Epidemiological, virological and clinical features of SARS-CoV-2 among individuals during the first wave in Cameroon: Baseline analysis for the EDCTP PERFECT-Study RIA2020EF-3000


Published: 24 May 2022
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Authors

  • Joseph Fokam Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé; Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde I, Yaounde, Cameroon. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1501-2763
  • Désiré Takou Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé, Cameroon.
  • Alex Durand Nka Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé; University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; Evangelical University of Cameroon, Bandjoun, Cameroon. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9358-8661
  • Aude Christelle Ka’e Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé; University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; Evangelical University of Cameroon, Bandjoun, Cameroon. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2381-4299
  • Bouba Yagai Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé, Cameroon; University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4187-683X
  • Collins Ambe Chenwi Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé; Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde I, Yaounde, Cameroon. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6749-1436
  • Ezechiel Ngoufack Jagni Semengue Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé; University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; Evangelical University of Cameroon, Bandjoun, Cameroon.
  • Grâce Angong Beloumou Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé, Cameroon.
  • Sandrine Claire Djupsa Ndjeyep Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé, Cameroon.
  • Aissatou Abba Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé, Cameroon.
  • Willy Pabo Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé, Cameroon. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5194-6715
  • Davy Gouissi Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé, Cameroon.
  • Michel Carlos Tommo Tchouaket Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé, Cameroon.
  • Laeticia Yatchou Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé, Cameroon.
  • Krystel Zam Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé, Cameroon.
  • Lucien Mama Cite Verte Health District, Delegation of Public Health, Yaoundé, Cameroon.
  • Regine Claudette Ekitti Police Medical Centre, Yaoundé, Cameroon.
  • Nadine Fainguem Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé; University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; Evangelical University of Cameroon, Bandjoun, Cameroon.
  • Rachel Kamgaing Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé, Cameroon.
  • Samuel Martin Sosso 1Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé, Cameroon.
  • Nicaise Ndembi Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5131-3136
  • Vittorio Colizzi Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé; University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; Evangelical University of Cameroon, Bandjoun, Cameroon.
  • Carlo-Federico Perno Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé; IRCCS Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, Rome, Italy.
  • Alexis Ndjolo Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), Yaoundé; Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde I, Yaounde, Cameroon.

In Cameroon, COVID-19 infection spread rapidly and nationwide, with up to 721 deaths reported. To the best of our knowledge, no study reported the on-theground data using a large patients’ dataset to give a comprehensive knowledge on COVID-19 pandemic in Cameroon. The objective of this study was to shade lights on the epidemiological, virological and clinical features of COVID-19 in the Cameroonian context. An observational study was conducted among symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals tested for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR on nasopharyngeal samples from April 22nd, 2020 to January 5th, 2021. Out of 14119 individuals (59.8% male), overall SARS-CoV-2 positivity was 12.7% (from 7.9% in <10 years to 17.3% in >60 years, p<0.001). The positivity rate of symptomatic individuals was 36.1% versus 9.8% among asymptomatic ones, p<0.001. Age group ≤10 [aOR (95%CI): 0.515 (0.338-0.784), p=0.002] and being symptomatic [aOR (95% CI): 5.108 (4.521-5.771), p<0.001] were predictors of SARS-CoV-2 positivity. Regarding PCR Cycle Threshold (CT), 53.8% of positive individuals had a CT <30. According to age, compared to older individuals, those aged 21-40 years showed a higher proportion with high viraemia (CT<20; 21.3% versus 12.5% respectively, p=0.003). Similarly, symptomatic individuals showed a higher proportion with high viraemia (22.4%), when compared to asymptomatic (13.9%); p<0.001. During this first wave of the pandemic, overall SARS-CoV-2 positivity remained high (>10%) and was associated with the presence of symptoms and older age. Most of the infection is among young and asymptomatic individuals, suggesting the “track-and-test” strategy should target these potential transmitters.


Fokam, J. ., Takou, D., Nka, A. D., Ka’e, A. C. ., Yagai, B. ., Ambe Chenwi, C. ., Ngoufack Jagni Semengue, E. ., Angong Beloumou, G. ., Djupsa Ndjeyep, S. C. ., Abba, A. ., Pabo, W. ., Gouissi, D., Tommo Tchouaket, M. C. ., Yatchou, L., Zam, K. ., Mama, L. ., Ekitti, R. C. ., Fainguem, N. ., Kamgaing, R., Sosso, S. M., Ndembi, N. ., Colizzi, V. ., Perno, C.-F., & Ndjolo, A. . (2022). Epidemiological, virological and clinical features of SARS-CoV-2 among individuals during the first wave in Cameroon: Baseline analysis for the EDCTP PERFECT-Study RIA2020EF-3000. Journal of Public Health in Africa, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2022.2142

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