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1.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 265, 2021 Mar 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33731022

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Increasing arbovirus infections have been a global burden in recent decades. Many countries have experienced the periodic emergence of arbovirus diseases. However, information on the prevalence of arboviruses is largely unknown or infrequently updated because of the lack of surveillance studies, especially in Africa. METHODS: A surveillance study was conducted in Gabon, Central Africa, on arboviruses, which are a major public health concern in Africa, including: West Nile virus (WNV), dengue virus (DENV), Zika virus (ZIKV), yellow fever virus (YFV), chikungunya virus (CHIKV), and Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV). Serological and molecular assays were performed to investigate past infection history and the current status of infection, using serum samples collected from healthy individuals and febrile patients, respectively. RESULTS: The overall seroprevalence during 2014-2017 was estimated to be 25.3% for WNV, 20.4% for DENV, 40.3% for ZIKV, 60.7% for YFV, 61.2% for CHIKV, and 14.3% for RVFV. No significant differences were found in the seroprevalence of any of the viruses between the male and female populations. However, a focus on the mean age in each arbovirus-seropositive individual showed a significantly younger age in WNV- and DENV-seropositive individuals than in CHIKV-seropositive individuals, indicating that WNV and DENV caused a relatively recent epidemic in the region, whereas CHIKV had actively circulated before. Of note, this indication was supported by the detection of both WNV and DENV genomes in serum samples collected from febrile patients after 2016. CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed the recent re-emergence of WNV and DENV in Gabon as well as the latest seroprevalence state of the major arboviruses, which indicated the different potential risks of virus infections and virus-specific circulation patterns. This information will be helpful for public health organizations and will enable a rapid response towards these arbovirus infections, thereby preventing future spread in the country.


Subject(s)
Arboviruses/isolation & purification , Dengue/epidemiology , Zika Virus Infection/epidemiology , Adolescent , Animals , Arbovirus Infections/diagnosis , Arbovirus Infections/epidemiology , Arboviruses/classification , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Diseases, Emerging , Dengue/diagnosis , Female , Fever/epidemiology , Fever/virology , Gabon/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Male , Public Health , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Zika Virus Infection/diagnosis
2.
Int J Infect Dis ; 105: 452-459, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33667697

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), a human pathogenic arenavirus, is distributed worldwide. However, no human cases have been reported in Africa. This study aimed to investigate the current situation and potential risks of LCMV infection in Gabon, Central Africa. METHODS: A total of 492 human samples were screened to detect LCMV genome RNA and anti-LCMV IgG antibodies using reverse transcription-quantitative PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. ELISA-positive samples were further examined using a neutralization assay. Viral RNAs and antibodies were also analyzed in 326 animal samples, including rodents, shrews, and bushmeat. RESULTS: While no LCMV RNA was detected in human samples, the overall seroprevalence was 21.5% and was significantly higher in male and adult populations. The neutralization assay identified seven samples with neutralizing activity. LCMV RNA was detected in one species of rodent (Lophuromys sikapusi) and a porcupine, and anti-LCMV IgG antibodies were detected in four rodents and three shrews. CONCLUSIONS: This study determined for the first time the seroprevalence of LCMV in Gabon, and revealed that local rodents, shrews, and porcupines in areas surrounding semi-urban cities posed an infection risk. Hence, LCMV infection should be considered a significant public health concern in Africa.

3.
J Viral Hepat ; 27(11): 1234-1242, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32564517

ABSTRACT

Although a high seroprevalence of antibodies against hepatitis A virus (HAV) has been estimated in Central Africa, the current status of both HAV infections and seroprevalence of anti-HAV antibodies remains unclear due to a paucity of surveillance data available. We conducted a serological survey during 2015-2017 in Gabon, Central Africa, and confirmed a high seroprevalence of anti-HAV antibodies in all age groups. To identify the currently circulating HAV strains and to reveal the epidemiological and genetic characteristics of the virus, we conducted molecular surveillance in a total of 1007 patients presenting febrile illness. Through HAV detection and sequencing, we identified subgenotype IIA (HAV-IIA) infections in the country throughout the year. A significant prevalence trend emerged in the young child population, presenting several infection peaks which appeared to be unrelated to dry or rainy seasons. Whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analyses revealed local HAV-IIA evolutionary events in Central Africa, indicating the circulation of HAV-IIA strains of a region-specific lineage. Recombination analysis of complete genome sequences revealed potential recombination events in Gabonese HAV strains. Interestingly, Gabonese HAV-IIA possibly acquired the 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) of the rare subgenotype HAV-IIB in recent years, suggesting the present existence of HAV-IIB in Central Africa. These findings indicate a currently stable HAV-IIA circulation in Gabon, with a high risk of infections in children aged under 5 years. Our findings will enhance the understanding of the current status of HAV infections in Central Africa and provide new insight into the molecular epidemiology and evolution of HAV genotype II.

4.
Int J Infect Dis ; 91: 129-136, 2020 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31821892

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Dengue outbreaks, mainly caused by dengue virus serotype 2 (DENV-2), occurred in 2007 and in 2010 in Gabon, Central Africa. However, information on DENV infections has been insufficient since 2010. The aim of this study was to investigate the current DENV infection scenario and the risk of repeated infections in Gabon. METHODS: During 2015-2017, serum samples were collected from enrolled febrile participants and were tested for DENV infection using RT-qPCR. DENV-positive samples were analyzed for a history of previous DENV infection(s) using ELISA. The complete DENV genome was sequenced to analyze the phylogeny of Gabonese DENV strains. RESULTS: DENV-3 was exclusively detected, with a high rate of anti-DENV IgG seropositivity among DENV-3-positive participants. DENV-3 showed higher infection rates in adults and the infection was seasonal with peaks in the rainy seasons. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Gabonese DENV-3 originated from West African strains and has been circulating continuously in Gabon since at least 2010, when the first DENV-3 case was reported. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate stable DENV-3 circulation and the risk of repeated DENV infections in Gabon, highlighting the need for continuous monitoring to control DENV infections.


Subject(s)
Dengue Virus/isolation & purification , Dengue/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Child , Child, Preschool , Dengue/virology , Dengue Virus/classification , Dengue Virus/genetics , Female , Gabon/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Phylogeny , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Seasons , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Serogroup , Young Adult
5.
J Virol Methods ; 269: 30-37, 2019 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30974179

ABSTRACT

Lassa virus (LASV) causes Lassa fever (LF), a viral hemorrhagic fever endemic in West Africa. LASV strains are clustered into six lineages according to their geographic location. To confirm a diagnosis of LF, a laboratory test is required. Here, a reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay using a portable device for the detection of LASV in southeast and south-central Nigeria using three primer sets specific for strains clustered in lineage II was developed. The assay detected in vitro transcribed LASV RNAs within 23 min and was further evaluated for detection in 73 plasma collected from suspected LF patients admitted into two health settings in southern Nigeria. The clinical evaluation using the conventional RT-PCR as the reference test revealed a sensitivity of 50% in general with 100% for samples with a viral titer of 9500 genome equivalent copies (geq)/mL and higher. The detection limit was estimated to be 4214 geq/mL. The assay showed 98% specificity with no cross-reactivity to other viruses which cause similar symptoms. These results suggest that this RT-LAMP assay is a useful molecular diagnostic test for LF during the acute phase, contributing to early patient management, while using a convenient device for field deployment and in resource-poor settings.


Subject(s)
Lassa Fever/diagnosis , Lassa virus/isolation & purification , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , Reverse Transcription , DNA Primers/genetics , Genome, Viral , Humans , Lassa Fever/blood , Limit of Detection , Nigeria , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/instrumentation , RNA, Viral/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Temperature , Viral Load
6.
J Infect Public Health ; 11(1): 75-79, 2018.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28506737

ABSTRACT

Sexually transmitted infections (STI) have a major impact on the reproductive health of women. Among the different etiological agents of STIs, Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae are the main bacterial pathogens that cause sexually transmitted infections in women. The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of genital chlamydial and gonococcal infection among women in the age group of 18-65 years from a community-based setting. A community-based cross-sectional study was performed using the archived urine samples (n=811) of women in the age group of 18-65 years for C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae using a multiplex conventional Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Out of 811 samples tested in the present study, 2 (0.24%) were tested positive for C. trachomatis and none were positive for N. gonorrhoeae. The study demonstrates the very low prevalence of C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae infection in a rural community. For large population-based screening, urine samples were observed to be more socially acceptable and cost-effective.


Subject(s)
Chlamydia Infections/diagnosis , Chlamydia trachomatis/isolation & purification , Gonorrhea/diagnosis , Neisseria gonorrhoeae/isolation & purification , Urine/microbiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , India , Mass Screening/economics , Mass Screening/methods , Middle Aged , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/economics , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Rural Population , Young Adult
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