Summary table of research proposals

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Research Question

Topic Assessment

Can milk yoghurt containing Lactobacillus protect

mice against Salmonella enteritidis infection and

alter the immune response in mice?

  • Literature search show evidence that Lactobacillus-containing probiotics have protective effects against Salmonella enteritides infection in mice through immune response modulation.

  • There is also a study that shows bactericidal effects of lactic acid producing bacteria condensate mixture in addition to the known inhibitory effect of this group of microorgansims on Salmonella enteritides.

  • Studies were already done regarding this topic.

Does Moringa oleifera extract prevent lipopolysaccharide/D-galactosamine induced acute liver injury in rats?

  • From the literature (see below), they used extracts obtained from leaves. Maybe we can investigate and compare if the effects of MO extracts obtained from other parts of the plant (e.g. roots) have protective effects against drug or substance-induced liver injury.

  • In order to fit the study in a given time-frame (which is limited), we will focus on MO’s effects on acute liver damage.

  • MO is also readily available in the local setting, popular to the community and not difficult to acquire.

  • Lipopolysaccharide/D- galactosamine as agent for inducing acute liver damage was suggested since no studies used this yet.

  • Also, outcomes for this study only require blood samples in order to assess the effect on liver function.

How do PGH-OPD patients view dietary supplements as health products?

Topic Itself: can be narrowed to a certain category of dietary supplements (like pain relievers or anti-cholesterol supplements or osteoporosis-delaying supplements)

Medical Significance: significant enough because of 1) beneficial educational interventions for health professionals about these supplements and 2) patients’ skepticism on scientific findings, relying more on their trusted ones’ opinions

Feasibility: good location (only in PGH-OPD), good timeframe of implementation (days, not weeks), most of the time will be spent on preparing the questionnaire to ensure its information gathering capability and on data analysis, sample size may have to be very large to make it valid

Data Analysis: presentation using plots of percentages of patients, age, sex, information source, duration of usage, frequency of usage, reason for usage, disclosure rates, etc.

Disadvantage: low disclosure rates seeing that we are medical students; also sample size as mentioned

Does the purified extract of malunggay (Moringa oleifera) leaves have a bactericidal or bacteriostatic effect on common Gram positive (S. pyogenes, S. aureus) and Gram negative (E. coli, P. aeruginosa) bacterial cultures?

Topic Itself: can be narrowed to a certain part of the plant, and according to the literature search, the seeds exhibit the bactericidal effect; alternative topic could be water treatment

Medical Significance: significant enough because of 1) common illnesses caused by the bacterial strains proposed, 2) malunggay trees can be found locally and 3) can prove to be a low cost antibacterial substance; also 4) to partially test validity of dietary supplements from malunggay tree parts

Feasibility: will need a good seed source, moderate timeframe of implementation (about 2-3 weeks), time will be spent extracting from seeds, administration of treatment on cultures, and data analysis, good sample size (small) but needs many replications

Data Analysis: presentation using plots comparing antimicrobial activity of M. oleifera extract and broad spectrum antibiotic for the 4 proposed bacterial strains

Disadvantage: “simple” and common study, may come under heavy skepticism and criticism

Does Hibiscus rosa sinensis prevent inflammation more effectively than Carica papaya?

Topic Itself: Comparison of the anti-inflammatory properties of the two plants.
Hibiscus and Carica papaya have both been used as anti-inflammatory agents and several studies have shown their efficiency as anti-inflammatory agents. A comparison of the two, however, has never been made.
Medical Significance: Newer and more potent Anti-inflammatory agents are always needed. Given that both plants are locally available, one of these two plants could be a cheaper alternative to other anti-inflammatory drugs.
Feasibility: same as the proposal on Malunggay (Moringa oleifera). Another issue would be the feasibility of inducing inflammation in the test subjects (Sprague-dawley rats)
Data Analysis: Lymphocyte proliferation assays and complement-mediated hemolytic assay

Anti-microbial property of dayap (Limonia aurantifolia), duhat (Syzygium cumini), yakon (Smallanthus sonchifolius), bayabas (Psidium guajava), calamansi (Citrus microcarpa), and 10 other Philippine herbs/fruits.

Topic Itself: Either we can work on exploring Syzygium jamulanum’s diminished systemic inflammatory response or we can instead use other plants that have established microbicidal effect that is comparable to S. jambulanum and then do the same protocol. A synergism study can also be done on S. jambulanum since the plant extracts of S. aromaticum was found to have increased efficiency when used synergistically with antimicrobial drugs.
The leaf essential oils of Syzygium cumini and Syzygium travancoricum were tested for their antibacterial property. The activity of S. cumini essential oil was found to be good, while that of S. travancoricum was moderate.
Another study by Khan et al 2009 concludes that A. nilotica, C. zeylanicum and Syzygium aromaticum can be used against multidrug resistant (MDR) microbes causing nosocomial and community acquired infections.
The bactericidal activity of Syzygium jambulanum has also already been established in vitro. Thus research in this topic now includes its effects in the clinical setting. One example is a study by Maciel et al (2008) in which they studied its prophylactic anti-septic effect in mice (specifically, polymicrobial infection induced by cecal ligation and puncture). They got positive results, but the amazing thing about it is that they concluded that its anti-septic effect is not associated to the plant’s direct microbicidal effect but it is associated to a recruitment of activated neutrophils to the infectious site and to a diminished systemic inflammatory response.
Medical Significance: Significant enough considering that there’s always a need for newer and stronger anti-microbials due to the increasing number of resistant bacterial strains. In addition, newer, safer and cheaper anti-inflammatories are always needed.
Feasibility: Considering that the extraction of compounds is a tedious process, our study should be limited to just one or two plants listed above. The availability, extraction and procurement process of these plants should also be considered. Same issues with the malunggay (Moringa oleifera) leaves
Data Analysis: Presentation using plots comparing antimicrobial activity of the selected plant extracts and broad spectrum antibiotic for the multi-drug resistant microbes.

Do the aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Balitbitan (Cynometra ramiflora) exhibit anti-herpetic effects on cell cultures of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1?

Topic: There’s this article showing that Cynometra ramiflora is cytotoxic, though it’s efficiency as an antiviral against herpes is not clear. But then again, we’ll be utilizing viral cultures of Herpes simplex and not cancer cell lines so the target population for our study will be different.
Medical significance: Significant because it’s a potential pharmacologic treatment for STDs.
Feasibility: Possible, given that we can get methanolic and aqueous extracts of Balitbitan. Aside from Balitbitan, the local name of Cynometra ramiflora is Oringen. This plant can be found in forests along streams located in Cagayan, Bulacan, Rizal, and Quezon. The procurement process for the leaves of the specific plant is still unknown, however and a botanist is needed to identify or certify the plant. By the way, the same article states that the leaves of Oringen are really used as an antiherpetic.
Data Analysis: The extracts can be examined for their antiviral activities against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) by plaque reduction assay in vitro

Are the flavonoids (jaceosidin and eupatilin) extracted from Damong Maria (Artemisia vulgaris) cytotoxic to HPV positive cervical cancer cell lines?

Topic: A local study has already proven that Damong maria has cytotoxic effects on leukemic cells. I’m not so sure, but I guess we can change the population again to cervical cancer cell lines. And we’ll have to test a wider range of concentrations, so we can imitate the effect of chemotherapy drugs. Aside from that, may recommendation na we can look for other solvents na polar and non-toxic.
Another study showed another active ingredient (aside from the flavonoids) from the plant extract and that it can inhibit certain types of viruses. We can test if artenusate is an effective inhibitor of HPV.
The last study showed that Artemisia has antiviral activity (although against Herpes pa rin ang nakalagay). But in the study, another species was used.
Medical Significance:

Potential pharmacologic treatment against HPV (and possibly other cancer cells).

Feasibility: Feasible. Use of extracts and assays again. Main issue is, again, the procurement of the plant specimen and its certification. Also, the procurement of HPV positive cervical cancer cell lines might also be an issue.
Data Analysis: Analysis of the following parameters - cell growth, cell-cycle kinetics, apoptosis induction, and DNA synthesis

Can recombinant human erythropoietin improve healing of ischemic skin wounds in Sprague Dawley rats?

Topic Itself: not original topic, may have to add something to make it more innovative

Medical Significance: significant enough because of 1) search for substances to speed up wound healing and 2) will greatly help any tertiary hospital like PGH

Feasibility: moderate timeframe (about 1-2 weeks treatment, 1 week measurement and analysis), must also have skills required in inducing wounds and administering treatment

Data Analysis: histopathology analysis of collagen, measured variables are straightforward and objective measurements

Disadvantages: getting EPO may be expensive, as well as assays for growth factors; skills training in personnel as mentioned above

Do Lankauas have Anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties?

Topic itself: Will be first to report the said potential properties

Medical Significance: Can be expanded by possibly including other medically-important properties including dermatological conditions as used in folk medicine (tinea corporis), Comparison with luya-luyahan

Feasibility: Plants abundant

Data Analysis: May be able to get consultants from BIOTECH-UPLB and Bureau of Plant Industry

Disadvantages: Dilemma: Curcuma zedoria (another member of Zingiberaceae) is more popular; must make sure specimen collected is Langkauas and not Curcuma

Can purified malunggay (Moringa oleifera) root aqueous extract prevent or reduce induced acutely inflammation in Sprague Dawley rats?

  • Moringa oleifera possesses promising antiarthritic property

  • M. oleifera was/is used to control activated mast cells so further studies would be more for elucidating MOA

  • Used hot water infusions of flowers, leaves, roots, seeds and stalks or bark

  • Serum level estimation of Rheumatoid Factor (RF) value and levels of selected cytokines (TNFalpha, IL-1, and IL-6)

  • Also checked ESR via whole blood

  • Liver homogenate for assessment of oxidative stress

  • Histopathology to measure degree of inflammation in synovial joint

Is Topical Epicatechin  Effective as an Alternative Treatment to Ischemic Wound Healing?

  • Topic itself: Has a parallel study using intradermal epicatechin on incision wounds instead

  • Medical Significance: alternative treatment to ischemic wound healing

  • Feasibility: Abundant in cocoa (available locally), pure form might be available, methods feasible

  • Data Analysis: Single-pedicle dorsal skin flap

  • Disadvantages: Epicatechin widely studied, varied only in type of wound (excision, incision, ischemia, thrombosis, etc.), source of epicatechin (pomegranate peel, epicatechin gallate, cocoa, etc.), and object of experiment (Wistar rats, Sprague-dawley rats, human cells, etc.). And besides, if the same experiment was already done in human cells (as found out in Search #1), would it still be significant to do its study on rats?


Suggested Topic: Protective effects of Milk Yogurt with Lactobacillus against Salmonella enteritides infection in mice
The studies below retrieved from literature search show evidence that Lactobacillus-containing probiotics have protective effects against Salmonella enteritides infection in mice through immune response modulation. There is also a study that shows bacteriocidal effects of lactic acid producing bacteria condensate mixture in addition to the known inhibitory effect of this group of microorgansims on Salmonella enteritides. Studies were already done regarding this topic.
Relevant Literature

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