Abstract The present study reports the existence of cliff racer, Platyceps rhodorachis from the plains of Punjab, Pakistan. A total of 10 specimens were captured during the field surveys from June to September, 2018 from different sites of Punjab. Platyceps rhodorachis was identify on the basis of morphology and confirmed through COI gene sequences. The obtained DNA sequences have shown reliable and exact species identification. Newly produced DNA sequences of Platyceps rhodorachis were submitted to GenBank and accession numbers were obtained (MK936174.1, MK941839.1 and MT790210.1). N-J tree based on COI sequences of Platyceps rhodorachis clearly separated as out-group with other members of family Colubridae based on p-distance. The intra-specific genetic variation ranges from 12% to 18%. The DNA sequences of Platyceps rhodorachis kashmirensis, Platyceps rhodorachis ladacensis, Platyceps ventromaculatus, Platyceps ventromaculatus bengalensis and Platyceps ventromaculatus indusai are not available at NCBI to validate their taxonomic positions. In our recommendations, a large scale molecular based identification of Pakistan’s herpetofauna is required to report more new or subspecies from country.
Abstract The present study was carried out to determine incidence of overweight and obesity in Pakistani servicemen with reference to their area of duty, feeding habits and also to identify risk factors. Accordingly, 2,501 servicemen selected from all over Pakistan using multiple stage stratified sampling protocol. Nutrition assessment performed using body mass index (BMI), waist to hip ratio (WHR) and dietary assessment using food frequency questionnaire. Collected data was analyzed using the SPSS version 25. Regression was used to find risk factors of obesity and WHR. Results indicated that about 1/4th of servicemen were smokers. Approximately, 1/5th of them were overweight and about one quarter were eating fruits and vegetables for <3 days/ week and <4 days/week, respectively. Only 1/3rd of them were physically active for at least <40 minutes per day. Age and fruits intake were significantly predicting BMI with a direct relation and vegetable intake was negatively correlated to BMI of the servicemen. Age and rank were significant predictors of WHR while, physical activity was negatively correlated to WHR. It is concluded and suggested from our study that there is a need to modify eating patterns and habits as well as improving physical activity on daily basis for healthy and long life of the servicemen.
Abstract Asiatic black bear is present in variety of habitats like broad-leaves and coniferous forests, extending form sea level to 4300m elevation and change their habitat for food purpose seasonally. The present study was conducted at Kaghan and Siran Valleys, District Mansehra, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan to assess habitat of black bear. Line transect method was used for observation of bear signs. Twelve meter circular radius plots were selected for the concern vegetation’s i.e. (trees, shrubs and herbs) and three to six plots were placed in each transect. At the result of sign survey, thirteen different categories of bear signs were recorded and encounter rate was calculated for each sign. A total of 1858 signs were observed during field surveys. Total (81%) coniferous species were recoded among trees, with the highest appearance of Pinus wallichiana (34.22%) and Spruce spp (27.76%), similarly broad leaves trees (18.56%) were also recoded from habitat plots. Most of the signs were encountered in bushy areas, whereas high number of Viburnum Spp (60.29%) was present. It is indicated that black bear prefers blend of Coniferous Trees, Viburnum and Ferns Species; probably because these plants provide enough food, protection, and meticulous shelter because more than 80% of habitat composed of these three species. Currently habitat destruction and increase in human population are the up-growing issues for wild animals (especially Asiatic black bear), which is highly sensitive to such problems. High levels of conservation efforts are recommended for the protection of black bear habitat and to avoid human interference in their territory.
Abstract The current focus is on the overall pattern of seed storage present in the fragments of the soil of piedmont and alluvial landscapes of the environment. The present study predicted the seed banks of both soils of alluvial and piedmont zones in different ecological conditions and evaluate the potential of seeds in the restoration of both environments. The composition of the seed bank of soil is mainly affected by the alluvial environment and the structure of cleared area shows that more species of germinating annual grasses and growable seeds with the higher total number. Extant vegetation structures have an important role in the diversity of soil seed reservoirs, whose composition corresponded with the openness of the site. When in situ soil seed bank is recruited, it helps to restore only some components of the plant community in an alluvial environment. In our current research, it was confirmed that seed richness was higher in number at lower elevation (alluvial) than that at high elevation (piedmont). Seed richness showed a significant negative correlation with anions, cations, while significantly positive with altitude that suggests the richness pattern of the overall seed bank of the area is influenced by various environmental factors.
Abstract The β-lactam/lactamase inhibitors (BLBLIs) combination drugs are considered an effective alternative to carbapenems. However, there is a growing concern that the increased use of BLBLIs may lead to increased resistance. This study determined the temporal association between the consumption of BLBLI and the antimicrobial resistance in Gram-negative bacteria. In this retrospective study, electronic data on the Gram-negative bacterial isolates, including A. baumannii, P. aeruginosa, E. coli, and K. pneumoniae from in-patients and susceptibility testing results were retrieved from the medical records of the clinical laboratory. A linear regression and cross-correlation analysis were performed on the acquired data. Increasing trends (p<0.05) in the consumption of BIBLI and carbapenem with a median use of 27.68 and 34.46 DDD/1000 PD per quarter were observed, respectively. A decreased trend (p=0.023) in the consumption of fluoroquinolones with a median use of 29.13 DDD/1000 PD per quarter was observed. The resistance rate of K. pneumoniae was synchronized with the BIBLI and carbapenem consumptions with a correlation coefficient of 0.893 (p=0.012) and 0.951 (p=0.016), respectively. The cross-correlation analysis against the consumption of BIBLI and meropenem resistant K. pneumoniae was peaked at 0-quarter lag (r=951, p=0.016). There was an increasing trend in the consumption of BLBLI and carbapenems. The increasing trend in the rates of resistance to piperacillin/tazobactam, in line with the increasing consumption of BLBLI, suggests that BLBLI has to be used with caution and cannot be directly considered as a long-term alternative to carbapenems.
Abstract The Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica) is a vertebrate pest of agricultural lands and forest. The study was aimed to report the damage to local crops by the Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica) in the Muzaffarabad District. A survey was conducted to identify the porcupine-affected areas and assess the crop damage to the local farmers in district Muzaffarabad Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) from May 2017 to October 2017. Around 19 villages were surveyed, and a sum of 191 semi-structured questionnaires was distributed among farmers. Crop damage was found highest in village Dhanni where a porcupine destroyed 175 Kg/Kanal of the crops. Regarding the total magnitude of crop loss, village Danna and Koomi kot were the most affected areas. More than half (51.8%) of the respondents in the study area suffered the economic loss within the range of 101-200$, and (29.8%) of the people suffered losses in the range of 201-300$ annually. Among all crops, maize (Zea mays) was found to be the most damaged crop ranging between 1-300 Kg annually. In the study area, porcupine also inflicted a lot of damages to some important vegetables, including spinach (Spinacia oleracea), potato (Solanum tuberosum) and onion (Allium cepa). It was estimated that, on average, 511Kg of vegetables are destroyed by porcupine every year in the agricultural land of Muzaffarabad. It was concluded that the Indian crested porcupine has a devastating effect on agriculture which is an important source of income and food for the local community. Developing an effective pest control strategy with the help of the local government and the Wildlife department could help the farmers to overcome this problem.
Abstract This study presents a four-year follow-up of an introduced population of Physa acuta Draparnaud, 1805, from initial stages to an established population. This introduction occurred on a small impacted stream of Vila do Abraão, the main village of Ilha Grande (Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). The population size increased during the study, and presented a relationship to environmental factors, especially with rainfall. On the initial stages of introduction prevailed the smaller specimens, but on the overall, predominated the intermediate size classes. After less than a year, P. acuta becomes established on this stream and was possibly affecting the other species found on the stream. The information presented here is useful to understand the invasion process of invasive snails, as well as directing conservation efforts.
Abstract Herbivory is an interaction with great impact on plant communities since relationships between herbivores and plants are fundamental to the distribution and abundance of species over time and space. The aim of this study was to monitor the rate of leaf expansion in the tree fern Cyathea phalerata and evaluate the damage caused by herbivores to leaves of different ages and whether such damage is related to temperature and precipitation. The study was performed in a subtropical Atlantic Forest fragment located in the municipality of Caraá, in the northeast hillside of Rio Grande do Sul state, in southern Brazil. We monitored 24 mature individuals of C. phalerata with croziers in a population of approximately 50 plants. Leaf expansion rate, percentage of damaged leaves and leaf blade consumption rate by herbivory were calculated. Monthly means for temperature and accumulated rainfall were calculated from daily data. Croziers of C. phalerata were found to expand rapidly during the first and second months after emergence (3.98 cm day-1; 2.91 cm day-1, respectively). Damage caused by herbivory was observed in all of the monitored leaves, but none of the plants experienced complete defoliation. The highest percentage (57%) of damaged leaves was recorded at 60 days of monitoring, and also the highest monthly consumption rate of the blade (6.04%) occurred with young, newly-expanded leaves, while this rate remained between 1.50 and 2.21% for mature leaves. Rates of monthly leaf consumption and damaged leaves showed positive and strong relationship with each other and with temperature. The rapid leaf expansion observed for C. phalerata can be considered a phenological strategy to reduce damage to young leaves by shortening the developmental period and accelerating the increase of defenses in mature leaves.
Abstract Nanoparticles are considered viable options in the treatment of cancer. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of magnetite nanoparticles (MNPs) and magnetite folate core shell (MFCS) on leukemic and hepatocarcinoma cell cultures as well as their effect on the animal model of acute myelocytic leukemia (AML). Through current study nanoparticles were synthesized, characterized by various techniques, and their properties were studied to confirm their nanostructure. Invivo study, nanoparticles were evaluated to inspect their cytotoxic activity against SNU-182 (human hepatocellular carcinoma), K562 (human leukemia), and THLE2 (human normal epithelial liver) cells via MTT test. Apoptotic signaling proteins Bcl-2 and Caspase-3 expression were inspected through RT-PCR method. A cytotoxic effect of MNPs and MFCS was detected in previous cell cultures. Moreover, the apoptosis was identified through significant up-regulation of caspase-3, with Bcl-2 down-regulation. Invitro study, AML was induced in rats by N-methyl-N-nitrosourea followed by oral treatment with MNPS and MFCS. Biochemical indices such as aspartate and alanine amino transferases, and lactate dehydrogenase activities, uric acid, complete blood count, and Beta -2-microglubulin were assessed in serum. Immunophenotyping for CD34 and CD38 detection was performed. Liver, kidney, and bone marrow were microscopically examined. Bcl-2 promoter methylation, and mRNA levels were examined. Although, both MNPs and MFCS depict amelioration in biochemical parameters, MFCS alleviated them toward normal control. Anticancer activity of MNPs and MFCS was approved especially for AML. Whenever, administration of MFCS was more effective than MNPs. The present work is one of few studies used MFCS as anticancer agent.