Hafiz Iqbal

School of Engineering and Science, Tecnologico de Monterrey Mexico
{{numberWithCommas(210)}} Publications

Isolation, Identification and Antimicrobial Evaluation of Bactericides Secreting Bacillus subtilis Natto as a Biocontrol Agent

Herein, a bactericide-secreting Bacillus strain, potentially useful as a biocontrol agent, was isolated from the commercial Yanjing Natto food. Following the biochemical and physiological evaluation, the molecular identification was performed using 16S rDNA sequencing of polymerase chain reaction-amplified DNA that confirmed the natto isolate as Bacillus subtilis natto (B. subtilis natto). The biocontrol (microbial inhibitory) capability of B. subtilis natto was investigated against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, and yeast (Yarrowia lipolytica) and recorded. The antimicrobial activity of B. subtilis natto was further enhanced by optimizing the growth medium for optimal bactericides secretion. Under optimized conditions, B. subtilis natto exhibited much higher inhibitory activity against S. aureus with a zone of inhibition diameter up to 27 mm. After 48 h incubation, the optimally yielded B. subtilis natto broth was used to extract and purify the responsible bactericides by silica gel column chromatography, gel column chromatography, and semi-preparative high-performance liquid chromatography. Structural identification of purified bactericides (designated as NT-5, NT-6, and NT-7) from B. subtilis natto was performed by 13C-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectral analyses. The NMR comparison also revealed that NT-5, NT-6, and NT-7 had identical structures, except for the fatty chain. In summary, the present study suggests the improved biocontrol and/or microbial inhibitory potential of newly isolated bactericides secreting B. subtilis natto.

Journal of Pure and Applied Microbiology

Coronaviruses and COVID-19 – Complications and Lessons Learned for the Future

Despite the earlier two Coronavirus outbreaks, this appearance of the third Coronavirus outbreak has brought several complications and now emerged as a human-health related pandemic issue. The wide geographical spread and transmissibility of newly emerged novel-Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) raised serious concerns about the future trajectory of the 2019-nCoV/COVID-19 outbreak. Herein, we have briefly covered some important aspects of the 2019-nCoV/COVID-19 outbreak to highlight the need to learn lessons for a safer future. First, an epidemiological comparison of respiratory viral infections with particular reference to 2019-nCoV is given with relevant examples. Following that, considering the earlier two Coronavirus outbreaks, the emergence of another new 2019-nCoV is given. Finally, the lesson learned, so far, and key concerns for pandemic impact assessment at large and COVID-19, in particular, are discussed for future considerations.

Journal of Pure and Applied Microbiology

Food Safety and COVID-19: Precautionary Measures to Limit the Spread of Coronavirus at Food Service and Retail Sector

Coronavirus pandemic has drastically upended the daily life routines of human beings and has wide wide-ranging effects on entire sectors of society. The food sector is also susceptible and substantially harmed by the influence of intensive effects of coronavirus. To ensure food safety and limit the spread of coronavirus at food services and retail sector has become a challenge where delicate and fresh food items are served and delivered to the customers, which have passed through a series of operational steps from order taking, food receiving, preparation of food, packing, delivery to customers. At each step, there is a possibility of food handlers to touch the food surface or food directly and if food handler is not following appropriate precautionary measures e.g. hand hygiene, sanitization and disinfection, social distances, and is touching, then it can be a possible source of coronavirus spread. Since there is no evidence that food is a coronavirus transmission route but during the food operations, improper sanitization and disinfection of key touchpoints, food contact, nonfood contact, equipment and cleaning tools surfaces and close contact of food handlers with staff and customers not only can put themselves on risk but can also be a risk for customers. Food services and the retail sector should make sure proper hand hygiene, approved sanitizers and disinfectants in use, follow social distances at workstations and while interacting with the customers. Finally, the business should be vigilant to monitor the temperature of staff and incoming guests to identify if there may any sick person to avoid from further spread of coronavirus and shall report to concerned health authorities if anyone symptoms matching with COVID-19.

Journal of Pure and Applied Microbiology

Correlation Between Temperature and COVID-19 (Suspected, Confirmed and Death) Cases based on Machine Learning Analysis

Currently, the whole world is struggling with the biggest health problem COVID-19 name coined by the World Health Organization (WHO). This was raised from China in December 2019. This pandemic is going to change the world. Due to its communicable nature, it is contagious to both medically and economically. Though different contributing factors are not known yet. Herein, an effort has been made to find the correlation between temperature and different cases situation (suspected, confirmed, and death cases). For a said purpose, k-means clustering-based machine learning method has been employed on the data set from different regions of China, which has been obtained from the WHO. The novelty of this work is that we have included the temperature field in the original WHO data set and further explore the trends. The trends show the effect of temperature on each region in three different perspectives of COVID-19 – suspected, confirmed and death.

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