Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Search results for: Nonhlanhla Yende-Zuma

3 Perceptions of Teachers in South Africa Regarding Retirement in Gauteng Schools in Tshwane North District

Authors: Emily Magoma-Nthite, Nonhlanhla Maseko, Mabatho Sedibe


In this study, the focus is on the exploration and description of the teachers’ perceptions regarding retirement in Gauteng school in Tshwane North districts. From the individual and group interviews, the findings are leading to suggestions that a more comprehensive program for preparing teachers for retirement is highly necessary. All the participants were aware of their retirement age of 60 years as stipulated in the department of education internal memorandum No: 05 of 2021, which states that the compulsory retirement age in the public service is 60 years. It further states that the age restriction is in accordance with Chapter 4 of the Public Service Act, 1994 and Chapter 4 of the Employment of Educators Act, 1998, as amended. It was found out that there are some anxieties and fears as the majority seemed not ready and maybe not prepared enough for the retirement. Recommendations for a pre-retirement programme aimed at timeous preparation, which may include psychological, financial, and ability to keep functioning post retirement, will be proposed to the department of education in Gauteng and for the Tshwane North district as the pilot site on approval.

Keywords: teachers, pre-retirement, preparedness, gauteng schools

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2 Characterisation of Extracellular Polymeric Substances from Bacteria Isolated from Acid Mine Decant in Gauteng, South Africa

Authors: Nonhlanhla Nkosi, Kulsum Kondiah


The toxicological manifestation of heavy metals motivates interest towards the development of a reliable, eco-friendly biosorption process. With that being said, the aim of the current study was to characterise the EPS from heavy-metal resistant bacteria isolated from acid mine decant on the West Rand, Gauteng, South Africa. To achieve this, six exopolysaccharide (EPS) producing, metal resistant strains (Pb101, Pb102, Pb103, Pb204, Co101, and Ni101) were identified as Bacillus safensis strain NBRC 100820, Bacillus proteolyticus, Micrococcus luteus, Enterobacter sp. Pb204, Bacillus wiedmannii and Bacillus zhangzhouensis, respectively with 16S rRNA sequencing. Thereafter, EPS was extracted using chemical (formaldehyde/NaOH) and physical (ultrasonification) methods followed by physicochemical characterisation of carbohydrate, DNA, and protein contents using chemical assays and spectroscopy (FTIR- Fourier transformed infrared and 3DEEM- three-dimensional excitation-emission matrix fluorescence spectroscopy). EPS treated with formaldehyde/NaOH showed better recovery of macromolecules than ultrasonification. The results of the present study showed that carbohydrates were more abundant than proteins, with carbohydrate and protein concentrations of 8.00 mg/ml and 0.22 mg/ml using chemical method in contrast to 5.00 mg/ml and 0.77 mg/ml using physical method, respectively. The FTIR spectroscopy results revealed that the extracted EPS contained hydroxyl, amide, acyl, and carboxyl groups that corresponded to the aforementioned chemical analysis results, thus asserting the presence of carbohydrates, DNA, polysaccharides, and proteins in the EPS. These findings suggest that identified functional groups of EPS form surface charges, which serve as the binding sites for suspended particles, thus possibly mediating adsorption of divalent cations and heavy metals. Using the extracted EPS in the development of a cost-effective biosorption solution for industrial wastewater treatment is attainable.

Keywords: biosorbent, exopolysaccharides, heavy metals, wastewater treatment

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1 Pharmacokinetics of First-Line Tuberculosis Drugs in South African Patients from Kwazulu-Natal: Effects of Pharmacogenetic Variation on Rifampicin and Isoniazid Concentrations

Authors: Anushka Naidoo, Veron Ramsuran, Maxwell Chirehwa, Paolo Denti, Kogieleum Naidoo, Helen McIlleron, Nonhlanhla Yende-Zuma, Ravesh Singh, Sinaye Ngcapu, Nesri Padayatachi


Background: Despite efforts to introduce new drugs and shorter drug regimens for drug-susceptible tuberculosis (TB), the standard first-line treatment has not changed in over 50 years. Rifampicin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide are critical components of the current standard treatment regimens. Some studies suggest that microbiologic failure and acquired drug resistance are primarily driven by low drug concentrations that result from pharmacokinetic (PK) variability independent of adherence to treatment. Wide between-patient pharmacokinetic variability for rifampin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide has been reported in prior studies. There may be several reasons for this variability. However, genetic variability in genes coding for drug metabolizing and transporter enzymes have been shown to be a contributing factor for variable tuberculosis drug exposures. Objective: We describe the pharmacokinetics of first-line TB drugs rifampicin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide and assess the effect of genetic variability in relevant selected drug metabolizing and transporter enzymes on pharmacokinetic parameters of isoniazid and rifampicin. Methods: We conducted the randomized-controlled Improving retreatment success TB trial in Durban, South Africa. The drug regimen included rifampicin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide. Drug concentrations were measured in plasma, and concentration-time data were analysed using nonlinear-mixed-effects models to quantify the effects of relevant covariates and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP’s) of drug metabolizing and transporter genes on rifampicin, isoniazid and pyrazinamide exposure. A total of 25 SNP’s: four NAT2 (used to determine acetylator status), four SLCO1B1, three Pregnane X receptor (NR1), six ABCB1 and eight UGT1A, were selected for analysis in this study. Genotypes were determined for each of the SNP’s using a TaqMan® Genotyping OpenArray™. Results: Among fifty-eight patients studied; 41 (70.7%) were male, 97% black African, 42 (72.4%) HIV co-infected and 40 (95%) on efavirenz-based ART. Median weight, fat-free mass (FFM), and age at baseline were 56.9 kg (interquartile range, IQR: 51.1-65.2), 46.8 kg (IQR: 42.5-50.3) and 37 years (IQR: 31-42), respectively. The pharmacokinetics of rifampicin and pyrazinamide was best described using one-compartment models with first-order absorption and elimination, while for isoniazid two-compartment disposition was used. The median (interquartile range: IQR) AUC (h·mg/L) and Cmax (mg/L) for rifampicin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide were; 25.62 (23.01-28.53) and 4.85 (4.36-5.40), 10.62 (9.20-12.25) and 2.79 (2.61-2.97), 345.74 (312.03-383.10) and 28.06 (25.01-31.52), respectively. Eighteen percent of patients were classified as rapid acetylators, and 34% and 43% as slow and intermediate acetylators, respectively. Rapid and intermediate acetylator status based on NAT 2 genotype resulted in 2.3 and 1.6 times higher isoniazid clearance than slow acetylators. We found no effects of the SLCO1B1 genotypes on rifampicin pharmacokinetics. Conclusion: Plasma concentrations of rifampicin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide were low overall in our patients. Isoniazid clearance was high overall and as expected higher in rapid and intermediate acetylators resulting in lower drug exposures. In contrast to reports from previous South African or Ugandan studies, we did not find any effects of the SLCO1B1 or other genotypes tested on rifampicin PK. However, our findings are in keeping with more recent studies from Malawi and India emphasizing the need for geographically diverse and adequately powered studies. The clinical relevance of the low tuberculosis drug concentrations warrants further investigation.

Keywords: rifampicin, isoniazid pharmacokinetics, genetics, NAT2, SLCO1B1, tuberculosis

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