Original Research

Enigma of the high prevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in HIV-positive people with no symptoms of COVID-19 in Burkina Faso

Tani Sagna, Paul Ouedraogo, Lassina Traore, Dorcas Obiri-Yeboah, Albert Yonli, Aristide Tapsoba, Frida Tovo, Abel Sorgho, Laetitia Zongo, Ouego Nikiema, Denise Ilboudo, Marius Belemgnegre, Christelle W. Nadembega, Djeneba Ouermi, Florencia W. Djigma, Theodora M. Zohoncon, Henriette Poaty, Vittorio Colizzi, Jacques Simpore
Journal of Public Health in Africa | Vol 13, No 1 | a393 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2022.1778 | © 2024 Tani Sagna, Paul Ouedraogo, Lassina Traore, Dorcas Obiri-Yeboah, Albert Yonli, Aristide Tapsoba, Frida Tovo, Abel Sorgho, Laetitia Zongo, Ouego Nikiema, Denise Ilboudo, Marius Belemgnegre, Christelle W. Nadembega, Djeneba Ouermi, Florencia W. Djigma, Theodora M. Zohoncon, Henriette Poaty, Vittorio Colizzi, Jacques Simpore | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 April 2024 | Published: 24 May 2022

About the author(s)

Tani Sagna, Centre de Recherche Biomoléculaire Pietro Annigoni (CERBA), Ouagadougou; Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé (IRSS), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Paul Ouedraogo, Hôpital Saint Camille, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Lassina Traore, Centre de Recherche Biomoléculaire Pietro Annigoni (CERBA), Ouagadougou; Laboratoire de Biologie moléculaire et de génétique (LABIOGENE), Université Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Dorcas Obiri-Yeboah, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
Albert Yonli, Centre de Recherche Biomoléculaire Pietro Annigoni (CERBA), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Aristide Tapsoba, Hôpital Saint Camille, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Frida Tovo, Hôpital Saint Camille, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Abel Sorgho, Centre de Recherche Biomoléculaire Pietro Annigoni (CERBA), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Laetitia Zongo, Centre de Recherche Biomoléculaire Pietro Annigoni (CERBA), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Ouego Nikiema, Centre de Recherche Biomoléculaire Pietro Annigoni (CERBA), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Denise Ilboudo, Centre de Recherche Biomoléculaire Pietro Annigoni (CERBA), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Marius Belemgnegre, Hôpital Saint Camille, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Christelle W. Nadembega, Centre de Recherche Biomoléculaire Pietro Annigoni (CERBA), Ouagadougou; Laboratoire de Biologie moléculaire et de génétique (LABIOGENE), Université Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Djeneba Ouermi, Centre de Recherche Biomoléculaire Pietro Annigoni (CERBA), Ouagadougou; Laboratoire de Biologie moléculaire et de génétique (LABIOGENE), Université Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Florencia W. Djigma, Centre de Recherche Biomoléculaire Pietro Annigoni (CERBA), Ouagadougou; Laboratoire de Biologie moléculaire et de génétique (LABIOGENE), Université Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Theodora M. Zohoncon, Centre de Recherche Biomoléculaire Pietro Annigoni (CERBA), Ouagadougou; Hôpital Saint Camille, Ouagadougou; Université Saint Thomas d’Aquin, Faculté de Médecine, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Henriette Poaty, Centre de Recherche Biomoléculaire Pietro Annigoni (CERBA), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Vittorio Colizzi, University of Roma “Tor Vergata”, Roma, Italy
Jacques Simpore, Centre de Recherche Biomoléculaire Pietro Annigoni (CERBA), Ouagadougou; Laboratoire de Biologie moléculaire et de génétique (LABIOGENE), Université Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Ouagadougou; Hôpital Saint Camille, Ouagadougou; Université Saint Thomas d’Aquin, Faculté de Médecine, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

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Abstract

The severe acute respiratory syndrome due to the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), responsible for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has severely tested the global health response capacity, with predictions of a fatality for developing countries. To evaluate the prevalence of anti-SARS-CoV- 2 antibodies in People Living with HIV (PLHIV) with no COVID-19 symptoms in Burkina Faso. Seroprevalence was estimated by performing a qualitative screening test for SARS-CoV-2-specific immunoglobulins. The STANDARDTM Q COVID-19 IgM/IgG Combo Test kit from SD BIOSENSOR was used. Parameters like HIV plasma viral load, CD4 T cell count and C-Reactive Protein (CRP) expression were estimated. This study enrolled a total of 200 PLHIV aged 4-87 years who are asymptomatic for COVID-19. There were 36 (18%) positive for SARS-CoV-2 IgM and/or IgG of which three (1.50%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2 IgM and 33 (16.50%) for IgG. Among participants diagnosed as IgM positive, 66.67% (2/3) had the highest HIV viral loads with the lowest CD4 T cell counts (p<0.0001). The expression of CRP was relatively higher in COVID-19 IgG positive individuals (7.95±12.5 mg/L) than negative individuals (6.26±6.92 mg/L; p=0.37). The rate of IgG and IgM SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin carriage (18%), accompanied by a relatively high CRP levels, was revealed in this study among PLHIV. This serologic evidence and mild inflammation suggest that Burkina Faso escaped the worst, not necessarily because there were not many SARS-CoV-2 infections in its population, but because factors including genetic and environmental, might have resulted in many asymptomatic carriers.

Keywords

Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies; HIV-positive people; COVID-19 symptoms; Burkina Faso

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