Parasites of small mammals living in human areas cause a tremendous burden of vector borne disease. Small mammals infected with parasites can readily facilitate parasitic transmission to humans and other susceptible animal hosts. The objective of this study was to determine the presence of parasites in small mammals (rats and mice) from the Semenyih Recovery Plant (RESBS) and to compare this with parasites from a plantation farm, Ladang Pertanian Bersepadu, Universiti Putra Malaysia (LPB UPM), and a housing area, Sri Serdang housing area (SSHA), Selangor, Malaysia. The methods employed in this study was to trap small mammals in the resource recovery plant, the plantation farm and the housing area. All the captured small mammals were examined microscopically for the presence of endo and ectoparasites. The brine gravity floatation method was used to determine the presence of parasitic eggs in the feces of the small mammals. The staining method of Semichon's acetic carmine was employed to find the parasites infesting the internal organs of the mammals. Twenty-three small mammals were trapped alive in the study. Rattus sabanus (10) and Suncus murinus (2) were captured in the Semenyih resource recovery plant; Rattus argentiventer (7) in the farm area of Ladang Pertanian Bersepadu UPM and Mus musculus (1) and Suncus murinus (3) species in the Sri Serdang housing area. R. sabanus, R. argentiventer and M.musculus were found to be heavily infected with Echinolaelaps echidinus (mites). Polyplax spinulosa (lice) infected the R. sabanus species. The intestinal parasite, cestode Hymenolepididae tapeworm, was found to have invaded the small mammals from Semenyih, the resource recovery plant and the farm area of Ladang Pertanian Bersepadu UPM. The nematodes were also found in the small mammals from RESBS. The small mammals captured from RESBS were found to be heavily infected with both external and internal parasites including E. echidinus, P. spinulosa, cestode tapeworms and nematodes compared to the farm and housing areas. Therefore, the existence of small mammals carrying parasites found mainly in waste disposal areas needs to be addressed to prevent serious disease that can cause harm to human health.
Parasites, E. echidinus (mites), P. spinulosa (lice), cestode tapeworms, small mammals, rats, mice
Rice is the most cultivated and consumed cereal in Malaysia. With the local population rising in number, the yield progress of the crop needs to increase in a sufficient and sustainable manner to meet the increasing demand. However, future productivity is uncertain because of the predicted changes in climate, notably temperature and water availability. Here we highlight the impact of climate change on Malaysian rice production and how it is linked to the current use of nitrogen (N) fertiliser. From literature analysis we propose that the sustainable solution lies in targeting photosynthesis per unit N. Here we show a lower sensitivity of photosynthesis to N deficiency in Malaysian varieties in comparison to other widely grown cultivars, indicating the potential for improvement. This initial study is used to establish baseline measurements for more complex, multi-factor stress analyses.
Climate change, Malaysia, nitrogen deficiency, rice
Research was conducted to investigate the contribution of two legume cultivars of Lablab purpureus cv. Highworth (early maturing) and Lablab purpureus cv. Rongai (late maturing) to total fodder productivity and nutritive value when intercropped with Gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus cv. Kunth). There were nine treatments in all consisting of monocultures of grass, legumes and grass-legume mixtures in the ratios 1:1, 1:2 and 1:3 for each cultivar. The total dry matter yield, Relative yield (RY), land equivalent ratio (LER) and competitive ratio (CR) of the grass and legumes were estimated at 10 and 15 weeks after planting before flowering. Overall total herbage yield of the mixtures was higher than those of grass. In all the mixtures, incorporation of L. purpureus cv. Rongai in A. gayanus gave higher (P>0.05) CP than Highworth. The mixture of A. gayanus with double rows of L. purpureus cv. Rongai gave the highest (P<0.05) mineral contents while the least were recorded in sole A. gayanus. It was concluded that double rows of L. purpureus were recommended as the most compatible combination to improve the forage quantity and quality of A. gayanus.
This study investigated the preservative effects of pineapple and cucumber juices on the viability of refrigerated spermatozoa of the West African Dwarf (WAD) bucks. Pooled semen from WAD bucks was diluted in Tris-egg yolk extenders containing pineapple and cucumber juices each at 2.5, 5, 7.5 and 10ml/100ml respectively. Microscopic assessments of diluted semen samples were carried out on sperm progressive motility, acrosome and membrane integrities and sperm abnormality after in vitro storage at 5°C for 240 hours. The concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA) in the stored semen was measured in thiobarbituric acid reactive substances. The results showed higher (P<0.05) sperm progressive motility in extenders supplemented with pineapple and cucumber juices compared to the control. The extenders supplemented with pineapple and cucumber juices had consistent higher (P<0.05) acrosome integrity up to 48 hours of post-chilling compared to the control. Higher (P<0.05) membrane integrity was obtained in extenders supplemented with fruit juices compared to the control and improved results were obtained in 2.5% pineapple, 2.5% and 5% cucumber fruit juices. The extenders supplemented with 2.5% and 5% cucumber juice had lower (P<0.05) abnormality compared to the control The results showed that extenders supplemented with fruit juices had lower (P<0.05) MDA concentrations and improved results were obtained at 2.5% and 5% pineapple and 2.5% cucumber fruit juices. The findings indicate preservative potential of pineapple and cucumber juices on sperm viability of chilled semen stored at 5°C.
Antioxidants, West African Dwarf buck (WAD), fruit juice, lipid peroxidation, sperm viability
Chemical-composition/antioxidant-activity of Satureja hortensis L. extract is influenced by many factors including nutrient elements. A factorial completely randomized design greenhouse experiment was conducted to study the effect of three levels of soil-applied iron, Fe (0, 8 and 16mg kg soil as ethylene-di-amine-die-hydroxyl-acetic-acid, FeEDDHA) and three levels of sulfur, S (0, 50 and 100mg kg-1 soil as elemental-S) on monoterpene production and antioxidant activity of Satureja hortensis L. The maximum (377.75 mg/L) and minimum (720.406 mg/L) antioxidant activity were obtained with 8mg Fe+100mg S treatment and control, respectively. The main oil constituents in control were γ-terpinene (67%), a-terpinene (11%), myrcene (4%), a-thujene (4%), p-cymene (4%), a-pinene (3%) and carvacrol (2%). The maximum content of a-thujene, a-pinene, myrcene and a-terpinene was obtained with 8mg Fe+50mg S application whereas the control was suitable for obtaining γ-terpinene. Carvacrol was mainly produced with addition of 16mg Fe+100mg S. Furthermore, the a-thujene, a-pinene, myrcene and a-terpinene contents increased with application of 8mg Fe+50mg S.-1 The a-terpinene, myrcene, a-thujene and a-pinene increased by 13, 27, 21 and 43% compared to control, respectively when 8mg Fe+50mg S was applied. The entire component of monoterpenoid fraction with the major constituent of γ-terpinene, a-terpinene, myrcene, a-thujene, p-cymene, a-pinene and carvacrol that constitutes 99.9% of essential oil showed a same trend whereas identified sesquiterpenes and sesquiterpenoid components were relatively low (0.1%). The low molecular weight of γ-terpinene decreased as 8mg Fe+50mg S was applied. In general, it could be concluded that application of 8mg Fe+50mg S kg-1 the most suitable treatment for obtaining higher amounts of a-terpinene, myrcene, a-thujene and a-pinene whereas addition of 16mg Fe+100mg S kg-1 was preferable for obtaining carvacrol.
Anthracnose is a common disease that attacks mangoes in many regions, including Malaysia. In this study, extracts from the nuts of Areca catechu were tested for their antifungal activities in controlling the disease. Antifungal screening tests were done using six extracts i.e. hexane, chloroform and methanol from ripe and unripe nuts of A. catechu to determine their ability to inhibit mycelium growth and spore germination of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides isolated from mango. Of the six extracts, the chloroform extract from unripe nuts at a concentration of 10 mg/mL showed the best antifungal activity, inhibiting about 52% of mycelium growth and 100% of spore germination. Thus, this particular extract was selected to treat the fruit against anthracnose in two different ways, namely, by dipping them in the extract solution at 27°C for one hour (normal dip) and also at 52°C for five minutes (hot dip). Meanwhile, control and benomyl solutions (each applied in both dipping methods) were used as comparisons. The test proved that the treatment using the extract reduced 34% of disease infection and 27% of disease rate from the control. However, the treatment using benomyl was slightly effective compared to using the extract, reducing around 47% of disease infection and 38% of disease rate from the control. Hence, results from test also proved that the treatment applied at 52°C reducing 51% of disease infection and 35% of disease rate than those conducted at 27°C. Compound screening tests on the chloroform extract of the unripe nuts revealed that the extract contained alkaloids and phenolics. Many previous studies have proven that alkaloids and phenolics from various plants could cause antifungal activities and these substances might be responsible for controlling anthracnose development in the study done.
This study focused on developing a reliable procedure for the identification of the adulteration of crude palm oil (CPO) by blending sludge oils (SO) and used vegetable oils (UVO) ranging from 1 to 20% (v/v). Fatty acids methyl esters (FAME) and Triacylglycerol composition consisting of all single and blended CPO were analysed using a gas chromatography (GC)-flame ionisation detector (GC-FID) and high performance liquid chromatography evaporative light scattering detector (HPLC-ELSD), respectively. The results were processed using the multivariate analysis i.e. principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster observation (CO) to discriminate the most applicable factors useful for detecting this adulteration. The results revealed that the combination of chemical properties and multivariate analysis resulted in a strong differentiation between the blends according to the amount of adulterant in the CPO. PCA and CO provided good results, allowing detection of the adulteration of the CPO with the SO and UVO as low as 5% and 2% respectively for each multivariate analysis.
Type III resistant starch (RS3) was produced from native sago starch using different processing conditions. Native sago starch contained 93.5% total starch, of which was 25.8% amylose and 67.7% amylopectin. A sample with the highest RS content (35.7%) was produced when the native sago starch was suspended in distilled water, gelatinised by autoclaving at 121°C for 1 h, followed by debranching with 20U pullulanase per g starch at 60°C for 24 h, autoclaved again at 121°C for 1 h before storage at 4°C for 24 h. The sago RS3 sample contained 54.0% amylose and 38.8% amylopectin. The powder had solubility, swelling power, water-holding and oil-holding capacity of 27.4%, 2.8g/g, 1.7g/g and 1.1g/g, respectively. Treatment of the sago RS3 with 0.5M HCl acid at 60°C for 24 h produced HCl-sago RS3 with 68.30% RS3 content. The solubility and swelling power of HCl-sago RS3 was 14.9% and 1.9g/g, respectively. Different processing conditions had significantly influenced the amount and properties of RS3 produced from sago starch.