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BMJ Open ; 11(12): e056853, 2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1583091

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire world with increasing morbidity and mortality and has resulted in serious economic and social consequences. Assessing the burden of COVID-19 is essential for developing efficient pandemic preparedness and response strategies and for determining the impact of implemented control measures. Population-based seroprevalence surveys are critical to estimate infection rates, monitor the progression of the epidemic and to allow for the identification of persons exposed to the infection who may either have been asymptomatic or were never tested. This is especially important for countries where effective testing and tracking systems could not be established and where non-severe cases or under-reported deaths might have blurred the true burden of COVID-19. Most seroprevalence surveys performed in sub-Saharan Africa have targeted specific high risk or more easily accessible populations such as healthcare workers or blood donors, and household-based estimates are rarely available. Here, we present the study protocol for a SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence estimation in the general population of Burkina Faso, Ghana and Madagascar in 2021. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The SeroCoV study is a household-based cross-sectional prevalence investigation in persons aged 10 years and older living in urban areas in six cities using a two-stage geographical cluster sampling method stratified by age and sex. The presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies will be determined using a sensitive and specific SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISA. In addition, questionnaires will cover sociodemographic information, episodes of diseases and history of testing and treatment for COVID-like symptoms, travel history and safety measures. We will estimate the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2, taking into account test performance and adjusting for the age and sex of the respective populations. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval was received for all participating countries. Results will be disseminated through reports and presentations at the country level as well as peer-reviewed publications and international scientific conferences presentations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Burkina Faso , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics , Prevalence , Seroepidemiologic Studies
2.
J Public Aff ; : e2723, 2021 Jul 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1320081

ABSTRACT

This study aims to explore the critical prerequisites for accelerating the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in developing countries by using Ghana as a case study. A qualitative study method and content analysis approach was used. In-depth interviews were conducted with health experts from the Ghana Health Service, World Health Organization (WHO), AstraZeneca, Novartis, and Medtronic Inc. in Ghana. Our analysis of data revealed that new structures, committees, advisory bodies and lines of communication in government evolved during this pandemic and are underlying the current strategy development and decision-making on COVID-19 vaccines. The interviews gave insights into six major factors that will aid COVID-19 vaccine acceleration in Ghana. These factors are: (1) Access to vaccines through delivery, (2) national manufacturing of vaccines, (3) choosing the best vaccine candidates, (4) financial resources, (5) transparency, and (6) vaccine roll-out and administration. These results could guide policymakers and other relevant stakeholders in prioritizing activities that will aid COVID-19 vaccine acceleration in Ghana and other lower-middle-income countries, tailored to their specific context. As a recommendation, the Ghanaian government should embrace a multisectoral synergy approach to fight the disease. The study also provides insights into how vaccine adoption can be accelerated in the case of future pandemics.

3.
Trop Med Int Health ; 26(6): 621-631, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1119265

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Specific serological tests are mandatory for reliable SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics and seroprevalence studies. Here, we assess the specificities of four commercially available SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISAs in serum/plasma panels originating from Africa, South America, and Europe. METHODS: 882 serum/plasma samples collected from symptom-free donors before the COVID-19 pandemic in three African countries (Ghana, Madagascar, Nigeria), Colombia, and Germany were analysed with three nucleocapsid-based ELISAs (Euroimmun Anti-SARS-CoV-2-NCP IgG, EDI™ Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 IgG, Mikrogen recomWell SARS-CoV-2 IgG), one spike/S1-based ELISA (Euroimmun Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG), and in-house common cold CoV ELISAs. RESULTS: High specificity was confirmed for all SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISAs for Madagascan (93.4-99.4%), Colombian (97.8-100.0%), and German (95.9-100.0%) samples. In contrast, specificity was much lower for the Ghanaian and Nigerian serum panels (Ghana: NCP-based assays 77.7-89.7%, spike/S1-based assay 94.3%; Nigeria: NCP-based assays 39.3-82.7%, spike/S1-based assay 90.7%). 15 of 600 African sera were concordantly classified as positive in both the NCP-based and the spike/S1-based Euroimmun ELISA, but did not inhibit spike/ACE2 binding in a surrogate virus neutralisation test. IgG antibodies elicited by previous infections with common cold CoVs were found in all sample panels, including those from Madagascar, Colombia, and Germany and thus do not inevitably hamper assay specificity. Nevertheless, high levels of IgG antibodies interacting with OC43 NCP were found in all 15 SARS-CoV-2 NCP/spike/S1 ELISA positive sera. CONCLUSIONS: Depending on the chosen antigen and assay protocol, SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISA specificity may be significantly reduced in certain populations probably due to interference of immune responses to endemic pathogens like other viruses or parasites.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Colombia , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Germany , Ghana , Humans , Madagascar , Male , Middle Aged , Nigeria , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
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