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Concept: Pahang

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BACKGROUND: In the first part of this study, we investigated the prevalence and associated key factors of soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections among Orang Asli children in rural Malaysia; an alarming high prevalence and five key factors significantly associated with infections were reported. Part 2 of this study aims to evaluate the knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) on STH infections among Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out among 215 households from 13 villages in Lipis district, Pahang, Malaysia. Demographic and socioeconomic information of the participants and their KAP on STH were collected by using a pre-tested questionnaire. RESULTS: Overall, 61.4% of the participants had prior knowledge about intestinal helminths with a lack of knowledge on the transmission (28.8%), signs and symptoms (29.3%) as well as the prevention (16.3%). Half of the respondents considered STH as harmful, while their practices to prevent infections were still inadequate. Significant associations between the KAP and age, gender, educational and employment status, family size, and household monthly income were reported. Moreover, significantly lower prevalence of STH infections was reported among children of respondents who wear shoes/slippers when outside the house (72.8%; 95% CI= 62.6, 80.5 vs 87.0%; 95% CI= 81.4, 91.1), wash their hands before eating (32.4%; 95% CI= 24.3, 42.2 vs 51.4%; 95% CI= 44.7, 60.1), and wash their hands after defecation (47.8%; 95% CI= 35.7, 57.1 vs 69.2%; 95% CI= 63.7, 78.7) as compared to their counterparts. Multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that the educational level of the respondents was the most important factor significantly associated with the KAP on STH among this population. CONCLUSION: This study reveals inadequate knowledge, attitude and practices on STH infections among Orang Asli in rural Malaysia. Hence, there is a great need for a proper health education programme and community mobilisation to enhance prevention and instil better knowledge on STH transmission and prevention. This is crucial for an effective and sustainable STH control programme to save the lives and future of the most vulnerable children in rural Malaysia.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Logistic regression, Intestinal parasite, Hookworm, Parasitic worm, Orang Asli, Pahang, Kelantan

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The flagellate protozoan parasite, Giardia intestinalis, is widely distributed throughout the world with a high prevalence in developing countries in the tropics and subtropics, including Malaysia. Approximately 200 million people are infected with the parasite globally, with 500,000 new cases reported annually. This cross-sectional study was conducted among three tribes of Orang Asli communities in Selangor, Perak and Pahang states of Malaysia. The main objective was to determine the prevalence of and risk factors for giardiasis. Stool samples were collected from 500 individuals aged between 2 and 74years (males=219, females=281). The samples were examined with formalin-ether sedimentation and trichrome staining techniques. Socioeconomic data were collected through a pre-tested questionnaire. The overall prevalence of giardiasis was 20.0% with the highest prevalence in the Proto-Malays (33.3%) followed by Negritos (20.1%) and Senois (10.4%). The positive cases showed a decrease with increasing age and most of the positive cases were observed in individuals less than 24years old. Males had significantly higher prevalence than females (χ(2)=5.283, P=0.022). Logistic regression analysis of the overall population studied and the Senoi tribe confirmed that being a child aged less than 15years, being male, the consumption of raw vegetables and the presence of other family members infected with G. intestinalis were the main risk factors for giardiasis. The presence of other family members infected with G. intestinalis was the only risk factor highlighted in the Proto-Malay and Negrito tribes. Diarrhoea was significantly associated with giardiasis. However, the cause and effect relationship has yet to be determined. Thus, screening family members and treating the infected individuals are the main strategies that should be adopted by the public health authority in combating this infection in Orang Asli communities as well as health education regarding good personal and food hygiene practises.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Giardia lamblia, Protozoa, Orang Asli, Pahang, Kelantan, Senoi, Negrito

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Simulium (Simulium) rasuli sp. nov. is described from two females collected by a Malaise trap in Genting Highlands, Peninsular Malaysia. This new species is placed in the Simulium christophersi species-group of the subgenus Simulium. The female of this new specie is characterized by the scutum with three longitudinal vittae, dark legs, claw with a small subbasal tooth, and ovipositor valve triangular with its inner margin nearly straight. This new species is distinguished in the female from all the six named species of the species-group by the entirely brownish-black femora and tibiae.

Concepts: Human, Order, Taxonomic rank, Flies, Pahang

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Parkia speciosa seeds are a common ingredient in Malay cuisine with traditional interest because of its medicinal importance and content of health-promoting phytochemicals. This study evaluated the phytochemical constituents and biological activities (antioxidant and antibacterial activities) of Parkia speciosa Hassk seeds collected from three different regions of Malaysia (Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Johor). Phytochemical constituents (total flavonoid and total phenolic) were measured using the spectrophotometric method, and individual flavonoids and phenolic acids were identified using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography. Ferric reducing antioxidant potential (FRAP) assay and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay we used in order to evaluation of antioxidant activities. Disc diffusion method was employed for the evaluation of antibacterial activity of extracts against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains.

Concepts: Bacteria, Microbiology, Antioxidant, Malaysia, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Peninsular Malaysia, Parkia speciosa

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The original version of this article contains an error. The Author Abd Rashid Nur Haslindawaty has been added as to the above author group as third author. The original article was corrected.

Concepts: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Orang Asli, Pahang, Kelantan, Senoi, Constitution of Malaysia, Demographics of Malaysia

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Intestinal parasitic infections (IPIs) are still major health problems in many developing countries including Malaysia, particularly in the poor and socioeconomically deprived rural and remote communities in Peninsular Malaysia. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of IPIs and to identify the key factors associated with intestinal polyparasitism as well as to evaluate the knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) on IPIs among rural Orang Asli and Malay communities in Terengganu, Malaysia.

Concepts: Malaysia, Orang Asli, Pahang, Kelantan, Johor, Senoi, Constitution of Malaysia, Peninsular Malaysia

0

An integrative taxonomic analysis is used to delimit and describe three new species of Pseudocalotoes from the sky island archipelago of the Banjaran (=mountain range) Titiwangsa of Peninsular Malaysia. Pseudocalotes drogon sp. nov., from Fraser’s Hill, Pahang is basal to the sister species P. larutensis from Bukit Larut, Perak in the Banjaran Bintang and the new species P. rhaegal sp. nov. from Cameron Highlands, Pahang. Pseudocalotes drogon sp. nov. is differentiated from all other species of Psuedocalotes by having the combination of a flat rostrum; seven postrostrals; an interparietal; 11 circumorbitals; five canthals; 7-10 superciliaries; one scale between the rostral and nasal; nine supralabials; eight infralabials; 10 postnasal-suborbital scales; four postmentals; five or six sublabials; five or six chinshields; 47 smooth, wide, gular scales; weak transverse gular and antehumeral folds; two enlarged scales between the ear and eye; enlarged upper and lower posttemporals; a single enlarged supratympanic; no enlarged postrictals; three large scales bordering the dorsal margin of the ear opening; large pretympanic scales; eight scales in the nuchal crest not separated by a gap; enlarged vertebral scales extending to the tip of the tail; keeled and non-plate-like scales on flanks; 51 midbody scales; midventrals smaller than dorsals; 19 subdigital lamellae on the fourth finger; 23 subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe; preaxial scales on third toe enlarged and spinose; subdigital lamellae not unicarinate; HW/HL 0.52; HL/SVL 0.31; no elbow or knee patches; and a male dewlap color of lime-green bearing a central yellow spot. Pseudocalotes rhaegal sp. nov. is differentiated from all other Psuedocalotes by having the combination of a convex rostrum; 6-8 postrostrals; an interparietal; nine or 10 circumorbitals; five canthals; 7-10 superciliaries; one or two scales between the rostral and nasal scales; eight or nine supralabials; seven or eight infralabials; 11 or 12 postnasal-suborbital scales; four postmentals; four or five chinshields; 40-45 smooth, wide, gular scales; no transverse gular fold; a weak antehumeral fold; three or four enlarged scales between the ear and eye; an enlarged upper and lower posttemporal; an enlarged supratympanic; no enlarged postrictals; no large scales bordering the upper margin of the ear opening or in the pretympanic region; 6-8 enlarged nuchal crest scales not separated by a gap; enlarged vertebral scales extending to the base of the tail; weakly keeled, non-plate-like scales on the flanks; 52-58 midbody scales; midventrals smaller than dorsals; 19-21 subdigital lamellae on the fourth finger; 22-26 subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe; preaxial scales on the third enlarged and rounded; subdigital lamellae not unicarinate; HW/HL 0.50-0.54; HL/SVL 0.28-0.30; no elbow or knee patches; and female dewlap color yellow bearing a purple base. The analyses also indicated that the new species, P. viserion sp. nov. from Genting Highlands, Pahang in the southern section of the Banjaran Titiwangsa is the sister species of P. flavigula from Cameron Highlands 121 km to the north and can be separated from all other species of Psuedocalotes by having the combination of three postrostrals; 10 circumorbitals; four or five canthals; 5-7 superciliaries; rostral and nasals in contact; supralabials contacting the nasal; six or seven supralabials; six or seven infralabials; two or three postmentals; 47 or 48 smooth, flat, gular scales; three chinshields; weak transverse gular and antehumeral folds; two enlarged scales between the ear and eye; an enlarged upper and lower posttemporal; an enlarged supratympanic; no enlarged postrictals; 7-9 nuchal crest scales lacking gaps and not extending beyond midbody; weakly keeled and plate-like scales on the flanks; 35-38 midbody scales; ventrals smaller than dorsals; 22 or 23 subdigital lamellae on the fourth finger; 26 or 27 subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe; preaxial scales on the third toe not modified; subdigital scales not unicarinate; HW/HL 0.62; no white marking below the eye; dewlap in males yellow; and no elbow or knee patches. Pseudocalotes rhaegal sp. nov. most likely occurs in syntopy with P. flavigula in Tanah Rata at Cameron Highlands and its discovery adds to a growing body of literature detailing the recent descriptions of several new, upland, closely related, sympatric species in Peninsular Malaysia. Another new population referred to here as Pseudocalotes sp. nov. from the Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, Betong District, Yala Province, Thailand is discussed. The discovery and description of these three new Pseudocalotes from the upland regions of Peninsular Malaysia continues to underscore the remarkably high herpetological diversity and ecological complexity in this sky island archipelago that is still underestimated, unappreciated, and unprotected.

Concepts: Snake scales, Malaysia, Pahang, Nasal scale, Perak, Nasal, Cameron Highlands, Genting Highlands

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The earliest settlers in Peninsular Malaysia are the Orang Asli population, namely Semang, Senoi and Proto Malays. In the present study, we typed the HLA-A, -B and -DRB1 loci of the Kensiu and Semai Orang Asli sub-groups. Sequence-based HLA typing was performed on 59 individuals from two Orang Asli sub-groups. A total of 11, 18 and 14 HLA-A, -B and -DRB1 alleles were identified, respectively. These data are available in the Allele Frequencies Net Database under the population name “Malaysia Kedah Kensiu” and “Malaysia Pahang Semai”.

Concepts: Allele frequency, Malaysia, Orang Asli, Pahang, Kelantan, Senoi, Ethnic groups in Malaysia, Perak

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We report a case of human intestinal myiasis in a 41-yr-old female patient presented at a clinic in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, Malaysia. Larvae passed out in the patient’s feces were sent to the Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. DNA barcoding confirmed the second case of intestinal myiasis in Malaysia involving the larvae of Clogmia albipunctatus (Duckhouse) (Diptera: Psychodidae). We review reported cases of myiasis and discuss the present case of intestinal myiasis in an urban patient.

Concepts: Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Selangor, Pahang, Federated Malay States, Peninsular Malaysia, University of Malaya

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Despite the strategic development plan by the authorities for the Orang Asli, there are six subtribes of which their population numbers are small (less than 700). These minorities were not included in most of the health related studies published thus far. A comprehensive physiological and biomedical updates on these small subtribes in comparison to the larger subtribes and the urban Malay population is timely and important to help provide appropriate measures to prevent further reduction in the numbers of the Orang Asli.

Concepts: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Orang Asli, Pahang, Kelantan, Senoi, Constitution of Malaysia, Demographics of Malaysia