Mihintale, Sri Lanka

Rajarata University

Mihintale, Sri Lanka

Rajarata University of Sri Lanka is a university located in the historic city of Mihintale, near Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It was established on 31 January 1996. Wikipedia.

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Prasanna P.H.P.,University of Reading | Prasanna P.H.P.,Rajarata University | Grandison A.S.,University of Reading | Charalampopoulos D.,University of Reading
Food Research International | Year: 2012

The aim of the present study was to find out the best growing conditions for exopolysaccharide (EPS) producing bifidobacteria, which improve their functionality in yoghurt-like products. Two Bifidobacterium strains were used in this study, Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis CCUG 52486 and Bifidobacterium infantis NCIMB 702205. In the first part of the study the effect of casein hydrolysate, lactalbumin hydrolysate, whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate, added at 1.5% w/v in skim milk, was evaluated in terms of cell growth and EPS production; skim milk supplemented with yeast extract served as the control. Among the various nitrogen sources, casein hydrolysate (CH) showed the highest cell growth and EPS production for both strains after 18h incubation and therefore it was selected for subsequent work. Based on fermentation experiments using different levels of CH (from 0.5 to 2.5% w/v) it was deduced that 1.5% (w/v) CH resulted in the highest EPS production, yielding 102 and 285mgL -1 for B. infantis NCIMB 702205 and B. longum subsp. infantis CCUG 52486, respectively. The influence of temperature on growth and EPS production of both strains was further evaluated at 25, 30, 37 and 42°C for up to 48h in milk supplemented with 1.5% (w/v) CH. The temperature had a significant effect on growth, acidification and EPS production. The maximum growth and EPS production were recorded at 37°C for both strains, whereas no EPS production was observed at 25°C. Lower EPS production for both strains were observed at 42°C, which is the common temperature used in yoghurt manufacturing compared to that at 37°C. The results showed that the culture conditions have a clear effect on the growth, acidification and EPS production, and more specifically, that skim milk supplemented with 1.5% (w/v) CH could be used as a substrate for the growth of EPS-producing bifidobacteria, at 37°C for 24h, resulting in the production of a low fat yoghurt-like product with improved functionality. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Agampodi T.C.,Rajarata University | Agampodi S.B.,Rajarata University | Glozier N.,University of Sydney | Siribaddana S.,Rajarata University
Social Science and Medicine | Year: 2015

Social capital is a neglected determinant of health in low and middle income countries. To date, majority of evidence syntheses on social capital and health are based upon high income countries. We conducted this systematic review to identify the methods used to measure social capital in low and middle-income countries and to evaluate their relative strengths and weaknesses. An electronic search was conducted using Pubmed, Science citation index expanded, Social science citation index expanded, Web of knowledge, Cochrane, Trip, Google scholar and selected grey literature sources. We aimed to include all studies conducted in low and middle-income countries, published in English that have measured any aspect of social capital in relation to health in the study, from 1980 to January 2013. We extracted data using a data extraction form and performed narrative synthesis as the measures were heterogeneous. Of the 472 articles retrieved, 46 articles were selected for the review. The review included 32 studies from middle income countries and seven studies from low income countries. Seven were cross national studies. Most studies were descriptive cross sectional in design (n=39). Only two randomized controlled trials were included. Among the studies conducted using primary data (n=32), we identified18 purposely built tools that measured various dimensions of social capital. Validity (n=11) and reliability (n=8) of the tools were assessed only in very few studies. Cognitive constructs of social capital, namely trust, social cohesion and sense of belonging had a positive association towards measured health outcome in majority of the studies. While most studies measured social capital at individual/micro level (n=32), group level measurements were obtained by aggregation of individual measures. As many tools originate in high income contexts, cultural adaptation, validation and reliability assessment is mandatory in adapting the tool to the study setting. Evidence on causality and assessing predictive validity is a problem due to the scarcity of prospective study designs. We recommend Harpham etal. s' Adapted Social Capital Assessment Tool (A-SCAT), Hurtado etal. s' six item tool and Elgar etal. s' World Value Survey Social Capital Scale for assessment of social capital in low and middle income countries. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Agampodi S.B.,Rajarata University | Moreno A.C.,Duke University | Vinetz J.M.,University of California at San Diego | Matthias M.A.,University of California at San Diego
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2013

Culture-independent molecular characterization of infecting Leptospira human blood specimens from a 2008 outbreak of human leptospirosis in central Sri Lanka was carried out. Of 58 quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction-positive samples analyzed for seven multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) housekeeping genes (mreA, pfkB, pntA, sucA, tpiA, fadD, and glmU), interpretable data was obtained from 12 samples. Mean bacterial load was 2.2 × 10 5 among specimens with complete MLST profiles compared with 1.3 × 104 among specimens without complete MLST profiles; all specimens with complete profiles had at least 4.9 × 104 Leptospira/mL (t = 5, P < 0.001). Most (11/12) identified sequence types were ST1 (L. interrogans serovar Lai) and ST44 (L. interrogans serovar Geyaweera). MLST can be used to directly identify infecting Leptospira strains in blood samples obtained during acute illness without the need for culture isolation, but it shows important limitations related to bacterial load. Copyright © 2013 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Background:Mental health problems among women of reproductive age group contribute to 7% of Global Burden of Diseases of women of all ages. Purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and correlates of antenatal depression among pregnant women in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, and to explore the factor structure of EPDS.Methods:Pregnant women with gestational age of 24-36 weeks and residing in Anuradhapura district, Sri Lanka were recruited to the study using a two stage cluster sampling procedure. Sinhalese version of Edinburgh Post Partum Depression Scale (EPDS) and an interviewer administered questionnaire was use to collect data. A cut off value of 9 was used for the Sinhalese version of EPDS.Results:A total of 376 pregnant women were studied. Median EPDS score among pregnant women was 5 (IQR 2-8). Prevalence of antenatal depression in this study sample was 16.2% (n = 61). Thought of self harming (item number 10) was reported by 26 pregnant women (6.9%). None of the socio-demographic factors were associated with depression in this study sample. Having heart burn was significantly associated with depressive symptoms (p = 0.041). Sri Lankan version of EPDS showed a two factor solution. Anxiety was not emerged as a separate factor in this analysis.Conclusions:Prevalence of antenatal depression in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka was relatively low. Anxiety was not emerged as a separate factor in the Sinhalese version of the EPDS. © 2013 Agampodi, Agampodi.

Jayasumana C.,Rajarata University | Gajanayake R.,Yale New Haven Hospital | Siribaddana S.,Rajarata University
BMC Nephrology | Year: 2014

In a recent study published by the National Project team on chronic kidney diseases of unknown origin in Sri Lanka, we believe there to be flaws in the design, analysis, and conclusions, which should be discussed further. The authors wanted to emphasis Cadmium as the major risk factor for chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology in Sri Lanka while undermining the importance of Arsenic and nephrotoxic pesticides. To arrive at predetermined conclusions the authors appear have changed and misinterpreted their own results. The enormous pressure applied by the agrochemical industry on this issue may be a factor. Herein, we discuss these issues in greater detail. © 2014 Jayasumana et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Ranadheera C.S.,University of Newcastle | Ranadheera C.S.,Rajarata University | Evans C.A.,University of Newcastle | Adams M.C.,University of Newcastle | Baines S.K.,University of Newcastle
Food Research International | Year: 2012

Effect of carrier food type on in vitro gastrointestinal survival and adhesion ability of probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-5, Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12 and Propionibacterium jensenii 702 were evaluated using goat's milk ice cream, plain and fruit yogurts. Carrier food matrix had a significant influence on the in vitro gastrointestinal tolerance of all three probiotics when exposed to both highly acidic conditions (pH 2.0) and 0.3% bile. Exposure to conditions of lower pH (pH 2.0) resulted in a significant reduction in probiotic viability during simulated gastric transit tolerance compared to pH levels of 3.0 and 4.0. However, ice cream was generally found to improve the acid and bile tolerance of the probiotics compared to plain and stirred fruit yogurts. In a similar manner, the in vitro adhesion ability of probiotics was found to be influenced by the carrier food matrix, with fruit yogurt providing the most favorable outcomes, although in all cases a substantial number of viable bacteria (105-106cfu/g) were able to attach to the Caco-2 cells. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Sri Lanka achieved a major milestone in communicable disease control in 2012 by reporting zero incidence of autochthonous malaria. However, reduction of malaria was associated with concurrent increase of several tropical diseases. This review looks into the time trends and epidemiology of these communicable diseases in Sri Lanka. RECENT FINDINGS: Reduction of malaria cases coincides with an increase of dengue, leptospirosis and rickettsioses in Sri Lanka. Although the case fatality rate of dengue has reduced and maintained below 1%, leptospirosis in clinical management is questionable. Despite having national focal points for control and prevention, these emerging diseases are completely out of control. Whether the holding back of vector control activities of malaria after a successful control programme is having an effect on emergence of other vector-borne diseases should be studied. SUMMARY: The communicable disease control programme in Sri Lanka should be further strengthened with availability of proper and rapid diagnostic facilities. Malaria control could not be considered as a great achievement due to the fact that other emerging infectious diseases are replacing malaria. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Weerakoon K.G.A.D.,QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute | Weerakoon K.G.A.D.,University of Queensland | Weerakoon K.G.A.D.,Rajarata University | Gobert G.N.,QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
Clinical Microbiology Reviews | Year: 2015

Schistosomiasis is a major neglected tropical disease that afflicts more than 240 million people, including many children and young adults, in the tropics and subtropics. The disease is characterized by chronic infections with significant residual morbidity and is of considerable public health importance, with substantial socioeconomic impacts on impoverished communities. Morbidity reduction and eventual elimination through integrated intervention measures are the focuses of current schistosomiasis control programs. Precise diagnosis of schistosome infections, in both mammalian and snail intermediate hosts, will play a pivotal role in achieving these goals. Nevertheless, despite extensive efforts over several decades, the search for sensitive and specific diagnostics for schistosomiasis is ongoing. Here we review the area, paying attention to earlier approaches but emphasizing recent developments in the search for new diagnostics for schistosomiasis with practical applications in the research laboratory, the clinic, and the field. Careful and rigorous validation of these assays and their costeffectiveness will be needed, however, prior to their adoption in support of policy decisions for national public health programs aimed at the control and elimination of schistosomiasis. © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Jayasumana C.,Rajarata University | Jayasumana C.,California State University, Long Beach | Gunatilake S.,California State University, Long Beach | Senanayake P.,Hela Suwaya Organization
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2014

The current chronic kidney disease epidemic, the major health issue in the rice paddy farming areas in Sri Lanka has been the subject of many scientific and political debates over the last decade. Although there is no agreement among scientists about the etiology of the disease, a majority of them has concluded that this is a toxic nephropathy. None of the hypotheses put forward so far could explain coherently the totality of clinical, biochemical, histopathological findings, and the unique geographical distribution of the disease and its appearance in the mid-1990s. A strong association between the consumption of hard water and the occurrence of this special kidney disease has been observed, but the relationship has not been explained consistently. Here, we have hypothesized the association of using glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the disease endemic area and its unique metal chelating properties. The possible role played by glyphosate-metal complexes in this epidemic has not been given any serious consideration by investigators for the last two decades. Furthermore, it may explain similar kidney disease epidemics observed in Andra Pradesh (India) and Central America. Although glyphosate alone does not cause an epidemic of chronic kidney disease, it seems to have acquired the ability to destroy the renal tissues of thousands of farmers when it forms complexes with a localized geo environmental factor (hardness) and nephrotoxic metals. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

To determine the prevalence of anaemia during pregnancy in Anuradhapura district and evaluate present screening methods for anaemia. Modified WHO 30 cluster sampling method with increased precision was used to estimate the prevalence of anaemia in the Anuradhapura district, Sri Lanka. Serum haemoglobin was measured using methemoglobin method. Clinical examination was carried out to evaluate the conjunctival method in anaemia screening. Values recorded from haemoglobin colour scale method used in the field antenatal clinics were collected. A total of 990 pregnant women participated in the study. In the first, second and third trimesters, prevalence of anaemia was 7.6%, 19.7% and 19.3% respectively. Gestational age adjusted anaemia prevalence among pregnant women in this study population was 14.1% (95% CI 12.0-16.4%). Mean and median haemoglobin concentration of the study sample was 11.8g/dL (SD 1.02g/dl and IQR 11.2-12.5g/dl). Among anaemic pregnant women, average values for Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV), Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin (MCH), and Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) were, 82.9 fl (SD 11.5), 27.6 (SD-3.6) pg/cell and 32.9g/dl (SD 1.8) respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of haemoglobin colour scale method was 50% (95% CI 29.0-71.0%) and 76.3% (95% CI 66.9-83.7%) respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of conjunctival method in detecting anaemia during pregnancy was 18.8% (95% CI 11.9-28.4) and 69.3% (95% CI 58.2- 78.6%). Prevalence of anaemia in the district of Anuradhapura was less than 50% of the estimated prevalence for Sri Lanka. Both haemoglobin colour scale and conjunctival method were having low validity in detecting anaemia in pregnancy.

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