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PLoS One ; 17(11): e0277779, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2140663


BACKGROUND: The emergence and rapid spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a potentially lethal disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), is causing public health issues around the world. In resource-constrained nations, rapid Abbott SARS-CoV-2 antigen test kits are critical for addressing diagnostic gaps in health institutions and community screening. However, there is no evidence or proof of diagnostic performance in Ethiopia. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of PanbioTM Abbott SARS-CoV-2antigen rapid test kit to the gold standard, RT-PCR, in COVID-19 patients with clinical symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. METHOD: A prospective, cross-sectional study was conducted between November 2021 and April 2022, on 120 suspected patients recruited from outpatient, emergency, and intensive care units in one of the tertiary hospitals in Ethiopia. Nasopharyngeal swabs were collected from suspected cases and were tested using the Abbott SARS-CoV-2 kit, a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) and compared to the reference standard RT-PCR. RESULT: The sensitivity and specificity of the RDT were 74.2% and 100%, respectively. A total of 62 samples (51.6%) were RT-PCR positive. Of these, 46 were Ag-RDT positive. Sensitivity among symptomatic patients was 79.4% (95% CI 68.3-90). The Abbot RDT and RT-PCR had a Kappa value of agreement of 0.735 (p < 0.001). These values were acceptable when compared to the WHO's suggested thresholds. CONCLUSION: The finding from this study support the use of the Abbot RDT as a diagnostic tool in COVID-19 suspects, mainly in those with higher viral loads.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cross-Sectional Studies , Prospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 261, 2022 Mar 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745480


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 pandemic has a devastating impact on the economies and health care system of sub-Saharan Africa. Healthcare workers (HWs), the main actors of the health system, are at higher risk because of their occupation. Serology-based estimates of SARS-CoV-2 infection among HWs represent a measure of HWs' exposure to the virus and could be used as a guide to the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the community and valuable in combating COVID-19. This information is currently lacking in Ethiopia and other African countries. This study aimed to develop an in-house antibody testing assay, assess the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among Ethiopian high-risk frontline HWs. METHODS: We developed and validated an in-house Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for specific detection of anti-SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain immunoglobin G (IgG) antibodies. We then used this assay to assess the seroprevalence among HWs in five public hospitals located in different geographic regions of Ethiopia. From consenting HWs, blood samples were collected between December 2020 and February 2021, the period between the two peaks of COVID-19 in Ethiopia. Socio-demographic and clinical data were collected using questionnaire-based interviews. Descriptive statistics and bivariate and multivariate logistic regression were used to determine the overall and post-stratified seroprevalence and the association between seropositivity and potential risk factors. RESULTS: Our successfully developed in-house assay sensitivity was 100% in serum samples collected 2- weeks after the first onset of symptoms whereas its specificity in pre-COVID-19 pandemic sera was 97.7%. Using this assay, we analyzed a total of 1997 sera collected from HWs. Of 1997 HWs who provided a blood sample, and demographic and clinical data, 51.7% were females, 74.0% had no symptoms compatible with COVID-19, and 29.0% had a history of contact with suspected or confirmed patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The overall seroprevalence was 39.6%. The lowest (24.5%) and the highest (48.0%) seroprevalence rates were found in Hiwot Fana Specialized Hospital in Harar and ALERT Hospital in Addis Ababa, respectively. Of the 821 seropositive HWs, 224(27.3%) of them had a history of symptoms consistent with COVID-19 while 436 (> 53%) of them had no contact with COVID-19 cases as well as no history of COVID-19 like symptoms. A history of close contact with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 cases is associated with seropositivity (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) = 1.4, 95% CI 1.1-1.8; p = 0.015). CONCLUSION: High SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence levels were observed in the five Ethiopian hospitals. These findings highlight the significant burden of asymptomatic infection in Ethiopia and may reflect the scale of transmission in the general population.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 103(5): 1777-1779, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-761006


The effects of COVID-19 have gone undocumented in nomadic pastoralist communities across Africa, which are largely invisible to health surveillance systems despite the fact that they are of key significance in the setting of emerging infectious disease. We expose these landscapes as a "blind spot" in global health surveillance, elaborate on the ways in which current health surveillance infrastructure is ill-equipped to capture pastoralist populations and the animals with which they coexist, and highlight the consequential risks of inadequate surveillance among pastoralists and their livestock to global health. As a platform for further dialogue, we present concrete solutions to address this gap.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Population Surveillance/methods , Transients and Migrants , Africa/epidemiology , Animals , COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Ecosystem , Health Policy , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2