Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 19

Search results for: A. I. Okoh

19 Spatial and Seasonal Distribution of Persistent Organic Pollutant (Polychlorinated Biphenyl) Along the Course of Buffalo River, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Authors: Abdulrazaq Yahaya, Omobola Okoh, Anthony Okoh


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are generated from short emission or leakage from capacitors and electrical transformers, industrial chemicals wastewater discharge and careless disposal of wastes. They are toxic, semi-volatile compounds which can persist in the environment, hence classified as persistent organic pollutants. Their presence in the environmental matrices has become a global concern. In this study, we assessed the concentrations and distribution patterns of 19 polychlorinated biphenyls congeners (PCB 1, 5, 18, 31, 44, 52, 66, 87, 101, 110, 138, 141, 151, 153, 170, 180, 183, 187, and 206) at six sampling points in water along the course of Buffalo River, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Solvent extraction followed by sulphuric acid, potassium permanganate and silica gel cleanup were used in this study. The analysis was done with gas chromatography electron capture detector (GC-ECD). The results of the analysis of all the 19 PCBs congeners ranged from not detectable to 0.52 ppb and 2.5 ppb during summer and autumn periods respectively. These values are generally higher than the World Health Organization (WHO) maximum permissible limit. Their presence in the waterbody suggests an increase in anthropogenic activities over the seasons. In view of their volatility, the compounds are transportable over long distances by air currents away from their point of origin putting the health of the communities at risk, thus suggesting the need for strict regulations on the use as well as save disposal of this group of compounds in the communities.

Keywords: organic pollutants, polychlorinated biphenyls, pollution, solvent extraction

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18 Investigation of the Bioactivity and Efficacy of Personal Care Products Formulated Using Extracts of Azadirachta indica A. Juss

Authors: Ade O. Oyewole, Sunday O. Okoh, Ruth O. Ishola, Adenike D. Odusote, Chima C. Igwe, Gloria N. Elemo, Anthony I. Okoh


Azadirachta indica (Neem tree) also referred to as an all-purpose tree is used in a wide range of medical preparations in tropical and subtropical countries for prevention and management of various livestock, crops products and human diseases. In Nigeria however, the potentials of this plant have not been fully exploited thus it causes an environmental nuisance during the fruiting season. With a rise in the demand for herbal personal care products globally extracts from different parts of the neem plant were used as the bio-active ingredients in the formulation of personal care products. In this study, formulated neem soap, body cream, lotion, toothpaste and shampoo are analyzed to determine their antibacterial, antifungal, and toxicity properties. The efficacies of these products for management of infectious diseases, both oral and dermal, were also investigated in vitro. Oil from the neem seeds obtained using a mechanical press and acetone extracts of both the neem bark and leaves obtained by the maceration method were used in the formulation and production of the neem personal care products. The antimicrobial and toxicity properties of these products were investigated by agar diffusion, and haemolytic methods respectively. The five neem products (NPs) exhibited strong antibacterial activities against four multi–drug resistant pathogenic and three none pathogenic bacterial strains (Escherichia coli (180), Listeria ivanovii, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter cloacae, Vibro spp., Streptococcus uberis, Mycobacterium smegmatis), except the neem lotion with insignificant activity against E. coli and S. aureus. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) range was between 0.20-0.40 mg/ mL. The 5 NPs demonstrated moderate activity against three clinical dermatophytes isolates (Tinea corporis, Tinea capitis, and Tinea cruiz) as well as one fungal strain (Candida albican) with the MIC ranging between 0.30 - 0.50 mg/ mL and 0.550 mg/mL respectively. The soap and shampoo were the most active against test bacteria and fungi. The haemolytic analysis results on the 5 NPs indicated none toxicity at 0.50 mg/ mL in sheep red blood cells (SRBC).

Keywords: antimicrobial, Azadirachta indica, multi–drug resistant pathogenic bacteria, personal care products

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17 Design of a Virtual Instrument (VI) System for Earth Resistivity Survey

Authors: Henry Okoh, Obaro Verisa Omayuli, Gladys A. Osagie


One of the challenges of developing nations is the dearth of measurement devices. Aside the shortage, when available, they are either old or obsolete and also very expensive. When this is the situation, researchers must design alternative systems to help meet the desired needs of academia. This paper presents a design of cost-effective multi-disciplinary virtual instrument system for scientific research. This design was based on NI USB-6255 multifunctional DAQ which was used for earth resistivity measurement in Schlumberger array and the result obtained compared closely with that of a conventional ABEM Terrameter. This instrument design provided a hands-on experience as related to full-waveform signal acquisition in the field.

Keywords: cost-effective, data acquisition (DAQ), full-waveform, multi-disciplinary, Schlumberger array, virtual Instrumentation (VI).

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16 Optimization of Process Parameters for Peroxidase Production by Ensifer Species

Authors: Ayodeji O. Falade, Leonard V. Mabinya, Uchechukwu U. Nwodo, Anthony I. Okoh


Given the high utility of peroxidase in several industrial processes, the search for novel microorganisms with enhanced peroxidase production capacity is of keen interest. This study investigated the process conditions for optimum peroxidase production by Ensifer sp, new ligninolytic proteobacteria with peroxidase production potential. Also, some agricultural residues were valorized for peroxidase production under solid state fermentation. Peroxidase production was optimum at an initial medium pH 7, incubation temperature of 30 °C and agitation speed of 100 rpm using alkali lignin fermentation medium supplemented with guaiacol as the most effective inducer and ammonium sulphate as the best inorganic nitrogen. Optimum peroxidase production by Ensifer sp. was attained at 48 h with specific productivity of 12.76 ± 1.09 U mg⁻¹. Interestingly, probable laccase production was observed with optimum specific productivity of 12.76 ± 0.45 U mg⁻¹ at 72 h. The highest peroxidase yield was observed with sawdust as solid substrate under solid state fermentation. In conclusion, Ensifer sp. possesses the capacity for enhanced peroxidase production that can be exploited for various biotechnological applications.

Keywords: catalase-peroxidase, enzyme production, peroxidase, polymerase chain reaction, proteobacteria

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15 Trends in Language Testing in Primary Schools in River State, Nigeria

Authors: Okoh Chinasa, Asimuonye Augusta


This study investigated the trends in language testing in Primary Schools in Rivers State. English language past question papers were collected from four (4) Primary Schools in Onelga Local Government Area and Ahoada East Local Government Area. Four research questions guided the study. The study is aimed at finding out the appropriateness of test formats used for language testing and the language skills tested. The past question papers collected which served as the instrument were analyzed based on given criteria developed by the researchers in line with documentary frequency studies, a type of survey study. The study revealed that some of the four language skills were not adequately assessed and that the termly question papers were developed by a central examination body. From the past questions, it was observed that an imbalance exists in the test format used. The paper recommended that all the language skills should be tested using correct test formats to ensure that pupils were given a fair chance to show what they know and can do in English language and for teachers to be able to use the test results for effective decision making.

Keywords: discrete test, integrative test, testing approach, test format

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14 Assessment of cellulase and xylanase Production by chryseobacterium sp. Isolated from Decaying Biomass in Alice, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Authors: A. Nkohla, U. Nwodo, L. V. Mabinya, A. I. Okoh


A potential source for low-cost production of value added products is the utilization of lignocellulosic materials. However, the huddle needing breaching would be the dismantlement of the complex lignocellulosic structure as to free sugar base therein. the current lignocellosic material treatment process is expensive and not eco-friendly hence, the advocacy for enzyme based technique which is both cheap and eco-friendly is highly imperative. Consequently, this study aimed at the screening of cellulose and xylan degrading bacterial strain isolated from decaying sawdust samples. This isolate showed high activity for cellulase and xylanase when grown on carboxymethyl cellulose and birtchwood xylan as the sole carbon source respectively. The 16S rDNA nucleotide sequence of the isolate showed 98% similarity with that of Chryseobacterium taichungense thus, it was identified as a Chryseobacterium sp. Optimum culture conditions for cellulase and xylanase production were medium pH 6, incubation temperature of 25 °C at 50 rpm and medium pH 6, incubation temperature of 25 °C at 150 rpm respectively. The high enzyme activity obtained from this bacterial strain portends it as a good candidate for industrial use in the degradation of complex biomass for value added products.

Keywords: lignocellulosic material, chryseobacterium sp., submerged fermentation, cellulase, xylanase

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13 Enhanced Peroxidase Production by Raoultella Species

Authors: Ayodeji O. Falade, Leonard V. Mabinya, Uchechukwu U. Nwodo, Anthony I. Okoh


Given the high-utility of peroxidase, its production in large amount is of utmost importance. Over the years, actinomycetes have been the major peroxidase-producing bacteria. Consequently, other classes of bacteria with peroxidase production potentials are underexplored. This study, therefore, sought to enhance peroxidase production by a Raoultella species, a new ligninolytic proteobacteria strain, by determining the optimum culture conditions (initial pH, incubation temperature and agitation speed) for peroxidase production under submerged fermentation using the classical process of one variable at a time and supplementing the fermentation medium with some lignin model and inorganic nitrogen compounds. Subsequently, the time-course assay was carried out under optimized conditions. Then, some agricultural residues were valorized for peroxidase production under solid state fermentation. Peroxidase production was optimal at initial pH 5, incubation temperature of 35 °C and agitation speed of 150 rpm with guaiacol and ammonium chloride as the best inducer and nitrogen supplement respectively. Peroxidase production by the Raoultella species was optimal at 72 h with specific productivity of 16.48 ± 0.89 U mg⁻¹. A simultaneous production of a non-peroxide dependent extracellular enzyme which suggests probable laccase production was observed with specific productivity of 13.63 ± 0.45 U mg⁻¹ while sawdust gave the best peroxidase yield under solid state fermentation. In conclusion, peroxidase production by the Raoultella species was increased by 3.40-fold.

Keywords: enzyme production, ligninolytic bacteria, peroxidase, proteobacteria

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12 The Physicochemical Properties of Two Rivers in Eastern Cape South Africa as Relates to Vibrio Spp Density

Authors: Oluwatayo Abioye, Anthony Okoh


In the past view decades; human has experienced outbreaks of infections caused by pathogenic Vibrio spp which are commonly found in aquatic milieu. Asides the well-known Vibrio cholerae, discovery of other pathogens in this genus has been on the increase. While the dynamics of occurrence and distribution of Vibrio spp have been linked to some physicochemical parameters in salt water, data in relation to fresh water is limited. Hence, two rivers of importance in the Eastern Cape, South Africa were selected for this study. In all, eleven sampling sites were systematically identified and relevant physicochemical parameters, as well as Vibrio spp density, were determined for the period of six months using standard instruments and methods. Results were statistically analysed to determined key physicochemical parameters that determine the density of Vibrio spp in the selected rivers. Results: The density of Vibrio spp in all the sampling points ranges between < 1 CFU/mL to 174 x 10-2 CFU/mL. The physicochemical parameters of some of the sampling points were above the recommended standards. The regression analysis showed that Vibrio density in the selected rivers depends on a complex relationship between various physicochemical parameters. Conclusion: This study suggests that Vibrio spp density in fresh water does not depend on only temperature and salinity as suggested by earlier studies on salt water but rather on a complex relationship between several physicochemical parameters.

Keywords: vibrio density, physicochemical properties, pathogen, aquatic milieu

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11 Evaluation of Cellulase and Xylanase Production by Micrococcus Sp. Isolated from Decaying Lignocellulosic Biomass Obtained from Alice Environment in the Eastern Cape of South Africa

Authors: Z. Mmango, U. Nwodo, L. V. Mabinya, A. I. Okoh


Cellulose and hemicellulose account for a large portion of the world‘s plant biomass. In nature, these polysaccharides are intertwined forming complex materials that requires multiple and expensive treatment processes to free up the raw materials trapped in the matrix. Enzymatic degradation remains as the preferred technique as it is inexpensive and eco-friendly. However, the insufficiencies of enzyme battery systems in the degradation of lignocellulosic complex motivate the search for effective degrading enzymes from bacterial isolates from uncommon environment. The study aimed at the evaluation of actinomycetes isolated from saw dust samples collected from wood factory under bed. Cellulase and xylanase production was screened through organism culture on carboxyl methyl cellulose agar and Birchwood xylan. Halo zone indicating lignocellose utilization was shown by an isolate identified through 16S rRNA gene as Micrococcus luteus. The optimum condition for the production of cellulase and xylanase were incubation temperature of 25 °C, fermentation medium pH 5 and 10, agitation speed of 50 and 200 (rpm) and fermentation incubation time of 96 and 84 (h) respectively. The high cellulose and xylanase activity obtained from this isolate portends industrial relevance.

Keywords: carboxyl methyl cellulose, birchwood xylan, optimization, cellulase, xylanase, micrococcus, DNS method

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10 Effects of Plumage Colour on Measurable Attributes of Indigenous Chickens in North Central Nigeria

Authors: Joseph J. Okoh, Samuel T. Mbap, Tahir Ibrahim, Yusuf P. Mancha


The influence of plumage colour on measurable attributes of 6176 adult indigenous chickens of mixed-sex from four states of the North Central Zone of Nigeria namely; Nasarawa, Niger, Benue, Kogi and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja were assessed. The overall average body weight of the chickens was 1.95 ± 0.03kg. The body weights of black, white, black/white, brown, black/brown, grey and mottled chicken however were 1.87 ± 0.04, 1.94 ± 0.04, 1.95 ± 0.03, 1.93 ± 0.03, 2.01 ± 0.04, 1.96 ± 0.04 and 1.94±0.14kg respectively. Only body length did not vary by plumage colour. The others; body weight and width, shank, comb and breast length, breast height (p < 0.001), beak and wing lengths (p < 0.001) varied significantly. Generally, no colour was outrightly superior to others in all body measurements. However, body weight and breast height were both highest in black/brown chickens which also had the second highest breast length. Body width, shank, beak, comb and wing lengths were highest in grey chickens but lowest in those with white colour and combinations. Egg quality was on the other hand mostly lowest in grey chickens. In selection for genetic improvement in body measurements, black/brown and grey chickens should be favoured. However, in view of the known negative relationship between body weight and egg attributes, selection in favour of grey plumage may result in chickens of poor egg attributes. Therefore, grey chickens should be selected against egg quality.

Keywords: body weight, indigenous chicken, measurements, plumage colour

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9 Assessment of the Physicochemical Qualities and Prevalence of Vibrio Pathogens in the Final Effluents of Two Wastewater Treatment Plants in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Authors: C. A Osunla, A. I. Okoh


Treated wastewater effluent has been found to encompass high levels of pollutants, including disease-causing bacteria such as Vibrio pathogens. The current study was designed to evaluate the physicochemical qualities and prevalence of Vibrio pathogens in treated effluents of two wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa over the period of six months. Parameters measured include pH, temperature, electrical conductivity, salinity, turbidity, total dissolved solid (TDS), dissolved oxygen (DO), and free chlorine; and these parameters were simultaneously monitored in the treated final effluents of the two wastewater treatment plants using standard methods. The ranges of values for the physicochemical are: pH (7.0–8.6), total dissolved solids (286.3–916.5 mg/L), electrical conductivity (572.57–1704.5 mS/m), temperature (10.3–28.6 °C), turbidity (4.02–43.20 NTU), free chlorine (0.00–0.19 mg/L), dissolve oxygen (2.06–6.32 mg/L) and biochemical oxygen demand (0.1–9.0 mg/L). The microbiological assessment for both WWTPs revealed the presence of Vibrio counts ranging between 0 and 8.76×104 CFU/100 mL. The obtained values of the measured parameters and Vibrio loads of the treated wastewater effluents were found outside the compliance levels of the South African guidelines and World Health Organization tolerance limits for effluents intended to be discharged into receiving waterbodies. Hence, we conclude that these WWTPs are important point sources of pollution in surface water with potential public health and ecological risks.

Keywords: effluents, public health, South Africa, Vibrio, wastewater

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8 Developing Stability Monitoring Parameters for NIPRIMAL®: A Monoherbal Formulation for the Treatment of Uncomplicated Malaria

Authors: Ekere E. Kokonne, Isimi C. Yetunde, Okoh E. Judith, Okafor E. Ijeoma, Ajeh J. Isaac, Olobayo O. Kunle, Emeje O. Martins


NIPRIMAL® is a mono herbal formulation of Nauclea latifolia used in the treatment of malaria. The stability of extracts made from plant material is essential to ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of the finished product. This study assessed the stability of the formulation under three different storage conditions; normal room temperature, infrared and under refrigeration. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) were used to monitor the formulations. The DSC analysis was done from 0oC to 350oC under the three storage conditions. Results obtained indicate that NIPRIMAL® was stable at all the storage conditions investigated. Thin layer chromatography (TLC) after 6 months showed there was no significant difference between retention factor (RF) values for the various storage conditions. The reference sample had four spots with RF values of 0.47, 0.68, 0.76, 0.82 respectively and these spots were retained in the test formulations with corresponding RF values were after 6 months at room temperature and refrigerated temperature been 0.56, 0.73, 0.80, 0.92 and 0.47, 0.68, 0.76, 0.82 respectively. On the other hand, the RF values (0.55, 0.74, 0.77, 0.93) obtained under infrared after 1 month varied slightly from the reference. The sample exposed to infrared had a lower heat capacity compared to that stored under room temperature or refrigeration. A combination of TLC and DSC measurements has been applied for assessing the stability of NIPRIMAL®. Both methods were found to be rapid, sensitive and reliable in determining its stability. It is concluded that NIPRIMAL® can be stored under any of the tested conditions without degradation. This study is a major contribution towards developing appropriate stability monitoring parameters for herbal products.

Keywords: differential scanning calorimetry, formulation, NIPRIMAL®, stability, thin layer hromatography

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7 Extraction, Synthesis, Characterization and Antioxidant Properties of Oxidized Starch from an Abundant Source in Nigeria

Authors: Okafor E. Ijeoma, Isimi C. Yetunde, Okoh E. Judith, Kunle O. Olobayo, Emeje O. Martins


Starch has gained interest as a renewable and environmentally compatible polymer due to the increase in its use. However, starch by itself could not be satisfactorily applied in industrial processes due to some inherent disadvantages such as its hydrophilic character, poor mechanical properties, its inability to withstand processing conditions such as extreme temperatures, diverse pH, high shear rate, freeze-thaw variation and dimensional stability. The range of physical properties of parent starch can be enlarged by chemical modification which invariably enhances their use in a number of applications found in industrial processes and food manufacture. In this study, Manihot esculentus starch was subjected to modification by oxidation. Fourier Transmittance Infra- Red (FTIR) and Raman spectroscopies were used to confirm the synthesis while Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and X- Ray Diffraction (XRD) were used to characterize the new polymer. DPPH (2, 2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl-hydrate) free radical assay was used to determine the antioxidant property of the oxidized starch. Our results show that the modification had no significant effect on the foaming capacity as well as on the emulsion capacity. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that oxidation did not alter the predominantly circular-shaped starch granules, while the X-ray pattern of both starch, native and modified were similar. FTIR results revealed a new band at 3007 and 3283cm-1. Differential scanning calorimetry returned two new endothermic peaks in the oxidized starch with an improved gelation capacity and increased enthalpy of gelatinization. The IC50 of oxidized starch was notably higher than that of the reference standard, ascorbic acid.

Keywords: antioxidant activity, DPPH, M. esculentus, oxidation, starch

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6 Physiological Response of Water-Restricted Xhosa Goats Supplemented with Vitamin C

Authors: O.F. Akinmoladun, F.N. Fon, C.T. Mpendulo, O. Okoh


The sustainability of livestock production is under threat as a result of water scarcity, fluctuating precipitation, and high environmental temperature. These combined stressors have impacted negatively on general animal production and welfare, necessitating a very reliable and cost-effective management practices, especially in arid and water-limited regions of the world. Instead of the above, this study was designed to investigate the growth performance and physiological response of water-restricted Xhosa ear-lobe goats fed diets supplemented with single or multiple vitamin C (VC) during summer. The total forty-eight goats used for the experiment were balanced for body weight and randomly assigned to the seven treatment groups (seven goats/treatment): GI (W100%); GII (W70%); GIII (W50%); GIV (W70%+3g/day VC); GV ((W50% +3g/day VC); GVI (W70%+3g/d VC+extra 5g on every eight-day); GVII (W50%+3g/d VC+extra 5g on every eight-day). The design was a complete randomized design and VC was administered per os. At the end of the 75-day feeding trial, GIII (W50%) animals were the most affected (P<0.05) and the effect was more pronounced in their body condition scores (BCs). Weight loss and depression in feed intake due to water restriction (P<0.05) were attenuated by VC treated groups (GIV-GVII). Changes in body thermal gradient (BTG) and rectal temperature (RcT) were similar (P>0.05) across the various experimental groups. The attenuation effect of VC was significant in responses to respiratory rate (RR) and cortisol. Supplementation of VC (either single or multiple) did not significantly (P>0.05) improve water restriction effect on body condition scores (BCs) and FAMACHA©. The current study found out that Xhosa ear lobe goats can adapt to the prevailing bioclimatic changes and limited water intake. However, supplementation of vitamin C can be beneficial at modulating these stressful stimuli. Continuous consistencies in the outcome of vitamin C on water-stressed animals can help validate recommendations especially to farmers in the arid and water-limited regions across the globe.

Keywords: vitamin C, Xhosa ear-lobe, thermotolerance, water stress

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5 The Role of Polyphenolic Compounds in the Alpha Amylase and Alpha Glucosidase Inhibitory Potentials of Extracts from the Leaves of Acalypha godseffiana from Eastern Nigeria: An in-vitro Study

Authors: A. K. Asekunowo, A O. T. Asafa, O. O. Okoh, O. T. Asekun, O. B. Familoni


Background: Acalypha godseffiana is an important plant used both as an ornamental and herbs; its leaves are employed in management of diseases such as diabetics in Eastern Nigeria. Aim: The correlations of the polyphenolic compounds in the hypoglycemic potential of different extracts of leaves of A. godseffiana and their safety profile on cell lines were investigated. Materials and Methods: The phytochemical compositions and antioxidants potentials were determined using adopted methods. An in vitro approach was employed in determining the hypoglycemic potentials of the extracts on α-amylase and α-glucosidase. The Line weaver-Burke plot was used to evaluate the mechanisms of Inhibition mechanisms of the enzymes. Results and Conclusions: Antioxidants results revealed that total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of the acetone extract (IC50: 0.34 mg/mL) showed better activity compared to the standards (silymarine 0.52 mg/mL; gallic acid 0.51 mg/mL). In-vitro hypoglycemic activity of the extracts confirmed that acetone extract demonstrated strong and mild inhibitory potential against α-amylase and α-glucosidase respectively. The observed activity was concentration-dependent with IC50 values of 2.33 and 0.13 mg/mL. The observed hypoglycemic and anti-oxidant potentials of acetone extract A. godseffiana correlate to its high polyphenolic contents which include phenols (133.20 mg gallic acid g-1), flavonoid (350.60 mg quercetin g-1) and tannins (264.67 mg catechin g-1). The mechanisms of action exhibited by acetone extract of A. godseffiana were mixed non-competitive and uncompetitive; which can be attributed to its inhibitory properties on α-amylase and α-glucosidase respectively. This effect would cause reduction in the rate at which starch hydrolyse, boost palliated glucose levels; hence, making acetone extract of A. godseffiana a potential anti-hypoglycemic alternative.

Keywords: Acalypha godeseffiana, acetone extract, anti-hypoglycemia, antioxidant, phytochemicals

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4 Selective Recovery and Molecular Identification of Laccase-Producing Bacteria from Selected Terrestrial and Aquatic Milieu in the Eastern Cape, South Africa: Toward the Production of Environmentally Relevant Biocatalysts

Authors: John Onolame Unuofin, Uchechukuw U. Nwodo, Anthony I. Okoh


Laccase is constantly gaining status as important biocatalyst in biotechnology. The illimitable potential of its industrial applications and the corresponding aggressive need for phenomenal volumes of extracellularly secreted laccases have called for its interminable production from sources which are able to meet this demand within a relatively short period of time, preferably bacteria. In response to this call, this study was designed to source for laccase-producing bacteria from different environmental matrices. Three sampling environments were chosen such as wastewater treatment plants, University of Fort Hare vicinity and the Hogback woodland, all within the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Samples such as effluents, sediments, leaf litters, degrading wood and rock scrapings were selectively enriched with some model aromatic compounds and were further screened qualitatively and quantitatively on five phenolic substrates ABTS (2,2’-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid), Guaiacol, 1-Naphthol, Potassium Ferric Cyanide and Syringaldazine). Basis for selection was their ability to elicit a colour change on at least three of the above mentioned agar based assay substrates. The choice isolates were further identified based on 16S rRNA molecular identification techniques. 33 isolates were screened out of the 40 representative distinct colonies during the qualitative plate screens, while quantitative screens selected out 11 bacterial isolates. They were, based on molecular identification, desginated as members of the genera Pseudomonas, Stenotrophomonas and Citrobacter of the gammaproteobacteria and Bordetalla and Achromobacter of the betaproteobacteria respectively. We therefore conclude based on our outcomes that we may have isolated efficient laccase-producing bacteria, which might be of beneficial significance in catalysis and biotechnology.

Keywords: beta proteobacteria, catalysis, gammaproteobacteria, laccase

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3 Occurrence of Porcine circovirus Type 2 in Pigs of Eastern Cape Province South Africa

Authors: Kayode O. Afolabi, Benson C. Iweriebor, Anthony I. Okoh, Larry C. Obi


Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is the major etiological viral agent of porcine multisystemic wasting syndrome (PWMS) and other porcine circovirus-associated diseases (PCVAD) of great economic importance in pig industry globally. In an effort to determine the status of swine herds in the Province as regarding the ‘small but powerful’ viral pathogen; a total of 375 blood, faecal and nasal swab samples were obtained from seven pig farms (commercial and communal) in Amathole, O.R. Tambo and Chris-Hani District Municipalities of Eastern Cape Province between the year 2015 and 2016. Three hundred and thirty nine (339) samples out of the total sample were subjected to molecular screening using PCV2 specific primers by conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Selected sequences were further analyzed and confirmed through genome sequencing and phylogenetic analyses. The data obtained revealed that 15.93% of the screened samples (54/339) from the swine herds of the studied areas were positive for PCV2; while the severity of occurrence of the viral pathogen as observed at farm level ranges from approximately 5.6% to 60% in the studied farms. The Majority, precisely 15 out of 17 (88%) analyzed sequences were found clustering with other PCV2b reference strains in the phylogenetic analysis. More interestingly, two other sequences obtained were also found clustering within PCV2d genogroup, which is presently another fast-spreading genotype with observable higher virulence in global swine herds. This finding confirmed the presence of this all-important viral pathogen in pigs of the region; which could result in a serious outbreak of PCVAD and huge economic loss at the instances of triggering factors if no appropriate measures are taken to curb its spread effectively.

Keywords: pigs, polymerase chain reaction, porcine circovirus type 2, South Africa

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2 Characterization of Antibiotic Resistance in Cultivable Enterobacteriaceae Isolates from Different Ecological Niches in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

Authors: Martins A. Adefisoye, Mpaka Lindelwa, Fadare Folake, Anthony I. Okoh


Evolution and rapid dissemination of antibiotic resistance from one ecosystem to another has been responsible for wide-scale epidemic and endemic spreads of multi-drug resistance pathogens. This study assessed the prevalence of Enterobacteriaceae in different environmental samples, including river water, hospital effluents, abattoir wastewater, animal rectal swabs and faecal droppings, soil, and vegetables, using standard microbiological procedure. The identity of the isolates were confirmed using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrophotometry (MALDI-TOF) while the isolates were profiled for resistance against a panel of 16 antibiotics using disc diffusion (DD) test, and the occurrence of resistance genes (ARG) was determined by polymerase chain reactions (PCR). Enterobacteriaceae counts in the samples range as follows: river water 4.0 × 101 – 2.0 × 104 cfu/100 ml, hospital effluents 1.5 × 103 – 3.0 × 107 cfu/100 ml, municipal wastewater 2.3 × 103 – 9.2 × 104 cfu/100 ml, faecal droppings 3.0 × 105 – 9.5 × 106 cfu/g, animal rectal swabs 3.0 × 102 – 2.9 × 107 cfu/ml, soil 0 – 1.2 × 105 cfu/g and vegetables 0 – 2.2 × 107 cfu/g. Of the 700 randomly selected presumptive isolates subjected to MALDI-TOF analysis, 129 (18.4%), 68 (9.7%), 67 (9.5%), 41 (5.9%) were E. coli, Klebsiella spp., Enterobacter spp., and Citrobacter spp. respectively while the remaining isolates belong to other genera not targeted in the study. The DD test shows resistance ranging between 91.6% (175/191) for cefuroxime and (15.2%, 29/191) for imipenem The predominant multiple antibiotic resistance phenotypes (MARP), (GM-AUG-AP-CTX-CXM-CIP-NOR-NI-C-NA-TS-T-DXT) occurred in 9 Klebsiella isolates. The multiple antibiotic resistance indices (MARI) the isolates (range 0.17–1.0) generally showed >95% had MARI above the 0.2 thresholds, suggesting that most of the isolates originate from high-risk environments with high antibiotic use and high selective pressure for the emergence of resistance. The associated ARG in the isolates include: bla TEM 61.9 (65), bla SHV 1.9 (2), bla OXA 8.6 (9), CTX-M-2 8.6 (9), CTX-M-9 6.7 (7), sul 2 26.7 (28), tet A 16.2 (17), tet M 17.1 (18), aadA 59.1 (62), strA 34.3 (36), aac(3)A 19.1 (20), (aa2)A 7.6 (8), and aph(3)-1A 10.5 (11). The results underscore the need for preventative measures to curb the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria including Enterobacteriaceae to protect public health.

Keywords: enterobacteriaceae, antibiotic-resistance, MALDI-TOF, resistance genes, MARP, MARI, public health

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1 Probiotics as an Alternative to Antibiotic Use in Pig Production

Authors: Z. C. Dlamini, R. L. S. Langa, A. I. Okoh, O. A. Aiyegoro


The indiscriminate usage of antibiotics in swine production have consequential outcomes; such as development of bacterial resistance to prophylactic antibiotics and possibility of antibiotic residues in animal products. The use of probiotics appears to be the most effective procedure with positive metabolic nutritional implications. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of probiotic bacteria (Lactobacillus reuteri ZJ625, Lactobacillus reuteri VB4, Lactobacillus salivarius ZJ614 and Streptococcus salivarius NBRC13956) administered as direct-fed microorganisms in weaned piglets. 45 weaned piglets blocked by weight were dived into 5 treatments groups: diet with antibiotic, diet with no-antibiotic and no probiotic, and diet with probiotic and diet with combination of probiotics. Piglets performance was monitored during the trials. Faecal and Ileum samples were collected for microbial count analysis. Blood samples were collected from pigs at the end of the trial, for analysis of haematological, biochemical and IgG stimulation. The data was analysed by Split-Plot ANOVA using SAS statistically software (SAS 9.3) (2003). The difference was observed between treatments for daily weight and feed conversion ratio. No difference was observed in analysis of faecal samples in regards with bacterial counts, difference was observed in ileums samples with enteric bacteria colony forming unit being lower in P2 treatment group as compared with lactic acid and total bacteria. With exception of globulin and albumin, biochemistry blood parameters were not affected, likewise for haematology, only basophils and segmented neutrophils were differed by having higher concentration in NC treatment group as compared with other treatment groups. Moreover, in IgG stimulation analysis, difference was also observed, with P2 treatment group having high concentration of IgG in P2 treatment group as compared to other groups. The results of this study suggest that probiotics have a beneficial effect on growth performances, blood parameters and IgG stimulation of pigs, most effective when they are administered in synergy form. This means that it is most likely that these probiotics will offer a significant benefit in pig farming by reducing risk of morbidity and mortality and produce quality meat that is more affordable to poorer communities, and thereby enhance South African pig industry’s economy. In addition, these results indicate that there is still more research need to be done on probiotics in regards with, i.e. dosage, shelf life and mechanism of action.

Keywords: antibiotics, biochemistry, haematology, IgG-stimulation, microbial count, probiotics

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