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1.
Pan Afr Med J ; 40: 183, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1614293

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a major public health problem and has spread rapidly around the globe since its first identification in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Zimbabwe reported its first case on the 20th March 2020, and since then the disease has spread to almost every part of the country. Laboratory testing is important in controlling this pandemic. However, few studies have focused on assessing trends of SARS-CoV-2 laboratory data. We described SARS-CoV-2 data from African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology (AiBST) Laboratory in Harare, Zimbabwe. METHODS: a retrospective record review of secondary SARS-CoV-2 data from AiBST Laboratory in Harare between May to September 2020 was done. Epi Info TM 7.2.2.6 was used to generate frequencies, proportions and conduct bivariate analysis. RESULTS: a total of 6,535 SARS-CoV-2 laboratory records were analysed. The median age of the patients was 36 years and 55% (3594/6535) were males. There was an increase in average analytical turn-around time (TAT) of SARS-CoV-2 results from May to August 2020. Analytical and preanalytical TAT remained above 2 days from August to September. Males were 1.18 times at risk of being SARS-CoV-2 infected than females (p<0.05). The risk of being SARS-CoV-2 infected increased with age from 1.06 in the 11-20 age group to 1.45 in the 41-50 age group. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 poses a greater threat to the older age groups and to men. The delayed TAT of SARS-CoV-2 results limits the efforts to control the pandemic. Decentralization of testing to provincial and district level would help improve result TAT.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Laboratories , Male , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Zimbabwe/epidemiology
2.
J Clin Lab Anal ; 36(1): e24161, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560639

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Various nucleic acid amplification assays for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection have been developed, and there is a need to assess their test performance relative to one another. The aim of this study was to compare the performance characteristics of the Biosewoom Real-Q 2019-nCoV assay targeting the E and RdRP genes to DaAn Gene 2019-nCoV kit targeting the N gene and ORF1ab in the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: We performed a diagnostic comparison study by testing nasopharyngeal samples for SARS-CoV-2 using the two reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays. Assay agreement was assessed by overall percent agreement, negative percent agreement, positive percent agreement, and Cohen's kappa coefficient. RESULTS: A total of 48 nasopharyngeal samples were tested using the two assays. One sample was invalid, and three showed inconclusive results with Real-Q; hence, 44 were included for the comparative analysis. Overall, percent agreement between the assays was 93.2% (95% CI 81.3%-98.6%), Positive percent agreement (PPA) was 86.4% (95% CI 65.1%-97.1%) and negative percent agreement (NPA) was 100% (95% CI 84.6%-100%). The kappa coefficient was 0.86 (95% CI 0.72-1.01). Three samples (6.8%) were positive with DaAn gene kit and negative with Real-Q. The fluorescence intensity for Real-Q reporter dyes was low. CONCLUSION: The two kits showed high levels of concordance in their detection of SARS-CoV-2 despite having different gene targets. The Biosewoom kit can be improved through addressing the fluorescence intensity of the target dyes, and feedback was given to the manufacturer.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Humans , Nasopharynx/virology , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
3.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0260261, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528726

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. In low- and middle- income countries, they may be particularly impacted by underfunded health systems, lack of personal protective equipment, challenging working conditions and barriers in accessing personal healthcare. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, occupational health screening was implemented at the largest public sector medical centre in Harare, Zimbabwe, during the "first wave" of the country's COVID-19 epidemic. Clients were voluntarily screened for symptoms of COVID-19, and if present, offered a SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid detection assay. In addition, measurement of height, weight, blood pressure and HbA1c, HIV and TB testing, and mental health screening using the Shona Symptom Questionnaire (SSQ-14) were offered. An interviewer-administered questionnaire ascertained client knowledge and experiences related to COVID-19. RESULTS: Between 27th July and 30th October 2020, 951 healthcare workers accessed the service; 210 (22%) were tested for SARS-CoV-2, of whom 12 (5.7%) tested positive. Clients reported high levels of concern about COVID-19 which declined with time, and faced barriers including lack of resources for infection prevention and control. There was a high prevalence of largely undiagnosed non-communicable disease: 61% were overweight or obese, 34% had a blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or above, 10% had an HbA1c diagnostic of diabetes, and 7% had an SSQ-14 score consistent with a common mental disorder. Overall 8% were HIV-positive, with 97% previously diagnosed and on treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Cases of SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare workers mirrored the national epidemic curve. Implementation of comprehensive occupational health services during a pandemic was feasible, and uptake was high. Other comorbidities were highly prevalent, which may be risk factors for severe COVID-19 but are also important independent causes of morbidity and mortality. Healthcare workers are critical to combatting COVID-19; it is essential to support their physical and psychological wellbeing during the pandemic and beyond.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Occupational Health Services/standards , Occupational Health/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Zimbabwe/epidemiology
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