COVID

A laboratory-based study of COVID-19 in Casablanca, Morocco

Idrissa Diawara, Houda Benrahma, Nida Meskaouni, Jalila Rahoui, Fatima-Zahra Moujid, Khadija Jaras, Rachid Benmessaoud, Khadija Arouro, Zahra Aadam, Salma Nahir, Zineb Aouzal, Hajar Elguazzar, Leila Jeddan, Hind Rida, Fadoua Ousti, Jalila E. Bakkouri, Imane Smyej, Chakib Nejjari
Journal of Public Health in Africa | Vol 12, No 2 | a477 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2021.1458 | © 2024 Idrissa Diawara, Houda Benrahma, Nida Meskaouni, Jalila Rahoui, Fatima-Zahra Moujid, Khadija Jaras, Rachid Benmessaoud, Khadija Arouro, Zahra Aadam, Salma Nahir, Zineb Aouzal, Hajar Elguazzar, Leila Jeddan, Hind Rida, Fadoua Ousti, Jalila E. Bakkouri, Imane Smyej, Chakib Nejjari | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 April 2024 | Published: 31 December 2021

About the author(s)

Idrissa Diawara, Department of Health Techniques, Faculty of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences; National Reference Laboratory, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS), Casablanca, Morocco
Houda Benrahma, National Reference Laboratory, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS), Casablanca; National Reference Laboratory, Morocco
Nida Meskaouni, National Reference Laboratory, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS), Casablanca, Morocco
Jalila Rahoui, National Reference Laboratory, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS), Casablanca, Morocco
Fatima-Zahra Moujid, National Reference Laboratory, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS), Casablanca, Morocco
Khadija Jaras, National Reference Laboratory, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS), Casablanca, Morocco
Rachid Benmessaoud, National Reference Laboratory, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS), Casablanca, Morocco
Khadija Arouro, National Reference Laboratory, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS), Casablanca, Morocco
Zahra Aadam, National Reference Laboratory, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS), Casablanca, Morocco
Salma Nahir, National Reference Laboratory, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS), Casablanca, Morocco
Zineb Aouzal, National Reference Laboratory, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS), Casablanca, Morocco
Hajar Elguazzar, National Reference Laboratory, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS), Casablanca, Morocco
Leila Jeddan, National Reference Laboratory, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS), Casablanca, Morocco
Hind Rida, National Reference Laboratory, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS), Casablanca, Morocco
Fadoua Ousti, National Reference Laboratory, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS), Casablanca, Morocco
Jalila E. Bakkouri, National Reference Laboratory, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS), Casablanca, Morocco
Imane Smyej, National Reference Laboratory, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS), Casablanca Chakib Nejjari, Morocco
Chakib Nejjari, International School of Public Health, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS), Casablanca, Morocco

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Abstract

Given the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and its impact on human health, laboratory confirmation of diagnosis is essential. This study examined the contribution of laboratory diagnosis to the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the diagnosis of COVID-19, taking into account patient risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, clinical symptoms and comorbidities. A cross-sectional, laboratory-based study was carried out from 1 April 2020 to 30 April 2020 at the National Reference Laboratory in Morocco using nasopharyngeal samples from patients admitted to the Cheikh Khalifa International University Hospital or other hospitals in Casablanca. A one-step reverse transcription real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. A national epidemiological investigation form was used to analyze patient exposure risk, clinical symptoms and comorbidities. A total of 793 samples from 375 patients were analyzed and 1150 RT-PCR tests were conducted; 116 patients (30.93%) were COVID-19 positive. Travel to a risk zone, contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case and contact with a person who had been in a risk zone were significantly associated with being positive for COVID-19. Fever and cough were the main symptoms; 7.76 % of positive patients were asymptomatic. This is the first laboratory-based study in Morocco for the diagnosis of COVID-19. Laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19 by RTPCR associated with knowledge of exposure risk factors and clinical symptoms and comorbidities remains essential for clinicians for early, appropriate medical management COVID-19 patients.

Keywords

COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; risk factors; laboratory test; RT-PCR

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