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1.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 474, 2022 May 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1874997

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: HIV-1 drug resistance genotyping is critical to the monitoring of antiretroviral treatment. Data on HIV-1 genotyping success rates of different laboratory specimen types from multiple sources is still scarce. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, we determined the laboratory genotyping success rates (GSR) and assessed the correlates of genotyping failure of 6837 unpaired dried blood spot (DBS) and plasma specimens. Specimens from multiple studies in a resource-constrained setting were analysed in our laboratory between 2016 and 2019. RESULTS: We noted an overall GSR of 65.7% and specific overall GSR for DBS and plasma of 49.8% and 85.9% respectively. The correlates of genotyping failure were viral load (VL) < 10,000 copies/mL (aOR 0.3 95% CI: 0.24-0.38; p < 0.0001), lack of viral load testing prior to genotyping (OR 0.85 95% CI: 0.77-0.94; p = 0.002), use of DBS specimens (aOR 0.10 95% CI: 0.08-0.14; p < 0.0001) and specimens from routine clinical diagnosis (aOR 1.4 95% CI: 1.10-1.75; p = 0.005). CONCLUSIONS: We report rapidly decreasing HIV-1 genotyping success rates between 2016 and 2019 with increased use of DBS specimens for genotyping and note decreasing median viral loads over the years. We recommend improvement in DBS handling, pre-genotyping viral load testing to screen samples to enhance genotyping success and the development of more sensitive assays with well-designed primers to genotype specimens with low or undetectable viral load, especially in this era where virological suppression rates are rising due to increased antiretroviral therapy roll-out.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections , HIV Seropositivity , HIV-1 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Drug Resistance , Drug Resistance, Viral/genetics , Genotype , HIV-1/genetics , Humans , Specimen Handling , Viral Load
2.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ; 19(11):6377, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1857325

ABSTRACT

Background: High participant retention is essential to achieve adequate statistical power for clinical trials. We assessed participant retention and predictors of loss to follow-up (LTFU) in an HIV vaccine-preparedness study in Masaka, Uganda. Methods: Between July 2018 and March 2021, HIV sero-negative adults (18–45 years) at high risk of HIV infection were identified through HIV counselling and testing (HCT) from sex-work hotspots along the trans-African highway and fishing communities along the shores of Lake Victoria. Study procedures included collection of baseline socio-demographic data, quarterly HCT, and 6-monthly collection of sexual risk behaviour data. Retention strategies included collection of detailed locator data, short clinic visits (1–2 h), flexible reimbursement for transport costs, immediate (≤7 days) follow-up of missed visits via phone and/or home visits, and community engagement meetings. LTFU was defined as missing ≥2 sequential study visits. Poisson regression models were used to identify baseline factors associated with LTFU. Results: 672 participants were included in this analysis. Of these, 336 (50%) were female and 390 (58%) were ≤24 years. The median follow-up time was 11 months (range: 0–31 months). A total 214 (32%) participants were LTFU over 607.8 person-years of observation (PYO), a rate of 35.2/100 PYO. LTFU was higher in younger participants (18–24 years versus 35–45 years, adjusted rate ratio (aRR) = 1.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.80–2.11), although this difference was not significant. Female sex (aRR = 2.07, 95% CI, 1.51–2.84), and recreational drug use (aRR = 1.61, 95% CI, 1.12–2.34) were significantly associated with increased LTFU. Engagement in transactional sex was associated with increased LTFU (aRR = 1.36, 95% CI, 0.97–1.90) but this difference was not significant. LTFU was higher in 2020–2021 (the period of COVID-19 restrictions) compared to 2018–2019 (aRR = 1.54, 1.17–2.03). Being Muslim or other (aRR = 0.68, 95% CI 0.47–0.97) and self-identification as a sex worker (aRR = 0.47, 95% CI, 0.31–0.72) were associated with reduced LTFU. Conclusion: We observed a high LTFU rate in this cohort. LTFU was highest among women, younger persons, recreational drug users, and persons who engage in transactional sex. Efforts to design retention strategies should focus on these subpopulations.

3.
PLoS One ; 17(5): e0265334, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1833638

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of seven antigen rapid diagnostic tests (Ag RDTs) in a clinical setting to identify those that could be recommended for use in the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Uganda. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional prospective study. Nasopharyngeal swabs were collected consecutively from COVID-19 PCR positive and COVID-19 PCR negative participants at isolation centers and points of entry, and tested with the SARS-CoV-2 Ag RDTs. Test sensitivity and specificity were generated by comparing results against qRT-PCR results (Berlin Protocol) at a cycle threshold (Ct) cut-off of ≤39. Sensitivity was also calculated at Ct cut-offs ≤29 and ≤33. RESULTS: None of the Ag RDTs had a sensitivity of ≥80% at Ct cut-off values ≤33 and ≤39. Two kits, Panbio™ COVID-19 Ag and VivaDiag™ SARS-CoV-2 Ag had a sensitivity of ≥80% at a Ct cut-off value of ≤29. Four kits: BIOCREDIT COVID -19 Ag, COVID-19 Ag Respi-Strip, MEDsan® SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test and Panbio™ COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test had a specificity of ≥97%. CONCLUSIONS: This evaluation identified one Ag RDT, Panbio™ COVID-19 Ag with a performance at high viral load (Ct value ≤29) reaching that recommended by WHO. This kit was recommended for screening of patients with COVID -19-like symptoms presenting at health facilities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cross-Sectional Studies , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Prospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity , Uganda/epidemiology
4.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(5): 1021-1025, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1760189

ABSTRACT

Genomic surveillance in Uganda showed rapid replacement of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 over time by variants, dominated by Delta. However, detection of the more transmissible Omicron variant among travelers and increasing community transmission highlight the need for near-real-time genomic surveillance and adherence to infection control measures to prevent future pandemic waves.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Uganda/epidemiology
5.
Int J Infect Dis ; 117: 356-360, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1729823

ABSTRACT

Detection and epidemiologic characterization of infectious disease outbreaks are key for early identification and response to potential pandemic threats. The rapid global spread of severe SARS-CoV-2 in 2020 highlighted the critical role of diagnostics in understanding the epidemiology of the virus early in the pandemic. As a natural extension of Abbott's work in diagnostics, virus discovery, and virus surveillance, the Abbott Pandemic Defense Coalition (APDC) was launched in early 2021. The APDC is a global multisector scientific and public health partnership whose primary objective is the early detection and mitigation of infectious disease threats of pandemic potential. As of January 2022, the APDC network has partners on 5 continents including academic institutions, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations. A novel element of the APDC is the capacity for early development and rapid deployment of scalable, quality diagnostics targeting newly identified pathogens of pandemic potential.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
6.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-317740

ABSTRACT

Misinformation during the COVID-19 outbreak has shaped our perception of the disease. Some people thinkthe disease is a bioweapon while others are convinced that it is a hoax. Heightened anxiety often producesfearful rumors, some of which are absurd while others seem plausible and are laced with some truths. But, how does misinformation affect disease spread? In this paper, we construct a mathematical model parameterized by Ugandan data, to study the effect of misinformation on community COVID-19 spread. The analysis shows that misinformation leads to high number of COVID-19 cases in a community, and the effect is highest in the rumour initiators and spreaders. This analysis underscores the importance of addressing misinformation in COVID risk communication.

7.
Int J Infect Dis ; 112: 281-287, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654535

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Serological testing is needed to better understand the epidemiology of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) have been developed to detect specific antibodies, IgM and IgG, to the virus. The performance of 25 of these RDTs was evaluated. METHODS: A serological reference panel of 50 positive and 100 negative plasma specimens was developed from SARS-CoV-2 PCR and antibody positive patients and pre-pandemic SARS-CoV-2-negative specimens collected in 2016. Test performance of the 25 RDTs was evaluated against this panel. RESULTS: A total of 10 RDTs had a sensitivity ≥98%, while 13 RDTs had a specificity ≥98% to anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies. Four RDTs (Boson, MultiG, Standard Q, and VivaDiag) had both sensitivity and specificity ≥98% to anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies. Only three RDTs had a sensitivity ≥98%, while 10 RDTs had a specificity ≥98% to anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM antibodies. Three RDTs (Autobio, MultiG, and Standard Q) had sensitivity and specificity ≥98% to combined IgG/IgM. The RDTs that performed well also had perfect or almost perfect inter-reader agreement. CONCLUSIONS: This evaluation identified three RDTs with a sensitivity and specificity to IgM/IgG antibodies of ≥98% with the potential for widespread antibody testing in Uganda.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Academies and Institutes , Antibodies, Viral , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Immunoglobulin M , Sensitivity and Specificity , Uganda/epidemiology
8.
Front Immunol ; 12: 565625, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574690

ABSTRACT

Sub-Saharan Africa has generally experienced few cases and deaths of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In addition to other potential explanations for the few cases and deaths of COVID-19 such as the population socio-demographics, early lockdown measures and the possibility of under reporting, we hypothesize in this mini review that individuals with a recent history of malaria infection may be protected against infection or severe form of COVID-19. Given that both the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) merozoites bind to the cluster of differentiation 147 (CD147) immunoglobulin, we hypothesize that the immunological memory against P. falciparum merozoites primes SARS-CoV-2 infected cells for early phagocytosis, hence protecting individuals with a recent P. falciparum infection against COVID-19 infection or severity. This mini review therefore discusses the potential biological link between P. falciparum infection and COVID-19 infection or severity and further highlights the importance of CD147 immunoglobulin as an entry point for both SARS-CoV-2 and P. falciparum into host cells.


Subject(s)
Basigin/immunology , COVID-19 , Immunologic Memory , Malaria, Falciparum , Plasmodium falciparum/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Africa South of the Sahara/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Malaria, Falciparum/epidemiology , Malaria, Falciparum/immunology , Merozoites/immunology , Severity of Illness Index
10.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(12): 3133-3136, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496965

ABSTRACT

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) sequence data are required to inform vaccine efforts. We provide SARS-CoV-2 sequence data from South Sudan and document the dominance of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.525 (Eta variant) during the country's second wave of infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Pandemics , South Sudan/epidemiology
11.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(7): e0083721, 2021 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486488

ABSTRACT

We assessed the performance of the CoronaCHEK lateral flow assay on samples from Uganda and Baltimore to determine the impact of geographic origin on assay performance. Plasma samples from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) PCR-positive individuals (Uganda, 78 samples from 78 individuals, and Baltimore, 266 samples from 38 individuals) and from prepandemic individuals (Uganda, 1,077, and Baltimore, 532) were evaluated. Prevalence ratios (PR) were calculated to identify factors associated with a false-positive test. After the first positive PCR in Ugandan samples, the sensitivity was 45% (95% confidence interval [CI], 24,68) at 0 to 7 days, 79% (95% CI, 64 to 91) at 8 to 14 days, and 76% (95% CI, 50 to 93) at >15 days. In samples from Baltimore, sensitivity was 39% (95% CI, 30 to 49) at 0 to 7 days, 86% (95% CI, 79 to 92) at 8 to 14 days, and 100% (95% CI, 89 to 100) at 15 days after positive PCR. The specificity of 96.5% (95% CI, 97.5 to 95.2) in Ugandan samples was significantly lower than that in samples from Baltimore, 99.3% (95% CI, 98.1 to 99.8; P < 0.01). In Ugandan samples, individuals with a false-positive result were more likely to be male (PR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.03,3.69) or individuals who had had a fever more than a month prior to sample acquisition (PR, 2.87; 95% CI, 1.12 to 7.35). Sensitivity of the CoronaCHEK was similar in samples from Uganda and Baltimore. The specificity was significantly lower in Ugandan samples than in Baltimore samples. False-positive results in Ugandan samples appear to correlate with a recent history of a febrile illness, potentially indicative of a cross-reactive immune response in individuals from East Africa.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Female , Humans , Male , Sensitivity and Specificity , Uganda
12.
AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses ; 2021 Nov 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486408

ABSTRACT

The HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) conference catalyzes knowledge sharing on biomedical HIV prevention interventions such as HIV vaccines, antibody infusions, pre-exposure prophylaxis, and microbicides in totality-from the molecular details and delivery formulations to the behavioral, social, and structural underpinnings. HIVR4P // Virtual was held over the course of 2 weeks on January 27-28 and February 3-4, 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to inflict unprecedented harm globally. The HIVR4P community came together with 1,802 researchers, care providers, policymakers, implementers, and advocates from 92 countries whose expertise spanned the breadth of the HIV prevention pipeline from preclinical to implementation. The program included 113 oral and 266 poster presentations. This article presents a brief summary of the conference highlights. Complete abstracts, webcasts, and daily rapporteur summaries may be found on the conference website (https://www.hivr4p.org/).

13.
Int J Infect Dis ; 112: 281-287, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1428020

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Serological testing is needed to better understand the epidemiology of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) have been developed to detect specific antibodies, IgM and IgG, to the virus. The performance of 25 of these RDTs was evaluated. METHODS: A serological reference panel of 50 positive and 100 negative plasma specimens was developed from SARS-CoV-2 PCR and antibody positive patients and pre-pandemic SARS-CoV-2-negative specimens collected in 2016. Test performance of the 25 RDTs was evaluated against this panel. RESULTS: A total of 10 RDTs had a sensitivity ≥98%, while 13 RDTs had a specificity ≥98% to anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies. Four RDTs (Boson, MultiG, Standard Q, and VivaDiag) had both sensitivity and specificity ≥98% to anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies. Only three RDTs had a sensitivity ≥98%, while 10 RDTs had a specificity ≥98% to anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM antibodies. Three RDTs (Autobio, MultiG, and Standard Q) had sensitivity and specificity ≥98% to combined IgG/IgM. The RDTs that performed well also had perfect or almost perfect inter-reader agreement. CONCLUSIONS: This evaluation identified three RDTs with a sensitivity and specificity to IgM/IgG antibodies of ≥98% with the potential for widespread antibody testing in Uganda.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Academies and Institutes , Antibodies, Viral , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Immunoglobulin M , Sensitivity and Specificity , Uganda/epidemiology
14.
Nat Microbiol ; 6(8): 1094-1101, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294473

ABSTRACT

Here, we report SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance from March 2020 until January 2021 in Uganda, a landlocked East African country with a population of approximately 40 million people. We report 322 full SARS-CoV-2 genomes from 39,424 reported SARS-CoV-2 infections, thus representing 0.8% of the reported cases. Phylogenetic analyses of these sequences revealed the emergence of lineage A.23.1 from lineage A.23. Lineage A.23.1 represented 88% of the genomes observed in December 2020, then 100% of the genomes observed in January 2021. The A.23.1 lineage was also reported in 26 other countries. Although the precise changes in A.23.1 differ from those reported in the first three SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs), the A.23.1 spike-protein-coding region has changes similar to VOCs including a change at position 613, a change in the furin cleavage site that extends the basic amino acid motif and multiple changes in the immunogenic N-terminal domain. In addition, the A.23.1 lineage has changes in non-spike proteins including nsp6, ORF8 and ORF9 that are also altered in other VOCs. The clinical impact of the A.23.1 variant is not yet clear and it has not been designated as a VOC. However, our findings of emergence and spread of this variant indicate that careful monitoring of this variant, together with assessment of the consequences of the spike protein changes for COVID-19 vaccine performance, are advisable.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Amino Acid Motifs , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Genetic Variation/genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phylogeny , Uganda/epidemiology , Viral Proteins/genetics
15.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(13)2021 06 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288884

ABSTRACT

Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at high risk of COVID-19. However, data on HCWs' knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) toward COVID-19 are limited. Between September and November 2020, we conducted a questionnaire-based COVID-19 KAP survey among HCWs at three hospitals in Uganda. We used Bloom's cut-off of ≥80% to determine sufficient knowledge, good attitude, and good practice, and multivariate Poisson regression with robust variance for statistical analysis. Of 717 HCWs invited to participate, 657 (91.6%) agreed and were enrolled. The mean age (standard deviation) of enrollees was 33.2 (10.2) years; most were clinical HCWs (64.7%) and had advanced secondary school/other higher-level education (57.8%). Overall, 83.9% had sufficient knowledge, 78.4% had a positive attitude, and 37.0% had good practices toward COVID-19. Factors associated with KAP were: Knowledge: being a clinical HCW (aRR: 1.12; 95% CI: 1.02-1.23) and previous participation in health research (aRR: 1.10; 95% CI: 1.04-1.17); Attitude: age > 35 years (aRR: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.79-0.98); Practice: being a clinical HCW (aRR: 1.91; 95% CI: 1.41-2.59). HCWs in Uganda have good knowledge and positive attitude but poor practices towards COVID-19. Differences in COVID-19 KAP between clinical and non-clinical HCWs could affect uptake of COVID-19 interventions including vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Personnel , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Uganda
16.
Virus Evol ; 7(1): veab006, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069316

ABSTRACT

As the world is struggling to control the novel Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), there is an urgency to develop effective control measures. Essential information is encoded in the virus genome sequence with accurate and complete SARS-CoV-2 sequences essential for tracking the movement and evolution of the virus and for guiding efforts to develop vaccines and antiviral drugs. While there is unprecedented SARS-CoV-2 sequencing efforts globally, approximately 19 to 43 per cent of the genomes generated monthly are gapped, reducing their information content. The current study documents the genome gap frequencies and their positions in the currently available data and provides an alternative primer set and a sequencing scheme to help improve the quality and coverage of the genomes.

17.
Int J Infect Dis ; 104: 282-286, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-898982

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: There is a high demand for SARS-CoV-2 testing to identify COVID-19 cases. Real-time quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) is the recommended diagnostic test but a number of constraints prevent its widespread implementation, including cost. The aim of this study was to evaluate a low cost and easy to use rapid antigen test for diagnosing COVID-19 at the point of care. METHODS: Nasopharyngeal swabs from suspected COVID-19 cases and low-risk volunteers were tested with the STANDARD Q COVID-19 Ag Test and the results were compared with the qRT-PCR results. RESULTS: In total, 262 samples were collected, including 90 qRT-PCR positives. The majority of samples were from males (89%) with a mean age of 34 years and only 13 (14%) of the positives were mildly symptomatic. The sensitivity and specificity of the antigen test were 70.0% (95% confidence interval (CI): 60-79) and 92% (95% CI: 87-96), respectively, and the diagnostic accuracy was 84% (95% CI: 79-88). The antigen test was more likely to be positive for samples with qRT-PCR Ct values ≤29, with a sensitivity of 92%. CONCLUSIONS: The STANDARD Q COVID-19 Ag Test performed less than optimally in this evaluation. However, the test may still have an important role to play early in infection when timely access to molecular testing is not available but the results should be confirmed by qRT-PCR.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Nasopharynx/virology , Point-of-Care Systems , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity , Uganda
18.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 26(10): 2411-2415, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-625963

ABSTRACT

We established rapid local viral sequencing to document the genomic diversity of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 entering Uganda. Virus lineages closely followed the travel origins of infected persons. Our sequence data provide an important baseline for tracking any further transmission of the virus throughout the country and region.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Air Travel , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Genetic Variation , Genome , Health Policy , Humans , Mass Screening , Motor Vehicles , Phylogeography , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Uganda/epidemiology
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