Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms: Uses, Challenges, Threats, and ProspectsRead the full article
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Broad Diversity of Fungi in Hospital Water
Introduction. Some studies have reported the occurrence of microorganisms isolated from water. Considering these microorganisms, fungi are known to occur ubiquitously in the environment, including water, and some are pathogenic and may cause health problems, especially in immunocompromised individuals. The aim of this study was to identify fungi in hospital water samples and to correlate their presence with the concentration of free residual chlorine. Methods. Water samples (100 mL) were collected from taps (n = 74) and water purifiers (n = 14) in different locations in a university hospital. Samples were filtered through a nitrocellulose membrane and placed on Sabouraud dextrose agar and incubated for 24 hours at 30∘C. Fungi were identified according to established methods based on macroscopic and microscopic characteristics (filamentous) and physiological tests (yeasts). Free chlorine residual content was measured at the time of sample collection. Results. Seventy species of fungi were identified in the water samples and about 56% of the water samples contained culturable fungi. Cladosporium oxysporum, Penicillium spinulosum, and Aspergillus fumigatus were the most common filamentous fungi. Aureobasidium pullulans and Candida parapsilosis were the most common yeasts. Chemical analyses revealed that free residual chlorine was present in 81.8% of the samples within recommended concentrations. Among samples from water purifiers, 92.9% showed low levels of free residual chlorine (<0.2 mg/L). There was no significant association between chlorine concentrations (either within or outside the recommended range) and the presence of filamentous fungi and yeasts. Conclusions. This study showed that hospital water can be a reservoir for fungi, some of which are potentially harmful to immunocompromised patients. Free residual chlorine was ineffective in some samples.
Screening of the Dichloromethane: Methanolic Extract of Centella asiatica for Antibacterial Activities against Salmonella typhi, Escherichia coli, Shigella sonnei, Bacillus subtilis, and Staphylococcus aureus
Bacterial infections are responsible for a large number of deaths every year worldwide. On average, 80% of the African population cannot afford conventional drugs. Moreover, many synthetic antibiotics are associated with side effects and progressive increase in antimicrobial resistance. Currently, there is growing interest in discovering new antibacterial agents from ethnomedicinal plants. About 60% of the population living in developing countries depends on herbal drugs for healthcare needs. This study involved the screening of Centella asiatica commonly used by herbal medicine practitioners in Kisii County to treat symptoms related to bacterial infections. Standard bioassay methods were applied throughout the study. They included preliminary screening of dichloromethane: methanolic extract of Centella asiatica against human pathogenic bacteria including Salmonella typhi ATCC 19430, Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, Shigella sonnei ATCC 25931, Bacillus subtilis ATCC 21332, and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 using agar disc diffusion, broth microdilution method, and time-kill kinetics with tetracycline as a positive control. Phytochemical screening was carried out to determine the different classes of compounds in the crude extracts. Data were analyzed using one way ANOVA and means separated by Tukey’s test. Dichloromethane: methanolic extract of Centella asiatica was screened against the selected bacterial strains. Time-kill kinetic studies of the extracts showed dose- and time-dependent kinetics of antibacterial properties. Phytochemical screening of the DCM-MeOH extract revealed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, phenolics, terpenoids, cardiac glycosides, saponins, steroids, and tannins. The present study indicates that the tested plant can be an important source of antibacterial agents and recommends that the active phytoconstituents be isolated, identified, and screened individually for activities and also subjected further for in vivo and toxicological studies.
Identification of Novel Bioactive Compound Derived from Rheum officinalis against Campylobacter jejuni NCTC11168
Gastric diseases are increasing with the infection of Campylobacter jejuni. Late stages of infection lead to peptic ulcer and gastric carcinoma. C. jejuni infects people within different stages of their life, especially childhood, causing severe diarrhea; it infects around two-thirds of the world population. Due to bacterial resistance against standard antibiotic, a new strategy is needed to impede Campylobacter infections. Plants provide highly varied structures with antimicrobial use which are unlikely to be synthesized in laboratories. A special feature of higher plants is their ability to produce a great number of organic chemicals of high structural diversity, the so-called secondary metabolites. Twenty plants were screened to detect their antibacterial activities. Screening results showed that Rheum officinalis was the most efficient against C. jejuni. Fractionation pattern was obtained by column chromatography, while the purity test was done by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). The chemical composition of bioactive compound was characterized using GC-MS, nuclear magnetic resonance, and infrared analysis. Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the purified compound was 31.25 µg/ml. Cytotoxicity assay on Vero cells was evaluated to be 497 µg/ml. Furthermore, the purified bioactive compound activated human lymphocytes in vitro. The data presented here show that Rheum officinalis could potentially be used in modern applications aimed at the treatment or prevention of foodborne diseases.
Passive Outdoor Host Seeking Device (POHD): Designing and Evaluation against Outdoor Biting Malaria Vectors
Odor-baited devices are increasingly needed to compliment long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) for control of residual malaria transmission. However, the odor-baited devices developed so far are bulky, dependent on the source of electricity and carbon dioxide (CO2), and they are logistically unsuitable for scaling up in surveillance and control of malaria vectors. We designed a passive and portable outdoor host seeking device (POHD) and preliminarily evaluated suitable components against Anopheles arabiensis that maintains residual malaria transmission. Experiments were conducted using semifield reared An. arabiensis within the semifield system at Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) in southeastern Tanzania. These mosquitoes were exposed to Suna traps® baited with BG lures or source of light and augmented with carbon dioxide (CO2) in view of identifying best attractants necessary to improve attractiveness of designed POHD. Two Suna traps® were hanged at the corner but outside the experimental hut in a diagonal line and rotated between four corners to control for the effect of position and wind direction on mosquito catches. Furthermore, mosquitoes were also exposed to either a bendiocarb-treated or bendiocarb-untreated POHD baited with Mbita blend, Ifakara blend, and worn socks and augmented with warmth (i.e., 1.5 liter bottle of warm water) inside an experimental hut or a screened rectangular box. This study demonstrated that mosquitoes were more strongly attracted to Suna trap® baited with BG lures and CO2 relative to those traps baited with a source of light and CO2. The POHD baited with synthetic blends attracted and killed greater proportion of An. arabiensis compared with POHD baited with worn socks. Efficacy of the POHD was unaffected by source of warmth, and it was reduced by about 50% when the device was tested inside a screened rectangular box relative to closed experimental hut. Overall, this study demonstrates that the POHD baited with synthetic blends (Mbita and Ifakara blends) and bendiocarb can effectively attract and kill outdoor biting malaria vector species. Such POHD baited with synthetic blends may require the source of CO2 to enhance attractiveness to mosquitoes. Further trials are, therefore, ongoing to evaluate attractiveness of improved design of POHD baited with slow-release formulation of synthetic blends and sustainable source of CO2 to malaria vectors under semifield and natural environments.
Performance of Methyl-5-Benzoyl-2-Benzimidazole Carbamate (Mebendazole) as Corrosion Inhibitor for Mild Steel in Dilute Sulphuric Acid
The inhibitive effect of mebendazole (MBZ) on the corrosion of low-carbon steel in H2SO4 was investigated by gravimetric and electrochemical techniques as well as examination of specimens in the scanning electron microscope with attached energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS). From gravimetric analysis, the highest inhibition efficiency of about 96.6% was obtained for 1.0 g of inhibitor in H2SO4 solution at 24 h, while with longer exposure times of between 72 to 120 h, the efficiencies averaged between 92 and 95%. Tafel extrapolations from the polarization curves showed that 1.0 g MBZ gave a maximum inhibition efficiency of approximately 99% for the investigation conducted at 30°C, whereas 1.5 g of MBZ gave a maximum inhibition efficiency of about 85% at 60°C. Inhibition efficiency increased with increasing concentrations of MBZ and decreased at elevated temperatures. The inhibitive action was attributed to physical adsorption of MBZ species on the mild steel surface which followed the Langmuir adsorption isotherm. MBZ performed as a mixed-type inhibitor on mild steel in dilute H2SO4.
Modeling and Numerical Analysis in 3D of Anisotropic and Nonlinear Mechanical Behavior of Tournemire Argillite under High Temperatures and Dynamic Loading
This work proposes a model that takes into account the anisotropy of material with its inhomogeneity and geometrical and material nonlinearities. According to Newton’s second law, the investigations were carried out on the simultaneous effects of mechanical load and thermal treatment on the Tournemire argillite material. The finite difference method was used for the numerical resolution of the problem by the MATLAB 2015a software in order to determine the peak stress and strain of argillite as a function of material nonlinearity and demonstrated the inhomogeneity parameter Ω. The critical temperature from which the material damage was pronounced is 500°C. Indeed, above this temperature, the loss of rigidity of argillite reduced significantly the mechanical performance of this rock. Therefore, after 2.9 min, the stress reduction in X or Y direction was 75.5% with a peak stress value of 2500 MPa, whereas in Z direction, the stress reduction was 74.1% with a peak stress value of 1998 MPa. Meanwhile, knowing that the material inhomogeneity was between 2995 and 3256.010, there was an increase in peak stress of about 75%. However, the influence of the material nonlinearity was almost negligible. Thus, the geometrical nonlinearity allows having the maximal constant strain of about 1.25 in the direction of the applied dynamic mechanical force.