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


Submitted: 17 December 2020
Accepted: 21 October 2021
Published: 25 May 2022
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Authors

  • Tani Sagna Centre de Recherche Biomoléculaire Pietro Annigoni (CERBA), Ouagadougou; Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé (IRSS), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8775-0693
  • 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. https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4719-380X
  • Dorcas Obiri-Yeboah Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Ghana. https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4562-9294
  • Albert Yonli Centre de Recherche Biomoléculaire Pietro Annigoni (CERBA), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
  • Aristide Tapsoba Hôpital Saint Camille, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5790-8982
  • Frida Tovo Hôpital Saint Camille, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0878-8387
  • 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. https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1968-226X
  • 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. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6895-6725
  • 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. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9100-0692
  • 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.

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.


Sagna, T., Ouedraogo, P., Traore, L., Obiri-Yeboah, D., Yonli, A. ., Tapsoba, A., Tovo, F. ., Sorgho, A. ., Zongo, L., Nikiema, O., Ilboudo, D. ., Belemgnegre, M., Nadembega, C. W., Ouermi, D., Djigma, F. W., Zohoncon, T. M., Poaty, H. ., Colizzi, V., & Simpore, J. (2022). Enigma of the high prevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in HIV-positive people with no symptoms of COVID-19 in Burkina Faso. Journal of Public Health in Africa, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2022.1778

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