The COVID-19 wave was already here: High seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among staff and students in a Cameroon University

Authors

  • Andrillene Laure Deutou Wondeu Laboratory of molecular biology and immunopathology, Evangelical University of Cameroon, Mbouo-Bandjoun, Cameroon; Department of Biology and Interdipartimental Center for Comparative Medicine, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome
  • Beatrice Metchum Talom Laboratory of molecular biology and immunopathology, Evangelical University of Cameroon, Mbouo-Bandjoun
  • Giulia Linardos Hospital for Children “Bambino Gesù”, Rome
  • Barnes Tanetsop Ngoumo Laboratory of molecular biology and immunopathology, Evangelical University of Cameroon, Mbouo-Bandjoun
  • Aïchatou Bello Laboratory of molecular biology and immunopathology, Evangelical University of Cameroon, Mbouo-Bandjoun
  • Aurele Marc Ndassi Soufo Laboratory of molecular biology and immunopathology, Evangelical University of Cameroon, Mbouo-Bandjoun
  • Aimé Cesaire Momo Laboratory of molecular biology and immunopathology, Evangelical University of Cameroon, Mbouo-Bandjoun
  • Christian Doll Laboratory of molecular biology and immunopathology, Evangelical University of Cameroon, Mbouo-Bandjoun, Cameroon; Department of Trauma-, Hand- and Reconstructive Surgery, University Hospital Jena, Jena, Germany; Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Corporate Member of Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin
  • Alaric Talom Tamuedjoun Laboratory of molecular biology and immunopathology, Evangelical University of Cameroon, Mbouo-Bandjoun
  • Jules-Roger Kiuate Laboratory of molecular biology and immunopathology, Evangelical University of Cameroon, Mbouo-Bandjoun
  • Giulia Cappelli Institute for Biological Systems, National Research Council, Rome
  • Cristina Russo Hospital for Children “Bambino Gesù”, Rome
  • Carlo Federico Perno Hospital for Children “Bambino Gesù”, Rome
  • Hyppolite K. Tchidjou Department of Pediatric Emergency, Amiens University Medical Center, Amiens
  • Lucia Scaramella Unit of Food Biotechnology, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Lazio e della Toscana “M.Aleandri”, Rome
  • Andrea Galgani Department of Biology and Interdipartimental Center for Comparative Medicine, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2023.2242

Keywords:

SARS-CoV-2, antibodies, seroprevalence, University of Cameroon, anti-N protein

Abstract

Background: Seroprevalence studies, to estimate the proportion of people that has been infected by SARS-CoV-2 are importance in African countries, where incidence is among the lowest in the world.
Objective: This study aimed at evaluating the exposure to SARS-CoV-2 within a university setting of Cameroon.
Methods: A cross-sectional study performed in December 2020 - December 2021, among students and staffs of the Evangelical University of Cameroon. COVID-19 antigen rapid detection test (RDT) was performed using Standard Q Biosensor, and one year after SARS-CoV-2 antibody-test was performed within the same population using RDT and chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA).
Results: 106 participants were enrolled (80% students), female sex was the most represented. Positivity to SARS-CoV-2 was 0.0% based on antigen RDTs. The seroprevalence of SARSCoV- 2 antibodies was estimated at 73.6% (95% CI. 64.5-81.0) for IgG and 1.9% (95% CI. 0.2-6.8) for IgM/IgG with RDTs, and 91.9% (95% CI. 84.7-96.4) for anti-nucleocapsid with CLIA. 95.3% (101) reported having developed at least one of the known COVID-19 symptoms (cough and headache being the most common). 90.3% (28) of people who experienced at least one of these symptoms developed IgG antibodies. 40.6% (43) of participants took natural herbs, whereas 55.7% (59) took conventional drugs. The most used herb was Zingiber officinale, while the most used drugs were antibiotics.
Conclusion: In this Cameroonian University community, SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence is high, with a greater detection using advanced serological assays. This indicates a wide viral exposure, and the need to adequate control measures especially for those experiencing any related COVID-19 symptoms.

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Published

27-01-2023

How to Cite

Deutou Wondeu, A. L., Talom, B. M., Linardos, G., Ngoumo, B. T., Bello, A., Ndassi Soufo, A. M., Momo, A. C., Doll, C., Tamuedjoun, A. T., Kiuate, J.-R., Cappelli, G., Russo, C., Perno, C. F., Tchidjou, H. K., Scaramella, L., & Galgani, A. (2023). The COVID-19 wave was already here: High seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among staff and students in a Cameroon University. Journal of Public Health in Africa, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2023.2242

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