List of Issues

List of Issues

Evaluation of Larvicidal Activity of Leaf Extract of Lantana camara (Family: Verbenaceae) Against the Aedes aegypti Mosquito

Aqueous and ethanolic leaf extracts of Lantana camara were prepared and four different concentrations (0.3, 0.6, 0.9 and 1.2 g/ l) of both extracts were tested for larvicidal activity against the fourth instar larvae of Aedes aegypti for 24 hours in the laboratory. The 24-h percentage mortality rates ranged from 91.66 to 96.66 % in larvae treated with 0.3 to 1.2 g/L ethanolic L. camara leaf extract, respectively. The 24-h lethal time (LT50) and lethal concentration (LC50) were 6.8 h and 0.48 g/l, respectively. The aqueous extract did not result in more than 35 % larval mortality. The 24-h percentage mortality between the treatment groups were significantly different (P < 0.001) and also when compared with the control (P < 0.05). The result showed that the ethanolic extract was more lethal than the aqueous extract to A. aegypti larvae. The ethanolic extract also limited the pupation and the adult emergence that was inhibited by the ethanolic extract at 0.9 and 1.2g/L extract

2012-01-28

Distribution and Abundance of Airborne Palynomorphs in Aku, Enugu State, Nigeria

A study of airborne palynomorphs of Aku was carried out with the use of tauber pollen sampler from October to December, 2004. A total of 3,390 palynomorphs was recorded with the breakdown as follows: October, 1248; November, 1156 and December, 1526. Out of the counted palynomorphs, pollen grains constituted 2,125.The count of 736 pollen in October was followed by a decrease to 545 in November and a further increase to 844 in December. The pollen grains belonged to 20 families of flowering plants (17 dicotyledons and 3 monocotyledons) consisting of 20 genera. The result revealed dominance of wooded shrub grassland/woodland vegetation sub-type, relics of tropical lowland rainforest and secondary grassland. The taxa of both tropical lowland rainforest and secondary Grassland decreased from October to November and increased again in December. Fungi were the major spore contributors to the atmosphere and were dominated by the spores of Spadicoides, Curvularia, Dreschlera/Helminthosporium and Nigrospora. Pollen grains were next to fungi in total abundance and were dominated by the pollen of; Elaeis guineensis Jacq, Poaceae, Milicia excelsa Wild C.C. Berg, Irvingia wombolu Vermoesen, Syzygium guineense Engl. and Ageratum conyzoides L. December had a high influx of charred gramineae cuticles indicative of increased burning activities in the area. Fungal spores recorded per month had an inverse relationship with the monthly rainfall and relative humidity

2012-01-29

Salt Affected Soils Evaluation and Reclamative Approaches for Crop Cultivation in Keana, Northcentral Nigeria

In this study, a field experiment was conducted on salt (saline) affected soils during the cropping seasons of 2004/2005 and 2005/2006 to evaluate the soil properties, determine their effects on two test crop performances, and its reclaim ability under three different approaches. Reclamative approaches were employed not only to increase efficiency but also reduce the time of reclamation. Soil samples were collected from the surface (0-15) and subsurface (1530cm) soils for laboratory determinations. The soils were treated to gypsum (CaS04) at 100% GR alone; gypsum plus farm yard manure (FYM) at 25t/ha and chiseling. Leaching with irrigation water over a period of 2-4 hours per week was done. Rice and millet crops were grown for the two crop years. Result of pre-cultivation soils showed that the physical properties of bulk density had a mean value of 2.37gcm-3 and a low total porosity value of 17.46. Chemically, the soils are high in acidity (>pH 7.5) and then large quantities of exchangeable bases and high base saturation. Post-cultivation results show that gypsum application proved to be the best treatment giving highest grain yield of rice and millet. However, this treatment followed statistically similar results with gypsum + FYM. No application (control) remained low. Chemically, the pHs was reduced after harvesting of second crop (millet 2005-06). Electrical conductivity (ECe) was reduced after growing of first millet crop except control. The reduction of sodium adsorption ration (SAR) was more after the 2nd crop. The soil parameters in control treatment did not improve. The study concluded that continuation of gypsum + FYM + Chiseling was more effective in improving the soil condition for sustainable land use. 
 

2012-01-29

Auxilliary Dry Binding Properties of Some Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils in Direct Compression Tabletting

The ability of some hydrogenated vegetable oils to act as dry binder in direct compression tablet formulations was investigated using an instrumented rotary tablet press. The effect of these widely used tablet lubricants was compared to Avicel® PH 102, a standard, dry binding excipient in direct compression tablet formulations. The effects of the hydrogenated vegetable oils on the hardness, friability, disintegration time and dissolution of tablets made from the direct compression tablet formulations were evaluated. Dika fat, Lubritab®, Sterotex®, Stearolac-S® and stearic acid improved the hardness and friability profiles of a model direct compression tablet formulation as well as ascorbic acid and aspirin-acetaminophen tablet formulations. Prolonged mixing had no deleterious effect on the properties of the hydrochlorothiazide, ascorbic acid and aspirin-paracetamol tablets prepared. The hydrogenated vegetable oils appear to be a good alternative to Avicel® PH 102 as dry binder in the formulations evaluated.

2012-01-29

Possible Health Hazards from Genetically Engineered Crops

The paradox of Genetic Engineering of crops is evident from the unending revolution in the seeding and growth of new multibillion naira industries while it also poses the greatest hazards to life on the planet Earth. Recombination DNA technology is used to insert, delete, transpose and substitute new genes in plants that can lead to introduction of improved varieties, such as size, quantity, quality, taste, herbicide and pesticide resistance and many other traits. New proteins are produced or eliminated to give rise to these new resistant phenotypes.  The new gene products may serve as allergens capable of inducing illness that can result n death of its consumers. Also new genes are often introduced in the engineering process to enhance the selection of cells containing the desired product. Antibiotic resistance genes are often used to enable the selection of bacteria harbouring the desired gene, a technique which is thought to contribute o increasing resistance of bacteria to most well established antibiotics such as penicillin, ampicillin, tetracycline and numerous others. Also, the effect if the viral vector used in gene transfers on the environment, crops and individual consumers are not known. The assessments of the genetic engineering of crops indicate the need to substitute alternative steps in the gene selection process. It also exposes the hazards in the consumption of genetically engineered crops to humans, animals and insects as well as the environment, while genetic engineering of crops remain a useful tool in mass industrial production of various gene products which has led to increased job creation in society, the need for an active regulatory guide by the United Nation Organization and within NAFDAC has become necessary to safeguard the human population, the environment and life in general

2012-01-29

Evidence of pH Dependence and Concentration of Copper in Prion Binding and Conversion

The effect of copper binding at various pHs and the conversion process for the prion isoforms rec-Ha 23-231, Mo-23-231 and Mo 90-231 were studied by UV-Visible spectroscopy, through  protein misfolding cyclic Amplification (PMCA)  and QUIC methods. Both the full length and carboxyl terminal isoforms showed pH dependence with the binding of copper from the absorbance changes at 500nm and 750nm. The PMCA and QUIC reaction seeded with 263K and Mouse 87v indicate the inhibition of conversion by copper for both the 90-231 and 23-231 isoforms. However, the inhibition of conversion by copper on the 23-231 segments required lower concentrations unlike the 90-231 isoforms which in the presence of copper was more resistant to conversion.  
 

2012-01-29

Microbiological Screening of a Starter Culture of Probiotic Status from Formulated Non-Dairy Yoghurt Analogue from Natural Fermentation of Soymilk-Achamilk Blends

Non-dairy probiotic yoghurt analogue was formulated using cream variety of soybean (Glycine max L.) and white variety of acha (Digitaria exilis). One kilogram of cleaned soybean and 500grams of cleaned acha were used to produce soymilk and acha milk. Soymilk and acha milk were blended in different ratios (100:0; 90:10; 80:20: 70:30; 60:40; 50:50; 0:100), respectively. The various blends were pasteurized at 800C for 30 minutes, cooled to 44±20C fermented naturally for 8 hours until desired degree of acidity was achieved, cooled rapidly to 8±20C, packaged in sealed plastic bottles and stored in the refrigerator. Microbiological analyses were done on the isolates obtained from incubation in an anaerobic jar at 370C for 48hours. The isolates were stored in sterile agar slants after purification by successive streaking on MRS and ST agar before being subjected to characterization. Microbiological screening (morphological, physiological and biochemical tests) was done to identify characterized a working isolate of probiotic status. Further assessment of performance of probiotic strains {acidifying activity and exopolysaccharide (EPS) production} were performed. Results show that the isolates were Gram positive, catalase negative, oxidase negative and non-sporing. A total of 7 isolates produced lactic acid. Among the 5 rods,3 were able to grow at 450C ,produced acid and gas from glucose (characteristic of Lactobacillus spp.);2 isolates grew between 15 and 370C,at 4%NaCl and pH of 9.6 (characteristic of Streptococcus spp) while  2 isolates grew between 15 and 420C, produced acid from glucose and  lactose, citrate positive (characteristic of Lactococcus spp). All the isolates showed tolerance to 5% bile and 3.0% NaCl (inhibitory substances) .There was no significant difference (p>0.05) in the acidifying activities of Lactobacillus, Lactococcus and  Streptococcus species. After 6 hours of incubation, an increase in pH from 4.78 to 5.87(for Lactobacillus spp), 4.12 to 5.86(for Lactocccus spp) and 4.20 to 5.60(for Streptococcus spp) were observed. Lactococcus spp showed an acid value of 0.29g100m-1lactic acid after 6 hours and increased from 0.40 to 0.75g 100ml-1 after 12 and 24 hours respectively. These isolates were used for the formulation of probiotic yoghurt analogue.
 

2012-01-29

Effect of Different Steeping Conditions on the Peroxidase Activities of Some Improved Sorghum Varieties

In order to evaluate the impact of duration and the incorporation or otherwise of air rest during steeping on the peroxidase activities of sorghum grains, five improved varieties were studied. Steeping durations used ranged from 0 (raw grains) to 72 hours, in two formats: with air rest and without air rest. Results obtained showed that among the raw grains which were the control experiment, variety SK5912 gave the highest peroxidase activity, followed by variety KSV 8 while variety CSRO2 had the least peroxidase activity. During steeping, we observed that in almost all cases, higher peroxidase activities were obtained with air rested sorghum grains than those without air rest. In terms of how the different varieties compared during steeping, we found that variety KSV 8 gave the highest peroxidase activity at both with and without air rest regimes in all the steeping periods used. Also, we observed that in all cases, the highest increase in peroxidase expression was obtained during the first 6 hours of steeping, shown by a steep rise of over 50% increase in activity. The other steeping times following the first 6 hours however showed just gradual increases in peroxidase over the period of sorghum. The major significance of this result is that although increasing duration showed increased peroxidase activities, such increases were less jumpy than those obtained during the first 6 hours. Therefore, long steeping times may not necessarily be very beneficial, with the added benefit that costs associated with long steeping durations may be avoided. 

2013-01-29

Incidence of Faecal coliforms Isolated From Different Foods Sold Locally in Nsukka, Enugu State

Sixty-six (66) food products and ten water samples were collected from food vendors and restaurants and examined for bacteriological quality using both the most probable number (MPN) technique and the plate count of Escherichia coli on Eosin Ethylene Blue (EMB) and lactose fermenters on MacConkey agar. All results obtained were analyzed using ANOVA and Duncan’s multiple range test. Out of the 66 food samples, 55.6% were positive for Escherichia coli as follows: beans (22.6%), Yam (44.4%), garri (50%) pears (83.3%), cassava “foo-foo” (16.7%), “abacha” (83.3%), “okpa” (56%), rice (56%), “agidi” (83.3%) and moi-moi (66.7%). Out of the ten water samples, six were also positive for Escherichia coli. Escherichia coli  high proportion of food (75.9%) and water (80%) respectively showed the presence of coliforms in general including Escherichia coli Geometric mean count (GMC) for MPN ranged from 1-180 and GMC for coliforms in various foods ranged from 1.0 x 101-1.0 x 106cfu/g. About 42.4% human coliforms(Escherichia coli), 37.4% of faecal coliforms (Klebsiella pneumonia) and rest (20.2%) showed  other coliforms in food and water samples. 
 

2013-01-29

Tissue Lipid Peroxidation in Trypanosoma brucei Infection: Testing the Anti-oxidant Property of Scoparia dulcis

The ability of aqueous extract of Scoparia dulcis to protect tissues of rabbits against Trypanosoma brucei-induced oxidative damage was investigated in this study. Fifteen New Zealand White rabbits divided into 3 groups of 5 animals each were used for the study. Animals in group 1 served as controls while those in groups 2 and 3 were inoculated with Trypanosoma brucei. In addition, animals in group 3 received aqueous extract of Scoparia dulcis at a daily dose of 200mg/Kg administered orally. Results obtained show that infection of rabbits with T. brucei resulted in a significant increase in oxidative stress as measured by tissue Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances (TBARS) in the liver and kidney, but not in the heart of infected animals. Whereas both superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase were significantly reduced in the liver and kidney 28 days post-inoculation; the decrease in SOD activity in the heart was accompanied by an increase in catalase activity in that tissue. Treatment with S. dulcis at a daily oral dose of 200mg/Kg body weight resulted in a significant protection against the trypanosomeinduced oxidative stress, with a significant reduction in the level of TBARS and an improvement in both SOD and catalase levels.
 

2012-01-29

Multiple Infections of Malaria and Typhoid Fever Among People Living With HIV/AIDS: Effect of Herbal Concoctions on CD4 Lymphocyte Count and Other Haematological Indices

We investigated malaria, typhoid and HIV co-infections among 600 persons in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, Southeast Nigeria and the effect of some herbal concoctions administered in the locality on the CD4 counts of those infected with malaria, typhoid and HIV. Of 600 patients screened, 286 (47%), were infected with HIV, 452 (75%) with malaria, and 401 (66%) with typhoid).  Only 54 (9%) was uninfected. HIV infection was higher in those aged 26-35 years followed by those between 36-45 years. The prevalence of malaria was higher in males compared to females. The reverse was the case for typhoid although these gender differences were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Of the 600 screened, 546 persons had malaria, typhoid and HIV co-infection.  The greatest number (121) of these triply co-infected persons had CD4 counts that ranged from 201-300 cells/µl. Average counts of other hematologic parameters were: 514+21 for CD4 cell count; 15.01 ± 4.1 for WBC; 84.56 ± 81 for lymphocyte count, and 69.18± 3.0 for red blood cell (PCV). On the gender level, out of the 546 triply infected persons observed, 232 were males, and 314, females, with preponderance of female to male ratios. The effect of conventional antiretroviral therapy (ART), and herbal concoction separately on the CD4 counts of the 50 triply infected volunteers (with baseline CD4 counts below 200cells/µl) were evaluated in one monthly intervals of treatment. Prior to this treatment, the 50 volunteer patients had mean CD4 count of 118.60+60.17 cells/µl. Following administration of the antiretroviral and the herbal concoctions, a total of 39 patients responded positively to the treatment, with significantly increased mean CD4 count of 202.31+86.72 cells/µl. Using the different antiretroviral drugs and effectors, it was observed that the different drug regimen significantly boosted  the CD4 count at the end of treatment (p < 0.05). No significant difference (p > 0.05) was found in the CD4 cell count of male and female volunteers before (110.25 +55.51 vs. 122.78 +62.81 cells/µl) and after (177.69+82.64 vs. 214.63+87.34 cells/µl) treatment. Similarly, levels of TWBC, HB and PCV were significantly improved (p < 0.05) following the treatment. Furthermore, when the TWBC, HB and PCV of volunteers who had negative and positive response after treatment were compared, only the HB of those who responded positively to treatment showed a significant increase (p < 0.05).
 

2012-01-29

Effect of Simultaneous Administration of Antiretroviral Therapy and Nutritional Supplements on Cd4 Count of HIV-Infected Persons in Selected Communities of South Eastern Nigeria

The simultaneous effect of highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) and nutritional supplements on cluster of differentiation4 (CD4)count of 100 people living with HIV/AIDS  (PLWHA) was investigated.  CD4 cell count was determined using the Cyflow SL-3. Individuals with baseline CD4 counts less than 200 cells/µl were placed on HAART for a period of 8 weeks at 4 weekly intervals. Total white blood cell (TWBC), haemoglobin (Hb)/ packed cell volume (PVC) were estimated using Sysmex KX-21N automated machine; Body mass index (BMI) calculated using World Health Organization’s BMI Reference Standards. Dietary intake and feeding history were recorded, followed by a 24 hourly dietary recall with Recommended Dietary Intake [RDA] of ELERON nutritional supplement. Eighty-one percent of treated subjects had increased CD4 count (P<0.05): TWBC had 24% increase; mean value (P<0.05).  Haemoglobin and PCV showed significant increase (P < 0.05) at 5% or 10% levels. Concomitant effect of HAART and nutritional supplements on the CD4 count, Hb/PCV, BMI were significant at 5% or 10% levels.  Mean BMI value was highly significant (20.23 kg/m2) compared with 16.40 kg/m2 (P=0.004). Immunological reconstitution of patients was observed following improved nutritional supplementation with HAART as effective adjunctive therapy/or clinical outcome-enhancer for PLWHA in rural and resource poor communities.
 

2013-01-29

Evaluation of Plasma Electrolyte Concentration in Pregnant Nigerian Women From Edo State, Nigeria

The renal function status in relation to electrolyte homeostasis was evaluated in a total of one hundred pregnant Nigerian women (volunteers) and thirty non-pregnant controls. The volunteers were of varying maternal age, parity, trimester, weight, height, and social status while the non-pregnant women were of approximate age to serve as control. Analysis of the results revealed that sodium (136.21±0.39mmol/l), potassium (3.69±0.004mmol/l), calcium (2.17 ± 0.02mmol/l), and bicarbonate (20.39 ± 0.26mmol/l) were significantly reduced (P<0.05) when compared to the control (137.97±0.46mmol/l, 4.29±0.09mmol/l, 2.59±0.03mmol/l and 25.87±0.43mmol/l respectively). There was a significant decrease (P<0.05) in sodium, potassium, calcium and bicarbonate concentrations as pregnancy progressed. Maternal age is positively correlated with sodium (r=0.092) and potassium (r=0.100) but inversely correlated with calcium (r=-0.088) and bicarbonate (r=-0.051) concentrations. While parity is inversely correlated with sodium (r=-0.045), potassium (r=-0.155) and calcium (r=-0.175), it was positively correlated with bicarbonate (r=0.015) concentrations. All the electrolytes have positive correlation with gestation (Na+: r=0.249, K+: r=0.204, Ca2+: r=0.004 and HCO3-: r=0.056) while social status was inversely correlated to all the parameters (Na+: r=-0.151, K+: r=-0.075, Ca2+: r=-0.046 and HCO3-: r=0.023;P<0.05). Nutrition, environmental condition and child’s spacing may have influenced the parameters and their implications with respect to proper fetal development are discussed.
 

2013-01-29

Kidney Function Status in Nigerian Human Malaria Patients

Malaria is now known to affect over 500 million persons worldwide, killing about 1 to 3 million of them annually. Plasmodium falciparum is the species mostly implicated in the causation of severe malaria. This study was carried out to investigate the kidney function status of malaria patients in Benin metropolis, Southern Nigeria, to ascertain if there is renal dysfunction/impairment in them. Plasma levels of sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, urea, creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) were assayed in a total of 152 subjects (112 malaria patients infected with Plasmodium falciparum and 40 controls) of both sexes, with their age ranging from 8 to 42 years. The results observed irrespective of age or sex, reveal a statistically significant (p<0.05) increase in plasma levels of potassium, urea, BUN and creatinine (4.49±0.95 mmol/L;5.88±0.13mmol/L;16.39±0.36mg/dl and 135.05±2.69µmol/L) when compared to their controls (4.05±0.34mmol/L;3.73±0.12mmol/L;10.34±0.36mg/dl and 80.71±1.69µmol/L, respectively) and also a statistically significant (P<0.05) reduction in plasma levels of Na+ and HC03- (128.50±0.77 and 19.98±0.28mmol/L) when compared to their controls (l38.58±0.29 and 24.70±0.36mmol/L, respectively). The hyponatraemia and metabolic acidosis observed in the malaria patients are negatively correlated with the degree of parasitaemia (r=0.241 and r=-0.019, respectively), while the elevated plasma potassium and creatinine levels are positively correlated with the degree of parasitaemia (r=0.153 and r=0.407, respectively). The elevated plasma Urea and BUN levels are also positively correlated with the degree of parasitaemia (r=0.371 and r=0.375, respectively). The results of this study indicate that there is significant renal dysfunction/impairment in patients in southern Nigeria infected with plasmodium falciparum.
 

2013-01-29

Evaluation of Micronutrients Composition of some Leafy Vegetables Sold in Lapai, Niger State, Nigeria

Evaluation of micronutrient constituents of commonly consumed leafy vegetables in a particular area gives an insight of the derivable nutritional benefits of such vegetables available for the populace of the area. This is very critical in nutritional assessment and thus justifies why nine (9) fresh leafy vegetables, namely, Telfairia occidentalis (fluted pumpkin), Pterocarpus mildbraedii (African rosewood), Amaranthus cruentus (amaranthus), Abelmoschus esculentus (okra), Corchorus olitorius (jetu mallow), Solanum melongena (eggplant), Talinum triangulare (waterleaf), Lactuca sativa (lettuce) and Vernonia amygdalina (bitter leaf) were obtained from three different market in Lapai, Niger State, Nigeria and analysed for their vitamins (β-carotene, vitamin C, E and B6) and minerals (Na and K) compositions using standard analytical procedures. Results of vitamins composition of the leafy vegetables showed the ranges of βcarotene, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and vitamin E in the vegetables were 392.17 ± 0.42 - 29478.22 ± 3.71 µg/100 g, 82.226 ± 0.10 - 232.88 ± 0.10 mg/100 g, 1.41 ± 0.15 - 325.82 ± 0.12 mg/100 g and 0.04 ± 0.00 - 0.23 ± 0.01 µg/100 g, respectively. The mineral concentrations of the vegetables showed that the sodium content range from 11.04 ± 4.65 - 27.50 ± 0.15 mg/Kg while potassium concentration range from 129.20 ± 8.03 - 231.80 ± 4.65 mg/Kg. It is concluded that the leafy vegetables contain appreciable amount of some vitamins and mineral elements require for the maintenance of good health. 

2014-01-29

Potential Natural Egg Colourant in Laying Chickens

A six-week study involving two hundred and fifty (250) Harco Black  layer birds at point of lay was carried out to investigate the effects of potential natural colorant on performance and egg quality traits. The birds were assigned to five (5) dietary treatments, each containing supplements either of control, Baobab Leaf (BL), Waterleaf (WL), Red Pepper (RP), Canthaxanthin (CTX) at 40 g/kg feed and 50mg/kg feed of natural and commercial colorants, respectively. Performance records shows no significant (p>0.05) difference in feed intake across supplements of Red pepper, Water leaf, Canthaxanthin and control diet, however Baobab leaf treatment had a significantly lower (p < 0.05) intake value (94.07 g) when compared with other treatments. Body weight gain and Hen Day Production was not significant influenced (p>0.05) by the dietary treatments, though Baobab leaf supplement had lowest mean HDP of 48.80%, Red pepper and Water leaf supplement averaging 52.79%. There was no significant effect (p > 0.05) of colorants on egg external traits, compared with the control; Canthaxanthin treatment had higher mean egg weight (51.79g), egg length (4.55g), egg breadth (3.29 g); Red pepper treatment had highest mean shell thickness (0.29g), however these differences were not significant (p>0.05). Yolk height, Albumen height, Yolk index, and Haugh unit were not significantly affected (p > 0.05) across treatments. Yolk width was lowest (p < 0.05) in Baobab leaf treatment (2.54cm); Red pepper, Water leaf and Canthaxanthin (2.89, 2.62 and 2.89 cm respectively) were not significantly (p > 0.05) different from the control (2.73cm). Yolk colour score was significantly highest (p < 0.05) in Red pepper treatment (7.50); Water leaf, Baobab leaf and Canthaxanthin ranged between 2.25- 3.31 on the DSM yolk colour fan, Control treatment had the lowest yolk colour score (p < 0.05) of 1.31. The study showed Red pepper as a worthy alternative to commercial yolk colorant. Water leaf and baobab are not good substitutes for canthaxanthin as a yolk colourant.

2014-01-29

Purification and Some Properties of a Thermostable ?-Amylase Produced from Bacillus subtilis Isolated from the Soil

This work reports the isolation, purification and some properties of a thermostable α-amylase producing Bacillus subtilis isolated from the soil. Soil samples were collected and screened for thermophilic bacterial strains with amylase activity and to examine the amylase heat tolerance potentiality. The isolate was Gram positive, motile rod, bearing terminal endospore. The optimum temperature of amylase activity was at 50oC. Maximum enzyme production occurred at pH 7.0. Corn starch produced the best enzyme activity of 1.82 U/mg protein and was found to be the best carbon source followed by soluble starch (1.21 U/mg protein). Among the five nitrogen sources studied, peptone caused the production of highest enzyme activity of 1.79 U/mg protein, followed by casein (1.38 U/mg protein). Ammonium sulphate proved to be the less suitable nitrogen source for enzyme production. Calcium chloride stimulated enzyme production (2.0 U/mg protein) more than other salts. These characteristics of Bacillus subtilis suggests its promising characteristics for various biotechnological applications.  
 

2014-01-29

Partial Purification and Characterisation of Carboxymethyl Cellulase from Bacillus sp. Isolated from Sugar Cane Baggase (SCB) Dump Site

Carboxymethylcellulase (CMCase) was extracted from Bacillus sp. isolated from sugar cane baggase dump site. The enzyme was partially purified using ammonium sulphate precipitation and Sephadex G-200 gel and characterized at various pH and temperature values. The optimum pH of the purified enzyme was pH 6.5 and its temperature optimum was 50oC. The Michaelis-Menten constants, Km and Vmax, of the enzyme using carboxymethyl cellulose as substrate were found to be 5 and 0.89 μmol/min respectively.

2014-01-29

Purification and some properties of glucose isomerase from Bacillus megaterium

The objective of this study is to produce and purify glucose isomerase (GI) from Bacillus megaterium and to determine some of its properties. Soil sample was collected from cassava starch processing site and used immediately for bacterial isolation. Selected isolate produced the best GI activity in a preliminary test. The isolate was grown in media containing various carbon, nitrogen and metal salts for enzyme production. Among the carbon sources tested, Galactose gave the best yield (1.1 U/mg protein). Peptone was the best nitrogen source and caused the production of 0.85 U/mg protein. Of the tested metal salts, MgSO4.7H2O caused the production of the best enzyme activity of 0.81 U/mg protein. The GI was purified by precipitation with (NH4)2SO4 and chromatography on diethyl amino-ethyl (DEAE) – cellulose and DEAE-sephadex G-200 column. Thereafter, the enzyme activity was determined with the optimum temperature and pH at 40oC and 6.0 respectively. The enzyme was also characterized with a molecular weight of 65kDa as determined by the SDS – PAGE analysis. The enzyme could be applied in the production of high fructose corn syrup. 
 

2014-01-29

Toxicological Effects of Cigarette Smoke on Some Biochemical Parameters of AlloxanInduced Diabetic Rats

It is believed that while normal people may suffer complications of active and passive cigarette smoking, diabetes patients may suffer more. This study therefore aimed at investigating the toxicological effects of cigarette smoke on some biochemical parameters of alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Adult male Wistar rats (n = 8/group) were divided into three groups, 2 experimental groups group 1 was diabetic and exposed to cigarette smoke while group 2 was diabetic but unexposed and one control (group 3). Animals were sacrificed after 2 weeks of exposure to cigarette smoke and the blood glucose, total protein, total (cholesterol, vitamin C and malondialdehyde concentrations were determined. Diabetic rats exposed to cigarette smoke (group 1) showed significant increases (p < 0.05) in the blood glucose and MDA concentrations and significant decreases (p < 0.05) in the total protein, total cholesterol and vitamin C concentrations compared to groups 2 and 3. From the results, it could be deduced that exposure to cigarette smoke may increase diabetic complications.

2014-01-29

Prevention of Carbon Tetrachloride-induced Hepatic Steatosis and Cellular Damage by Aqueous Extract of Dacryodes edulis Seeds in Wistar Rats

The protective effect of the aqueous extract of Dacryodes edulis seeds on the liver of rats exposed to carbon tetrachloride was investigated. Thirty female albino rats of Wistar strain were randomly allocated to six groups consisting of five rats each. Group A served as control. Groups B-D were given increasing oral doses (250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg body weight respectively) of Dacryodes edulis extract daily for two weeks prior to the administration of a single dose of CCl4 (3 ml/kg body weight) on the fourteenth day. Group E was given only Dacryodes edulis extract (1000 mg/kg body weight) daily for two weeks, while group F received only a single dose of CCl4 on day 14. The extract was found to possess hepatoprotective properties as seen in the significant (p < 0.05) reduction in the activities of the enzymes alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase and alkaline phosphatase in the plasma of the animals treated with the plant extract when compared to the group administered CCl4 only. The extract also inhibited cholesterol and triacylglycerol accumulation in the liver. The hepatoprotective properties of Dacryodes edulis observed in this study may be related to its high content of antioxidant compounds such as flavonoids and alkaloids previously reported. The study represents a novel attempt at exploring the medicinal potential of the seeds of D. edulis which are typically discarded after eating the fleshy pulp.

2015-01-29

Production of Xylanase from Aspergillus sydowii Isolated from Irvingia gabonensis (African Mango) Fruit

This work reports xylanase production from Aspergillus sydowii isolated from spoiled Irvingia gabonensis fruit. Selection of the fungus was based on the production of maximum zone of clearing on agar containing 5% beech wood xylan. The influence of pure carbon substrates on enzyme production showed that the medium containing mannitol produced a maximum enzyme yield of 50.1 U/mg protein after incubation for 72 h. Enzyme productivity in this medium was much higher in a medium that contained only xylan (44.9 U/mg protein) as the sole carbon source. Nitrogen sources were tested for their abilities to stimulate enzyme production and the best enzyme production was observed in the medium containing peptone caused the production of specific enzyme activity of 41.2 U/mg protein after 72 h. The enzyme showed maximum activity (55 U/mg protein) at pH 4.0 and optimum stability at pH 3.0-5.0. Temperature activity profile of the enzyme showed best activity (68 U/mg protein) at 35oC. Best temperature stability occurred at 30-40oC. Dried agricultural residues were tested for their abilities to support xylanase production in media devoid of xylan. The overall best enzyme productivities of 97.8 and 92.6 U/mg protein were achieved after 72 h in the medium containing orange peel and mango peel respectively. These levels were much higher than that achieved when pure carbon sources or xylan alone were used for enzyme production.

2015-01-29

Haematopoietic Effects of Ipomoea batatas (L) Lam. Leaf Extract on Male Wistar Rats

There are claims by traditional medicine practitioners that the leaves of Ipomoea batatas have haematinic effects and other folkloric usages in the treatment of ailments. Therefore the ethanol extract of the leaves of this plant was investigated to ascertain its effects on red blood cell, white blood cell, platelet counts and their differentials. Proximate, phytochemical and metal content analyses were also carried out on the powdered sample. Extraction was done by maceration, phytochemical, proximate and metal content analyses were carried out using standard procedures. Automated method was used to obtain the haematological indices of control and test rats. Increases in red blood cell count, haematocrit and haemoglobin were observed only at dose levels 1000 and 2500 mg/kg body weight of rats. Dose dependent reduction in lymphocyte counts and a significant reduction in mean platelet counts were observed. Proximate analysis revealed high moisture and crude protein content; phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of phytate, flavonoids, saponins, oxalate, tannins, total phenols, alkaloids and cardiac glycosides. The leaves of I. batatas contain high levels of magnesium, iron and potassium. Increases in red blood count, haematocrit and haemoglobin count infer haematopoietic effects; but reductions in lymphocytes could infer a negative effect on cellular immune response.

2015-01-29

Effects of Crude Oil on Biomass and Protein Production by Aquatic Yeasts

Toxic effects of Bonny light crude oil on the growth of three aquatic yeasts namely Yarrowia lipolytica, Candida tropicalis and Debryomyces hansenii were studied based on their biomass and protein production. The species showed different responses to the toxic influences of various crude oil concentrations. The growth response was measured spectrophotometrically using optical density (OD) at 600nm. Yarrowia lipolytica responded positively to different crude oil levels. A general assessment indicated that 2% (v/v) crude oil concentration stimulated maximum growth and protein production of this organism. Lower yields were observed at reduced crude oil levels. Growth decreased gradually among Candida tropicalis and Debryomyces hansenii cultures in comparison to the control. Biomass of Candida tropicalis increased from 0.1 (OD600nm) at 0 h to 0.49 after 20 h at 0.5% crude oil concentration. This level gradually declined to 0.04 after 20 h cultivation at 1.5 % crude oil concentration. Maximum decline in optical density of this organism was observed at crude oil concentration of 2.0%. Protein levels for Candida tropicalis decreased from 0.13 mg/mL after 20 h at crude oil concentration of 0.5% to 0.04 mg/mL after 20 h at maximum crude oil concentration of 2%. The biomass of Debryomyces hansenii increased slightly from 0.1(OD600nm) at 0 h to 0.44 after 20 h at 0.5% crude oil level. Further decreases in OD values of this organism occurred progressively as the crude oil concentration was increased. Lowest protein yield was observed at a crude oil concentration of 2% at which the least protein production of 0.05 mg/mL was produced after 20 h.

2015-01-29

Sub-acute Effect of Glyphosate on Antioxidant Status and Lipids of Rat Brain

Roundup, a glyphosate-based herbicide is one of the most commonly used herbicides. Indiscriminate use of this herbicide might have impact on non-target species including humans. The objective of this study was to determine the sub-acute effect of Roundup on malondialdehyde (MDA) and lipids of rat brain. Thirty two adult male rats (Wistar strain) divided into 4 groups of 8 rats each, were used for this study. Group one served as the control and was given distilled water. The test groups T3, T4 and T6 were given graded doses: 300, 400 and 600 mg Roundup Kg-1body wt respectively, orally for 8 days. At the end of the treatment period the brain was excised. Alterations in the integrity of brain cell membrane was determined by the estimation of the MDA level, total cholesterol (CHOL), total phospholipid (TPL), phosphatidylcholine (PC) phosphtidylethanolamine (PE), PC/PE and TPL/CHOL molar ratios. Results showed that there were significant (p<0.05) reductions in MDA and cholesterol levels of all the Roundupexposed rats relative to the control. However the MDA levels were elevated in the liver and kidney. The TPL/CHOL molar ratios were normal in the T4 and T6-treatment groups while the PC/PE molar ratios were significantly (p<0.05) increased relative to the control. The pattern observed for the T3-treatment group was opposite that observed for the T4 and T6-treatment groups. This study suggests that the rearrangement in the lipid composition of the test groups might be an adaptive mechanism for the maintenance of constant bilayer fluidity and consequently brain cell homeostasis.

2015-01-29

Nanobiotechnology: A Solution To Food Insecurity, Safety and Sustainability

The problems of food insecurity, safety and sustainability occur mostly through the activities of pest and pathogens. The resistance of the causative agents on agricultural production coupled with potential health hazards posed on the environment by synthetic pesticides led to the search for an alternative to synthetic chemicals. Nanotechnology is currently the best candidate for ensuring food security, safety and water quality. National governments especially in developing countries are advised to mount regulating agencies that will be responsible for achieving food security and safety as already done in countries like USA, India and Indonesia among others. Considering the fact that we are now in a period when global population is steadily increasing and there is a very high demand for health food but high cost of production and need for sustainable agriculture has limited the profit margin made by farmers. The cause of naturally-occurring products with interesting antimicrobial eliciting properties and their derivatives has been getting more attention in recent years. Nanotechnology may have concrete solutions against many agriculture-related problems like insect pest management using traditional methods, adverse effects of chemical pesticides; development of improved crop varieties. As with any other technology, controversy surrounding nanotechnology is no exception in a heterogeneous society. Several concerns need to be addressed on different issues like food safety and beneficiaries of the technology.

2016-01-29

Effects of Crude Oil on Biomass and Protein Production by Aquatic Bacteria

Some effects of Bonny light crude oil on the biomass and protein production by three aquatic bacteria namely, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Aeromonas hydrophyla and Vibrio fisheri were investigated. The species showed different responses to the toxic influences of various crude oil concentrations. The growth response was measured spectrophotometrically using optical density (OD) at 600nm. Pseudomonas aeruginosa responded positively to all crude oil levels. A general assessment indicated that 2% (v/v) crude oil concentration stimulated maximum biomass and protein production of this organism. Lower biomass and protein yields were observed at reduced crude oil levels. Biomass production decreased gradually among Aeromonas hydrophyla and Vibrio fisheri in comparison to the control. Biomass of Aeromonas hydrophyla increased from 0.1 (OD600nm) at 0 h to 0.58 after 20 h at 0.5% crude oil concentration. This level gradually declined to 0.03 after 20 h cultivation at 1.5 % crude oil concentration. Maximum decline in optical density of this organism was observed at crude oil concentration of 2.0%. Protein levels for Aeromonas hydrophyla decreased from 0.12 mg/mL after 20 h at crude oil concentration of 0.5% to 0.06 mg/mL after 20 h at maximum crude oil concentration of 2%. The biomass of Vibrio fisheri increased slightly from 0.1(OD600nm) at 0 h to 0.03 after 20 h at 0.5% crude oil level. Further decreases in OD values of this organism occurred progressively as the crude oil concentration was increased. Lowest protein yield for this organism was observed at a crude oil concentration of 2% at which the least protein production of 0.03 mg/mL was produced after 20 h cultivation.

2016-01-29

Fabrication and Design of Dendrimers for Cancer Chemotherapy

Since the discovery of dendrimers in 1978, it has received serious attention as a drug carrier polymer most especially in cancer chemotherapeutics where precision and targeted delivery of drug to tumor cells is most desirable. Dendrimers are mostly synthetic, hyper-branched, tree-like globular, nano-sized polymers with excellent physicochemical properties that can be utilized in the formulation, design and delivery of drugs, vaccine and genes to specific receptors in the body. This review focused on the synthesis, types and applications of dendrimers in the delivery of cytotoxic drugs. The review shows that in the last decade, dendrimers have proved to be promising nanocarriers for various drugs including antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticancer drugs. The application of dendrimers as scaffolds of prodrugs is particularly interesting. Dendrimers are relatively more stable compared with other nano drug carriers and are suitable in formulating drugs for different routes of administration. As more and newer dendrimers are introduced into the market, they will have increasing role in therapeutic delivery of drugs, vaccines and gene.

2016-01-29

Production of Bio-Electricity Through Bacterial Catalysis in Microbial Fuel Cell Running on Garri-Processing Wastewater

Two H-type dual-chambered glucose-fed MFC reactors, each with a working volume of 250 ml designated as GPWW (enriched from garri wastewater) and the other as DWW (enriched from domestic wastewater) were constructed under same conditions and the anodes were continuously fed with synthetic medium (SM) at a flow rate of 0.7 ml min-1. An average power density (Pd) of 1.5 ± 1.39 W/m3 for GPWW and 0.6 ± 0.6 W/m3 for DWW was observed in 150 days of operation. The peak biomass density for DWW was significantly (P < 0.05 T-test) higher than that of GPWW by a factor of 2 (8.99mg versus 3.4 BSA/total anode respectively) on day 120 suggesting that more biomass was formed on DWW than GPWW reactor. This indicates that exo-electrogens in DWW reactor directed more of electron flow to cell synthesis rather than to current. The archaea footprints detected on the anodes were limiting factors in current generation. One vital milestone in this study is the discovery of the potential of garriprocessing wastewater as a veritable substrate in microbial fuel cell technology.

2016-01-29

Effects of Carbon Sources on Pigment Production by Talaromyces purpurogenus LC128689 in Liquid Surface Cultures

A pigment producing fungus was isolated from soil collected from cassava processing site in Ebonyi State. The effects of carbon sources on pigment production by the isolate in liquid surface cultures were studied. Pigment production in a basal medium composed of (in g/L) MgSO4, 0.4; NaNO3, 0.8; peptone, 15 mixed with 12g/L of one of the following carbon sources: glucose, Ipomea batatas, Dioscorea alata, Manihot esculenta cratz, Colocasia esculenta flour or soluble starch, was investigated. The highest red, orange and yellow pigment concentrations were obtained with sweet potato and water yam flour, followed by soluble starch while the least pigment concentrations were obtained with glucose. Unit optical densities of red (13), orange (9.5) and yellow (11) pigments were produced by the fungus using Ipomea batatas flour. These were higher than the concentrations of red (9), orange (7) and yellow (10.5) produced from Hajjaj medium composed of (in g/L) Glucose, 50; monosodium glutamate, 12; K2HPO4, 2.5; KH2PO4, 2.5; MgSO4, 1; KCl, 0.5; ZnSO4, 0.001; FeSO4, 0.001; and MnSO4, 0.001. The results indicate that Ipomea batatas flour is a better carbon source than glucose for pigment production by T. purpurogenus and thus has a very high potential for commercial production of pigments.

2016-01-29

Effects of Carbon Sources on Pigment Production by Talaromyces purpurogenus LC128689 in Liquid Surface Cultures

A pigment producing fungus was isolated from soil collected from cassava processing site in Ebonyi State. The effects of carbon sources on pigment production by the isolate in liquid surface cultures were studied. Pigment production in a basal medium composed of (in g/L) MgSO4, 0.4; NaNO3, 0.8; peptone, 15 mixed with 12g/L of one of the following carbon sources: glucose, Ipomea batatas, Dioscorea alata, Manihot esculenta cratz, Colocasia esculenta flour or soluble starch, was investigated. The highest red, orange and yellow pigment concentrations were obtained with sweet potato and water yam flour, followed by soluble starch while the least pigment concentrations were obtained with glucose. Unit optical densities of red (13), orange (9.5) and yellow (11) pigments were produced by the fungus using Ipomea batatas flour. These were higher than the concentrations of red (9), orange (7) and yellow (10.5) produced from Hajjaj medium composed of (in g/L) Glucose, 50; monosodium glutamate, 12; K2HPO4, 2.5; KH2PO4, 2.5; MgSO4, 1; KCl, 0.5; ZnSO4, 0.001; FeSO4, 0.001; and MnSO4, 0.001. The results indicate that Ipomea batatas flour is a better carbon source than glucose for pigment production by T. purpurogenus and thus has a very high potential for commercial production of pigments.

2016-01-29

Evaluation of Effect of Soil Amended with Different Levels of Craseonycteris thonglongyai Droppings on the Concentrations of Some Antioxidants in the Leaves of Amaranthus cruentus

Leafy vegetables are among the major sources of antioxidants which are important components of health promoting nutrients and prevention of diseases associated with cellular damage. However, the concentrations of these health promoting nutrients in vegetables generally depend on the nutrient contents and compositions of the soil. It is for this reason that pot experiment was designed to evaluate the influence of soil amended with different levels of Craseonycteris thonglongyai droppings on the concentrations of some antioxidants (β-carotene, carotenoid, lycopene, tocopherol, chlorophyll and ascorbic acid) in the leaf of Amaranthus cruentus. The levels of Craseonycteris thonglongyai droppings used for the soil amendment were control (no application), 25, 50 and 75 g per 10 kg soil. The leaves of Amaranthus cruentus were harvested at vegetative phase and the antioxidant contents were analysed by standard analytical methods. Concentrations of β-carotene, lycopene, carotenoid, chlorophyll and tocopherol were determined by spectrophotometric method while the ascorbic acid content was determined by titrimetric method. The results showed that the concentrations of lycopene and chlorophyll in A. cruentus increased significantly (p < 0.05) with increased levels of C. thonglongyai droppings in the soil except that the concentrations of the antioxidants in the leaves of the vegetable grown in the soil amended with 50 and 75 g of the droppings did not differ significantly (p > 0.05). Similarly, concentrations of β-carotene and carotenoid in the leaves of A. cruentus were elevated significantly (p < 0.05) with increased application of C. thonglongyai droppings, however, the concentrations of these parameters decreased significantly (p < 0.05) in the vegetable treated with 75 g compared with the one treated with 50 g per 10 kg of the soil. Whereas application of different levels of C. thonglongyai droppings had no significant effect on tocopherol content in A. cruentus, the concentration of ascorbic acid in the vegetable decreased significantly with increase application of the droppings. The present study concludes that amendment of soil with moderate amount of C. thonglogyai droppings increase the concentrations of the antioxidants in the leaf of A. cruentus except that the ascorbic acid content in the vegetable decreased significantly.

2016-01-29

Glycaemic Indices of Unripe Plantain (Musa paradisiaca) and Unripe Red Banana (Musa sp. AAA) Flour Meals

This study determined the glyceamic indices of unripe red banana and unripe plantain flour meals. Unripe plantain and red banana were processed into flour and were subjected to proximate analysis using standard procedures. Twelve apparently healthy normo-glycaemic adults of normal body weight consumed 50 g digestible carbohydrate from glucose drink and test diets. Blood glucose concentration was measured prior to the consumption of the control and test diets and at 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes after consumption of the standard and test diets. Glycaemic indices of the test diets were calculated. Data obtained were analyzed using descriptive statistics of SPSS version 16 and were presented as means and standard deviations. Unripe plantain and unripe red banana flours contained crude fiber (0.82% and 1.11%) and carbohydrate (85.85% and 86.77%), respectively. Glycaemic indices of unripe plantain and unripe red banana flour meals were 52.80 and 54.96, respectively.

2017-01-29

Production of Single Cell Protein from Hydrolyzed Pineapple (Ananas comosus) Peel Using Fungi

Production of single cell protein from hydrolyzed pineapple peels by fungi was investigated. Trichoderma viride was selected based on its high cellulase activity; diameter of clear zone on CMCagar (7.4 cm) and activity on carboxymethylcellulose (4.64 mg glucose/ml), filter paper (3.76 mg glucose/ml) and cotton wool (4.12 mg glucose/ml). Samples of pineapple peel were hydrolyzed with the solutions of HCl, H2SO4 and NaOH at 0.5% concentration. The NaOH hydrolysates (138 mg/ml, 298 and 9.44 mg/ml) have higher reducing sugar, soluble sugar and protein content than H2SO4 (129, 206l and 6.28 mg/ml) and HCl hydrolysates (131, 279 and 7.32 mg/ml), respectively. The culture of Trichoderma viride were used in fermenting the hydrolyzed pineapple peels. The protein yield in 0.5% NaOH hydrolysates (27.35 mg/ml) was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher than H2SO4 hydrolysate (18.32 mg/ml) and HCl hydrolysate (16.48 mg/ml) after 7 days incubation. The un-hydrolyzed samples which served as control produced the lowest protein. Nitrogen sources were added to the media supplemented with ammonium oxalate [(NH4)2C2O4], which gave the highest protein 55.44 mg/ml for NaOH hydrolysate. The maximum weight of biomass after drying biomass was 0.66 g/100ml. This study demonstrated the potential of pineapple peel as a substrate for product recovery, waste control and management.

2017-01-29

Phytochemical Analysis and Antifungi Activity of Aloe Vera Leaves

The medicinal and other claimed uses of Aloe vera, the “wonder plant”, are endless. The extract for phytochemical analysis was collected in three different solvents, diethyl ether, ethanol and distilled water. The anti-fungal activities of the leaf extract were investigated on selected fungi organisms; Trycophytum rubrum, Penicillum notatum, Trycophytum vericophytum, Trycophytum soundanense, Claudosporium and Trycophytum mentagrophytis collected from Mycology Laboratory, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria. The plant extract was collected crude without solvent and agar-well diffusion method employed for the determination of antifungal activities on the test organisms using 200 mg ketoconazole drug as standard. The phytochemical constituents of aloe vera leaf include alkaloids, flavonoids, saponin, phenol, glycosides and tannins. Both undiluted and half diluted crude extract showed different zones of inhibition on the test organisms. The undiluted crude extract of Aloe vera had larger zone of inhibition on Trycophytum rubrum and Trycophytum mentagrophytis than the diluted crude extract while the diluted crude extract showed larger zone of inhibition on Trycophytum vericopytum than the undiluted crude extract.

2017-01-29

Aerobic Bacteria Pathogens Associated with Caprine Mastitis in Nsukka Area of Enugu State

This study ascertained the aerobic bacteria associated with cases of clinical and subclinical caprine mastitis. A total of 58 lactating West African dwarf does were used for this investigation. These lactating does had signs of clinical and sub-clinical mastitis. These samples were collected from Nsukka town, Nsukka abattoir, Orba Market, Obukpa Market and Obolllo - Afor market, all in Enugu State, Nigeria. Clinical mastitis was detected by gross signs of udder infection by physical examination of abnormal milk, whereas subclinical mastitis was recognized using California Mastitis test. This study showed that 39 (67.24%) of 58 goats were positive for mastitis on California Mastitis Test. Clinical and subclinical cases of caprine mastitis, Staphylococcus aureus was the predominant pathogen 32 (55.17%). 14 (24.13%) of the isolates were positive for Staphylococcus epidermidis, 6 (10.34%) for Streptoococcus agalactiae, 4 (6.89%) E.coli and 2 (3.44%) for Klebsiella pneumoniae. This work identified the bacterial species linked with caprine mastitis in Nsukka area of Enugu State.

2017-01-29

Estimation of Phytochemical, Total Phenolic and Total Flavonoid Contents of Methanol Extract of Voacanga africana Root Bark and its Fractions

Phenolic and flavonoid contents in plants play a great role in scavenging free radicals in the body and act as antioxidants; thus making their determination very vital. Total phenolic and flavonoid contents of the methanol extract of Voacanga africana root bark and its fractions (n-hexane, ethyl acetate and n-butanol) were carried out in this study. The total phenolic content was determined by using Folin-Ciocalteau assay while the the total flavonoid content was determined by the aluminium chloride colorimetric assay method. The result obtained showed that n-hexane fraction of the plant exhibited the highest (116.607±95.13 mgGAE/g) total phenolic content (TPC) at all concentrations followed by ethyl acetate fraction of the plants. The highest total flavonoid content across concentrations (300, 250, 200, 100, 50 and 25 µg/ml) was exhibited by n-hexane fraction (467.143±44.22 mg QE/g). From the results, it was concluded that n-hexane fraction of V. Africana root bark exhibited the highest total phenolic and total flavonoid contents at all concentrations (ppm), followed by ethyl acetate. It could be deduced that V. africana root bark possesses phenolic and flavonoid contents depending on the type of extract or fraction; thus justifying its folkloric use in the treatment of diseases.

2017-01-29

Studies on Industrially Processed Fruit Juice and Freshly Prepared Fruit Juice Sold in Enugu State, Nigeria

The sugar and mineral levels of industrially processed fruit juices (mainly 100% and 50% fruit juices) sold to consumers in Enugu state, Nigeria were determined and compared with that of freshly prepared fruit juices. The fruit juices tested included apple, orange, pineapple and red grape juices. The industrially processed and the freshly prepared fruit juices were tested for total soluble solid (TSS) content, fructose, glucose, sucrose, minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and heavy metals such as copper, zinc, arsenate and lead. Findings from the analysis of the TSS content of fruit juice samples demonstrated no significant (p > 0.05) difference between the industrially processed and freshly prepared fruit juices; however, differences in sugar and mineral levels between industrially processed and freshly extracted fruit juices were significant (p < 0.05). Industrially processed fruit juices contained higher glucose, sucrose, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, copper and zinc contents, and lower fructose, potassium and magnesium contents when compared to freshly prepared fruit juices. There was no significant (p > 0.05) difference in iron and arsenate contents of industrially processed fruit juices when compared with the freshly extracted juices. Lead (Pb) was not detected in any of the samples. This study demonstrated no quality issues of concern in relation to the products because all the parameters considered in the study were within the standard acceptable range for fruit juices and nectar

2018-01-29

Hepatoprotective Effect of the Ethanolic Extract of Jatropha tanjorensis on Acetaminophen-Induced toxicity in Rat Model

The hepatoprotective activity of ethanolic leaf extract of Jatropha tanjorensis (ELEJT) against acetaminophen induced hepatotoxicity using Swiss albino rats was ascertained. The animals were grouped into six with five animals each. Hepatoprotection against acetaminophen-induced toxicity was evaluated using standard methods. Effect on genotoxicity using micronucleus test and spermatogenesis was ascertained. ELEJT significantly (p˂0.05) decreased the levels of serum liver enzymes. At 800 mgkg1, ELEJT significantly (p˂0.05) reduced triacylglycerol and LDL levels but significantly (p˂0.05) increased the level of HDL compared to the toxin control group. Administration of ELEJT resulted in a dosedependent increase in the total protein level. Sperm head abnormality was observed more at 800 mgkg-1 while at 400 mgkg-1 binucleated cell and micronuclei cells were detected. ELEJT exhibited hepatoprotective activity against Acetaminophen-induced liver damage using Swiss albino rats. This validates the traditional use of Jatropha tanjorensis in management of liver ailments and improvement of spermatogenesis. However, more work is needed to ascertain its mode of action

2018-01-29

Proteinase activities of Candida spp. isolated from different anatomical sites of healthy women

Superficial and systemic fungal infections caused by Candida have been increasingly reported in recent times. Hydrolytic enzyme production is an important process in fungal pathogenesis and proteases have been identified as important virulence attributes in Candida species. The aim of the study was to determine and compare the in vitro proteinase activity in sixty Candida spp isolated from three different anatomical sites (vagina, oral cavity and skin) of healthy women. Twenty samples per sample source were collected from apparently healthy female subjects. The recovered Candida isolates were properly identified and screened for proteolytic activity using established procedures. Overall, the recovery rate of Candida albicans was 66.7%, while the non-albicans Candida species represent 25% of the positive samples. Candida albicans recovered from the oral cavity exhibited the highest proteolytic activity (Pz range = 0.41±0.02- 0.65 ± 0.04), followed by skin isolates (Pz = 0.50 ± 0.05 – 0.79 ± 0.06). Isolates from the vagina had the least proteolytic activity (Pz = 0.57 ± 0.03 - 0.95 ± 0.08). The difference in proteolysis was significant between oral and vagina isolates (p = 0.0042), as well as skin and vaginal isolates (p = 0.0364). This study indicates that C. albicans remains the most prevalent species in all the anatomical body sites investigated. Moreover, the secretion of proteases could prove a potent virulence factor during the pathogenesis of the organism in an otherwise immunocompetent host.

2018-01-29

Mycoflora of postharvest rots of bitter yam Dioscorea dumentorum Pax in Nsukka agro ecological zone, Nigeria

This study was done to recover fungi associated with postharvest rotting of bitter yam, Dioscorea dumentorum tubers in Nsukka Agroecological Zone, Nigeria. Tubers showing signs of rot were picked from farmers in four randomly selected towns in the zone. The towns included, Nsukka, Orba, Ibagwa and Obollo-Afor. Five (5) samples each were picked from three (3) randomly selected farmers. Samples were packaged in sterile polythene bags, labeled accordingly and moved to the laboratory for studies. The fungal isolates were identified using both cultural and molecular techniques. Results showed that mycoflora of rotted bitter yams in the Zone were, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, Lasiodiplodia pseudotheobromae, Galactomyces candidum and Rhizopus delemar. The percentage frequencies of occurrence of the fungal organisms ranged from 14.03% to 26% with A. niger recording the highest (26%) while A. flavus recorded the least (14.03%). Pathogenicity tests revealed that the fungi produced rots (diameter) ranging from 1.70 cm to 2.40 cm with R. delemar recording the highest rot diameter (2.40 cm) while A. niger produced the least (1.70 cm)

2018-01-29

Effects of crude ethanolic extract of Gloriosa superba L. tuber, on root growth and root tip mitosis, of Allium sativum L.

Colchicine is an alkaloid produced by some members of the Liliaceae family which include Gloriosa superba L. Apart from its other medicinal uses, it is used for both cytological and plant breeding studies. Absence of pure colchicine in Nigeria has retarded research progress in the above-mentioned areas of research. In this study, the genotoxic and cytotoxic effect of ethanolic crude extract of G. superba tubers, obtained by freeze-drying method, on Allium sativum meristematic roots were examined; to explore the possibility of using it, in research, in the absence of pure colchicine. The mitotic index of the roots treated with aqueous crude extract concentrations of 500mg/L, 1000mg/L and 2000mg/L for 3, 6, 12 and 24 hours, showed that there was significant reduction in the number of dividing cells with time. There were evidences of disturbed mitotic phases, C-metaphase, precocious chromosome movement and anaphase bridges, which increased as concentration and duration of treatment increased. Distilled water and 8hydroxyquinoline were used as negative and positive controls. A. sativum roots exposed to the crude extract concentrations for 3, 6, 12, 24, 48 and 72 hours showed significant inhibition of root growth which increased with concentration and duration of treatment. The results obtained from this study indicate that the crude colchicine contained in G. superba, is an effective tubulin binder, which can arrest cells at the metaphase stage and is therefore recommended for cytological studies in Nigeria and other underdeveloped economies, in the absence of pure colchicine.

2018-01-29

Preliminary studies on the antifungal activities of ethanol and hot water extracts of local spices against fluconazole-resistant Candida albicans isolates recovered from clinical samples

This study evaluated the antifungal effect of local spices namely Capsicum annum var. shombo, Capsicum annuum var. atarugu, Capsicum annuum var. Nsukka yellow pepper, Zingiber officinale and Allium sativum against fluconazole-resistant Candida albicans isolates. Hot water and ethanol were used as solvents for extraction. The seed and pericarp extracts from Capsicum annuum alone showed no inhibitory effect against the test organisms. Notwithstanding, whole Capsicum annuum fruit extracts showed variable levels of inhibition against the tested isolates. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) results of hot water extract showed that Capsicum annuum var. atarugu had the lowest MIC of 6.25 mg/ml while Capsicum annuum var. yellow pepper showed the highest MIC of 100 mg/ml. Zingiber officinale showed MIC range of 3.125 mg/ml to 50 mg/ml and Allium sativum an MIC range of 12.5 mg/ml to 50 mg/ml for both hot water extract and ethanol extracts. The least MIC was obtained with Zingiber officinale ethanol extract with an MIC of 3.125 mg/ml. Our finding shows that these spices may be potential sources of antifungal agents.

2019-01-29

Aeropalynological Study of Obukpa town, Enugu State, Nigeria §

The diversity and abundance of airborne palynomorphs and other bio particles in the atmosphere of Obukpa was studied for a period of three months, from June through August 2010. The palynomorphs were trapped with Tauber sampler mounted at three locations during the period of study. A total of three thousand, eight hundred and ninety-nine (3,899) palynomorphs consisting of 3365 (86.3%) pollen grains, 496 (12.72%) fungal spores and 38 (0.98%) of other bio particles (insect parts and trichomes) was identified from the study. The pollen types which dominated the atmosphere of the sampled area included members of Combretaceae/Melastomataceae, Poaceae, Asteraceae, Amarathaceae, Lannea sp., Pentaclethra macrophylla and Alchornea cordifolia. The identified pollen grains were representatives of some trees, shrubs, herbs and grasses. The major contributors to the fugal aerospora were Glomerularia sp., Nigrospora sp., Cercospora sp., Asperosporium sp., Fusoma, Dreschlera, Helminthosporium and so on. Comparatively, there were variations in the quantity of the trapped palynomorphs during the three months study period which could have resulted from differences in the flowering period of the plants as well as influence of some meteorological factors such as rainfall, temperature, wind speed, relative humidity and wind direction.

2019-01-29

Changes in catalase activities during malting of some improved Nigerian sorghum grain varieties

The catalase activities of ten germinating improved sorghum varieties were monitored over a 4-day period to determine the effect of malting on them. This was done using standard methods that involved catalase assay at the appropriate experimental intervals. Results obtained showed that the different varieties of sorghum differed in their expression of catalase, a difference that was also reflected across the different stages of the malting process. The highest overall catalase activity (20.54 ± 0.74 U) was given by variety SK5912 after 72 hours of germination followed in second place by that from variety Nafelen (18.65 ± 0.99 U) obtained after steeping. The third and fourth highest value (17.88 ± 1.24 U and 17.08 ± 1.64 U) were given by KSV8 and Boboje after 72 and 48 hours of germination respectively. These values are probably indications that no single stage of malting was best for catalase expression among all the varieties. However, the fact that most of them (varieties ICSV 400, SK5912 and KSV 8, CSRO2 and ICSV III) all expressed their highest catalase activities after 72 hours of germination showed that 72 hours is probably the best germination stage for the elicitation of catalase among sorghum grains. The next best stage should be after 48 hours during which point three varieties (Boboje, NRL 3 and KAT 487) had their highest catalase activities. As a unity, all the sorghum varieties had their lowest catalase expression after 24 hours of germination, followed by those obtained after 96 hours germination.

2019-01-29

Detarium microcarpium Bread Meal: It’s Physiological Effects on the Postprandial Blood Glucose and Insulin Levels of Healthy Non Diabetics Subjects

This work studied the effect of Detarium bread meal on the postprandial plasma glucose and insulin levels of healthy participants. The subjects of the study were ten healthy non diabetic male subjects who were fed two meals, an experimental bread meal containing detarium flour and a control bread meal made from wheat flour only. The test meals consisted of two small bread rolls, 38g of apricot jam (Robinson’s) and water to make a total meal weight of 400g. The available carbohydrate portion of the meal was 75g. The bread rolls contain 50g carbohydrate mostly in the form of starch. The jam provided 25g of available carbohydrate in the form of sucrose. The experimental breads rolls provided 5g of s-NSP as calculated from the nutrient analysis plus s-NSP from the brown flour. The subjects visited the metabolic kitchen twice a week after an overnight fast. All the subjects ate the two types of meals detarium and control bread meal in random order. The subjects were weighed and their heights were taken. A three days food record was kept to ensure adequate carbohydrate intake. Fasting blood samples were taken. Postprandial blood samples were taken from the subjects at 30, 60, 120, and 150 minutes from the commencement of the meal. The blood samples were analyzed for glucose and insulin levels. Data obtained were analyzed using ANOVA. The results of the incremental plasma glucose level showed a significant bread meal effect (Wilks’ Lambda 11.1 df 6 and 18; p=0.0049) and a significant time effect at (p=0.0129). The result showed a significant difference between the effect of the detarium bread compared to the control bread meal at (p=0.0008). The result also showed there was a significant difference for Detarium bread meal at 90, 120 and 150 minutes when compared to the control bread meal. ANOVA also showed a significant meal effect on the incremental insulin levels (Wilks’ Lambda 16.0; df 2, 18; p=0.0016) and a significant time effect (p=0.0230). There was a significant difference on the plasma insulin levels between the control and the Detarium bread meals (p=0.0022). Detarium bread showed a significant difference on the plasma insulin levels at 30, 60 and 150 minutes.

2010-01-29

Effects of Various Inorganic Nitrogen Sources on the Growth and Biomass Production by Candida utilis Isolated from Fermenting Cassava Tubers

Candida utilis isolated from fermenting cassava tubers was cultivated in salt media containing sucrose as carbon source and different concentrations of ammonium sulphate, potassium nitrate, sodium nitrate and urea used individually as sole nitrogen sources. The yeast was grown in a 100 ml shaken culture and harvested after a 10-day fermentation period. Variations in media composition significantly (P≤0.05) affected yeast biomass production. Ammonium sulphate at 0.1% (w/v) concentration resulted in the best biomass production of the isolate. Concentrations above 0.1% (w/v) did not result in correspondingly greater biomass yield. Urea gave better yields at lower concentrations but concentrations above 0.07% (w/v) resulted in lower biomass yield. Sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate were inferior to ammonium sulphate and urea as nitrogen sources for yeast biomass production. A kinetic model based on the variations of these inorganic nitrogen supplementation, level of aeration and subsequent biomass production by the isolate was proposed.

2010-01-29

Effect of Root Extracts of Lantana camara (Verbenaceae) on Larvae of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae)

Larvicidal activity of three solvent root (bark and wood) extracts of Lantana camara Linn. was investigated against first and fourth instars of Aedes aegypti larvae after 24 and 48 h post-treatment exposure to serial concentrations (0.1, 0.05, 0.01, 0.005, 0.001 %) of aqueous, ethanolic and acetone crude extracts. All extracts showed varying degrees of larvicidal activity reported as LC50 and LC90 values. At 24 h post-treatment exposure of first instar larvae, larvicidal activities of acetone extract (LC50=0.011%; LC90=0.017%) was similar to the ethanolic extract (LC50=0.011%; LC90=0.023%) but differed from the aqueous extract (LC50=0.047%; LC90=0.056%). After 48 h treatment exposure of first instar larvae, acetone extracts (LC50=102 ppm or 0.0102%; LC90=162 ppm or 0.0162%) was significantly more toxic than either the ethanolic extract (LC50=107 ppm or 0.0107% ; LC90=216 ppm or 0.0216%) or aqueous extract (LC50=428 ppm or 0.0428%; LC90=548 ppm or 0.0548%). After 48 h treatment exposure of fourth instar larvae, acetone extracts (LC50=181 ppm or 0.0181%; LC90= 192 ppm or 0.0192%) exerted the most lethal effects, followed by ethanolic extract (LC50=225 ppm or 0.0225%) and aqueous extract (LC50=605 ppm or 0.0605% ; LC90= 710 ppm or 0.0710%). Sensitivity / susceptibility of larval instars to extracts appeared to be dose and developmental stage-dependent. Factorial analysis showed that extracts (F=0.044; df =2,36 ; p<0.001) treatment rate (F= 19.83; df=5, 36; p<0.001) and exposure time ( F=2.23 ; df=1, 36; p<0.001) significantly affected mortality of the first and fourth larval instars (F= 9.13; df=1, 36; p< 0.001). The results indicate that root extracts of L. camara may be effective in controlling the vector of urban yellow fever, Ae. aegypti especially at the immature stages of development.

2010-01-29

Evaluation of the Potentials of Some Cassava Varieties in Nigeria for Bio-Ethanol Production

Suitability of four cassava varieties (98/2101, 98/0505, TME 419, and TMS 4(2) 1425) for ethanol production was investigated. The total starch and amylose contents of variety 98/2101 were higher than those of the other three varieties. Variety 98/2101 also gave the highest ethanol productivity and yield. This was followed by variety 98/0505 while TMS 4(2) 1425 gave very low ethanol concentration and yield. The final ethanol concentration and yield were influenced by the age of variety 98/2101. The optimum age for harvesting this variety for ethanol production is 12 months. Above 12 months, some of the tubers started rotting and even ethanol yield per cassava flour decreased. On the whole, the starch contents of the varieties investigated were lower than the values reported for other varieties in other parts of the world. Efforts should therefore be made to develop cassava varieties with higher starch contents in Nigeria.

2010-01-29

Assessment of Suitability of Wood Fibres of Four Nigerian Fruit Trees for Paper–Making

Wood fibres of four fruit trees of Nigeria commonly found in Nsukka metropolis were studied and assessed for their suitability for paper-making. These trees include Mangifera indica, Anacardium occidentale, Persea americana and Dacryodes edulis. The parameters used in the study were the fibre dimensions and derived fibre values. The mean values for fibre length of the species ranged from 0.89 ± 0.34 mm in Persea americana to 1.15 ± 0.38 mm in Dacryodes edulis; mean fibre lumen diameter of 0.009 ± 0.001 mm in Anacardium occidentale to 0.014 ± 0.06 mm in D. edulis; mean fibre diameter of 0.023 ± 0.005 mm in P. americana to 0.026 ± 0.005 mm in M indica; mean fibre cell wall thickness of 0.004 ± 0.002 mm in D. edulis and M. indica to 0.006 ± 0.002 mm in A. occidentale. For the derived fibre values, a mean Runkel ratio of 0.70 ± 0.03 in D. edulis to 1.35 ± .56 in A. occidentale. Coefficient of flexibility of 0.37 ± 0.08 in A. occidentale to 0.57 ± 0.17 in D. edulis and a slenderness ratio of 41.61 ± 20.31 in P. americana to 50.07 ± 14.79 in A. occidentale. Analysis of variance for the derived fibre values showed highly significant difference among the species. In consideration of the parameters – Runkel ratio and coefficient of flexibility, D. edulis seemed to have better paper making potentials than the other three.

2010-01-29

Estimation and Characterization of Coliforms in Vended Food and Water Samples in Nsukka Area

Sixty–six (66) food and ten (10) water samples from Nsukka metropolis were screened for the presence of coliforms using the Most probable number (MPN) technique and direct plate count on MacConkey agar/broth and Eosin Methylene Blue (EMB) agar for isolating those from both faecal and human origin. The isolates were characterized biochemically analysed using standard conventional methods. The geometric mean counts (GMC) using MPN ranged from 1-180 faecal coliforms per 100 ml for both food and water samples. However, food samples (66.7%) served in plates and water sources (83.3%) showed apparent signs of contamination probably from the human and water sources, handling and storage unlike foods from the pots that had no trace of contamination. Faecal coliforms were E. coli (42.4%) and Klebsiella pneumonia (37.4%) and others(20.20%)of non-human origin. The E. coli count ranged between 22.2% (“abacha”) and 83.3% (beans ,rice, yam) as well as water(50.0% ).Thus, there was no significant difference (p>0.05) between the indicator organisms (E. coli) in the food, storage vats and water sources. The faecal and human coliforms in foods and water were indications of foodborne diseases

2010-01-29

Transfer of Multidrug Resistance among Bacteria Isolated from Industrial Wastes

One hundred and twenty two (122) bacterial isolates belonging to the genera Micrococcus, Streptococcus, Pseudomonas, Actinomyces, Bacillus, Corynebacterium, Brucella, Shigella, Hafnia, Proteus and Salmonella were isolated from four different industrial waste sites. Thirty five (28.68%) of these were resistant to two or more antibiotics. Of these, multiple drug resistant species of Pseudomonas and Proteus were chosen as donors in resistance transfer studies with selected susceptible environmental and clinical isolates as recipients. Results showed that the drug resistance is transferable among environmental isolates and from environmental to clinical isolates. Following treatment with sodium dodecyl sulphate in a resistance curing protocol, thirty one (88. 57%) of the resistant isolates lost resistance to all the antimicrobial drugs to which they were previously resistant. These findings suggest that the resistance may be plasmid-mediated and promiscuous. The possible public health implication of this is discussed.

2010-01-29

Web Blotch Disease of Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) in Nsukka

Web blotch diseases of groundnut were observed in groundnut farms in Nsukka on the Spanish groundnut cultivars. The disease was characterized by tan-coloured web like blotches on infected leaves. Blotches have grayish irregular margins and lower leaves were affected while new leaves were rarely attacked. The fungus in culture showed a creamy white mycelial growth that became black or dark brown within two weeks when it produced abundant chlamydospores in chains. Pycnidia of the fungus were observed on leave tissues when the leaves were maintained in moist environment within four weeks. The organism is called Phoma sorghina and confirmed by International Mycological Society in Kew, England (IMI number 368112). The best type of inoculum of the organism was a two weeks old culture since it produces the best lesion than other sources of inoculum (9.5 ± 0.94). It also induces the highest leaf abscission (5.1 ± 1.9).The more the inoculum the higher the disease incidence (9.6 ± 0.94) at 105spores. Two weeks old inoculum was also the best at inducing lesions (11.30 ± .80) as well as inducing defoliation (5.5 ± 0.92).

2010-01-29

The Effect of Soya bean ( Glycine max ) on Pefloxacin Absorption in Rats

The study was to investigate the effect of soya bean on the absorption of pefloxacin when given by oral route in rats. The first group of animals feeding on standard pellet feeds was given pefloxacin (8 mg/kg, p.o), while the second and third groups were also given the drug at the same dosage level but were fed with 50 % and 100 % soya bean respectively. Plasma samples were collected at different time intervals following drug administrati on. The concentrations of pefloxacin in plasma were determined using spectrophotometric method. Feeds with 50 % and 100 % soya bean respectively, gave significant increase (P<0. 05) in the mean maximum plasma concentration (C max ), mean area under the plasma concentration-ti me curve (AUC) compared to those obtained for standard pellet feeds alone. No significan t change in the mean time to reach maximum concentration (T max ) was observed in all the tests. The re sults suggest an increase in the total absorption of pefloxacin by soya bean.

2010-01-29

Evaluation of Antibacterial Activity and Interaction of Methanolic Extract of Physcia grisea and Cephalosporin on Clinical Isolates of Streptococcus pyogenes

This study was carried out to investigate the antibacterial activity and interaction of methanolic extract of Physcia grisea and cephalosporin on the clinical isolates of Streptococcus pyogenes. The isolates of S. pyogenes used were obtained from the department of Pharmaceutical microbiology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The sensitivity pattern of these isolates to P. grisea extract, cephalosporin and P. grisea extract combined with cephalosporin was carried out using agar diffusion technique. The result of the in vitro study showed that the MIC of P. grisea extract was decreased by cephalosporin thereby increasing its efficacy. The test micro-organism, S. pyogenes was highly sensitive to P. grisea combined with cephalosporin, but moderately sensitive to P. grisea extract. This shows that in the treatment of streptococcal infections caused by S. pyogenes, combined P. grisea, extract and cephalosporin may give the best therapeutic effect.

2010-01-29

In-Vitro Study of Biofungicidal Effects of Cassia alata Leaf Extracts on Some Pathogenic Organisms of White Yam (Dioscorea rotundata) Tuber in Storage

A preliminary experiment was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of Cassia alata leaf extract as a biofungicide and also to determine the minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) of the extract on organisms that cause soft rot of yam tuber in storage. The study was done at the plant pathology laboratory of University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The fungal organisms were isolated from the decaying yam tuber obtained from the yam storage barn of the Department of Crop Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The Cassia alata leaf was obtained from the Botanical garden of the Department of Botany, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and ethanolic extraction was got using cold extraction method. The extract was further diluted to four levels of concentration thus: 250, 175, 87.5 and 48.75 mg/ml. The sensitivity pattern of the isolated fungal organisms was carried out using Agar cup diffusion technique. Organisms found sensitive to the extract were Scopulariopsis brevicaulis and Rhodorula mucilaginesa but Penicillium restrictum and Penicillium digitalum were not. Result of the sensitivity test showed that the extract was able to inhibit the growth of R. mucilaginesa at 56.23 mg/ml while the MIC of the extract for S. brevicaulis was 50.10 mg/ml. A major finding in this study is that the ethanol leaf extract of C. alata is selective in its bioactivity on the rot-causing organisms of yam.

2010-01-29

Studies on the Bacterial Load (Enterobacteriaceae) of Some Vegetables Watered with Variously Treated Sewage Water

The use of untreated domestic wastewater for agriculture is increasingly attracting the attention of policy makers and researchers. In this study, the bacterial load (Enterobacteriaceae) of vegetables watered with various treated domestic wastewaters was evaluated. The vegetables green (Amaranthus hybridus), tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) and pumpkin leaf (Telfeira occidentalis) were used for the study. Five treatment methods were applied to the domestic wastewater namely chlorination, coagulation method using Moringa oleifera seeds, dilution, filtration and sedimentation lagoon. The results from viable plate counts showed that all the treatment methods were significantly (P<0.05) effective in reducing the microbial load found in the wastewaters. Their effectiveness was in the order of chlorination > sedimentation lagoon > Moringa oleifera > filtration > dilution. The bacteria isolated from the wastewater were Serratia, Hafnia, Shigella, Enterococcus, Erwinia, Pseudomonas, Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Branhamella, Salmonella, Citrobacter, Escherichia and Proteus. The results offer hope for affordable treatment of domestic wastewater before being used to water vegetables grown for human consumption.

2011-01-29

Analysis of Zinc, Iron and Lead Contents of Water, Soil and some Staple Foods in Isigwe and Uhuona Villages of Ugbawka Community, Enugu State, Nigeria

Zinc, iron and lead contents in water, soil and some staple foods in Isigwe and Uhuona villages of Ugbawka Community were determined. At Isigwe village the mean values of Zn, and Pb were 1.24 ± 0.26 and 0.11 ± 0.01 mg/l, respectively in well-water. The mean values of the metals (Zn, Fe and Pb) in some staple foods in the same village were 24.54 ± 6.08, 4.25 ± 3.53 and 0.68 ± 0.04 mg/kg dry weight, respectively, whereas 74.66 ± 5.28, 5.17 ± 4.02 and 1.00 ± 0.73 mg/kg, respectively, were the mean values of same metals in the soil. In Uhuona village, the mean values of Zn, and Pb in well-waters were 5.77 ± 0.15 and 0.09 ± 3.01 mg/l, respectively, while 67.39 ± 5.86, 51.34 ± 3.01 and 11.12 ± 0.14 mg/kg dry weight, respectively, were the mean concentrations in the soil.

2011-01-29

Effect of Larimal on the Astrocytes of the Cerebellum of Wistar Rats

Larimal® is an artemisinin-base antimalaria made up of artesunate and amodiaquine. It is very effective in combating malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. This study was to assess the effect of the drug on the astrocytes of the cerebellum of Wistar rats. Twenty adult Wistar rats weighing between 160-180g were equally assigned into four groups (A, B, C and D). Group A served as the control that received distilled water, while groups B, C and D received 17.50±5.71mg/kg, 8.75±2.86mg/kg and 8.75±2.86mg/kg body weights of Larimal® respectively. Groups B and C were given the drug for three days, and group D for six days. The treatment was twelve hourly, and twelve hours after the last administration the animals were sacrificed. There were hyperplasia and hypertrophy of astrocytes in all the experimental groups, and these were more pronounced in group B. These results revealed that Larimal® caused reactive astrocytes in the cerebellum of Wistar rats and these were dose and time dependent.

2011-01-29

Comparison of Different Media for the Growth of Microorganisms Isolated from Fermenting Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) Tubers and Waste Water

The study was undertaken to determine the suitability of locally formulated media namely, orange broth, banana broth and tomato juice broth in comparison with standardized media- MRS broth, Nutrient broth and Czapek Dox broth for the propagation of different microbial strains isolated from fermenting cassava tubers and cassava waste water samples. The locally formulated media were fortified with 0.1% (w/v) ammonium sulphate without pH adjustment. The media were inoculated with the isolates and changes in microbial biomass were measured. The organisms grew progressively in all media and their growth profiles in the media were compared. There was no significant difference (p>0.05) in the ability of the standardized media to support higher microbial biomass productivity in comparison with locally formulated media. Further work on the development of a kinetic model based on the variations of media supplementation, level of aeration and subsequent biomass productivity by the isolates was proposed.

2011-01-29

Effects of Pretreatment Method, Substrate Concentration and the Ratio of Koji to Cassava Flour Concentration on Ethanol Production from Cassava Tubers

Tubers from cassava variety 98/2101 were harvested at the age of 12 months and treated in 4 different ways: (a) peeled, sun dried and milled into flour (Flour); (b) peeled, fermented for 3 days by soaking in water, sun dried and milled into flour (fermented); (c) peeled and wet milled (Raw); and (d) the flour from (a) was gelatinized by suspending 10 g in 100 mL of distilled water, heating and stirring until it was gelatinized (Gelatinized). Gelatinization of cassava flour resulted in significantly (P<0.05) higher ethanol concentrations and yields but there were no significance differences in ethanol yields from other pre-treatment methods ((gelatinized cassava) > (fermented, wet milled, flour)). When nine different concentrations of nongelatinized or gelatinized cassava flour (10 ~ 100 g/L) were mixed inoculated with equivalent amounts of cassava koji, and 0.3 g (wet weight) of yeast cells, the ethanol concentrations increased with increase in the cassava flour concentration. However, the maximum ethanol yield (g-ethanol/g-cassava flour) for non-gelatinized cassava flour was obtained when 60 g/L was inoculated with 60 g cassava koji (total cassava flour concentration = 120 g/L). In the case of gelatinized cassava flour, the maximum ethanol yield was obtained with 80 g/L (total cassava flour concentration = 160 g/L). In this case, very high ethanol yield of 0.45 g-ethanol/gstarch was obtained. The results of the effects of the ratio of cassava koji to gelatinized cassava flour concentration on ethanol productivity and yield revealed that low cassava koji to cassava flour ratios resulted in incomplete utilization of cassava flour with resultant low final ethanol concentrations and yields. The optimum ratio of cassava koji to cassava flour for ethanol production was 20%w/v koji : 15%w/v gelatinized cassava flour.

2011-01-29

Studies on the Hypoglycaemic, Hypocholesterolaemic and Acute Toxicity of the Aqueous Gymnema sylvestre Leaf Extract in Rats

The hypoglycaemic, hypocholesterolaemic and acute toxicity effect of aqueous Gymnema sylvestre (GS) leaf extract were investigated in normoglycaemic male Wister rats. Twenty five (25) rats were divided into five groups, (Groups I - IV) and received intraperitoneally 50, 100, 150 and 200 mg/kg body weight respectively of aqueous GS extract. Group V served as the control and received normal saline. Blood samples were collected from the animals after 3 hours and used for the estimation of serum glucose (SG) and total cholesterol (TC) levels using standard methods. Mean SG and TC levels decreased significantly (p< 0.05) in a dose dependent manner from Group 1 to 1V, and the levels were significantly lower (p <0.05) than those of the control group. Oral administration of different doses (50, 100, 150 and 200 mg/ kg body weight) of aqueous GS extract and chlorpropamide separately to different groups of rats for 7 days also produced significant (p<0.05) dose dependent decreases in mean SG and TC levels. The decreases in mean SG and TC levels were more pronounced in animals administered chlorpropamide. Acute toxicity studies showed an LD50 of 4054.12 mg/kg. Elemental analysis revealed the presence of zinc, chromium, manganese and magnesium while phytochemical analysis indicated the presence of vitamin C, tannins and anthraquinones in GS leaf.

2011-01-29

Cholinesterase-Sensitive Muscarinic Agent of the Seeds of Abrus precatorius

A methanol extract (M) of seeds of Abrus precatorius Linn Fabaceae was gel-filtered on Sephadex G15 column eluted with 0.85% NaCl and the combined 3-ml fractions 4-10 of the eluate was subjected to thin layer chromatography on silica gel F254/366 in methanol : chloroform : acetic acid (8:1:1). The most polar fraction, Rf = 0.12 was recovered and designated Chn. This fraction was hydrolysed into two alkaloids by cholinesterases in an eserine-sensitive manner. Chn induced dose–dependent contractions of the guinea pig ileum. Hexamethonium reduced the contraction substantially but the tissue regained full sensitivity to Chn in the presence of blocking doses of hexamethonium. The residual contraction was abolished by atropine

2011-01-29

Preliminary Evaluation of the Efficacy and Safety of Snail Mucin on Experimental Osteoarthritis in Dogs

The efficacy and safety of intramuscular (IM) injection of snail mucin on the progression of osteoarthritis was compared with dexamethasone in ten adult local dogs of both sexes with mean age (2.4 ± 0.3 years) and mean weight (10.2 ± 1.4 kg). The dogs were randomly divided into two groups following groove model of experimental osteoarthritis. Two weeks later, the dogs were either treated with dexamethasone (0.4mg/kg) or snail mucin (5mg/kg) twice weekly. The parameters measured included gait assessment score and the radiographic score of the knee joints. In addition, blood was obtained from the cephalic vein for the determination of packed cell volume and total white blood cell counts, while observable adverse effects associated with drug usage were noted. In this study, the only adverse reaction observed was swelling at the site of injection and only in the snail mucin-treated dogs. The gait assessment score did not differ significantly between the dexamethasone-treated and snail mucin-treated dogs. In addition, the radiographic score between dexamethasone-treated dogs (6.3 ± 2.1) and snail mucin-treated dogs (7.0 ± 2.7) did not differ significantly. However, the packed cell volume after treatment was significantly higher (P ≤ 0.05) in snail mucin-treated dogs (42.2 ± 3.1%) than dexamethasone-treated dogs (37.0 ± 3.3%). It was therefore concluded that intramuscular injection of snail mucin produced osteoarthritic effect comparable to dexamethasone in a groove model of osteoarthritis, however with adverse effect characterized by swelling at the site of injection. In addition, snail mucin had a better haematological effect compared to dexamethasone necessitating further study on the purification of the snail mucin.

2011-01-29

Helminth Parasites of Cichlids (Perciformes: Cichlidae) from Anambra River Basin, Nigeria

A total of 615 fish from 10 cichlid species of Anambra River Basin were sampled and examined for helminth parasites for a period of 12 months, beginning from February 2006 to January 2007. Four species: T. zilli, T. guineensis, O. niloticus and C. g. guntheri were infected. Two (0.74%) of the T. zilli, 1(1.01%) of the T. guineensis, 1(1.89%) of the O. niloticus and 34 (31.19%) of the C. g. guntheri were infected with unidentified larval nematode, unidentified Acanthocephala, Neoechinorhynchus species and Apororhynchus species respectively. More species (3) were infected in the dry season when compared to that of the wet season (2). Similarly more male species (3) than female (1) were infected. It is of interest to note that Acanthocephala: Apororhynchus species were the dominant parasites and that all the parasites were host- specific.

2011-01-29

Comparative sublethal Effects of Actellic 25EC and Gammalin super on Tissue Alkaline Phosphatase activity in the catfish Clarias albopunctatus (Lamonte and Nichole 1927)

One hundred and fifty adult Clarias albopunctatus were subjected to sublethal concentrations of Gammalin super and actellic 25EC (0,0.5, and 1.0 µg/L) in a static bioassay renewal system for 14 days. Changes in the activities of liver and bone alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were studied during the period of exposure. The results showed that exposure of C. albopunctatus to the two pesticides evoked significant and varying increases in both the liver and bone ALP activities. The observed increases in alkaline phosphatase activities were concentration-and duration of exposure-dependent. Compared with the controls, ALP activities were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in the treatment groups and also in C. albopunctatus treated with gammalin super than in the fish exposed to equivalent concentrations of actellic 25EC. The results suggest that both pesticides had adverse effect on the physiology of the experimental fish

2011-01-29

Evaluation of Larvicidal Activity of Leaf Extract of Lantana camara (Family: Verbenaceae) Against the Aedes aegypti Mosquito

Aqueous and ethanolic leaf extracts of Lantana camara were prepared and four different concentrations (0.3, 0.6, 0.9 and 1.2 g/ l) of both extracts were tested for larvicidal activity against the fourth instar larvae of Aedes aegypti for 24 hours in the laboratory. The 24-h percentage mortality rates ranged from 91.66 to 96.66 % in larvae treated with 0.3 to 1.2 g/L ethanolic L. camara leaf extract, respectively. The 24-h lethal time (LT50) and lethal concentration (LC50) were 6.8 h and 0.48 g/l, respectively. The aqueous extract did not result in more than 35 % larval mortality. The 24-h percentage mortality between the treatment groups were significantly different (P < 0.001) and also when compared with the control (P < 0.05). The result showed that the ethanolic extract was more lethal than the aqueous extract to A. aegypti larvae. The ethanolic extract also limited the pupation and the adult emergence that was inhibited by the ethanolic extract at 0.9 and 1.2g/L extract.

2011-01-29

Distribution and Abundance of Airborne Palynomorphs in Aku, Enugu State, Nigeria

A study of airborne palynomorphs of Aku was carried out with the use of tauber pollen sampler from October to December, 2004. A total of 3,390 palynomorphs was recorded with the breakdown as follows: October, 1248; November, 1156 and December, 1526. Out of the counted palynomorphs, pollen grains constituted 2,125.The count of 736 pollen in October was followed by a decrease to 545 in November and a further increase to 844 in December. The pollen grains belonged to 20 families of flowering plants (17 dicotyledons and 3 monocotyledons) consisting of 20 genera. The result revealed dominance of wooded shrub grassland/woodland vegetation sub-type, relics of tropical lowland rainforest and secondary grassland. The taxa of both tropical lowland rainforest and secondary Grassland decreased from October to November and increased again in December. Fungi were the major spore contributors to the atmosphere and were dominated by the spores of Spadicoides, Curvularia, Dreschlera/Helminthosporium and Nigrospora. Pollen grains were next to fungi in total abundance and were dominated by the pollen of; Elaeis guineensis Jacq, Poaceae, Milicia excelsa Wild C.C. Berg, Irvingia wombolu Vermoesen, Syzygium guineense Engl. and Ageratum conyzoides L. December had a high influx of charred gramineae cuticles indicative of increased burning activities in the area. Fungal spores recorded per month had an inverse relationship with the monthly rainfall and relative humidity.

2011-01-29

Salt Affected Soils Evaluation and Reclamative Approaches for Crop Cultivation in Keana, Northcentral Nigeria

In this study, a field experiment was conducted on salt (saline) affected soils during the cropping seasons of 2004/2005 and 2005/2006 to evaluate the soil properties, determine their effects on two test crop performances, and its reclaim ability under three different approaches. Reclamative approaches were employed not only to increase efficiency but also reduce the time of reclamation. Soil samples were collected from the surface (0-15) and subsurface (1530cm) soils for laboratory determinations. The soils were treated to gypsum (CaS04) at 100% GR alone; gypsum plus farm yard manure (FYM) at 25t/ha and chiseling. Leaching with irrigation water over a period of 2-4 hours per week was done. Rice and millet crops were grown for the two crop years. Result of pre-cultivation soils showed that the physical properties of bulk density had a mean value of 2.37gcm-3 and a low total porosity value of 17.46. Chemically, the soils are high in acidity (>pH 7.5) and then large quantities of exchangeable bases and high base saturation. Post-cultivation results show that gypsum application proved to be the best treatment giving highest grain yield of rice and millet. However, this treatment followed statistically similar results with gypsum + FYM. No application (control) remained low. Chemically, the pHs was reduced after harvesting of second crop (millet 2005-06). Electrical conductivity (ECe) was reduced after growing of first millet crop except control. The reduction of sodium adsorption ration (SAR) was more after the 2nd crop. The soil parameters in control treatment did not improve. The study concluded that continuation of gypsum + FYM + Chiseling was more effective in improving the soil condition for sustainable land use.

2011-01-29

Auxilliary Dry Binding Properties of Some Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils in Direct Compression Tabletting

The ability of some hydrogenated vegetable oils to act as dry binder in direct compression tablet formulations was investigated using an instrumented rotary tablet press. The effect of these widely used tablet lubricants was compared to Avicel® PH 102, a standard, dry binding excipient in direct compression tablet formulations. The effects of the hydrogenated vegetable oils on the hardness, friability, disintegration time and dissolution of tablets made from the direct compression tablet formulations were evaluated. Dika fat, Lubritab®, Sterotex®, Stearolac-S® and stearic acid improved the hardness and friability profiles of a model direct compression tablet formulation as well as ascorbic acid and aspirin-acetaminophen tablet formulations. Prolonged mixing had no deleterious effect on the properties of the hydrochlorothiazide, ascorbic acid and aspirin-paracetamol tablets prepared. The hydrogenated vegetable oils appear to be a good alternative to Avicel® PH 102 as dry binder in the formulations evaluated.

2011-01-29

Possible Health Hazards from Genetically Engineered Crops

The paradox of Genetic Engineering of crops is evident from the unending revolution in the seeding and growth of new multibillion naira industries while it also poses the greatest hazards to life on the planet Earth. Recombination DNA technology is used to insert, delete, transpose and substitute new genes in plants that can lead to introduction of improved varieties, such as size, quantity, quality, taste, herbicide and pesticide resistance and many other traits. New proteins are produced or eliminated to give rise to these new resistant phenotypes. The new gene products may serve as allergens capable of inducing illness that can result n death of its consumers. Also new genes are often introduced in the engineering process to enhance the selection of cells containing the desired product. Antibiotic resistance genes are often used to enable the selection of bacteria harbouring the desired gene, a technique which is thought to contribute o increasing resistance of bacteria to most well established antibiotics such as penicillin, ampicillin, tetracycline and numerous others. Also, the effect if the viral vector used in gene transfers on the environment, crops and individual consumers are not known. The assessments of the genetic engineering of crops indicate the need to substitute alternative steps in the gene selection process. It also exposes the hazards in the consumption of genetically engineered crops to humans, animals and insects as well as the environment, while genetic engineering of crops remain a useful tool in mass industrial production of various gene products which has led to increased job creation in society, the need for an active regulatory guide by the United Nation Organization and within NAFDAC has become necessary to safeguard the human population, the environment and life in general.

2011-01-29

Microbiological Screening of a Starter Culture of Probiotic Status from Formulated Non-Dairy Yoghurt Analogue from Natural Fermentation of Soymilk-Achamilk Blends

Non-dairy probiotic yoghurt analogue was formulated using cream variety of soybean (Glycine max L.) and white variety of acha (Digitaria exilis). One kilogram of cleaned soybean and 500grams of cleaned acha were used to produce soymilk and acha milk. Soymilk and acha milk were blended in different ratios (100:0; 90:10; 80:20: 70:30; 60:40; 50:50; 0:100), respectively. The various blends were pasteurized at 800C for 30 minutes, cooled to 44±20C fermented naturally for 8 hours until desired degree of acidity was achieved, cooled rapidly to 8±20C, packaged in sealed plastic bottles and stored in the refrigerator. Microbiological analyses were done on the isolates obtained from incubation in an anaerobic jar at 370C for 48hours. The isolates were stored in sterile agar slants after purification by successive streaking on MRS and ST agar before being subjected to characterization. Microbiological screening (morphological, physiological and biochemical tests) was done to identify characterized a working isolate of probiotic status. Further assessment of performance of probiotic strains {acidifying activity and exopolysaccharide (EPS) production} were performed. Results show that the isolates were Gram positive, catalase negative, oxidase negative and non-sporing. A total of 7 isolates produced lactic acid. Among the 5 rods,3 were able to grow at 450C ,produced acid and gas from glucose (characteristic of Lactobacillus spp.);2 isolates grew between 15 and 370C,at 4%NaCl and pH of 9.6 (characteristic of Streptococcus spp) while 2 isolates grew between 15 and 420C, produced acid from glucose and lactose, citrate positive (characteristic of Lactococcus spp). All the isolates showed tolerance to 5% bile and 3.0% NaCl (inhibitory substances) .There was no significant difference (p>0.05) in the acidifying activities of Lactobacillus, Lactococcus and Streptococcus species. After 6 hours of incubation, an increase in pH from 4.78 to 5.87(for Lactobacillus spp), 4.12 to 5.86(for Lactocccus spp) and 4.20 to 5.60(for Streptococcus spp) were observed. Lactococcus spp showed an acid value of 0.29g100m-1lactic acid after 6 hours and increased from 0.40 to 0.75g 100ml-1 after 12 and 24 hours respectively. These isolates were used for the formulation of probiotic yoghurt analogue.

2011-01-29