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Open Forum Infect Dis ; 10(5): ofad216, 2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2314128


Background: We aimed to estimate the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) seroprevalence among the general population in Conakry, Guinea and Yaounde, Cameroon after the coronavirus disease 2019 Omicron wave. Methods: We conducted population-based, age-stratified seroprevalence surveys in Conakry and Yaounde (May and June 2022). We collected demographic and epidemiologic information and dried blood spot samples that were tested for SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies using recombinant nucleocapsid and spike proteins with Luminex technology. Results: Samples were obtained from 1386 and 1425 participants in Guinea and Cameroon, respectively. The overall age-standardized SARS-CoV-2 IgG seroprevalence against spike and nucleocapsid proteins was 71.57% (95% confidence interval [CI], 67.48%-75.33%) in Guinea and 74.71% (95% CI, 71.99%-77.25%) in Cameroon. Seroprevalence increased significantly with age categories. Female participants were more likely than male participants to be seropositive. The seroprevalence in unvaccinated participants was 69.6% (95% CI, 65.5%-73.41%) in Guinea and 74.8% (95% CI, 72.04%-77.38%) in Cameroon. In multivariate analysis, only age, sex, and education were independently associated with seropositivity. Conclusions: These findings show a high community transmission after the different epidemiological waves including Omicron, especially among people aged >40 years. In addition, our results suggest that the spread of SARS-CoV-2 has been underestimated as a significant proportion of the population has already contracted the virus and that vaccine strategies should focus on vulnerable populations.

Viruses ; 15(2)2023 01 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2216965


Bats are at the origin of human coronaviruses, either directly or via an intermediate host. We tested swabs from 4597 bats (897 from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 2191 from Cameroon and 1509 from Guinea) with a broadly reactive PCR in the RdRp region. Coronaviruses were detected in 903 (19.6%) bats and in all species, with more than 25 individuals tested. The highest prevalence was observed in Eidolon helvum (239/733; 39.9%) and Rhinolophus sp. (306/899; 34.1%), followed by Hipposideros sp. (61/291; 20.9%). Frugivorous bats were predominantly infected with beta coronaviruses from the Nobecovirus subgenus (93.8%), in which at least 6 species/genus-specific subclades were observed. In contrast, insectivorous bats were infected with beta-coronaviruses from different subgenera (Nobecovirus (8.5%), Hibecovirus (32.8%), Merbecovirus (0.5%) and Sarbecovirus (57.6%)) and with a high diversity of alpha-coronaviruses. Overall, our study shows a high prevalence and genetic diversity of coronaviruses in bats and illustrates that Rhinolophus bats in Africa are infected at high levels with the Sarbecovirus subgenus, to which SARS-CoV-2 belongs. It is important to characterize in more detail the different coronavirus lineages from bats for their potential to infect human cells, their evolution and to study frequency and modes of contact between humans and bats in Africa.

COVID-19 , Chiroptera , Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus , Humans , Animals , SARS-CoV-2 , Behavior Therapy , Cameroon
Viruses ; 12(8)2020 08 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-696041


Zoonoses can constitute a threat for public health that can have a global importance, as seen with the current COVID-19 pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV2). Bats have been recognized as an important reservoir of zoonotic coronaviruses (CoVs). In West Africa, where there is a high diversity of bat species, little is known on the circulation of CoVs in these hosts, especially at the interface with human populations. In this study, in Guinea, we tested a total of 319 bats belonging to 14 genera and six families of insectivorous and frugivorous bats across the country, for the presence of coronaviruses. We found CoVs in 35 (11%) of the tested bats-in three insectivorous bat species and five fruit bat species that were mostly captured close to human habitat. Positivity rates varied from 5.7% to 100%, depending on bat species. A wide diversity of alpha and beta coronaviruses was found across the country, including three sequences belonging to SarbeCoVs and MerbeCoVs subgenera known to harbor highly pathogenic human coronaviruses. Our findings suggest that CoVs are widely spread in West Africa and their circulation should be assessed to evaluate the risk of exposure of potential zoonotic CoVs to humans.

Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/genetics , Animals , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Biodiversity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Female , Genome, Viral , Guinea , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Pilot Projects , Pneumonia, Viral/veterinary , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Zoonoses/virology