IPA Recipients for January 2019

Judy Celine Ick
Department of English and Comparative Literature
College of Arts and Letters
UP Diliman

“The Forests of Silence: Global Shakespeare in the Philippines, the Philippines in Global Shakespeare,” Shakespeare Survey 71, 26-34.

To use the term “global” alongside “Shakespeare” is just too delicious a temptation for most academics and artists to pass up. The conjuring of the Shakespearean ground zero, of its point of artistic origin, and the simultaneous invocation of its contemporary world-wide influence makes the phrase “global Shakespeare” almost too good to be true. Just how does Shakespeare exist in the production of Global Shakespeare? How is Shakespeare negotiated into the global? What kinds of reconfigurations are made necessary to append Shakespeare to the adjective global? When exactly does Shakespeare cease to be Shakespeare and when does it become “global Shakespeare?”

To begin to answer these questions, this paper tests the assumptions of global Shakespeare by turning to an absolute outlier, if not significant absence, in the field. It will look at the strategies employed by contemporary Philippine productions of Shakespearean or Shakespeare-inspired plays as they negotiate the evolution of Shakespeare from colonial artifact to an element of contemporary, post-national global culture. In varying ways, these plays lay bare how Shakespeare in the Philippines is being reconfigured from (post)colonial relic to a valid mode of cultural expression concerned less with issues of cultural authenticity and more with striving for an understanding of Filipino identity as ultimately mired in global cultural exchange. But while Filipino productions and directors wrestle with the problems of a global Shakespeare, the institutions of global Shakespeare are barely conscious of the place of the Philippines in it. Like that proverbial falling tree, Philippine Shakespeare resonates only in the forests of global Shakespeare’s archival silences.

Link to the article: https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/shakespeare-survey-71/E29A786671910D9E333073659A687FB7#fndtn-information

Aldwin Christian T. Lacuesta1, Marvin U. Herrera2, Ronniel Manalo2 and Mary Donnabelle L. Balela1
1Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, College of Engineering, University of the Philippines Diliman
2Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics, College of Arts and Sciences, University of the Philippines Los Baños

Fabrication of kapok paper-zinc oxide-polyaniline hybrid nanocomposite for methyl orange removal, Surface and Coatings Technology, 350, 971-976

In our article, we created a paper made from kapok fibers that was harvested locally at Los Baños, Laguna. This was achieved by treating it with various chemicals to remove unwanted substances and to turn the fibers white which was originally yellowish. After the treatment process, we flattened the kapok fibers to create a paper with a grammage of 60 g/m2, which is the same as commercially available wood paper. After this process, we deposited a composite made of polyaniline and zinc oxide nanoparticles in the surface of our paper. The method that we used was a very simple successive dipping of the paper into separate chemicals in liquid form. First, the paper was dipped to aniline, then to ammonium persulfate. A chemical reaction will happen in between to form polyaniline particles on the paper. The paper (with polyaniline present) will then be dipped to zinc acetate and sodium hydroxide to create the zinc oxide particles. We determined that the optimum amount of dipping cycles to create the polyaniline was to be 50 (cycles). We validated the material using different characterization techniques such as: SEM, XRD, and FT-IR. After validation, we now tested our material on a contaminated water. Methyl orange, a common dye used in food and textile industries, was mixed with distilled water to serve as a model of wastewater. We soaked a piece of our material in the wastewater for 24 hours and determined the amount of dye that was removed in the liquid. About 70% of the dye was removed in the water after the said time, however when the process was exposed to a UV light, it was able to remove at least 80% of the dye. This is because of the unique property of zinc oxide that it performs better under the presence of light.

Link to the article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surfcoat.2018.03.043

Junesse d.R. Crisostomo
Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts
College of Arts and Letters
University of the Philippines Diliman

In Court, On Air, On Trial: The Impeachment of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona as Social Drama, Humanities Diliman, 15, 1-37

This paper looks at the impeachment of Renato C. Corona, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, through the lens of Victor Turner’s Social Drama.

Using a rhetorical analysis approach, it classifies the events of the Corona impeachment into the different elements of Social Drama Theory, namely: Breach, Crisis, Redressive Action, and Reintegration/Schism. The Breach is the incipient situation that threatened social units such as the credibility of the judiciary and the executive branches of the government The Breach in this social drama was Corona’s midnight appointment as Chief Justice. The Crisis phase involves the widening of the Breach, specifically the events in the Articles for Impeachment against Chief Justice Corona. The Redressive Action, or what is done to heal the breach, is the Impeachment Trial itself which involved the participation of star-groupers such as the senator-judges, lawyers, and Corona himself. These star groupers are the ones who showed rhetorical performances through public speeches during the trial that served to manipulate the machinery of redress. Lastly, The Reintegration/Schism phase emphasized how aspects of a social unit may perceive the result of the Redressive Action as a healing of the breach while others perceive the result as a continuing crisis in the social units.

Other important findings show the relevance of recognizing and analyzing various conflicting versions of a Social Drama as shown in the conflicting narratives of Renato Corona and former President Benigno Aquino III regarding the whole impeachment event. The findings showed that the social drama of the Corona impeachment was not only about Corona’s alleged subservience to former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (PGMA) and his misdeeds as the leader of the Judiciary. It also proved that Aquino III may have also had a political agenda of his own behind the whole impeachment trial. The researcher also found that social dramas do not end in the Reintegration/Schism phase for new crises will inevitably disturb the social unit again.

Link to the article: http://www.journals.upd.edu.ph/index.php/humanitiesdiliman/article/view/6439

Mary Donnabelle L. Balela1, Marvin U. Herreraand Szeemaine D. Tigno1
1Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, College of Engineering, University of the Philippines Diliman
2Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics, College of Arts and Sciences, University of the Philippines Los Baños

Hydrophobicity of functionalized TiO2-based kapok nanocomposite, Surface and Coatings Technology, Volume 350, Pages 857-862

Water contact angles of a.) raw kapok fibers and b.) PTES functionalized TiO2-kapok nanocomposite

SEM images of (a,b) raw kapok fibers, (c,d) TiO2-kapok nanocomposite and (e,f) PTES functionalized TiO2-kapok nanocomposite

Kapok fibers are well-known absorbent materials. Kapok is a natural plant fiber that has low density, good buoyancy, huge hollowness and excellent hydrophobicity (ability of a material to withstand water). These unique characteristics provide kapok fibers with higher oil sorption capability compared with existing oil sorbents. However, the smooth fiber surface due to its waxy coating makes it difficult to effectively retain oil. If the oil sorption capacity and hydrophobicity of kapok fiber can be further enhanced by surface functionalization, they can be more effective and economical natural sorbent materials. In order to modify the kapok fibers, TiO2 (Titanium oxide) nanoparticles and PTES were utilized. The smooth surface of the natural kapok fibers was made rougher by coating the fibers with TiO2 nanoparticles. On the other hand, PTES (1H, 1H, 2H, 2H-perfluorooctyl-triethoxysilane) was utilized in order to increase hydrophobicity. Results show that the smooth surface of the kapok fibers became rougher and the hydrophobicity of the kapok fibers became superhydrophobic meaning the kapok fibers had a contact angle greater than 150 degrees. Maximum oil sorption capacities of modified kapok fibers were investigated using diesel, gasoline, chloroform and vegetable oil. The maximum sorption capacities were 44.78, 39.48, 61.94, and 72.79 g/g, respectively.  This shows that the PTES modified kapok-TiO2 nanocomposite is very promising as oil sorbent.

Link to the article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0257897218303785

Meliton R. Chiong III, Cecilia M. Angub and Magdaleno R. Vasquez Jr.
Department of Mining, Metallurgical, and Materials Engineering
College of Engineering
University of the Philippines Diliman

Antifouling Properties of Glass Substrates Irradiated with Acetylene Plasma. Plasma Medicine. 8, 11-22.

Images of water (left) and diiodomethane (right) droplets on glass substrates at different treatments times: (A) 0 min, (B) 1 min, (C) 3 min, and (D) 5 min.

We have developed an anti-biofilm forming surface by depositing acetylene-based thin films on surfaces using gaseous discharges.

Biofouling is a widespread problem in the operation of various surfaces. It has affected different industries such as maritime, food, water systems and health care. Biofilms formed on the surface may be a source of health-related issues such as infections. Thus, inhibiting formation of biofilms on surfaces is necessary to prevent life-threatening diseases and infections. In this work, surfaces such as glass were coated with acetylene-based films using plasma. Results revealed that there was a delay in biofilm formation when the surfaces are covered with acetylene films according to a biofilm assay using Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Link to the article: http://doi.org/10.1615/PlasmaMed.2018023527

Harold Monteclaro1, Gerald Quinitio1, Alan Dino Moscoso2, Ruby Napata3 and Liberty Espectato3
1IMFO-CFOS, UP Visayas
2School of Technology, UP Visayas

Impacts of Typhoon Haiyan on Philippine capture fisheries and implications to fisheries management. Ocean & Coastal Management 158 (2018) 128-133

This study was conducted in the New Washington-Batan estuary which is located in the northern part of Panay Island, at the western central part of the Philippines. The most important fishery resources in the area include shrimps, crabs, mullets, gobies, anchovies, and rabbitfishes. Local fishers use a variety of fishing gears to exploit theses resources, most of which are stationary gears such as the shrimp traps, tidal traps, fish corral, filter nets, lighted lift net, and baited lift net. These gears are primarily made of bamboo and netting material.

A census of the stationary fishing gears were conducted before and after Typhoon Haiyan. Results shows that the immediate impact of the typhoon event was disruption of fishing livelihood due to damage of fishing gears. About 94% of stationary fishing gears had considerable damage. Reconstruction of damaged stationary gears was hampered mainly by the financial capacity of fishers and the inadequate supply of bamboo. Results of the study further demonstrate that small-scale capture fisheries face added risks to associated extreme weather events and that is the physical damage of their fishing gears eventually resulting to loss of livelihood. This study highlights the need for fisheries managers to devise measures to reduce vulnerabilities among small-scale fishers.

Link to the article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2018.03.032

Edgardo D. Gomez
The Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines Diliman

Giant Clams (Bivalvia: Cardiidae: Tridacninae): A comprehensive update of species and their distribution, current threats and conservation status. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review, 2017, Volume 55, 87-388.

This review paper is timely as there has been a dearth of literature on the giant clams for about two decades.  Before the turn of the millennium, it was believed that there were less than ten extant giant clam species.  Recent research has turned up new species so that presently, there are twelve known species, although several of them are of limited geographic distribution, notably the Indian Ocean species found on the western part of that ocean, and one Pacific species.  The rest are widely distributed, with two, viz., Tridacna maxima and T. squamosa, being widely distributed from the western Indian Ocean to the Eastern Pacific.  The Philippines hosts eight species, including the recently described cryptic species, T. noae, which resembles T. maxima and can only be distinguished from it with a trained eye.

The review paper contains a distribution map of the different species.  In the discussion, the conservation status of the species is given some treatment, with the note that the “true giant clam” Tridacna gigas, is perhaps the most endangered among those that have a wide range  distribution.  The paper gives an overview of the conservation status and makes note of the recent initiatives to culture and restock various species.  The paper also deals with the commercial and trade issues, indicating that there are management options for some of the species.  The situation in the Philippines is well covered, with the note that restocking of the true giant clam is most widespread in this country, due to the initiatives of the Marine Science Institute.


As indicated in the title, this review provides comprehensive information about the status of the sub-family of bivalves known as “the giant clams”, on account of their large size in comparison to other molluscs.  Recent information about the status of Philippine species and their distribution are provided, including the reintroduction of several populations in various islands of the Philippine archipelago.  The reestablishment of the true giant clam, Tridacna gigas, in the Philippines is significant and unprecedented, being reported widely through this review. The contributions of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute in marine conservation are thus given prominence worldwide. The review article also mentions the plight of the different species of giant clams in the Philippines and their conservation needs.  The reader can get a well-rounded picture of the different species in the world.

Link to the article: http://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781351987592/chapters/10.1201%2Fb21944-5
Impact Factor: (2017/2018) 5.071

Ariel L. Babierra1 and Noli N. Reyes2
1University of the Philippines Los Baños
2University of the Philippines Diliman

A new characterization of the generalized inverse using projections on level sets, Journal of Approximation Theory, Volume 236, December 2018, pages 23-35.


We give a new method for approximating the Moore–Penrose generalized inverse. Our method relies on metric projections onto level sets and provides estimates for the approximation errors.

Computation of metric projections onto level sets is often a difficult task. Most methods for such computations involve further projections which are equally as difficult to compute. Our results may be used to obtain explicit approximations of metric projections on certain level sets in terms of the generalized inverse.

Furthermore, we apply our results to recovery problems involving annihilating subspaces and the inversion of frame-related operators used in Signal and Harmonic Analysis.

Links to the article:
Impact Factor: (2017/2018) 0.939

Alexis Richard C. Claridades and Ariel C. Blanco
Department of Geodetic Engineering, College of Engineering
University of the Philippines Diliman

Claridades, A. R. C., Lee, J. Y., & Blanco, A. C. (2018). Using Omnidirectional Images for Semi-Automatically Generating IndoorGML Data. Journal of the Korean Society of Surveying, Geodesy, Photogrammetry and Cartography, 36(5), 319-333. doi:10.7848/ksgpc.2018.36.5.319

Doors which are successfully identified in the omnidirectional images collected in the hallway of the building study area

Generated Connectivity Node-Relation Graph. Each of the nodes (in blue) represent an indoor space in the building, while the edges (in red) depict the connectivity relationship among spaces.

Most of the maps that have been created nowadays are of the outdoor environment and are often in two-dimensions. However, the demand for mapping indoor spaces is increasing as humans spend more time indoors, and in disaster and evacuation scenarios. Instead of using expensive sensors or difficult to obtain datasets, we use omnidirectional images, or images that have a 360-degree view, to map and create representations that portray the adjacency, connectivity, and accessibility of indoor spaces. Images along a building hallway were captured and stitched to form a series of omnidirectional images using a DSLR camera, a fisheye lens, and a rotator setup. These images were processed to identify the presence of doors, that are indicative of an indoor space on the other side, producing a network of nodes and edges that signify the spaces and their topological relationships, respectively. Subspacing, or space subdivision was also employed with this to make sure that the network to be generated reflects actual pedestrian movement along the hallways and spaces. Connections across floor levels are also identifies to generate the final network in 3D. Finally, using the same omnidirectional images that were used to extract the network, a 3D virtual tour was generated to demonstrate the usability of the topological relationships that the network represents.


Human beings spend more time indoors, but most of the maps that have been created to represent our world are of the outdoor environment. This is mainly because technologies used for mapping such as in positioning and data collection are ahead in development. But as the need to map and represent the indoor environment have been recognized as crucial, especially in disaster scenarios, evacuation, and commercial applications, technology must be able to catch up and adapt. In addition, indoor spaces grow in complexity, and they are better represented in three dimensions for more accurate visualization and analysis. Manually generating indoor 3D data is a start, however it is prone to errors and impractical. On the other hand, current steps in automation use sensors and input datasets that are difficult to obtain and process. This study aims to semi-automatically generate a dataset based on the IndoorGML standard that portrays indoor spaces in 3D, using omnidirectional images, which are easier to collect, and process compared to other common 3D datasets.

Link to the article:
Impact factor: Not yet available

Nadia Palomar-Abesamis and Marie Antonette Juinio-Meñez
The Marine Science Institute
University of the Philippines Diliman

Palomar-Abesamis N, Juinio-Meñez MA, Slater MJ (2018) Macrophyte detritus as nursery diets for juvenile sea cucumber Stichopus cf. horrens. Aquaculture Research 49: 3614-3623.

Tropical sea cucumbers, or holothurians, are some of the most expensive seafood in the world and yet are poorly understood in terms of their biology and ecology. Continuous increase in market prices and demand for these animals, especially from Chinese communities, have led to alarmingly high incidences of overexploitation and depletion of sea cucumber species worldwide. Stichopus cf. horrens is one major species in the global sea cucumber trade. To help reduce the pressure on wild populations of this species in the Philippines, optimal systems for culturing and restocking this animal are currently being developed. Our research contributed to this goal by providing baseline information on the growth of juvenile S. cf. horrens and evaluating the potential of using seaweed and seagrass detritus as nursery food for the animal. We found out that detritus was not a suitable food for juveniles during the nursery rearing stage. It did not have any significant effect on juvenile growth, compared to just providing the animals with naturally-occurring microalgae, and the decay of the detritus over time had negative effects on juvenile behaviour and size variability. Further studies on the appropriate diet for juveniles of S. cf. horrens are essential in improving survival in hatchery and ocean nursery systems.

Significance: This study provides baseline information on the juvenile growth rates of a commercially important tropical sea cucumber. It also gives valuable insights on conditions pertinent to the growth and survival of these juveniles while being reared in a land‐based nursery. Results of these initial studies revealed that, although macrophyte detritus was a source of abundant and high‐quality food for juvenile S. cf. horrens, the direct addition of detrital material to the sediments did not benefit juvenile growth over biofilm alone. This was likely due to the inhibition of juvenile growth by anoxic sediment conditions that developed over time. The decomposition of and constant organic loading from macroalgal detritus promoted unfavourable conditions that negatively affected juvenile behaviour and caused greater size variability among individuals. The authors advice against using macrophyte detritus as supplemental food during the nursery rearing of juvenile S. cf. horrens and they provide other key insights on husbandry conditions highly relevant to further develop aquaculture of this species.

Link to the article: https://doi.org/10.1111/are.13829
Impact factor: (2017/2018) 1.403

Hilton Lam and Kent Jason Cheng
University of the Philippines Manila

Cost of Hospitalization of Different Types of Schistosomiasis Cases in Endemic Areas in the Philippines: Indicating the Need to Increase the Coverage of Government Health Insurance, Acta Medica Philippina, 52(2), 140-146

Schistosomiasis is a chronic, debilitating disease caused by the blood fluke Schistosoma japonicum. It remains a public health challenge in endemic focal areas in 28 provinces in the Philippines. It disproportionately affects the poor, marginalized sectors of the Philippine society. This study is the first to estimate the cost of hospitalization due to schistosomiasis and its complications in the Philippines using a cross-sectional mixed methods approach. Medical records and billing statements from year 2013 were retrieved and analyzed. Non-medical costs were calculated based on data from key informants and existing economic data in 2013. The estimated clinical cost burden and economic losses due to schistosomiasis in selected sites in the Philippines amount to PhP 21,508,888.14 (USD 506,732.95). Significant drivers of cost were the presence of schistosomiasis sequelae or complications, co-morbidities, and increasing length of stay. Estimated productivity losses and non-medical expenses of patients due to hospitalization were found to be more burdensome than the actual hospital bills. These costs stress the need for government to provide health coverage for patients diagnosed with schistosomiasis.

Link to the article: http://actamedicaphilippina.org/sites/default/files/fulltexts/52-02/vol52%20no2_OA-3%20Schistosomiasis.pdf
Impact factor: (2017/2018) 0.751

Ronan Q. Baculi, Denisse Yanz dela Torre, Lee delos Santos and Mari Louise Reyes
Department of Biology, College of Science
UP Baguio

Biodegradation of low-density polyethylene by bacteria isolated from serpentinization-driven alkaline spring. Philippine Science Letters Vol. 11 (Supplement), 1-12.

Phylogenetic tree showing the relationship among 16S rRNA gene sequences of the bacterial isolates with reference sequences obtained through BLAST analysis

Second Photo: Scanning electron micrographs revealing the surface morphology of LDPE films after 90 days of incubation without bacterial isolate (A-C), and with bacterial isolates Bacillus krulwichiae PB1 (D-F), Bacillus pseudofirmus PB5 (G-I), Prolinoborus fasciculus PB8 (J-L), and Bacillus sp. PB14 (M-O) (2,500x, 5,000x and 10,000x)

Plastics are considered as one of the greatest inventions of the modern consumerist society due to their innate durability and versatility properties. Partnered with relatively low cost and ease in manufacturing, they have displaced traditional materials such as wood, stone, leather, paper, metal, glass, and ceramics to serve different functions. In the Philippines, plastics have gained the limelight in today’s retail system and sachet culture. We might not recognize it but we are guilty of high plastic dependency as manifested by our packaging choices – food and water containers, plastic bags, shampoo bottles, and the like. It is not surprising to expect a continued increase in global demand and use for plastic which is estimated to reach 73.3 million tons by the end of 2021. Because it is made for durability, it does not easily degrade further accelerating its accumulation and worsening its effect in the environment. Various ways of disposing plastics have been tried through the years but some of these have been immediately followed by negative side effects until a more sustainable solution, biodegradation, have come into focus. Biodegradation is a process that involves breaking down of materials into smaller components by organisms such as bacteria. It can be imagined as bacteria eating plastic for dinner producing by-products that are also environmental friendly. To pioneer this area of research in the Philippines, high pH-thriving bacteria were obtained from a hyperalkaline spring (pH 11) with the purpose of determining their ability to degrade plastics. After isolating these bacteria, they were served with plastic films, specifically the abundantly manufactured low density-polyethylene (LDPE) plastics, for 90 days. The physical and chemical changes in the films after 90 days were observed. Results revealed changes in physical structure and also chemical composition of the films. Another method which determined plastic utilization of the bacteria was the evident decrease in the weight of the films. Protein analysis also indicated that bacterial cells could live and proliferate with films as the source of energy. Looking at the physical and chemical changes of the plastics before and after some time with the bacterial isolates, it was deduced that these minute organisms can possibly end plastic domination by making a meal out of it.

Synthetic plastics are emerging environmental contaminants that have been found to accumulate within marine waters and terrestrial ecosystems. Studies on microbial biodegradation can be an alternative solution to this problem. It is therefore necessary to investigate the distribution and population of polymer-degrading microorganisms and understand the mechanism of degradation.

Link to the article: http://www.philsciletters.org/2018-special-issue-1.html
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Fe M. Dela Cueva and Mark Angelo O. Balendres
Institute of Plant Breeding, College of Agriculture and Food Science

UP Los Baños

Phylotypes of the potato bacterial wilt pathogen in the Philippines and their relationship to pathogen aggressiveness. Journal of Plant Pathology doi.org/10.1007/s42161-018-0133-8

Potato is a host of many disease causing microbes, including bacteria. Bacterial wilt is the most destructive bacterial disease of potato. Previously, we know of the bacterial wilt pathogen infecting potato as Ralstonia solanacearum. However, recently, strains within the R. solanacearum have been divided into four Phylotypes representing different genomic species. Using a technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR), we identified the bacteria responsible for bacterial wilt of potato in the Philippines, and classified them based on the new classification scheme. We found that R. pseudosolanacearum and R. solanacearum are responsible for bacterial wilt of potato in the country. In a test conducted on susceptible tomato and potato plants, we also found that R. pseudosolanacearum is more aggressive than R. solanacearum. R. pseudosolanacearum is predominant in Bukidnon and R. solanacearum is common in Benguet region. The findings from this study suggest that new breeding lines and cultivars will need to be tested against the two genomic species. This study also highlights the usefulness of the Phylotyping scheme to detect genomic species of R. solanacearum.

In this study, we provide evidence of the existence of the two genomic species of Ralstonia solanacearum species complex. These are R. pseudosolanacearum and R. solanacearum. We also showed that R. pseudosolanacearum is more aggressive than R. solanacearum. This work thus provides the current understanding of R. solanacearum infecting potato in the Philippines. The findings suggests that breeding for resistance to bacterial wilt in potato will need to be tested against these two genomic species. This study also provide useful information for the Bureau of Plant Industry with regards to the distribution of the potato bacterial wilt pathogen for their biosecurity programs. We have also highlighted the absence of other strains, Phylotypes III and IV, in the potato growing region visited.

Link to the article: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42161-018-0133-8
Impact Factor: (2017/2018) 0.944

Fe M. Dela Cueva and Mark Angelo O. Balendres
Institute of Plant Breeding, College of Agriculture and Food Science
UP Los Baños

Efficacy of citronella essential oil for the management of chilli anthracnose. European Journal of Plant Pathology doi.org/10.1007/s10658-018-1491-y

Anthracnose is an important disease of fruits and vegetables, including chilli or pepper. This disease is caused by fungi belonging to the genus Colletotrichum. Anthracnose can be managed by employing different approach, but chemical means has been used to mitigate severe disease occurrences. However, there is a shift towards non-fungicidal means of chemical control due to the potential risks of these fungicides to animals and the environment. Essentials oils are known to have antimicrobial activities and in this study, we investigated the effect of citronella essential oil as a potential alternative to fungicides for the chemical management of chilli anthracnose. Citronella essential oil inhibited the growth and germination of the fungus, either comparable or better than the chemical control. However, too high concentration of essential oil can lead to fruit toxicity. Hence, the best concentration tested was at 1.25 uL of citronella essential oil/mL of water. At this concentration, disease severity was reduced by as much as 50% when compared to the diseased control fruits. Results from the combined laboratory and detached fruits assays indicate that citronella has the potential to control chilli anthracnose. However, field trials will be needed to verify its efficacy.

Link to the article: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10658-018-1491-y
Impact Factor: (2017/2018) 1.466

Mark Angelo O. Balendres 
Institute of Plant Breeding, College of Agriculture and Food Science
UP Los Baños

Susceptibility of opium poppy and pyrethrum to root infection by Spongospora subterranea Journal of Phytopathology, in press 10.1111/jph.12746.

Spongospora subterranea inoculated and uninoculated young plants of opium poppy (upper) and pyrethrum (lower) grown in glasshouse culture

Spongospora subterranea is a soil-born pathogen that causes tuber and root diseases of potato. It is also known to infect other crops, e.g. tomato. Root infection can result to poor plant growth and the negative effect on productivity is likely to be a problem in very susceptible plants. Many plants can be infected when inoculum pressure is very high in the soil. In this study, we describe an investigation of the susceptibility of two important industrial crop plants, opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) and pyrethrum (Tanacetum cinerariifolium). We found that pyrethrum and poppy plants succumb to high inoculum pressure, which resulted to infection in the roots. Measurements of S. subterranea soil inoculum within a commercial field also showed pathogen amounts were substantially elevated following an opium poppy crop, which suggested host status. Further surveys of commercial opium poppy and pyrethrum crops to determine the extent of natural infections is now warranted.

In this study, we found that pyrethrum and poppy are also hosts of Spongospora subterranea. The protist S. subterranea is a soil-borne pathogen that causes powdery scab and root diseases of potato worldwide, including in the Philippines. This is the first confirmed reports of pyrethrum and poppy as susceptible host plants of this parasite. Severe infection may lead to reduce plant growth and productivity.

Link to the article: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jph.12746
Impact Factor: (2017/2018) 0.823

Ronnie E. Baticulon
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine
UP Manila

Epidemiology of central nervous system infectious diseases: a meta-analysis and systematic review with implications for neurosurgeons worldwide. Journal of Neurosurgery, 1–20. https://doi.org/10.3171/2017.10.JNS17359

Infections that involve the brain, spinal cord, and their soft tissue and bony coverings are difficult to treat. These are commonly caused by hardy bacteria and parasites. There are instances when antibiotics alone would not suffice, and intervention by a neurosurgeon may be warranted.

In this study, the authors conducted a systematic review of 154 studies to estimate the global incidence and burden of infectious diseases that affect the central nervous system and that require neurosurgical consult or operation. The most common disease was neurocysticercosis, which results from ingestion of pork tapeworm eggs, accounting for 82.9% of infections. Tuberculosis of the nervous system showed the highest fatality rate, with as many as 1 in 5 patients dying from the disease. Low-income countries had the highest incidence of central nervous system infections with an annual incidence of 726 per 100,000 persons. Most of the patients reside in the South-East Asian and Western Pacific regions, equivalent to a yearly disease burden of 10.4 million and 9.3 million individuals, respectively.

The study aims to estimate the global incidence of central nervous system infectious diseases, specifically those for which neurosurgical intervention may be warranted: bacterial meningitis, spinal spondylitis, tuberculous infections, neurocysticercosis, and intracranial abscess. Knowing the regional burden and incidence of these diseases would direct efforts that aim to bridge access to neurosurgical care worldwide.

Link to the article: http://thejns.org/doi/10.3171/2017.10.JNS17359
Impact factor: Impact Factor: (2017/2018) 4.318

Ronnie E. Baticulon
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine
UP Manila

Global hydrocephalus epidemiology and incidence: systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Neurosurgery, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.3171/2017.10.JNS17439

The fluid in which the brain floats inside the skull is known as cerebrospinal fluid or CSF. The brain also contains CSF in its cavities known as ventricles. CSF is produced constantly and it must flow continuously within the ventricles before it is eventually absorbed in large veins. When there is a block in this pathway, excess CSF accumulates in the brain, a condition termed hydrocephalus, which may be congenital or acquired. If untreated, hydrocephalus results in increased pressure with head enlargement, thinning of brain tissue, eye movement disorders and vision loss, weakness, mental retardation, permanent disability, and even death.

In this study, the authors conducted a systematic review of 78 articles that included over 40,000 patients in 34 countries to calculate the global incidence of hydrocephalus. It is estimated that more than 380,000 persons will develop hydrocephalus annually, with the greatest incidence seen in Africa, Latin America, and South-East Asia. Low- and middle-income countries have a disease burden that is 20 times higher than that of high-income countries.

The study aims to estimate the global incidence of congenital hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a leading cause of neurologic disability worldwide, and yet a reliable assessment of its global burden is lacking. Knowing the regional burden and incidence of hydrocephalus will help direct efforts in addressing the neurosurgical condition worldwide.

Link to the article: http://thejns.org/doi/10.3171/2017.10.JNS17439
Impact Factor: (2017/2018) 4.318

Ronnie E. Baticulon
College of Medicine, Department of Medicine
UP Manila

Pediatric neurosurgical bellwether procedures for infrastructure capacity building in hospitals and healthcare systems worldwide. Child’s Nervous System. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00381-018-3902-y

There are diseases of the brain and spinal cord in children that may require surgery, and these operations are performed by a neurosurgeon. Most neurosurgical procedures may be considered lifesaving, or may significantly improve a patient’s quality of life, hence, it is important to identify which operations should be accessible to patients, even at their district or provincial hospitals. These procedures are considered bellwether, coined by O’Neill and colleagues to describe surgical procedures that could be used to assess the provision of surgical care in health care systems.

In a survey of 459 surgeons from 76 countries, six procedures were deemed bellwether in pediatric neurosurgery: shunt and external ventricular drain insertion for hydrocephalus (excessive brain fluid), closure of myelomeningocele (congenital malformation involving the spinal cord), burr holes and craniotomy for trauma (drilling a hole on or removing part of the skull for evacuation of brain hemorrhage), and evacuation of cerebral abscess (pus in the brain). There was little variation in the responses of the neurosurgeons, across all World Health Organization regions and World Bank income groups.

The study aims to identify neurosurgical procedures in children that are deemed essential by neurosurgeons, and which should be available in primary- and secondary-level hospitals. This information is vital in evaluating the present delivery of neurosurgical care in children in health care systems of different countries, in order to bridge the gaps in training and resources to improve access worldwide.

Link to the article: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s00381-018-3902-y
Impact Factor: (2017/2018) 1.235

Charlotte M. Chiong1, Ma. Rina T. Reyes-Quintos1, Talitha Karisse L. Yarza1 and Eva Maria C. Cutiongco-De La Paz2
1Philippine National Ear Institute
2Institute of Human Genetics
National Institutes of Health, UP Manila

Variant is a Frequent Cause of Hearing Impairment in Filipino Cochlear Implantees. Otology & Neurotology, 39(8), e726–e730

Variants in SLC26A4 are an important cause of congenital hearing impairment in the Philippines. Background: Cochlear implantation is a standard rehabilitation option for congenital hearing impairment worldwide, but places a huge cost burden in lower-income countries. The study of risk factors such as genetic variants that may help determine genetic etiology of hearing loss and also predict cochlear implant outcomes is therefore beneficial. Methods: DNA samples from 29 GJB2-negative Filipino cochlear implantees were Sanger-sequenced for the coding exons of SLC26A4. Exome sequencing was performed to confirm results. Results: Four cochlear implantees with bilaterally enlarged vestibular aqueducts (EVA) were homozygous for the pathogenic SLC26A4 c.706C>G (p.Leu236Val) variant, which has a minor allele frequency of 0.0015 in Filipino controls. In patients with the SLC26A4 variant there was no association between cochlear implant outcome and age at implantation or duration of implant. There was also no association between the occurrence of the SLC26A4 variant and postsurgical audiometric thresholds and parents’ evaluation of aural/oral performance of children (PEACH) scores. On the other hand, the SLC26A4 variant increased presurgical median audiometric thresholds (p = 0.01), particularly at 500 to 2000 Hz. Conclusion: The SLC26A4 c.706C>G (p.Leu236Val) variant is a frequent cause of congenital hearing impairment in Filipinos and is associated with bilateral EVA and increased presurgical audiometric thresholds, but does not adversely affect post-implant outcomes.

Link to the article: http://Insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00129492-201809000-00036
Impact Factor: (2017/2018) 2.182

Eva Maria C. Cutiongco-de la Paz1, Corazon A. Ngelangel2, Virgilio P. Bañez3, Catherine Lynn T. Silao1, Francisco T. Roxas3, Jose B. Nevado Jr.1, Ma. Cecilia M. Sison4, Maria Constancia O. Carrillon5, Beatriz J. Tiangco1, Aileen D. Wang4, Alfredo Y. Pontejos Jr.6, Nathaniel W. Yang6, Arsenio A. Cabungcal6, Regie Lyn Santos-Cortez7, Frances Maureen C. Rocamora1, Roemel Jeusep Bueno1 and Carmencita D. Padilla1
1Institute of Human Genetics, National Institutes of Health
2Institute of Clinical Epidemiology, National Institutes of Health
3Department of Surgery, College of Medicine
4Department of Medicine, College of Medicine
5College of Arts and Sciences
6Department of Otorhinolarybngology, College of Medicine
7Philippine National Ear Institute, National Institutes of Health

UP Manila

Genetic Polymorphisms in NAT1, NAT2, GSTM1, GSTP1 and GSTT1 and Susceptibility to Colorectal Cancer among Filipinos. 2017 Acta Medica Philippina. 50 (3) 216-222

Colorectal cancer is one of the leading cancers of the world. In the Philippines, the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology (PSG) stated that colorectal cancer is the number one cancer in the country as of March 2017 with about 3000 new cases of colorectal annually and 67% of the reported cases die. Population-based studies on different polymorphic genes have also shown that genetic variations influence susceptibility to certain types of cancer. Polymorphisms in metabolic genes which alter rates of bioactivation and detoxification have been shown to modulate susceptibility to colorectal cancer.

This study focused on genetic polymorphisms of the GST and the NAT genes as possible modifiers of colorectal cancer risk in the Filipino population. More specifically, this study sought to accomplish the following: a) to evaluate the colorectal cancer risk from environmental factors; b) to do polymorphism studies on Phase I and II metabolic enzymes – GSTP1, GSTT1, GSTM1, NAT1 and NAT2 in colorectal cancer patients and their controls; and c) to evaluate the colorectal cancer risk from specific polymorphisms, comparing cancer cases and their controls.
A comprehensive prospective study using a greater population size and allelic/genotype coverage of the candidate genes is recommended to validate the findings and to provide more insights on the gene-environment and gene-gene interactions of the environmental variables and different gene variants on colorectal cancer risk.

Link to the article: https://www.actamedicaphilippina.org/article/6452-genetic-polymorphisms-in-nat1-nat2-gstm1-gstp1-and-gstt1-and-susceptibility-to-colorectal-cancer-among-filipinos
Impact Factor: Not yet available