International Scholarly Research Notices The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Validation of a Stability-Indicating RP-HPLC Method for Determination of L-Carnitine in Tablets Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 A rapid and stability-indicating RP-HPLC method was developed for determination of L-carnitine in tablets. The separation was based on a C18 analytical column using a mobile phase which consisted of 0.05 M phosphate buffer (pH = 3): ethanol (99 : 1), including 0.56 mg/mL of sodium 1-heptanesulfonate. Column temperature was set at 50°C and quantitation was achieved by UV detection at 225 nm. In forced degradation studies, the drug was subjected to oxidation, hydrolysis, photolysis, and heat. Among the different stress conditions, the exposure to acidic and basic conditions was found to be an important adverse stability factor. The method was validated for specificity, selectivity, linearity, precision, accuracy, and robustness. The applied procedure was found to be linear in L-carnitine concentration range of 84.74–3389.50 µg/mL . Precision was evaluated by replicate analysis in which relative standard deviation (RSD) values for areas were found below 2.0%. The recoveries obtained (100.83%–101.54%) ensured the accuracy of the developed method. The expanded uncertainty (3.14%) of the method was also estimated from method validation data. Accordingly, the proposed validated and rapid procedure was proved to be suitable for routine analyzing and stability studies of L-carnitine in tablets. Roghaieh Khoshkam and Minoo Afshar Copyright © 2014 Roghaieh Khoshkam and Minoo Afshar. All rights reserved. Non-Newtonian Effects of Second-Order Fluids on the Hydrodynamic Lubrication of Inclined Slider Bearings Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Theoretical study of non-Newtonian effects of second-order fluids on the performance characteristics of inclined slider bearings is presented. An approximate method is used for the solution of the highly nonlinear momentum equations for the second-order fluids. The closed form expressions for the fluid film pressure, load carrying capacity, frictional force, coefficient of friction, and centre of pressure are obtained. The non-Newtonian second order fluid model increases the film pressure, load carrying capacity, and frictional force whereas the center of pressure slightly shifts towards exit region. Further, the frictional coefficient decreases with an increase in the bearing velocity as expected for an ideal fluid. Siddangouda Apparao, Trimbak Vaijanath Biradar, and Neminath Bhujappa Naduvinamani Copyright © 2014 Siddangouda Apparao et al. All rights reserved. Development and Validation of Sleep Disturbance Questionnaire in Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:18:17 +0000 Background and Objectives. Severe sleep disturbance is a common problem among patients in cardiac care units (CCUs). There are questionnaires to measure sleep disturbances. Therefore, the present study seeks to design a valid and reliable questionnaire to assess sleep disturbance in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) hospitalized in CCUs. Materials and Methods. In the present methodological research, items of the questionnaire were extracted through a systematic review. The validity and reliability of the questionnaires was assessed by face validity, content validity, construct validity, Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, and test-retest methods. Results. Factor analysis provided a questionnaire of 23 items on 5 dimensions of sleep disturbance in coronary patients: “sleep onset and continuity disorder,” “disorder in daytime functioning,” “sleep disturbance caused by environmental factors,” “sleep disturbance as a result of cardiac diseases,” and “respiratory disorders during sleep.” Furthermore, test-retest analysis showed a reliability correlation coefficient of and Cronbach’s reliability (). Conclusion. Sleep disturbance questionnaire for patients with ACS hospitalized in coronary care unit (CCU) was identified in 5 dimensions and assessed for validity and reliability. To control and improve the sleep quality of CCU hospitalized patients, we need to identify and remove predisposing factors. Elham Sepahvand, Rostam Jalali, Behnam Khaledi Paveh, and Mansour Rezaei Copyright © 2014 Elham Sepahvand et al. All rights reserved. Mortality and Pathology Associated with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 Outbreaks in Commercial Poultry Production Systems in Nigeria Wed, 22 Oct 2014 07:58:02 +0000 Commercial layer-type, pullet, cockerel, and broiler chicken flocks infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in Nigeria between 2006 and 2008 were investigated for morbidity, mortality, and pathology. Of the one hundred and fifty-three (153) farms confirmed with HPAI infection, one hundred and twenty-seven (127) were layer-type farms, nine (9) were pullet and broiler farms each, and eight (8) were cockerel rearing farms. This study revealed the morbidity and mortality of a total of 939,620 commercial layer chickens, 16,421 pullets, 3,109 cockerels, and 6,433 broilers. Mortality rates were 11.11% in commercial layers, 26.84% in pullets, 45.51% in cockerels, and 73.92% in broilers in a total of eighteen (18) states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. A total of 316 carcasses were examined of which 248 were commercial layer, 25 were pullet, 14 were cockerel, and 29 were broiler. Main clinical and pathologic findings were observed in the nervous, circulatory, respiratory, integumentary, musculoskeletal, hemopoietic, gastrointestinal, and reproductive systems and, occasionally, lesions were generally nonspecific and multisystemic. Lesions occurred more frequently, severely, and in most of the carcasses examined, irrespective of chicken type. Olatunde Babatunde Akanbi and Victor Olusegun Taiwo Copyright © 2014 Olatunde Babatunde Akanbi and Victor Olusegun Taiwo. All rights reserved. Erratum to “Tumor Hemodynamics and Hepatocarcinogenesis: Radio-Pathological Correlations and Outcomes of Carcinogenic Hepatocyte Nodules” Tue, 21 Oct 2014 08:58:06 +0000 Kazuhiko Ueda, Osamu Matsui, Azusa Kitao, Satoshi Kobayashi, Jun Nakayama, Shinich Miyagawa, and Masumi Kadoya Copyright © 2014 Kazuhiko Ueda et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Aerobic Exercise Training on MDA and TNF-α Levels in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Tue, 21 Oct 2014 07:55:02 +0000 Objective. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with low-grade inflammation. The benefits of regular exercise for the DM are well established, whereas less is known about the impact of aerobic exercise on malondialdehyde (MDA) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) in the DM. Methods. We randomised 64 participants, who do not exercise regularly, without any diabetic chronic complications in parallel to 12 weeks of aerobic exercise (three times per week, ) and no exercise (control; ). Plasma levels of soluble TNF-α and MDA levels were measured before-after physical training programme and control group. Results. Sixty-four patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus were analysed. When comparing the two groups of patients with age, gender, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels, lipid profile, waist circumference, body mass index (BMI) and class of treatment for diabetes were not different between groups. While soluble TNF-α remained essentially unaffected by physical training, plasma concentrations of MDA markedly decreased ; physical training also decreased body weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure . Conclusion. Exercise training favorably affected body weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure. A three-weekly, 12-week, aerobic-training programme, without a concomitant weight loss diet, was associated with significant decrease in MDA levels in type 2 diabetic individuals. Mihriban Arslan, Suleyman Hilmi Ipekci, Levent Kebapcilar, Nesrin Dogan Dede, Sevil Kurban, Ekrem Erbay, and Mustafa Sait Gonen Copyright © 2014 Mihriban Arslan et al. All rights reserved. Modified Negative Staining of Heine for Fast and Inexpensive Screening of Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, and Cystoisospora spp. Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:49:51 +0000 Negative staining technique of Heine is an easy, inexpensive, and rapid way of screening for coccidian parasites of the intestinal tract. But its use as a routine technique for screening of Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, and Cystoisospora is restricted due to its sensitivity being lower than the gold standard method of modified Ziehl-Neelsen staining. This paper emphasises the modification of original Heine staining technique which has been attempted in order to increase the sensitivity and detection of oocysts of Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, and Cystoisospora. Modified Heine staining technique using malachite green is a practical, safe, and sensitive method of detecting oocysts in stool specimens. While the modified Ziehl-Neelsen staining technique is still considered the gold standard for the detection of Cryptosporidium spp., modified negative staining technique of Heine using malachite green stain should be considered as the screening technique of first choice. Vinay Khanna, Kriti Tilak, Archi Ghosh, and Chiranjay Mukhopadhyay Copyright © 2014 Vinay Khanna et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis, Characterization, and Thermal Kinetics of Mixed Gadolinium: Calcium Heptamolybdate System Mon, 20 Oct 2014 08:31:40 +0000 Synthesis of mixed gadolinium calcium heptamolybdate (GdCaHM) system in silica gel medium using single gel single tube technique has been successfully achieved. The grown crystal exhibits various morphologies, which includes spherulites, multifaceted, and square platelets. The nature of the grown material was established by X-ray diffraction (XRD) studies. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) study signifies the presence of heptamolybdate (Mo7O24) and water symmetry structure, whereas energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDAX) establishes the stoichiometric of the grown crystal as GdCaMo7O24·8H2O. The thermal behaviour was studied using the thermoanalytical techniques, which include thermogravimetry (TG), differential thermal analysis (DTA), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Results obtained on the application of TG based models, namely, Horowitz-Metzger, Coats-Redfern, and Piloyan-Novikova, suggest the contracting cylindrical model as the relevant model for the thermal decomposition of the material. The kinetic parameters, namely, the order of reaction (n), activation energy (), frequency factor (Z), and entropy (ΔS*), were also calculated using these three models. R. K. Koul, Shivani Suri, Vishal Singh, and K. K. Bamzai Copyright © 2014 R. K. Koul et al. All rights reserved. Juvenile Hormone Biosynthesis in Insects: What Is New, What Do We Know, and What Questions Remain? Sun, 19 Oct 2014 11:47:39 +0000 Our understanding of JH biosynthesis has significantly changed in the last years. In this review I would like to discuss the following topics: (1) the progresses in understanding the JH biosynthesis pathway. Access to genome sequences has facilitated the identification of all the genes encoding biosynthetic enzymes and the completion of comprehensive transcriptional studies, as well as the expression and characterization of recombinant enzymes. Now the existence of different flux directionalites, feed-back loops and pathway branching points in the JH biosynthesis pathways can be explored; (2) the new concepts in the modulation of JH synthesis by allatoregulators. The list of putative JH modulators is increasing. I will discuss their possible role during the different physiological states of the CA; (3) the new theoretical and physiological frameworks for JH synthesis analysis. I will discuss the bases of the flux model for JH biosynthesis. JH plays multiple roles in the control of ovary development in female mosquitoes; therefore, the CA presents different physiological states, where JH synthesis is altered by gating the flux at distinctive points in the pathway; (4) in the final section I will identify new challenges and future directions on JH synthesis research. Fernando G. Noriega Copyright © 2014 Fernando G. Noriega. All rights reserved. Effect of Nanosilver Gel, Chlorhexidine Gluconate, and Camphorated Phenol on Enterococcus faecalis Biofilm Sun, 19 Oct 2014 11:29:21 +0000 Aim. To assess the effectiveness of nanosilver gel (NSG) in comparison to chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX) and camphorated phenol (CP) against Enterococcus faecalis (E.f) biofilm. Methods and Materials. Two tests were done, methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) assay and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) analysis, to determine the effectiveness of NSG, CHX, and CP on E.f biofilm. Polystyrene microtiter 96- and 6-well plates were used for MTT and CLSM, respectively. Nanosilver gel was in three concentrations (0.05%, 0.1%, and 0.2%), chlorhexidine gluconate used was 2%, and camphorated phenol and normal saline were as control. Analysis was done using one-way ANOVA; the post hoc test was run for multiple comparisons. The level of statistical significance was set at . Results. One-way ANOVA showed significant differences among groups (0.05% NSG and CP, 0.1% NSG and CP, 0.2% NSG and CP, 0.1% NSG and 2% CHX, 0.2% and NSG and 2% CHX) () and also showed significant difference between groups (), -ratio 87.823. A post hoc Tukey’s test revealed no significant difference between chlorhexidine gluconate and 0.05% nanosilver gel (). Conclusions. 0.1% and 0.2% nanosilver gel is more effective on Enterococcus faecalis biofilm as compared to chlorhexidine gluconate and camphorated phenol. Dong Bo and Cecilia Marcellino Kayombo Copyright © 2014 Dong Bo and Cecilia Marcellino Kayombo. All rights reserved. Nocardia mikamii a Novel Species Causing Disseminated Nocardiosis: A Literature Review of Disseminated Nocardiosis Thu, 16 Oct 2014 12:58:03 +0000 Nocardia is an uncommon Gram-positive organism. It typically appears as delicate filamentous Gram-positive branching rods. In the United States it was estimated to be approximately 500 to 1000 new cases per year. The organism causes disease in immunocompromised individuals with pulmonary infection representing the most common site of infection. Nocardia mikamii has been a recently isolated pathogen and not many cases of disseminated infection with this organism has been reported in the literature; we present a case of disseminated nocardiosis (mikamii sp.) in an immunocompromised patient. We also present a literature review on nocardiosis. Muhammad Khan, Mohammed Muqeet Adnan, Najmi Shahbaz, Muhammad Hamza, and Sufyan Abdul Mujeeb Copyright © 2014 Muhammad Khan et al. All rights reserved. Efficient QCA Exclusive-or and Multiplexer Circuits Based on a Nanoelectronic-Compatible Designing Approach Thu, 16 Oct 2014 12:57:14 +0000 Quantum-dot cellular automata (QCA) are a transistorless computation approach which encodes binary information via configuration of charges among quantum dots. The fundamental QCA logic primitives are majority and inverter gates which can be utilized to design various QCA circuits. This study presents a novel approach to designing efficient QCA-based circuits based on Boolean expressions achieved from reconfiguration of five-input and three-input majority gates. Whereas the multiplexer and Exclusive-or are the most important fundamental logical circuits in digital systems, designing efficient and single layer structures without coplanar cross-over wiring is advantageous in QCA technology. In order to demonstrate the efficiency and usefulness of the proposed approach, simple and dense multiplexer and Exclusive-or structures are implemented. The proposed designs have significant improvement in terms of area, complexity, latency, and gate count in comparison to previous designs. The correct logical functionalities of presented structures have been authenticated using QCA designer tool. Amir Mokhtar Chabi, Samira Sayedsalehi, Shaahin Angizi, and Keivan Navi Copyright © 2014 Amir Mokhtar Chabi et al. All rights reserved. Optimal Variational Asymptotic Method for Nonlinear Fractional Partial Differential Equations Wed, 15 Oct 2014 11:48:14 +0000 We propose optimal variational asymptotic method to solve time fractional nonlinear partial differential equations. In the proposed method, an arbitrary number of auxiliary parameters and auxiliary functions are introduced in the correction functional of the standard variational iteration method. The optimal values of these parameters are obtained by minimizing the square residual error. To test the method, we apply it to solve two important classes of nonlinear partial differential equations: (1) the fractional advection-diffusion equation with nonlinear source term and (2) the fractional Swift-Hohenberg equation. Only few iterations are required to achieve fairly accurate solutions of both the first and second problems. Vipul K. Baranwal, Ram K. Pandey, and Om P. Singh Copyright © 2014 Vipul K. Baranwal et al. All rights reserved. Barriers to and Suggestions on Improving Utilization of Eye Care in High-Risk Individuals: Focus Group Results Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:06:19 +0000 Purpose. To understand barriers facing high-risk individuals and to solicit the suggestions of these individuals, especially nonusers, on how to change the eye care delivery system to better meet their needs. Methods. Four focus groups were conducted. All discussion was audiotaped and transcribed. Content analysis was performed by the authors and with the assistance of qualitative software, Vivo. Results. The most frequently cited barriers include (1) cost, (2) trust, (3) communication, (4) clinic accessibility (transportation/distance), and (5) doctor-patient relationship. In underutilizers, trust was the most identified barrier to care. Suggestions on increasing educational opportunities/awareness of eye care and addressing cost and insurance issues as a means of improving trust and communications were most frequently offered, including using the Department of Social Services as a focal point for eye care education and assessment. Discussion. Trust is a major barrier to eye care, especially among underutilizers of disadvantaged populations. Increasing trust and eye care education at the community and individual levels is essential to increasing eye care utilization. Angela R. Elam and Paul P. Lee Copyright © 2014 Angela R. Elam and Paul P. Lee. All rights reserved. Influence of Tableting on Enzymatic Activity of Papain along with Determination of Its Percolation Threshold with Microcrystalline Cellulose Tue, 14 Oct 2014 11:19:45 +0000 The binary mixture tablets of papain and microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), dicalcium phosphate dihydrate (DCP), carrageenan, tragacanth, and agar were prepared by direct compression. Carrageenan, tragacanth, and agar provided maximum protection to enzyme activity compared to MCC and DCP. However, stability studies indicated highest loss of enzyme activity with carrageenan, tragacanth, and agar. Therefore, compression behaviour of different binary mixtures of papain with MCC at different compaction pressures, that is, 40–280 MPa, was studied according to Heckel equation. The compressibility studies of binary mixtures indicated brittle behavior of papain. The application of percolation theory on the relationship between critical density as a function of enzyme activity and mixture composition revealed the presence of percolation threshold for binary mixture. Papain-MCC mixture composition showed significant percolation threshold at 18.48% (w/w) papain loading. Microcrystalline cellulose provided higher protection during stability study. However, higher concentrations of microcrystalline cellulose, probably as dominant particles, do not protect the enzyme with their plastic deformation. Below the percolation threshold, that is, 18.48% (w/w) papain amount in mixture with plastic excipient, activity loss increases strongly because of higher shearing forces during compaction due to system dominance of plastic particles. This mixture range should therefore be avoided to get robust formulation of papain. Manu Sharma, Vinay Sharma, and Dipak K. Majumdar Copyright © 2014 Manu Sharma et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Iralvex Gel on the Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis Management Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:01:36 +0000 Introduction. As there is no definitive treatment for the recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS), most of the available therapies aim at decreasing pain and discomfort. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of the Iralvex gel on the RAS management. Material and Methods. In this double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical trial study, twenty patients were treated with the Iralvex gel and the other twenty patients were treated with placebo. In every participant complete healing of lesions, pain duration, and intensity were evaluated. Data were analyzed by independent t-test and analysis of variance. Results. Pain was relieved after 6.10 ± 0.29 days in the Iralvex group in comparison to 8.00 ± 0.33 days in the placebo group (P value ≤0.001). Complete remission in the Iralvex group was after 6.80 ± 0.27 days and 10.20 ± 0.42 days in the placebo group ( value ≤ 0.001). Furthermore, significant differences in the pain intensity between Iralvex and placebo group measured on days 1, 3, and 5 were obtained ( value ≤ 0.01). Conclusion. The results of this study show that Iralvex gel is effective and cheap remedy for treatment of RAS without side effects. This trial is registered with IRCT201207253251N3. Heidar Khademi, Pedram Iranmanesh, Ali Moeini, and Atefeh Tavangar Copyright © 2014 Heidar Khademi et al. All rights reserved. The Role of Magnesium in the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Glaucoma Mon, 13 Oct 2014 09:33:58 +0000 Glaucoma is characterized by chronic optic neuropathy resulting in progressive vision loss. Not only is glaucoma considered as a condition of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), but also other risk factors may play a role in the pathogenesis of glaucomatous optic nerve damage. Vascular dysregulation in ocular blood flow and oxidative stress are currently suggested as important risk factors for glaucomatous retinal ganglion cell loss. New treatment modalities that improve ocular blood flow and reduce oxidative stress have been investigated in many studies. Magnesium (Mg) is thought to be one of the molecules that has a treatment potential in glaucoma. Mg has been shown to improve blood flow by modifying endothelial function via endothelin-1 (ET-1) and endothelial nitric oxide (NO) pathways. Mg also exhibits neuroprotective role by blocking N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-related calcium influx and by inhibiting the release of glutamate, and hence protects the cell against oxidative stress and apoptosis. Both improvement in ocular blood flow and prevention of ganglion cell loss would make magnesium a good candidate for glaucoma management. Further studies on the effect of Mg may open a new therapeutic era in glaucoma. Feyzahan Ekici, Şafak Korkmaz, Emine Esra Karaca, Sabahattin Sül, Hasan Ali Tufan, Bahri Aydın, and Ergin Dileköz Copyright © 2014 Feyzahan Ekici et al. All rights reserved. Remarks on Pre--Regular Pre--Open Sets Mon, 13 Oct 2014 08:53:00 +0000 We deal with the new class of pre--regular pre--open sets in which the notion of pre--open set is involved. We characterize these sets and study some of their fundamental properties. We also present other notions called extremally pre--disconnectedness, locally pre--indiscreetness, and pre--regular sets by utilizing the notion of pre--open and pre--closed sets by which we obtain some equivalence relation for pre--regular pre--open sets. R. Sajuntha Copyright © 2014 R. Sajuntha. All rights reserved. Inductive and Deductive Approaches to Acute Cell Injury Sun, 12 Oct 2014 15:53:15 +0000 Many clinically relevant forms of acute injury, such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, and myocardial infarction, have resisted treatments to prevent cell death following injury. The clinical failures can be linked to the currently used inductive models based on biological specifics of the injury system. Here we contrast the application of inductive and deductive models of acute cell injury. Using brain ischemia as a case study, we discuss limitations in inductive inferences, including the inability to unambiguously assign cell death causality and the lack of a systematic quantitative framework. These limitations follow from an overemphasis on qualitative molecular pathways specific to the injured system. Our recently developed nonlinear dynamical theory of cell injury provides a generic, systematic approach to cell injury in which attractor states and system parameters are used to quantitatively characterize acute injury systems. The theoretical, empirical, and therapeutic implications of shifting to a deductive framework are discussed. We illustrate how a deductive mathematical framework offers tangible advantages over qualitative inductive models for the development of therapeutics of acutely injured biological systems. Donald J. DeGracia, Fika Tri Anggraini, Doaa Taha Metwally Taha, and Zhi-Feng Huang Copyright © 2014 Donald J. DeGracia et al. All rights reserved. Detection of Abnormal Hemoglobin Variants by HPLC Method: Common Problems with Suggested Solutions Sun, 12 Oct 2014 14:37:29 +0000 Thalassemia and thalassemic hemoglobinopathies pose serious health problem leading to severe morbidity and mortality in Indian population. Plethora of hemoglobin variants is prevalent in multiethnic Indian population. The aim of the present study was to analyze laboratory aspects, namely, hematological profile and HPLC findings of the hemoglobin variants detected, and to discuss problems that we faced in diagnosis in a routine clinical laboratory. We screened a total of 4800 cases in a hospital based population of North India in a 2-years period of by automated HPLC method using the Variant Hemoglobin Testing System (Variant II Beta Thalassemia Short Program, Bio-Rad Laboratories) under the experimental conditions specified by the manufacturer. Whole blood in EDTA was used and red cell indices were determined using automated hematology analyzer. We detected 290 cases with abnormal variants in which beta thalassemia was the most common followed by hemoglobin E. Here, we discuss the laboratory aspects of various hemoglobin disorders and diagnostic difficulties in cases like borderline HbA2 values, presence of silent mutation, alpha thalassemia gene, and few rare variants which at times require correlation with genetic study. Special attention was given to HbA2 level even in presence of a structural variant to rule out coinheritance of beta thalassemia gene. Leela Pant, Dipti Kalita, Sompal Singh, Madhur Kudesia, Sumanlata Mendiratta, Meenakshi Mittal, and Alka Mathur Copyright © 2014 Leela Pant et al. All rights reserved. Predictors of Survival in HIV-Infected Patient after Initiation of HAART in Zewditu Memorial Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Thu, 09 Oct 2014 10:02:00 +0000 Introduction. ART has improved the survival of HIV-infected patients. However, patients in resource-poor countries have higher mortality rates, particularly the first months after initiating ART. In this study we tried to determine the survival factors in HIV-infected patients treated with HAART in Zewditu Memorial Hospital. Methods. A retrospective cohort study was conducted from 2008 to 2012. All HIV-infected patients above the age of 14 took first line ART. Data were collected, entered, and analyzed using Epi Info 7 and SPSS Version 20. Life table was used to estimate mortality after initiation of ART, and Kaplan-Meier was used to compare survival curves. Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess the predictors of mortality. Results. The incidence of mortality was 3.8/100 person-years. Independent predictors of mortality were WHO clinical stages 3-4 ( at 95% CI (1.26, 5.31)), anemia (hemoglobin level < 10 gm/dL ( at 95% CI (2.58, 11.86)). Conclusion. Incidence of mortality was found relatively low, majority of deaths occurring within 3 months of starting ART. WHO stages 3-4, anemia (hemoglobin count < 10 gm/dL), and past TB coinfection were the main predictors of mortality. The underlying causes for early death in patients presenting at late stages should be investigated. Shibre Mengesha, Bekele Belayihun, and Abera Kumie Copyright © 2014 Shibre Mengesha et al. All rights reserved. Immunological Testing Reveals Exposure to Malaria in the Hypoendemic Region of Iran Thu, 09 Oct 2014 06:48:30 +0000 Background. South eastern parts of Iran remain endemic for malaria infection. There is some concern that malaria infection may spread into Bushehr, which is located in the south western part bordering the Persian Gulf and at the periphery of the declared endemic region Hormozgan province due to frequency of visitors from eastern endemic areas and from neighboring malaria endemic countries. We investigated malaria prevalence in Bushehr. Methods and Results. Attempts were made to identify malaria active infection in blood smears and malaria specific antibody and antigens in serum samples. Traditional blood smears prepared from 1955 blood specimens yielded no definitive malaria positive case by microscopic technique. A total of 270 (13.8%) serum samples were positive for malaria antibodies. Using specific ELISA kits, presence of histidine rich proteins and lactate dehydrogenase antigens were investigated in serum samples. No histidine rich proteins specific for P. falciparum were detected amongst 270 antibody positive samples. However, six samples representing 0.3% of total population, were found to be positive for plasmodium pan specific lactate dehydrogenase antigens. This suggested the possibility of low level exposure to malaria in Bushehr community. Conclusions. Out of a total of 1955 samples tested, 270 (13.8%) were positive for malaria antibodies and six (0.3%) of these were positive for plasmodium-specific lactate dehydrogenase antigen suggesting a low level exposure to malaria in a hypoendemic region based on immunological testing. Since none of the 270 antibody samples were positive for histidine rich protein antigens, there is scope for further testing of blood samples by molecular methods such as polymerase chain reactions to confirm the plasmodium species and provide information valuable for future investigations. Our testing strategy for hypoemdemic malaria can be used as a template for investing malaria in 32 eliminating countries for testing ongoing transmission. This approach may be useful as a method in epidemiological studies. Narges Obeidi, G-Halli Rajasekariah, Iraj Nabipour, Roya Amirinejad, Diane Dogcio, and Habib Emami Copyright © 2014 Narges Obeidi et al. All rights reserved. Dyslipidemia in Psoriasis: A Case Controlled Study Wed, 08 Oct 2014 11:24:49 +0000 Multiple observational studies have demonstrated associations of psoriasis with metabolic syndrome including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and osteoporosis. However there is paucity of Indian studies on dyslipidemia in psoriasis. The aim of this study was to assess the serum lipids in psoriasis and to investigate the association of lipids with disease severity and its duration. 100 cases of psoriasis (75/M, 25/F), between 15 and 72 years, were recruited with age and sex matched 73 controls. Using Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) cases were graded into mild, moderate, and severe psoriasis. Serum total cholesterol and triglycerides were analyzed using enzymatic method. Using independent t-test, significant elevation of serum cholesterol, triglycerides, high density lipoprotein (HDL) and very low density lipoprotein was observed () when compared to controls. The levels of low density lipoproteins were comparable in cases and controls. Lipid aberrations in hypertensive patients were significant. There was a decrease in HDL levels with increase in disease severity. A fall in the levels of HDL was seen in cases with long term psoriasis. There is a strong association of dyslipidemia with psoriasis. There exist racial and ethnic variation in the prevalence of psoriasis; however, dyslipidemia is consistently seen in diverse population. Whether genetic factors are implicated in lipid derangements in psoriasis needs further research. Y. C. Nakhwa, R. Rashmi, and K. H. Basavaraj Copyright © 2014 Y. C. Nakhwa et al. All rights reserved. Functional Aromatic Poly(1,3,4-Oxadiazole-Ether)s with Benzimidazole Pendants: Synthesis, Thermal and Dielectric Studies Wed, 08 Oct 2014 09:01:13 +0000 Poly(1,3,4-oxadiazole-ether) with reactive carboxylic acid pendants was synthesized from solution polymerization via nucleophilic displacement polycondensation among 2,5-bis(4-fluorophenyl)-1,3,4-oxadiazole (BFPOx) and 4,4′-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl) valeric acid (BHPA). Without altering the polymeric segments, benzimidazole modified poly(1,3,4-oxadiazole-ether)s were prepared by varying stoichiometric ratios of 1,2-phenylenediamine. The molecular structural characterization of these polymers was achieved by, FT-IR, NMR, TGA, elemental analysis, and analytical techniques. The weight-average molecular weight of virgin polymer with carboxylic acid functionality was determined by gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and was found to be 22400 . All the synthesized polyethers were compressed into pellets and electrical contacts were established to perform dielectric properties. Shimoga D. Ganesh, Vasantakumar K. Pai, Mahadevappa Y. Kariduraganavar, and Madhu B. Jayanna Copyright © 2014 Shimoga D. Ganesh et al. All rights reserved. In Vitro Antimycobacterial Activity of Pakistani Beri Honey Using BACTEC MGIT 960 Tue, 07 Oct 2014 14:10:20 +0000 Background. Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic bacterial disease. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, being the leading member of the MTB complex, is the main cause of tuberculosis worldwide. Tuberculosis is managed with combination of drugs: streptomycin, isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide. Over the recent past years resistance against first line antituberculous drugs has emerged rapidly throughout the world resulting in MDR strains. The new threat in the management of MDR-TB is the development of resistance against second line drugs: aminoglycosides, polypeptides, fluoroquinolones, and thioamides. Multidrug resistant (MDR) and extensively drug resistant TB (XDR) strains have become a major concern to control TB particularly in the developing countries. The need of the hour is to look for new modalities having antimycobacterial activity. Honey has been well known for its antibacterial activity. We intended to explore its antimycobacterial activity against MDR-TB. Objective. The objective of this study was to determine whether Pakistani Beri honey has any antimycobacterial activity. Method. The study was conducted in the Department of Microbiology, University of Health Sciences, Lahore. Clinical isolates () of MDR-MTB were evaluated for their susceptibility to Beri honey. The isolates were provided, courtesy of Pakistan Medical Research Council. These isolates were identified by MTBc ID test (Becton & Dickinson) and further tested for their antimycobacterial activity using Beri honey. The honey was tested at the following concentrations (v/v): 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, and 5% in MGIT 960. Growth controls were also inoculated with each isolate (growth control has no concentration of honey, only containing growth of isolate). Results. MDR-TB isolates () were tested; 3 (14%) isolates were susceptible at 1% v/v honey, while at 2% v/v of honey 18 (86%) isolates were found to be susceptible. All the 21 isolates () were susceptible at 3% v/v of honey. Conclusion. The present study clearly demonstrates that Pakistani Beri honey possesses significant antimycobacterial activity in vitro. The antimycobacterial activity of Pakistani Beri honey may, therefore, be exploited in an appropriate mouse model. Abdul Hannan, Saira Munir, Muhammad Usman Arshad, and Nabila Bashir Copyright © 2014 Abdul Hannan et al. All rights reserved. Nodes Localization in 3D Wireless Sensor Networks Based on Multidimensional Scaling Algorithm Tue, 07 Oct 2014 14:09:02 +0000 In the recent years, there has been a huge advancement in wireless sensor computing technology. Today, wireless sensor network (WSN) has become a key technology for different types of smart environment. Nodes localization in WSN has arisen as a very challenging problem in the research community. Most of the applications for WSN are not useful without a priory known nodes positions. Adding GPS receivers to each node is an expensive solution and inapplicable for indoor environments. In this paper, we implemented and evaluated an algorithm based on multidimensional scaling (MDS) technique for three-dimensional (3D) nodes localization in WSN using improved heuristic method for distance calculation. Using extensive simulations we investigated our approach regarding various network parameters. We compared the results from the simulations with other approaches for 3D-WSN localization and showed that our approach outperforms other techniques in terms of accuracy. Biljana Risteska Stojkoska Copyright © 2014 Biljana Risteska Stojkoska. All rights reserved. The Identification and Differentiation between Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei Using One Gene Pyrosequencing Thu, 02 Oct 2014 14:38:35 +0000 The etiologic agents for melioidosis and glanders, Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei respectively, are genetically similar making identification and differentiation from other Burkholderia species and each other challenging. We used pyrosequencing to determine the presence or absence of an insertion sequence IS407A within the flagellin P (fliP) gene and to exploit the difference in orientation of this gene in the two species. Oligonucleotide primers were designed to selectively target the IS407A-fliP interface in B. mallei and the fliP gene specifically at the insertion point in B. pseudomallei. We then examined DNA from ten B. mallei, ten B. pseudomallei, 14 B. cepacia, eight other Burkholderia spp., and 17 other bacteria. Resultant pyrograms encompassed the target sequence that contained either the fliP gene with the IS407A interruption or the fully intact fliP gene with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity. These pyrosequencing assays based upon a single gene enable investigators to reliably identify the two species. The information obtained by these assays provides more knowledge of the genomic reduction that created the new species B. mallei from B. pseudomallei and may point to new targets that can be exploited in the future. Damian H. Gilling, Vicki Ann Luna, and Cori Pflugradt Copyright © 2014 Damian H. Gilling et al. All rights reserved. Natural Remedies for the Treatment of Beta-Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Anemia—Current Status and Perspectives in Fetal Hemoglobin Reactivation Thu, 02 Oct 2014 14:11:47 +0000 For the treatment of β-thalassemia and sickle cell disease (SCD), pharmacological induction of fetal hemoglobin (HbF) production may be a promising approach. To date, numerous studies have been done on identifying the novel HbF-inducing agents and understanding the underlying mechanism for stimulating the HbF production. In this review, we have summarized the identified HbF-inducing agents by far. By examining the action mechanisms of the HbF-inducing agents, various studies have suggested that despite the ability of stimulating HbF production, the chemotherapeutic agents could not be practically applied for treating β-hemoglobinopathies, especially β-thalassemia, due to the their cytotoxicity and growth-inhibitory effect. Owing to this therapeutic obstacle, much effort has been put on identifying new HbF-inducing agents from the natural world with the combination of efficacy, safety, and ease of use. Therefore, this review aims to (i) reveal the novel screening platforms for identifying potential inducers with high efficiency and accuracy and to (ii) summarize the new identified natural remedies for stimulating HbF production. Hopefully, this review can provide a new insight into the current status and future perspectives in fetal hemoglobin reactivation for treating β-thalassaemia and SCD. Noel Yat Hey Ng and Chun Hay Ko Copyright © 2014 Noel Yat Hey Ng and Chun Hay Ko. All rights reserved. Dental Caries Prevalence among 12–15 Year Old Palestinian Children Wed, 01 Oct 2014 07:46:44 +0000 Objective. To measure the distribution of dental caries in a group of Palestinian adolescents. Material and Methods. A sample of 677 individuals of both sexes (411 were females and 266 were males) their ages ranged from 12 to 15 year old randomly selected from schools in northern west bank in Palestine. Clinical examination was performed on all the subjects focusing on the index DMFT, representing the number of teeth that were either decayed, missing or with extraction indicated, or restored. Results. The prevalence of dental caries in the permanent dentition was 54.35% and was the highest in 15 age 75.75% in comparison to the other ages (12, 13, and 14) (40.57%, 41.76%, and 60.47%), respectively. The mean DMFT for the sample was 5.39 ± 2.85525 while the mean DMFT for different age groups (12–15) was 5.52 ± 2.766, 5.58 ± 2.745, 5.23 ± 3.304, and 5.23 ± 2.606, respectively. The prevalence of dental caries was higher in females with DMFT 5.39 ± 2.854 than males with DMFT 5.26 ± 2.891. Conclusion. High prevalent dental caries was found among Palestinian adolescents and higher in females than males. Strict preventive programs should be implemented. Further research with large samples required to include all adolescents from Palestine. Maen Mahfouz and Albina Abu Esaid Copyright © 2014 Maen Mahfouz and Albina Abu Esaid. All rights reserved. Are Attributes of Pregnancy and the Delivery Room Experience Related to Development of Autism? A Review of the Perinatal and Labor Risk Factors and Autism Wed, 01 Oct 2014 07:44:49 +0000 Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder marked by severe deficits in social communication and interactions. It is a complex condition that lacks an established preventive method, warranting a need for research to identify possible environmental triggers. The identification of external factors particularly perinatal risk factors forms the initial critical step in preventing and alleviating risks. We conducted a literature review to assess evidence suggested in the worldwide literature. Perinatal risk factors that have a suggested association include β2 adrenergic receptor agonists, labor induction and augmentation, maternal infection and disease (i.e., antiphospholipid syndrome), antiepileptic drugs, cocaine use, and oral supplements. Smoking has not been found to have a direct association. Pollutants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, artificial insemination, and fertility medications may have a link, but results are often conflicted. Factors related to the delivery room experience may be associated with meconium aspiration syndrome, birth weight, and labor time. Several risk factors during the pregnancy and labor periods have been associated with autism; yet further studies with large populations are needed to establish definitive associations. The fact that several risk factors during the prenatal and labor periods are implicated in autism should prompt the medical community to focus on the pregnancy and labor periods as preventive measures to curb the incidence of autism. Naveen Dhawan, Blaze Emerson, Romana Popara, Catherine Lin, Adam Rawji, Rita Zeiden, Leeda Rashid, Pwint Phyu, Jaya Bahl, and Vineet Gupta Copyright © 2014 Naveen Dhawan et al. All rights reserved.