8 research outputs found

    Comparative Evaluation of Antioxidant Activity and Phytochemical Profile of Four Capsicum Fruits Species

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    Capsicum fruits are commonly consumed vegetables included in foods worldwide as spices. Capsicum species are known to improve digestion and appetite, cure colds, coughs, fever, colic, dysentery, worms, and piles among others. This research is therefore aimed at evaluating the phytochemicalas well as the antioxidant activities of four different varieties of Capsicum commonly consumed in Africa. The fruits were extracted using 3 different solvents; n-hexane, ethyl acetate, and methanol. The phytochemical evaluation was carried out using standard methods. Antioxidant activities were evaluated using 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging assay. The highest yield of extract was obtained with methanol from Capsicum annuum var. grossum (25.48%); The phytochemical screening of crude extracts revealed the presence of alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids, phenols, terpenoids, tannins, coumarins, and cardiac glycosides. The total phenolic contents of crude extracts of Capsicum species ranged from 25.10±0.3 to 62.01±0.1 mg GAE g-1 (Gallic acid equivalent) of dry weight and the flavonoid contents ranged from 206.08±0.03 to 474.23±0.04 mg QE g-1 (Quercetin equivalent) of dry weight. The capacity to neutralize DPPH radicals was found to be at the highest in methanolic extracts of Capsicum species which neutralized 50% of free radicals at the concentrations of 5.79 μg mL-1, 8.08 μg mL-1, 5.76 μg mL-1, and 8.81 μg mL-1for Capsicum annuum var. accuminatum, Capsicum frutescens var. baccatum, Capsicum annuumvar. grossum and Capsicum annuum var. abbreviatum respectively. The study has concluded that Capsicum species contain phytoconstituents with high antioxidant activities and great potential to combat oxidative stress and other related diseases

    Meteorological Drought and Temperature in Sudano-Sahelian Region of Nigeria under Increasing Global Warming

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    This study examinesmeteorological drought and temperature in the Sudano-Sahelian region of Nigeria under increasing global warming. Rainfall data of 60 years (1961 to 2020) and temperature of 40 years (1981–2020) for nine stations were used to quantify drought occurrences as well as the pattern of temperature. The Bhalme and Mooley Drought Index (BMDI) and Student’s t-test were used to indicate if changes have occurred in the amount of rainfall and temperature (increase or decrease) over space and time in the study region. The BMDI was used because it is simple and able to depict historically documented droughts better than other indices. The student’s t-test was used to determine if the sub-period means of the series have altered significantly over time. Results show that the spatial and temporal occurrence and duration varied from one sub-area to another. Also, its intensity was mainly from mild to moderate. Results also show a consistent alternation between drought and wet years over the study period. The trend of temperature shows a tendency towards decreasing temperature during the period of study although it was not significant. The study concludes that the study region experiences climate variability that may well be part of global climate change

    Bioinformatics, Computational Informatics, and Modeling Approaches to the Design of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine Candidates.

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    This article is devoted to applying bioinformatics and immunoinformatics approaches for the development of a multi-epitope mRNA vaccine against the spike glycoproteins of circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants in selected African countries. The study’s relevance is dictated by the fact that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) began its global threat at the end of 2019 and since then has had a devastating impact on the whole world. Measures to reduce threats from the pandemic include social restrictions, restrictions on international travel, and vaccine development. In most cases, vaccine development depends on the spike glycoprotein, which serves as a medium for its entry into host cells. Although several variants of SARS-CoV-2 have emerged from mutations crossing continental boundaries, about 6000 delta variants have been reported along the coast of more than 20 countries in Africa, with South Africa accounting for the highest percentage. This also applies to the omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in South Africa. The authors suggest that bioinformatics and immunoinformatics approaches be used to develop a multi-epitope mRNA vaccine against the spike glycoproteins of circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants in selected African countries. Various immunoinformatics tools have been used to predict T- and B-lymphocyte epitopes. The epitopes were further subjected to multiple evaluations to select epitopes that could elicit a sustained immunological response. The candidate vaccine consisted of seven epitopes, a highly immunogenic adjuvant, an MHC I-targeting domain (MITD), a signal peptide, and linkers. The molecular weight (MW) was predicted to be 223.1 kDa, well above the acceptable threshold of 110 kDa on an excellent vaccine candidate. In addition, the results showed that the candidate vaccine was antigenic, non-allergenic, non-toxic, thermostable, and hydrophilic. The vaccine candidate has good population coverage, with the highest range in East Africa (80.44%) followed by South Africa (77.23%). West Africa and North Africa have 76.65% and 76.13%, respectively, while Central Africa (75.64%) has minimal coverage. Among seven epitopes, no mutations were observed in 100 randomly selected SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoproteins in the study area. Evaluation of the secondary structure of the vaccine constructs revealed a stabilized structure showing 36.44% alpha-helices, 20.45% drawn filaments, and 33.38% random helices. Molecular docking of the TLR4 vaccine showed that the simulated vaccine has a high binding affinity for TLR-4, reflecting its ability to stimulate the innate and adaptive immune response

    Global Environmental Health Impacts of Rare Earth Metals: Insights for Research and Policy Making in Africa

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    The rise of globalization and industrialization has driven the demand for rare earth metals (REMs). These metals are widely used in various sectors of the global economy with various applications in medicine, renewable energy, electronics, agriculture, and the military. REMs are likely to remain an important part of our global future, and, as production increases, areas contaminated by REMs are expected to expand over the coming decades. Thus, triggering significant adverse environmental, animal, and human health impacts. Despite increased attention on REMs outside China in recent years, there are limited studies exploring REM production, deposits, and associated health impacts in the African context. Proper mine management, adequate safety protocols, sustainable processing methods, and waste handling systems have been identified and proposed globally; however, the nature and scale of implementing these management protocols on the African continent have been less clear. Therefore, planetary health-centered solutions are urgently needed to be undertaken by researchers, policy makers, and non-governmental actors in Africa and across the globe. This is with the overarching aim of ensuring eco-friendly alternatives and public health consciousness on REM exploitations and hazards for future generations to come

    Rectal Colonization and Nosocomial Transmission of Carbapenem-Resistant <i>Acinetobacter baumannii </i>in an Intensive Care Unit, Southwest Nigeria

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    BACKGROUND: Acinetobacter baumannii are of major human health importance because they cause life-threatening nosocomial infections and often are highly resistant to antimicrobials. Specific multidrug-resistant A. baumannii lineages are implicated in hospital outbreaks globally. We retrospectively investigated a suspected outbreak of carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii (CRAB) colonizing patients in an intensive care unit (ICU) of a tertiary hospital in Southwest Nigeria where genomic surveillance of Acinetobacter has hitherto not been conducted. METHODS: A prospective observational study was conducted among all patients admitted to the ICU between August 2017 and June 2018. Acinetobacter species were isolated from rectal swabs and verified phenotypically with the Biomerieux Vitek 2 system. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) was performed on the Illumina platform to characterize isolates from a suspected outbreak during the study period. Phylogenetic analysis, multilocus sequence typing, and antimicrobial resistance gene prediction were carried out in silico. RESULTS: Acinetobacter isolates belonging to the A. baumannii complex were recovered from 20 (18.5%) ICU patients. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis and epidemiological information revealed a putative outbreak clone comprising seven CRAB strains belonging to the globally disseminated international clone (IC) 2. These isolates had ≤2 SNP differences, identical antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes, and were all ST1114/1841. CONCLUSION: We report a carbapenem-resistant IC2 A. baumannii clone causing an outbreak in an ICU in Nigeria. The study findings underscore the need to strengthen the capacity to detect A. baumannii in human clinical samples in Nigeria and assess which interventions can effectively mitigate CRAB transmission in Nigerian hospital settings