37 times more likely to have identified as vaccine acceptance (OR 3.37; 95% CI 1.04-10.86, P<0.05). The demographic factors were also associated with willingness to receive the vaccine, with participants who were staff and received COVID-19 information from relatives were less likely to accept the vaccine over those who were doctors and not receiving information from relatives (OR 0.36; 95% CI 0.13-0.96, and OR 0.37; 95% CI 0.17-0.78, respectively, all P<0.05). Conclusions: A rate of willingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19 was relatively high with discrepancies between occupation, receiving information from relatives, knowledge toward the severity of illness, and the elements of Health Belief Model. The findings will provide information for the management authorities to develop relevant interventions to promote COVID-19 vaccination uptake.
  11,654 1,283 30
A critical review on Nepal Dock (Rumex nepalensis): A tropical herb with immense medicinal importance
Samrin Shaikh, Varsha Shriram, Amrita Srivastav, Pranoti Barve, Vinay Kumar
July 2018, 11(7):405-414
Rumex nepalensis Spreng. (Polygonaceae) commonly known as Nepal Dock has wide-spectrum therapeutic potencies and is extensively used for centuries in traditional medicine systems. The leaves of this plant are edible and a rich source of natural antioxidants. They act as a possible food supplement and are largely used in pharmaceutical industry. Extracts and metabolites from this plant exhibits pharmacological activities including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, insecticidal, purgative, analgesic, antipyretic, anti-algal, central nervous system depressant, genotoxic, wound healing and skeletal muscle relaxant activity. Due to its remarkable biological activities, it has the potential to act as a rich source of drug against life threatening diseases. However, more studies are needed to scientifically validate the traditional uses of this plant, beside isolating and identifying their active principles and characterizing the mechanisms of action. We present herein a critical account of its botany, ecology, traditional uses, phytoconstituent profile and major pharmacological activities reported in recent years and therefore will provide a source of information on this plant for further studies.
  11,883 840 12
Laboratory diagnosis of schistosomiasis mansoni: Current status and future trends
Amira Taman, Samar N El-Beshbishi
June 2019, 12(6):243-249
Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease that affects about 290 million patients worldwide. Children aged between 5 and 14 years represent 45.8% of the affected patients, in addition, schistosomiasis has been reported in Schistosoma-free areas, mostly because of tourism and immigration from endemic countries. Intestinal schistosomiasis caused by Schistosoma mansoni is mainly diagnosed via direct stool examination for egg detection. Immunological methods are favoured for disease monitoring and preliminary checking for communities in areas with low infection rates, and for patients with light and chronic infections where parasitological tests are negative. PCR-based diagnostic techniques are more sensitive, but expensive. Tegument proteins and miRNAs are promising markers for diagnosis of schistosomiasis. Here we review the diagnostic methods for schistosomiasis mansoni aiming to reach a standardized technique for diagnosis of early infection to help better control of the disease.
  11,866 628 5
Prevalence and intensity of soil-transmitted helminth infections among school-age children in the Cagayan Valley, the Philippines
Ryan V Labana, Vimar A Romero, Analette M Guinto, Alvin N Caril, Kimberly D Untalan, Alejandro Jose C. Reboa, Khristine L Sandoval, Kristel Joy S. Cada, Gary Antonio C. Lirio, Iris Rowena A. Bernardo, Lanieleen Jerah Mae Arocha, Julieta Z Dungca
March 2021, 14(3):113-121
Objective: To identify the prevalence of soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) among school-age children in the Cagayan Valley, the Philippines, assess their level of awareness on the disease, and determine predisposing factors of the disease. Methods: A total of 478 Grades III-V school-age children in Pamplona and Sanchez-Mira School Districts in the Cagayan Valley answered the questionnaire assessing their knowledge, attitude, and practices on STH, subjected to anthropometric measurements, and provided faecal samples for parasitologic assessment (direct smear, Kato-Katz, and formol-ether concentration techniques). Results: The participants of the study, with 55.86% females, were 8 to 14 years old. Their nutritional status was assessed ‘normal’ (84.31%), ‘severely wasted’ (6.49%), ‘wasted’ (5.23%), ‘overweight’ (2.72%), and ‘obese’ (1.26%). The prevalence of infection with at least 1 STH species was 25.99% in Pamplona and 19.40% in Sanchez- Mira. Overall, the prevalence of heavy intensity was 7.11% for Ascaris lumbricoides and 1.67% for Trichuris trichiura. All hookworm infections had light intensities. The majority of the school-age children had a low score in the KAP test. In knowledge of STH, ‘stunted growth as a symptom of infection’ was associated with a lower risk of Ascaris lumbricoides infection (OR 0.448; 95% CI 0.212, 0.945; P=0.035) while ‘playing with soil as a mode of transmission’ was associated with an increased risk of Ascaris lumbricoides infection (OR 2.067; 95% CI 1.014, 4.212; P=0.046). In attitude towards STH, ‘I think I have intestinal worm now’ was associated with a higher risk of Ascaris lumbricoides infection (OR 1.681; 95% CI 1.061, 2.662; P=0.027). Conclusions: The prevalence rate of Ascaris lumbricoides among the school-age children in the Cagayan Valley shows the need to further intensify intervention in the area to meet the threshold set by the World Health Organization. The identified predictors of infection, which concerns the school-age children's knowledge and attitude toward STH, can be used in augmenting intervention programs in the future.
  11,238 808 1
The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic: A zoonotic prospective
Chiranjib Chakraborty, Ashish Ranjan Sharma, Manojit Bhattacharya, Garima Sharma, Sang-Soo Lee
June 2020, 13(6):242-246
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a novel coronavirus (CoV), has recently emerged as a significant pathogen for humans and the cause for the recent outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) throughout the globe. For developing any preventive measure, an understanding of the zoonotic pattern for this virus is a necessity. We should have a clear knowledge of its reservoir host, its distribution pattern and spreading routes. Information about zoonotic reservoirs and its transmission among them can help to understand the COVID-19 outbreaks. In this article, we discuss about the bats as the zoonotic reservoir of several CoV strains, co-existence of bats and CoV/viruses, the sequence similarity of SARS-CoV-2 with bat SARS-like CoV, the probable source of the origin of SARS-CoV-2 strain and COVID-19 outbreak, intermediate host of CoVs and SARS-CoV-2, human to human transmission and the possibility to maintain the zoonotic barriers. Our knowledge about the zoonotic reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 and its transmission ability may help develop the preventive measures and control for the future outbreak of CoV.
  10,834 1,081 53
Salacca zalacca: A short review of the palm botany, pharmacological uses and phytochemistry
Mohammed S. M. Saleh, Mohammad Jamshed Siddiqui, Ahmed Mediani, Nor Hadiani Ismail, Qamar Uddin Ahmed, Siti Zaiton Mat So'ad, Salima Saidi-Besbes
December 2018, 11(12):645-652
Salacca zalacca (Gaertn.) Voss (family Arecaceae) is the snake fruit commonly known in Malay language as salak in Malaysia. This exotic fruit has diverse and potential pharmacological properties due to its high antioxidant content. It is often consumed due to its sweet taste. The abundant natural sugar and fibre along with minerals and vitamin makes it a nutritious fruit. Phytochemical investigation on this fruit has revealed the presence of flavonoids, phenolics, glycosides as well as some volatile and aromatic compounds, including gallic acid, quercetin, chlorogenic acid, epicatechin, proanthocyanidins, lycopene and β-carotene. Pharmacological studies on the fruit flesh and peel have shown some tremendous antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antidiabetic potential. This review provides the botanical information of Salacca zalacca as well as its scientific investigations involving the distinct pharmacological and phytochemical benefits. This could help in highlighting the lacking data and research gaps on this plant.
  10,354 1,196 11
Modeling and predicting dengue fever cases in key regions of the Philippines using remote sensing data
Maria Ruth B. Pineda-Cortel, Benjie M Clemente, Pham Thi Thanh Nga
February 2019, 12(2):60-66
Objective: To correlate climatic and environmental factors such as land surface temperature, rainfall, humidity and normalized difference vegetation index with the incidence of dengue to develop prediction models for the Philippines using remote-sensing data. Methods: Time-series analysis was performed using dengue cases in four regions of the Philippines and monthly climatic variables extracted from Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation for rainfall, and MODIS for the land surface temperature and normalized difference vegetation index from 2008-2015. Consistent dataset during the period of study was utilized in Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average models to predict dengue incidence in the four regions being studied. Results: The best-fitting models were selected to characterize the relationship between dengue incidence and climate variables. The predicted cases of dengue for January to December 2015 period fitted well with the actual dengue cases of the same timeframe. It also showed significantly good linear regression with a square of correlation of 0.869 5 for the four regions combined. Conclusion: Climatic and environmental variables are positively associated with dengue incidence and suit best as predictor factors using Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average models. This finding could be a meaningful tool in developing an early warning model based on weather forecasts to deliver effective public health prevention and mitigation programs.
  9,890 1,155 4
Phytochemical analysis and antioxidant profile of methanolic extract of seed, pulp and peel of Baccaurea ramiflora Lour.
Md Sahab Uddin, Md Sarwar Hossain, Abdullah Al Mamun, Devesh Tewari, Md Asaduzzaman, Md Siddiqul Islam, Mohamed M Abdel-Daim
July 2018, 11(7):443-450
Objective: To analyze the phytochemical constituents responsible for the plausible antioxidant effect of methanolic extract of the seed, pulp and peel of Baccaurea ramiflora Lour. Methods: Fresh seed, pulp, and peel of Baccaurea ramiflora fruits were extracted with methanol (MEBRse, MEBRpu, MEBRpe) and evaluated by phytochemical analysis for their content of innumerable metabolites (primary and secondary) viz. carbohydrates, alkaloids, glycosides, tannins, phenols, terpenoids, flavonoids, proteins, and fixed oils. The antioxidant efficacy was assessed through different assay methods viz. 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging activity, total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and reducing power capacity (RPC). Estimation of total phenolic content (TPC), and total flavonoid content (TFC) was also done to confirm the presence of these phytochemicals. Results: It was revealed from the phytochemical analysis of MEBRse that alkaloids, glycosides, carbohydrates, phenols, and flavonoids were present, while that of MEBRpu showed the existence of carbohydrates, proteins, alkaloids, glycosides, phenols, saponins, flavonoids, and fixed oils. Presence of carbohydrates, alkaloids, phenols, tannins, flavonoids, and terpenoids were found in the MEBRpe. A significant antioxidant activity was revealed by the MEBRpu [EC50: (27.612 ± 1.375) μg/mL], compared to MEBRpe, and MEBRse in DPPH assay. The ranking order for RPC was MEBRpu > MEBRpe > MEBRse respectively. The EC50 value of TAC of the MEBRpu, MEBRpe, and MEBRse were (25.107 ± 0.744) μg/mL, (241.127 ± 7.463) μg/mL and (372.364 ± 11.030) μg/mL, respectively. Quantity of TPC and TFC were the highest in the MEBRpu (124.360 ± 2.078 mg GAE/g and 107.527 ±1.900 mg QRE/g extract) rather than MEBRpe and MEBRse extracts. Conclusions: This study suggests that MEBRpu has a significantly higher antioxidant property than MEBRpe and MEBRse. These extracts might be advantageous in prevention or decelerating the progress of different diseases related to oxidative-stress/damage. Moreover, detailed analysis of these extracts is required to identify the presence of promising compound(s) responsible for their antioxidant activity.
  8,866 1,103 17
Retinal displacement after closure of idiopathic macular hole
Zhong-Cui Sun, Min Wang, Jia-Wen Fan, Ge-Zhi Xu
February 2018, 11(2):155-161
Objective: To study the foveal displacement during the closure of idiopathic macular holes (MHs). Methods: Thirty-seven idiopathic MH patients treated by pars plana vitrectomy and internal limiting membrane peeling were studied prospectively. Locations of MH center and foveal pit were measured by optic coherence tomography. Retinal displacement was observed using confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy. Results: A total of 40 eyes were included in this study and MHs were closed in 37 eyes (92.5%). The confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy showed that all of the retinal capillaries in the superior, inferior, nasal and temporal sides of the MHs moved toward the optic nerve head (ONH). The optic coherence tomography results showed that the mean nasal displacements of foveal pits were (102.9±61.2), (109.6±53.1), and (137.0±52.0) μm at 3, 6 and 12 months, respectively. And the mean vertical displacements were (55.9±49.4), (61.4±57.8) and (67.8±54.3) μm, respectively. Post-operative foveal pits were located in the nasal side of the MH centers. The extension of retina and nasal to the MH were in opposite directions: the nasal hole margin moved toward the MH, but the retina located closer to the ONH moved toward the ONH. The fellow eyes of three patients developed into idiopathic MH during the follow-up period and operations were performed for all of the three patients. Conclusion: Our results showed that center of macula does not move when an idiopathic MH develops, but it moves toward ONH during closure of hole; thus, new fovea is in nasal side of original fovea.
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Diagnostic performance of C-reactive protein level and its role as a potential biomarker of severe dengue in adults
Raghavendra Rao, Snehal Nayak, Akhilesh K Pandey, Shobha U Kamath
August 2020, 13(8):358-365
Objective: To determine the relationship between C-reactive protein (CRP) level and the severity of dengue and the potential use of CRP in predicting acute dengue infection. Methods: A prospective observational study was performed on dengue patients admitted to a tertiary care hospital in southern India. All patients of age above 18 years, diagnosed with dengue were included in the study. The detailed laboratory parameters pertaining to dengue were recorded. CRP levels were estimated and compared between groups i.e. severe and non-severe dengue. CRP cut-off value was detected using the receiver-operator curve. Results: Totally 98 patients with a mean age of 40 years were included. Among them, 11.2% of the patients suffered from severe dengue, 54.1% of the cases had non-severe dengue without warning signs, and 34.7% had non-severe dengue with warning signs. The median CRP was significantly higher in patients with severe dengue compared to patients with non-severe dengue (96.2 mg/dL vs. 5.3 mg/dL). Univariate logistic regression analysis showed that the odd’s ratio (OR) of CRP was 1.053 (P≤0.001, 95% CI=1.029-1.078). CRP at a cutoff value of 21.6 mg/L (0.929 AUC) had excellent sensitivity (100%) and specificity (81.6%) in predicting severe dengue infection. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that CRP (OR=1.089, P=0.013) and ALT (OR=1.010, P=0.034) were statistically significant independent predictors of dengue severity. Conclusions: CRP level could be used as a potential biomarker to predict severity of dengue in adults.
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