Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 23

Search results for: Ariyuki Kato

23 Low-Temperature Luminescence Spectroscopy of Violet Sr-Al-O:Eu2+ Phosphor Particles

Authors: Keiji Komatsu, Hayato Maruyama, Ariyuki Kato, Atsushi Nakamura, Shigeo Ohshio, Hiroki Akasaka, Hidetoshi Saitoh


Violet Sr–Al–O:Eu2+ phosphor particles were synthesized from a metal–ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) solution of Sr, Al, Eu, and particulate alumina via spray drying and sintering in a reducing atmosphere. The crystal structures and emission properties at 85–300 K were investigated. The composition of the violet Sr–Al–O:Eu2+ phosphor particles was determined from various Sr–Al–O:Eu2+ phosphors by their emission properties’ dependence on temperature. The highly crystalline SrAl12O19:Eu2+ emission phases were confirmed by their crystallite sizes and the activation energies for the 4f5d–8S7/2 transition of the Eu2+ ion. These results showed that the material identification for the violet Sr–Al–O:Eu2+ phosphor was accomplished by the low-temperature luminescence measurements.

Keywords: low temperature luminescence spectroscopy, material identification, strontium aluminates phosphor, emission properties

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22 The Study about the New Monitoring System of Signal Equipment of Railways Using Radio Communication

Authors: Masahiko Suzuki, Takashi Kato , Masahiro Kobayashi


In our company, the monitoring system for signal equipment has already implemented. So, we can know the state of signal equipment, sitting in the control room or the maintenance center. But this system was installed over 20 years ago, so it cannot stand the needs such as 'more stable operation', 'broadband data transfer', 'easy construction and easy maintenance'. To satisfy these needs, we studied the monitoring system using radio communication as a new method which can realize the operation in the terrible environment along railroads. In these studies, we have developed the terminals and repeaters based on the ZigBee protocol and have implemented the application using two different radio bands simultaneously. At last, we got the good results from the fundamental examinations using the developed equipment.

Keywords: monitoring, radio communication, 2 bands, ZigBee

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21 Soil Transmitted Helminth Infection and Associated Risk Factors among School Children in a Selected Barangay in the Philippines

Authors: Gil Soriano, Aubreyrose Casilang


Soil-transmitted helminth infection remains to be one of the leading public health problem worldwide, which is common in the rural developing regions especially among children. This study aimed to detect the presence of soil transmitted helminths among children and its associated transmission factors. Descriptive cross sectional research was the design used in the study and questionnaires were administered. Stool samples were collected among the samples (n=108) and were analyzed using kato thick method. Results showed that 61 out of 108 respondents are infected by soil transmitted helminth infection with A. lumbricoides the highest, followed by hookworm and T. trichuria. Parent's educational attainment, hand washing practices, and water sources were found to be associated with presence of Soil Transmitted Helminth infection.

Keywords: associated risk factors, barangay, school children, soil transmitted helminth infection

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20 Localization of Mobile Robots with Omnidirectional Cameras

Authors: Tatsuya Kato, Masanobu Nagata, Hidetoshi Nakashima, Kazunori Matsuo


Localization of mobile robots are important tasks for developing autonomous mobile robots. This paper proposes a method to estimate positions of a mobile robot using an omnidirectional camera on the robot. Landmarks for points of references are set up on a field where the robot works. The omnidirectional camera which can obtain 360 [deg] around images takes photographs of these landmarks. The positions of the robots are estimated from directions of these landmarks that are extracted from the images by image processing. This method can obtain the robot positions without accumulative position errors. Accuracy of the estimated robot positions by the proposed method are evaluated through some experiments. The results show that it can obtain the positions with small standard deviations. Therefore the method has possibilities of more accurate localization by tuning of appropriate offset parameters.

Keywords: mobile robots, localization, omnidirectional camera, estimating positions

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19 Particle Concentration Distribution under Idling Conditions in a Residential Underground Garage

Authors: Yu Zhao, Shinsuke Kato, Jianing Zhao


Particles exhausted from cars have an adverse impacts on human health. The study developed a three-dimensional particle dispersion numerical model including particle coagulation to simulate the particle concentration distribution under idling conditions in a residential underground garage. The simulation results demonstrate that particle disperses much faster in the vertical direction than that in horizontal direction. The enhancement of particle dispersion in the vertical direction due to the increase of cars with engine running is much stronger than that in the car exhaust direction. Particle dispersion from each pair of adjacent cars has little influence on each other in the study. Average particle concentration after 120 seconds exhaust is 1.8-4.5 times higher than the initial total particles at ambient environment. Particle pollution in the residential underground garage is severe.

Keywords: dispersion, idling conditions, particle concentration, residential underground garage

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18 Development of the Structure of the Knowledgebase for Countermeasures in the Knowledge Acquisition Process for Trouble Prediction in Healthcare Processes

Authors: Shogo Kato, Daisuke Okamoto, Satoko Tsuru, Yoshinori Iizuka, Ryoko Shimono


Healthcare safety has been perceived important. It is essential to prevent troubles in healthcare processes for healthcare safety. Trouble prevention is based on trouble prediction using accumulated knowledge on processes, troubles, and countermeasures. However, information on troubles has not been accumulated in hospitals in the appropriate structure, and it has not been utilized effectively to prevent troubles. In the previous study, though a detailed knowledge acquisition process for trouble prediction was proposed, the knowledgebase for countermeasures was not involved. In this paper, we aim to propose the structure of the knowledgebase for countermeasures in the knowledge acquisition process for trouble prediction in healthcare process. We first design the structure of countermeasures and propose the knowledge representation form on countermeasures. Then, we evaluate the validity of the proposal, by applying it into an actual hospital.

Keywords: trouble prevention, knowledge structure, structured knowledge, reusable knowledge

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17 Building Capacity and Personnel Flow Modeling for Operating amid COVID-19

Authors: Samuel Fernandes, Dylan Kato, Emin Burak Onat, Patrick Keyantuo, Raja Sengupta, Amine Bouzaghrane


The COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the United States, forcing cities to impose stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders. Building operations had to adjust as non-essential personnel worked from home. But as buildings prepare for personnel to return, they need to plan for safe operations amid new COVID-19 guidelines. In this paper we propose a methodology for capacity and flow modeling of personnel within buildings to safely operate under COVID-19 guidelines. We model personnel flow within buildings by network flows with queuing constraints. We study maximum flow, minimum cost, and minimax objectives. We compare our network flow approach with a simulation model through a case study and present the results. Our results showcase various scenarios of how buildings could be operated under new COVID-19 guidelines and provide a framework for building operators to plan and operate buildings in this new paradigm.

Keywords: network analysis, building simulation, COVID-19

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16 Studies of Rule Induction by STRIM from the Decision Table with Contaminated Attribute Values from Missing Data and Noise — in the Case of Critical Dataset Size —

Authors: Tetsuro Saeki, Yuichi Kato, Shoutarou Mizuno


STRIM (Statistical Test Rule Induction Method) has been proposed as a method to effectively induct if-then rules from the decision table which is considered as a sample set obtained from the population of interest. Its usefulness has been confirmed by simulation experiments specifying rules in advance, and by comparison with conventional methods. However, scope for future development remains before STRIM can be applied to the analysis of real-world data sets. The first requirement is to determine the size of the dataset needed for inducting true rules, since finding statistically significant rules is the core of the method. The second is to examine the capacity of rule induction from datasets with contaminated attribute values created by missing data and noise, since real-world datasets usually contain such contaminated data. This paper examines the first problem theoretically, in connection with the rule length. The second problem is then examined in a simulation experiment, utilizing the critical size of dataset derived from the first step. The experimental results show that STRIM is highly robust in the analysis of datasets with contaminated attribute values, and hence is applicable to realworld data.

Keywords: rule induction, decision table, missing data, noise

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15 Disaster Mitigation from an Analysis of a Condemned Building Erected over Collapsible Clay Soil in Brazil

Authors: Marcelo Jesus Kato Avila, Joao Da Costa Pantoja


Differential settlement of foundations is a serious pathology in buildings that put at risk lives and property. A common reason for the occurrence of this specific pathology in central Brazil is the presence of collapsible clay, a typical soil in the region. In this study, the foundation of a condemned building erected above this soil is analyzed. The aim is to prevent problems in new constructions, to predict which buildings may be subjected to damages, and to make possible a more precise treatment in less advanced differential settlements observed in the buildings of the vicinity, which includes a hospital, a Military School, an indoor sporting arena, the Police Academy, and the Military Police Headquarters. The methodology consists of visual inspection, photographic report of the main pathologies, analysis of the existing foundations, determination of the soil properties, the study of the cracking level and assessment of structural failure risk of the building. The findings show that the presence of water weaken the soil structure on which the foundation rest, being the main cause of the pathologic settlement, indicating that even in a one store building it was necessary to consider deeper digging, other categories of foundations, and more elaborated and detailed foundation plans when the soil presents this behavior.

Keywords: building cracks, collapsible clay, differential settlement, structural failure risk

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14 Optimal Selling Prices for Small Sized Poultry Farmers

Authors: Hidefumi Kawakatsu, Dong Li, Kosuke Kato


In Japan, meat-type chickens are mainly classified into three categories: (1) Broilers, (2) Branded chickens, and (3) Jidori (Free-range local traditional pedigree chickens). The Jidori chickens are certified by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, whilst, for the Branded chickens, there is no regulation with respect to their breed (genotype) or methods for rearing them. It is, therefore, relatively easy for poultry farmers to introduce Branded than Jidori chickens. The Branded chickens are normally fed a low-calorie diet with ingredients such as herbs, which lengthens their breeding period (compared with that of the Broilers) and increases their market value. In the field of inventory management, fast-growing animals such as broilers are categorised as ameliorating items. To the best of our knowledge, there are no previous studies that have explicitly considered smaller sized poultry farmers with limited breeding areas. This study develops an inventory model for a small sized poultry farmer that produces both the Broilers (Product 1) and the Branded chickens (Product 2) with different amelioration rates. The poultry farmer’s total profit per unit of time is formulated as a function of selling prices by using a price-dependent demand function. The existence of a unique optimal selling price for each product, which maximises the total profit, established. It has also been confirmed through numerical examples that, when the breeding area is fixed, the total profit could increase if the poultry farmer reduced the product quantity of Product 1 to introduce Product 2.

Keywords: amelioration, deterioration, small sized poultry farmers, optimal price

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13 Effect of Burdock Root Extract Concentration on Physiochemical Property of Coated Jasmine Rice by Using Top-Spay Fluidized Bed Coating Technique

Authors: Donludee Jaisut, Norihisa Kato, Thanutchaporn Kumrungsee, Kiyoshi Kawai, Somkiat Prachayawarakorn, Patchalee Tungtrakul


Jasmine Rice is a principle food of Thai people. However, glycemic index of jasmine rice is in high level, risk of type II diabetes after consuming. Burdock root is a good source of non-starch polysaccharides such as inulin. Inulin acts as prebiotic and helps reduce blood-sugar level. The purpose of this research was to reduce digestion rate of jasmine rice by coating burdock root extract on rice surface, using top-spay fluidized bed coating technique. Coating experiments were performed by spraying burdock root solution onto Jasmine rice kernels (Khao Dawk Mali-105; KDML), which had an initial moisture content of 11.6% wet basis, suspended in the fluidized bed. The experimental conditions were: solution spray rates of 31.7 mL/min, atomization pressure of 1.5 bar, spray time of 10 min, time of drying after spraying of 30 s, superficial air velocity of 3.2 m/s and drying temperatures of 60°C. The coated rice quality was evaluated in terms of the moisture content, texture, whiteness and digestion rate. The results showed that initial and final moisture contents of samples were the same in concentration 8% (v/v) and 10% (v/v). The texture was insignificantly changed from that of uncoated sample. The whiteness values were varied on concentration of burdock root extract. Coated samples were slower digested.

Keywords: burdock root, digestion, drying, rice

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12 Influence of Peripheral Vision Restrictions on the Walking Trajectory When Texting While Walking

Authors: Macky Kato, Takeshi Sato, Mizuki Nakajima


One major problem related to the use of smartphones is texting while simultaneously engaging in other things, resulting in serious road accidents. Apart from texting while driving being one of the most dangerous behaviors, texting while walking is also dangerous because it narrows the pedestrians’ field of vision. However, many of pedestrian text while walking very habitually. Smartphone users often overlook the potential harm associated with this behavior even while crossing roads. The successful texting while walking make them think that they are safe. The purpose of this study is to reveal of the influence of peripheral vision to the stability of walking trajectory with texting while walking. In total, 9 healthy male university students participated in the experiment. Their mean age was 21.4 years, and standard deviation was 0.7 years. They attempted to walk 10 m in three conditions. First one is the control (CTR) condition, with no phone and no restriction. The second one is the texting while walking (TWG) with no restrictions. The third one is restriction condition (PRS), with phone restricted by experimental peripheral goggles. The horizontal distances (HDS) and directions are measured as the scale of horizontal stability. The longitudinal distances (LDS) between the footprints were measured as the scale of the walking rhythm. The results showed that the HDS of the footprints from the straight line increased as the participants walked in the TWG and PRS conditions. In the PRS condition, this tendency was particularly remarkable. In addition, the LDS between the footprints decreased in the order of the CTR, TWG, and PRS conditions. The ANOVA results showed significant differences in the three conditions with respect to HDS. The differences among these conditions showed that the narrowing of the Pedestrian's vision because of smartphone use influences the walking trajectory and rhythm. It can be said that the pedestrians seem to use their peripheral vision marginally on texting while walking. Therefore, we concluded that the texting while walking narrows the peripheral vision so danger to increase the risk of the accidents.

Keywords: peripheral vision, stability, texting while walking, walking trajectory

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11 Effect of Pole Weight on Nordic Walking

Authors: Takeshi Sato, Mizuki Nakajima, Macky Kato, Shoji Igawa


The purpose of study was to investigate the effect of varying pole weights on energy expenditure, upper limb and lower limb muscle activity as Electromyogram during Nordic walking (NW). Four healthy men [age = 22.5 (±1.0) years, body mass = 61.4 (±3.6) kg, height = 170.3 (±4.3) cm] and three healthy women [age = 22.7 (±2.9) years, body mass = 53.0 (±1.7) kg, height = 156.7 (±4.5) cm] participated in the experiments after informed consent. Seven healthy subjects were tested on the treadmill, walking, walking (W) with Nordic Poles (NW) and walking with 1kg weight Nordic Poles (NW+1). Walking speed was 6 km per hours in all trials. Eight EMG activities were recorded by bipolar surface methods in biceps brachii, triceps brachii, trapezius, deltoideus, tibialis anterior, medial gastrocnemius, rectus femoris and biceps femoris muscles. And heart rate (HR), oxygen uptake (VO2), and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured. The level of significance was set at a = 0.05, with p < 0.05 regarded as statistically significant. Our results confirmed that use of NW poles increased HR at a given upper arm muscle activity but decreased lower limb EMGs in comparison with W. Moreover NW was able to increase more step lengths with hip joint extension during NW rather than W. Also, EMG revealed higher activation of upper limb for almost all NW and 1kgNW tests plus added masses compared to W (p < 0.05). Therefore, it was thought either of NW and 1kgNW were to have benefit as a physical exercise for safe, feasible, and readily training for a wide range of aged people in the quality of daily life. However, there was no significant effected in leg muscles activity by using 1kgNW except for upper arm muscle activity during Nordic pole walking.

Keywords: Nordic walking, electromyogram, heart rate, RPE

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10 Anti-Parasite Targeting with Amino Acid-Capped Nanoparticles Modulates Multiple Cellular Processes in Host

Authors: Oluyomi Stephen Adeyemi, Kentaro Kato


Toxoplasma gondii is the etiological agent of toxoplasmosis, a common parasitic disease capable of infecting a range of hosts, including nearly one-third of the human population. Current treatment options for toxoplasmosis patients are limited. In consequence, toxoplasmosis represents a large global burden that is further enhanced by the shortcomings of the current therapeutic options. These factors underscore the need for better anti-T. gondii agents and/or new treatment approach. In the present study, we sought to find out whether preparing and capping nanoparticles (NPs) in amino acids, would enhance specificity toward the parasite versus the host cell. The selection of amino acids was premised on the fact that T. gondii is auxotrophic for some amino acids. The amino acid-nanoparticles (amino-NPs) were synthesized, purified and characterized following established protocols. Next, we tested to determine the anti-T. gondii activity of the amino-NPs using in vitro experimental model of infection. Overall, our data show evidence that supports enhanced and excellent selective action against the parasite versus the host cells by amino-NPs. The findings are promising and provide additional support that warrants exploring the prospects of NPs as alternative anti-parasite agents. In addition, the anti-parasite action by amino-NPs indicates that nutritional requirement of parasite may represent a viable target in the development of better alternative anti-parasite agents. Furthermore, data suggest the anti-parasite mechanism of the amino-NPs involves multiple cellular processes including the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), modulation of hypoxia-inducing factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α) as well as the activation of kynurenine pathway. Taken together, findings highlight further, the prospects of NPs as alternative source of anti-parasite agents.

Keywords: drug discovery, infectious diseases, mode of action, nanomedicine

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9 Schistosoma mansoni Infection and Risk Factors among Fishermen at Lake Hawassa, Southern Ethiopia

Authors: Tadesse Menjetta, Daniel Dana, Serkadis Debalke


Schistosomiasis/Bilharziasis is one of the neglected tropical parasitic diseases caused by different species of genus Schistosoma. Among the species, S. mansoni (causative agents of intestinal schistosomiasis) is one of the causes of severe intestinal parasitic infections with high public and medical importance in Ethiopia. There is a scarcity of information about the status of S. mansoni infection among the fisherman in our study area and in the country at large. Therefore, this study was designed to determine the prevalence and risk factors of S.mansoni infection among fishermen at Lake Hawassa, southern Ethiopia. A cross-sectional study was conducted among the fishermen from April to June 2013 in Hawassa, Southern Ethiopia. A total of 243 fishermen were included by systematic sampling from the lists of the fishermen members in the registration book of fishermen associations in the Hawassa Town. Data on socio-demographic features and risk factors were collected by using semi-structured questionnaires. Stool samples were collected and processed using Kato-Katz thick smear techniques and examined between 30- 40 minute for hookworm and after 24 hours for S. mansoni and other soil-transmitted helminths (STHs). The overall prevalence of S.mansoni among the fishermen was 29.21% (71/243), and the mean intensity of infection was 158.88 egg per gram (EPG). The prevalence of intestinal helminths including S. mansoni was 69.54% (169/243). Moreover, the prevalence of soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) was 40.74% (99/243), 35.80% (87/243) and 5.76% (14/243) for A. lumbricoides, T. trichiura and hookworm species, respectively. Almost similar prevalence of S.mansoni, 31.82%, 31.75%, 31.94% were recorded in age groups of 15-19, 20-24 and 25-29 years, respectively. Fishermen who are swimming always were 2.92 times [95% CI: 1.554, 5.502] more likely to acquire S. mansoni infection than other water contacting habit of the study participants. The results of the current investigation indicated the moderate endemicity of S. mansoni among the fishermen at Lake Hawassa, southern Ethiopia. Fishermen could be the potential risk group for S. mansoni infection and might be responsible for the transmission of S. mansoni to other segments of the communities. Since the high prevalence of STH was recorded among the fishermen, integrated prevention and control strategies from different sectors might be important to tackle the problem.

Keywords: S. mansoni, soil transmitted helminths, fishermen, Lake Hawassa, Ethiopia

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8 Occurrence of Broiler Chicken Breast White Striping Meat in Brazilian Commercial Plant

Authors: Talita Kato, Moises Grespan, Elza I. Ida, Massami Shimokomaki, Adriana L. Soares


White Striping (WS) is becoming a concern for the poultry industry, as it affects the look of breast broiler chicken meat leading it to rejection by the consumers. It is characterized by the appearance of varying degrees of white striations on the Pectoralis major muscle surface following the direction of the muscle fiber. The etiology of this myopathy is still unknown, however it is suggested to be associated with increased weight gain rate and age of the bird, attributing the phenomenon to the genetically bird’s selection for efficiently higher meat production. The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of Pectoralis major WS in a commercial plant in southern Brazil and its chemical characterization. The breast meat samples (n=660) from birds of 47 days of age, were classified as: Normal NG (no apparent white striations), Moderate MG (when the fillets present thin lines <1 mm) and Severe SG (white striations present ˃1 mm thick covering a large part of the fillet surface). Thirty samples (n = 10 for each level of severity) were analyzed for pH, color (L*, a*, b*), proximate chemical composition (moisture, protein, ash and lipids contents) and hydroxyproline in order to determine the collagen content. The results revealed the occurrence for NG group was 16.97%, 51.67% for MG group and 31.36% for SG group. Although the total protein content did not differ significantly, the collagen index was 42% higher in favor to SG in relation to NG. Also the lipid fraction was 27% higher for SG group. The NG presented the lowest values of the parameters L* and a* (P ≤ 0.05), as there was no white striations on its surface and highest b* value in SG, because of the maximum lipid contents. These results indicate there was a contribution of the SG muscle cells to oversynthesize connective tissue components on the muscle fascia. In conclusion, this study revealed a high incidence of White Striping on broiler commercial line in Brazil thus, there is a need to identify the causes of this abnormality in order to diminish or to eliminate it.

Keywords: collagen content, commercial line, pectoralis major muscle, proximate composition

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7 The Efficacy of Albendazole against Soil-Transmitted Helminths and the Impact of Mass Drug Administration of Albendazole and Ivermectin on Health Status

Authors: Mike Yaw Osei-Atweneboana, John Asiedu Larbi, Edward Jenner Tettevi


Background: The lymphatic filariasis (LF) control programme has been on-going in Ghana since 2000. This community-wide approach involves the use of ivermectin (IVM) and albendazole (ALB). Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections control is augmented within this programme; however, in areas where LF is not prevalent, albendazole alone is administered to school children. The purpose of this study was therefore, to determine the efficacy of albendazole against soils transmitted helminths and the impact of mass drug administration of albendazole and ivermectin on the health status of children of school going age and pregnant women. Material/Methods: This was a twelve months longitudinal study. A total of 412 subjects including school children (between the ages of 2-17 years) and pregnant women were randomly selected from four endemic communities in Kpandai district of the Northern region. Coprological assessment for parasites was based on the Kato–Katz technique in both dry and rainy seasons at baseline, 21 days and 3 months post-treatment. Single-dose albendazole treatment was administered to all patients at baseline. Preserved samples are currently under molecular studies to identify possible single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) within the beta tubulin gene which is associated with benzimidazole resistance. Results: Of all the parasites found (hookworm, Trichuris trichiura, Hymenolepis nana, and Taenia sp.); hookworm was the most prevalent. In the dry season, the overall STHs prevalence at pre-treatment was 29%, while 9% and 13% prevalence was recorded at 21 days, and three months after treatment respectively. However, in the rainy season, the overall STHs prevalence was 8%, while 4% and 12% was recorded at 21 days and three months respectively after ALB treatment. In general, ALB treatment resulted in an overall hookworm egg count reduction rate of 89% in the dry season and 93% in the rainy season, while the T. trichiura egg count reduction rate was 100% in both seasons. Conclusions: STH infections still remains a significant public health burden in Ghana. Hookworm infection seems to respond poorly or sub-optimally to ALB, raising concerns of possible emergence of resistance which may lead to a major setback for the control and elimination of STH infections, especially hookworm infections.

Keywords: hookworm, sub-optimal response, albendazole, trichuriasis, soil-transmitted helminths

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6 Prevalence and Intensity of Soil Transmitted Helminth Infections among the School Children in the State of Uttar Pradesh, India

Authors: Prasanta Saini, Junaid Jibran Jawed, Subrata Majumdar


Infections caused by soil-transmitted helminths (STH) are the major problem in all the nations of the world. The major focus of STH research is to study the prevalence of three major helminths, such as Ascaris, Trituris and hookworm. Here we are reporting the prevalence and intensity of the STH in the school children of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The aim of the study is to assess the prevalence and risk factors of STH infection among the school children, aged between 5-10 years in 27 districts randomly selected districts with covering nine agro-climatic zones of Uttar Pradesh, India. For this cross-sectional survey, we have selected the populations of government primary school going children in Uttar Pradesh. The sampling was performed in the nine different agro-climatic zones. Every individual of the study populations filled their daily information in the questioner's form and then the sample was collected and processed by kato-katz methods by following the guidelines of WHO. In this method, the sampling was performed in total of 6421 populations. A total of 6,421 children from 130 schools were surveyed. Infection with any soil-transmitted helminths was detected among 4,578 children with an overall prevalence of 75.6% (95% CI: 65.3-83.6). Among the 6421 population, the prevalence of Ascaris is 69.6% (95% CL 57.97-79.11), hookworm is 22.7% (95%CL 19.3-26.3) and Trichuris sp is 4.6% (95% CL 0.8-21.6), so the predicted prevalence map indicates that the STH infection was hyperendemic in this state. The findings of our survey in 130 schools covering 9 agro-climatic with one or more soil transmitted helminths. Majority of STH infections were of light intensity. STH infection was hyper-endemic in entire state, except three zones in western Uttar Pradesh. High prevalence ( > 75%) in all age groups also indicate little impact of existing deworming initiatives, including those among pre-school aged children. WHO recommends annual treatment in areas where STH prevalence is between 20% and 50%, and, a bi-annual treatment in areas with prevalence rates of over 50%. In view of high prevalence of STH infection in Uttar Pradesh, it is strongly recommended to initiate a deworming programme for school children in the state. Although our survey was among primary school children, high prevalence among children aged 4-6 years also indicates the need to strengthen the existing deworming programs for pre-school children. Extending the benefits of deworming to pre-school children through deworming in Anganwadi schools would further reduce to decrease the load of infection in community. As a long-term solution for control STH infection, it is also necessary to improve the sanitation levels in the area, as majority of the houses did not have latrines and most of the children were defecating in open fields, a factor that was found to be significantly associated with STH infection.

Keywords: prevalence, school going children, soil transmitted helminthes, Uttar Pradesh-India

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5 Nondestructive Inspection of Reagents under High Attenuated Cardboard Box Using Injection-Seeded THz-Wave Parametric Generator

Authors: Shin Yoneda, Mikiya Kato, Kosuke Murate, Kodo Kawase


In recent years, there have been numerous attempts to smuggle narcotic drugs and chemicals by concealing them in international mail. Combatting this requires a non-destructive technique that can identify such illicit substances in mail. Terahertz (THz) waves can pass through a wide variety of materials, and many chemicals show specific frequency-dependent absorption, known as a spectral fingerprint, in the THz range. Therefore, it is reasonable to investigate non-destructive mail inspection techniques that use THz waves. For this reason, in this work, we tried to identify reagents under high attenuation shielding materials using injection-seeded THz-wave parametric generator (is-TPG). Our THz spectroscopic imaging system using is-TPG consisted of two non-linear crystals for emission and detection of THz waves. A micro-chip Nd:YAG laser and a continuous wave tunable external cavity diode laser were used as the pump and seed source, respectively. The pump beam and seed beam were injected to the LiNbO₃ crystal satisfying the noncollinear phase matching condition in order to generate high power THz-wave. The emitted THz wave was irradiated to the sample which was raster scanned by the x-z stage while changing the frequencies, and we obtained multispectral images. Then the transmitted THz wave was focused onto another crystal for detection and up-converted to the near infrared detection beam based on nonlinear optical parametric effects, wherein the detection beam intensity was measured using an infrared pyroelectric detector. It was difficult to identify reagents in a cardboard box because of high noise levels. In this work, we introduce improvements for noise reduction and image clarification, and the intensity of the near infrared detection beam was converted correctly to the intensity of the THz wave. A Gaussian spatial filter is also introduced for a clearer THz image. Through these improvements, we succeeded in identification of reagents hidden in a 42-mm thick cardboard box filled with several obstacles, which attenuate 56 dB at 1.3 THz, by improving analysis methods. Using this system, THz spectroscopic imaging was possible for saccharides and may also be applied to cases where illicit drugs are hidden in the box, and multiple reagents are mixed together. Moreover, THz spectroscopic imaging can be achieved through even thicker obstacles by introducing an NIR detector with higher sensitivity.

Keywords: nondestructive inspection, principal component analysis, terahertz parametric source, THz spectroscopic imaging

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4 Functional Switching of Serratia marcescens Transcriptional Regulator from Activator to Inhibitor of Quorum Sensing by Exogenous Addition

Authors: Norihiro Kato, Yuriko Takayama


Some gram-negative bacteria enable the simultaneous activation of gene expression involved in N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL) dependent cell-to-cell communication system. Such regulatory system for the bacterial group behavior is termed as quorum sensing (QS) because a diffusible AHL signal can accumulate around the cell during the increase of the cell density and trigger activation of the sequential QS process. By blocking the QS, the expression of diverse genes related to infection, antibiotic production, and biofilm formation is inhibited. Conditioning of QS by regulation of the DNA-receptor-AHL interaction is a potential target for enhancing host defenses against pathogenicity. We focused on engineered application of transcriptional regulator SpnR produced in opportunistic human pathogen Serratia marcescens. The SpnR can interact with AHL signals at an N-terminal domain and also with a promoter region of a QS target gene at a C-terminal domain. As the initial process of the QS activation, the SpnR forms a complex with the AHL to enhance the expression of pig cluster; the SpnR normally acts as an activator for the expression of the QS-dependent gene. In this research, we attempt to artificially control QS by changing the role of SpnR. The QS-dependent prodigiosin production is expected to inhibit by externally added SpnR in the culture broth of AS-1 strain because the AHL concentration was kept below the threshold by AHL-SpnR complex formation. Maltose-binding protein (MBP)-tagged SpnR (MBP-SpnR) was overexpressed in Escherichia coli and purified using an affinity chromatography equipped with an amylose resin column. The specific interaction between AHL and MBP-SpnR was demonstrated by quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) sensor. AHL with amino end-group was coupled with COOH-terminated self-assembled monolayer prepared on a gold electrode of 27-MHz quartz crystal sensor using water-soluble carbodiimide. After the injection of MBP-SpnR into a cup-type sensor cell filled with the buffer solution, time course of resonant frequency change (ΔFs) was determined. A decrease of ΔFs clearly showed the uptake of MBP-SpnR onto the AHL-immobilized electrode. Furthermore, no binding affinity was observed after the heat-inactivation of MBP-SpnR at 80ºC. These results suggest that MBP-SpnR possesses a specific affinity for AHL. MBP-SpnR was added to the culture medium as an AHL trap to study inhibitory effects on intracellularly accumulated prodigiosin. With approximately 2 µM MBP-SpnR, the amount of prodigiosin induced was half that of the control without any additives. In conclusion, the function of SpnR could be switched by adding it to the cell culture. Exogenously added MBP-SpnR possesses high affinity for AHL derived from cells and acts as an inhibitor of AHL-mediated QS.

Keywords: intracellular signaling, microbial biotechnology, quorum sensing, transcriptional regulator

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3 Engineered Control of Bacterial Cell-to-Cell Signaling Using Cyclodextrin

Authors: Yuriko Takayama, Norihiro Kato


Quorum sensing (QS) is a cell-to-cell communication system in bacteria to regulate expression of target genes. In gram-negative bacteria, activation on QS is controlled by a concentration increase of N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL), which can diffuse in and out of the cell. Effective control of QS is expected to avoid virulence factor production in infectious pathogens, biofilm formation, and antibiotic production because various cell functions in gram-negative bacteria are controlled by AHL-mediated QS. In this research, we applied cyclodextrins (CDs) as artificial hosts for the AHL signal to reduce the AHL concentration in the culture broth below its threshold for QS activation. The AHL-receptor complex induced under the high AHL concentration activates transcription of the QS-target gene. Accordingly, artificial reduction of the AHL concentration is one of the effective strategies to inhibit the QS. A hydrophobic cavity of the CD can interact with the acyl-chain of the AHL due to hydrophobic interaction in aqueous media. We studied N-hexanoylhomoserine lactone (C6HSL)-mediated QS in Serratia marcescens; accumulation of C6HSL is responsible for regulation of the expression of pig cluster. Inhibitory effects of added CDs on QS were demonstrated by determination of prodigiosin amount inside cells after reaching stationary phase, because production of prodigiosin depends on the C6HSL-mediated QS. By adding approximately 6 wt% hydroxypropyl-β-CD (HP-β-CD) in Luria-Bertani (LB) medium prior to inoculation of S. maecescens AS-1, the intracellularly accumulated prodigiosin was drastically reduced to 7-10%, which was determined after the extraction of prodigiosin in acidified ethanol. The AHL retention ability of HP-β-CD was also demonstrated by Chromobacterium violacuem CV026 bioassay. The CV026 strain is an AHL-synthase defective mutant that activates QS solely by adding AHLs from outside of cells. A purple pigment violacein is induced by activation of the AHL-mediated QS. We demonstrated that the violacein production was effectively suppressed when the C6HSL standard solution was spotted on a LB agar plate dispersing CV026 cells and HP-β-CD. Physico-chemical analysis was performed to study the affinity between the immobilized CD and added C6HSL using a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) sensor. The COOH-terminated self-assembled monolayer was prepared on a gold electrode of 27-MHz AT-cut quartz crystal. Mono(6-deoxy-6-N, N-diethylamino)-β-CD was immobilized on the electrode using water-soluble carbodiimide. The C6HSL interaction with the β-CD cavity was studied by injecting the C6HSL solution to a cup-type sensor cell filled with buffer solution. A decrement of resonant frequency (ΔFs) clearly showed the effective C6HSL complexation with immobilized β-CD and its stability constant for MBP-SpnR-C6HSL complex was on the order of 102 M-1. The CD has high potential for engineered control of QS because it is safe for human use.

Keywords: acylhomoserine lactone, cyclodextrin, intracellular signaling, quorum sensing

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2 Chemical and Biological Studies of Kielmeyera coriacea Mart. (Calophyllaceae) Based on Ethnobotanical Survey of Rural Community from Brazil

Authors: Vanessa G. P. Severino, Eliangela Cristina Candida Costa, Nubia Alves Mariano Teixeira Pires Gomides, Lucilia Kato, Afif Felix Monteiro, Maria Anita Lemos Vasconcelos Ambrosio, Carlos Henrique Gomes Martins


One of the biomes present in Brazil is known as Cerrado, which is a vast tropical savanna ecoregion, particularly in the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Tocantins and Minas Gerais. Many species of plants are characterized as endemic and they have therapeutic value for a large part of the population, especially to the rural communities. Given that, the southeastern region of the state of Goiás contains about 21 rural communities, which present a form of organization based on the use of natural resources available. One of these rural communities is named of Coqueiros, where the knowledge about the medicinal plants was very important to this research. Thus, this study focuses on the ethnobotanical survey of this community on the use of Kielmeyera coriacea to treat diseases. From the 37 members interviewed, 76% indicated this species for the treatment of intestinal infection, leukemia, anemia, gastritis, gum pain, toothache, cavity, arthritis, arthrosis, healing, vermifuge, rheumatism, antibiotic, skin problems, mycoses and all kinds of infections. The medicinal properties attributed during the interviews were framed in the body system (disease categories), adapted from ICD 10; thus, 20 indications of use were obtained, among five body systems. Therefore, the root of this species was select to chemical and biological (antioxidant and antimicrobial) studies. From the liquid-liquid extraction of ethanolic extract of root (EER), the hexane (FH), ethyl acetate (FAE), and hydro alcoholic (FHA) fractions were obtained. The chemical profile study of these fractions was performed by LC-MS, identifying major compounds such as δ-tocotrienol, prenylated acylphoroglucinol, 2-hydroxy-1-methoxyxanthone and quercitrin. EER, FH, FAE and FHA were submitted to biological tests. FHA presented the best antioxidant action (EC50 201.53 μg mL-1). EER inhibited the bacterial growth of Streptococcus pyogenes and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, microorganisms associated with rheumatism, at Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of 6.25 μg mL-1. In addition, the FH-10 subfraction, obtained from FH fractionation, presented MIC of 1.56 μg mL-1 against S. pneumoniae; EER also inhibited the fungus Candida glabrata (MIC 7.81 μg mL- 1). The FAE-4.7.3 fraction, from the fractionation of FAE, presented MIC of 200 μg mL-1 against Lactobacillus casei, which is one of the causes of caries and oral infections. By the correlation of the chemical and biological data, it is possible to note that the FAE-4.7.3 and FH-10 are constituted 4-hydroxy-2,3-methylenedioxy xanthone, 3-hydroxy-1,2-dimethoxy xanthone, lupeol, prenylated acylphoroglucinol and quercitrin, which could be associated with the biological potential found. Therefore, this study provides an important basis for further investigations regarding the compounds present in the active fractions of K. coriacea, which will permit the establishment of a correlation between ethnobotanical survey and bioactivity.

Keywords: biological activity, ethnobotanical survey, Kielmeyera coriacea Mart., LC-MS profile

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1 Moodle-Based E-Learning Course Development for Medical Interpreters

Authors: Naoko Ono, Junko Kato


According to the Ministry of Justice, 9,044,000 foreigners visited Japan in 2010. The number of foreign residents in Japan was over 2,134,000 at the end of 2010. Further, medical tourism has emerged as a new area of business. Against this background, language barriers put the health of foreigners in Japan at risk, because they have difficulty in accessing health care and communicating with medical professionals. Medical interpreting training is urgently needed in response to language problems resulting from the rapid increase in the number of foreign workers in Japan over recent decades. Especially, there is a growing need in medical settings in Japan to speak international languages for communication, with Tokyo selected as the host city of the 2020 Summer Olympics. Due to the limited number of practical activities on medical interpreting, it is difficult for learners to acquire the interpreting skills. In order to eliminate the shortcoming, a web-based English-Japanese medical interpreting training system was developed. We conducted a literature review to identify learning contents, core competencies for medical interpreters by using Pubmed, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar. Selected papers were investigated to find core competencies in medical interpreting. Eleven papers were selected through literature review indicating core competencies for medical interpreters. Core competencies in medical interpreting abstracted from the literature review, showed consistency in previous research whilst the content of the programs varied in domestic and international training programs for medical interpreters. Results of the systematic review indicated five core competencies: (a) maintaining accuracy and completeness; (b) medical terminology and understanding the human body; (c) behaving ethically and making ethical decisions; (d) nonverbal communication skills; and (e) cross-cultural communication skills. We developed an e-leaning program for training medical interpreters. A Web-based Medical Interpreter Training Program which cover these competencies was developed. The program included the following : online word list (Quizlet), allowing student to study online and on their smartphones; self-study tool (Quizlet) for help with dictation and spelling; word quiz (Quizlet); test-generating system (Quizlet); Interactive body game (BBC);Online resource for understanding code of ethics in medical interpreting; Webinar about non-verbal communication; and Webinar about incompetent vs. competent cultural care. The design of a virtual environment allows the execution of complementary experimental exercises for learners of medical interpreting and introduction to theoretical background of medical interpreting. Since this system adopts a self-learning style, it might improve the time and lack of teaching material restrictions of the classroom method. In addition, as a teaching aid, virtual medical interpreting is a powerful resource for the understanding how actual medical interpreting can be carried out. The developed e-learning system allows remote access, enabling students to perform experiments at their own place, without being physically in the actual laboratory. The web-based virtual environment empowers students by granting them access to laboratories during their free time. A practical example will be presented in order to show capabilities of the system. The developed web-based training program for medical interpreters could bridge the gap between medical professionals and patients with limited English proficiency.

Keywords: e-learning, language education, moodle, medical interpreting

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