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Pretoria, South Africa

Oldewage-Theron W.,Vaal University of Technology | Egal A.,Vaal University of Technology | Moroka T.,Biosciences Unit
Ecology of Food and Nutrition | Year: 2015

The aim of the study was to assess the nutrition knowledge, nutrient intakes, and association between nutrition knowledge and dietary intakes of 98 adolescents attending five schools in rural Cofimvaba, South Africa. Measures included a socioeconomic questionnaire, two 24-hour-recall questionnaires, and food-frequency and nutrition knowledge questionnaires. The overall score for the multiple-choice section on general nutrition and the South African Food-Based Dietary Guidelines was 72.9%; 75.4% for correct identification of food groups; and 41.3% for correct identification of food portions/serving sizes. Median nutrient intakes, measured by 24-hour recall, failed to meet average requirements, with the exception of protein, carbohydrates, chromium, riboflavin, pantothenate, and vitamin K among girls. A similar trend was observed for boys. Lower total carbohydrate and fat and higher protein intakes were associated with a higher quartile score for nutrition knowledge. The study provided a valuable understanding of the association between nutrition knowledge and dietary intakes of adolescents. © , Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source


Ndlovu G.,Natural Product Chemistry Group | Ndlovu G.,University of the Free State | Fouche G.,Natural Product Chemistry Group | Tselanyane M.,Biosciences Unit | And 2 more authors.
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine | Year: 2013

Background: Aging is an inevitable process for all living organisms. During this process reactive oxygen species generation is increased which leads to the activation of hyaluronidase, collagenase and elastase, which can further contribute to skin aging. Four southern African medicinal plants; Clerodendrum glabrum, Schotia brachypetala, Psychotria capensis and Peltophorum africanum, were investigated to assess their anti-aging properties.Methods: Anti-elastase, anti-collagenase and anti-hyaluronidase activities of twenty-eight samples, consisting of methanol and ethyl acetate extracts of the four plants, were determined using spectrophotometric methods. Radical scavenging activity was determined by the ability of the plant extracts to scavenge the ABTS•+ radical.Results: The majority of the samples in the anti-elastase assay and nine in the anti-collagenase assay showed more than 80% inhibition. The ethyl acetate extract of S. brachypetala bark and leaves of P. capensis inhibited elastase activity by more than 90%. The methanol extract of S. brachypetala bark contained the highest anti-hyaluronidase activity (75.13 ± 7.49%) whilst the ethyl acetate extract of P. africanum bark exhibited the highest antioxidant activity (IC50: 1.99 ± 0.23 μg/ml).Conclusion: The free radical scavenging activity and enzyme inhibitory activity of the plant extracts investigated suggests that they can help restore skin elasticity and thereby slow the wrinkling process. P. africanum was the plant with the most promising activity and will be subjected to further testing and isolation of the active compound/s. © 2013 Ndlovu et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Tsekoa T.L.,Biosciences Unit | Lotter-Stark T.,Biosciences Unit | Buthelezi S.,Biosciences Unit | Chakauya E.,Biosciences Unit | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Rabies is a neglected zoonotic disease that has no effective treatment after onset of illness. However the disease can be prevented effectively by prompt administration of post exposure prophylaxis which includes administration of passive immunizing antibodies (Rabies Immune Globulin, RIG). Currently, human RIG suffers from many restrictions including limited availability, batch-to batch inconsistencies and potential for contamination with blood-borne pathogens. Anti-rabies monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been identified as a promising alternative to RIG. Here, we applied a plant-based transient expression system to achieve rapid, high level production and efficacy of the two highly potent anti-rabies mAbs E559 and 62-71-3. Expression levels of up to 490 mg/kg of recombinant mAbs were obtained in Nicotiana benthamiana glycosylation mutants by using a viral based transient expression system. The plant-made E559 and 62-71-3, carrying human-type fucose-free N-glycans, assembled properly and were structurally sound as determined by mass spectrometry and calorimetric density measurements. Both mAbs efficiently neutralised diverse rabies virus variants in vitro. Importantly, E559 and 62-71-3 exhibited enhanced protection against rabies virus compared to human RIG in a hamster model post-exposure challenge trial. Collectively, our results provide the basis for the development of a multi-mAb based alternative to RIG. © 2016 Tsekoa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source


Lopes De Campos W.R.,Biosciences Unit | Chirwa N.,Biosciences Unit | London G.,Biosciences Unit | Rotherham L.S.,Biosciences Unit | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

HIV-associated cardiomyopathy (HIVCM) is of clinical concern in developing countries because of a high HIV-1 prevalence, especially subtype C, and limited access to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). For these reasons, we investigated the direct and indirect effects of HIV-1 subtype C infection of cultured human cardiomyocytes and the mechanisms leading to cardiomyocytes damage; as well as a way to mitigate the damage. We evaluated a novel approach to mitigate HIVCM using a previously reported gp120 binding and HIV-1 neutralizing aptamer called UCLA1. We established a cell-based model of HIVCM by infecting human cardiomyocytes with cell-free HIV-1 or co-culturing human cardiomyocytes with HIV-infected monocyte derived macrophages (MDM). We discovered that HIV-1 subtype C unproductively (i.e. its life cycle is arrested after reverse transcription) infects cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, we found that HIV-1 initiates apoptosis of cardiomyocytes through caspase-9 activation, preferentially via the intrinsic or mitochondrial initiated pathway. CXCR4 receptor-using viruses were stronger inducers of apoptosis than CCR5 utilizing variants. Importantly, we discovered that HIV-1 induced apoptosis of cardiomyocytes was mitigated by UCLA1. However, UCLA1 had no protective effective on cardiomyocytes when apoptosis was triggered by HIV-infected MDM. When HIV-1 was treated with UCLA1 prior to infection of MDM, it failed to induce apoptosis of cardiomyocytes. These data suggest that HIV-1 causes a mitochondrial initiated apoptotic cascade, which signal through caspase-9, whereas HIV-1 infected MDM causes apoptosis predominantly via the death-receptor pathway, mediated by caspase-8. Furthermore the data suggest that UCLA1 protects cardiomyocytes from caspase-mediated apoptosis, directly by binding to HIV-1 and indirectly by preventing infection of MDM. © 2014 Lopes de Campos et al. Source

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