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Ramadas A.,Monash University | Quek K.F.,Monash University | Chan C.K.,Monash University | Oldenburg B.,Monash University | Hussein Z.,Federal Government Administration Center
BMC Public Health

Background: The potential of web-based interventions in dietary behaviour modification of the diabetics has not been fully explored. We describe the protocol of a 12-month match-design randomised controlled trial of a web-based dietary intervention for type 2 diabetic patients with primary aim to evaluate the effect of the intervention on their dietary knowledge, attitude and behaviour (KAB). The secondary objective of this study is to improve the participants' dietary practices, physical measurements and biomarkers. Methods/Design. A minimum total sample of 82 Type 2 diabetics will be randomised, either to the control group, who will receive the standard diabetes care or the e-intervention group, who will participate in a 6-month web-based dietary intervention in addition to the standard care. The dietary recommendations are based on existing guidelines, but personalised according to the patients' Stages of Change (SOC). The participants will be followed up for 6 months post-intervention with data collection scheduled at baseline, 6-month and 12-month. Discussion. We are aiming for a net improvement in the KAB score in participants of the e-intervention group, besides investigating the impact of the e-intervention on the dietary practices, physical measurements and blood biomarkers of those patients. The successful outcome of this study can be a precursor for policy makers to initiate more rigorous promotion of such web-based programmes in the country. Trial registration. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01246687. © 2011 Ramadas et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Van De Merwe J.P.,Griffith University | Van De Merwe J.P.,City University of Hong Kong | Hodge M.,Queensland Government | Whittier J.M.,University of Queensland | And 4 more authors.
Marine Ecology Progress Series

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), have a wide range of toxic effects on humans and wildlife, and have been reported in a number of endangered sea turtle populations. The present study screened for POPs in a green sea turtle Chelonia mydas population in Peninsular Malaysia and investigated the maternal transfer and effects of POPs on embryonic development. At the Ma'Daerah Turtle Sanctuary, blood, eggs and hatchling blood were collected from 11 nesting female C. mydas. Samples were analysed for 83 PCBs, 23 OCPs and 19 PBDEs using gas chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry. The chemical profiles of eggs from individual turtles were significantly different, indicating variable contaminant uptake during foraging. There was evidence of maternal transfer of POPs to eggs and hatchlings, with significant correlations in sum of PCBs (ΣPCB), sum of PBDEs (ΣPBDE), γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (γ-HCH), trans-chlordane and mirex concentrations between maternal blood and eggs (p < 0.05, R2 < 0.71), between eggs and hatchling blood (p < 0.05, R2 < 0.83), and between maternal and hatchling blood (p < 0.05, R2 < 0.61). In addition, there was congener-specific transfer of PCBs with less lipophilic congeners (e.g. PCB 99) more readily transferred to hatchlings than the more lipophilic congeners (e.g. PCBs 180 + 193). There was also a significant correlation between increasing egg POP concentration and decreasing hatchling mass:length ratio. POPs may therefore have subtle effects on the development of C. mydas eggs, which may compromise offshore dispersal and predator avoidance. © Inter-Research 2010. Source

Abdul-Hamid N.F.,Institute for Animal Health | Abdul-Hamid N.F.,University of Liverpool | Abdul-Hamid N.F.,Federal Government Administration Center | Firat-Sarac M.,SAP | And 4 more authors.
Virus Genes

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is endemic in mainland Southeast Asia where up to seven genetically distinct viral lineages co-circulate (O/SEA/Mya-98, O/SEA/Cam-94, O/ME-SA/PanAsia, O/ME-SA/PanAsia-2, O/CATHAY, A/ASIA/Sea-97, and serotype Asia 1). The aim of this study was to analyse the sequence variability between representative complete genomes for these seven lineages. The genome sequences varied from 8130 to 8192 nucleotides in length and shared nucleotide identities ranging from 91.8 to 78.9%. Broad-scale differences such as block and codon deletions observed in these genomes paralleled features that have been reported previously for other FMDV sequences from Southeast Asia. Comparison between these sequences revealed the presence of 2501 variant sites which were more evident in regions encoding surface capsid proteins (VP2, VP3 and VP1) compared to regions encoding non-structural proteins. Specific comparisons between closely related O/ME-SA sequences showed that the distribution of variant sites was focussed particularly at the 5′ end of the genome indicating that recombination may have occurred during the evolution of the O/ME-SA/PanAsia-2 lineage. These sequences provide insights into the evolutionary mechanisms by which new lineages generate genetic and antigenic novelty in the region and will form the basis of studies to define the spatio-temporal epidemiology of FMDV. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source

Fairos W.Y.W.,University Technology of MARA | Azaki W.H.W.,Federal Government Administration Center | Alias L.M.,University Technology of MARA | Wah Y.B.,University Technology of MARA
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology

Dengue fever has become a major concern for health authorities all over the world particularly in the tropical countries. These countries, in particular are experiencing the most worrying outbreak of dengue fever (DF) and dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF). The DF and DHF epidemics, thus, have become the main causes of hospital admissions and deaths in Malaysia. This paper, therefore, attempts to examine the environmental factors that may influence the recent dengue outbreak. The aim of this study is twofold, firstly is to establish a statistical model to describe the relationship between the number of dengue cases and a range of explanatory variables and secondly, to identify the lag operator for explanatory variables which affect the dengue incidence the most. The explanatory variables involved include the level of cloud cover, percentage of relative humidity, amount of rainfall, maximum temperature, minimum temperature and wind speed. The Poisson and Negative Binomial regression analyses were used in this study. The results of the analyses on the 915 observations (daily data taken from July 2006 to Dec 2008), reveal that the climatic factors comprising of daily temperature and wind speed were found to significantly influence the incidence of dengue fever after 2 and 3 weeks of their occurrences. The effect of humidity, on the other hand, appears to be significant only after 2 weeks. Source

Van de Merwe J.P.,University of Queensland | Van de Merwe J.P.,Griffith University | Ibrahim K.,Turtle and Marine Ecosystems Center | Ibrahim K.,Federal Government Administration Center | And 2 more authors.
Animal Conservation

Hatcheries are commonly used to protect sea turtle eggs from poaching and predation; however, there is currently limited scientific evidence to support good hatchery management practices, particularly post-hatching. This study investigated the effects of retaining hatchlings in hatcheries after emergence and delaying nest excavations on the quality of green turtle Chelonia mydas hatchlings. In addition, the effect of artificial lighting on the sea-finding ability of green turtles was investigated to highlight the importance of hatchling release locations on hatchery beaches. Hatchling running speed, an indicator of vigour and predation exposure, progressively decreased when hatchlings were retained in the hatchery for 1, 3 and 6 hours following emergence. Similarly, body condition (mass:straight carapace length), an indicator of dehydration and/or energy consumption, decreased after being retained for 3 and 6 hours. It was estimated that hatchlings retained for 6 hours after emergence would become significantly dehydrated and double their exposure to beach slope predation. Residual hatchlings that were immediately excavated from emerged nests had similar running speed and body condition to naturally emerged siblings. However, residual hatchlings removed from nests 5 days later had significantly reduced running speed and body condition, resulting in estimates of double the exposure to predation in near-shore areas. The mean angle of hatchling dispersal varied at different sites along the Ma'Daerah beach in relation to proximity to artificial lighting. Important recommendations for post-hatching management of sea turtle hatcheries worldwide can be made from the results of this study. To maximize release of hatchlings in the best condition as is possible, hatchlings should be released immediately after emergence, including excavation of any residual hatchlings. In addition, the dispersal angles of hatchlings should be tested at each hatchery beach to determine suitable release sites for efficient dispersal. © 2012 The Zoological Society of London. Source

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