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Nkwescheu A.S.,Cameroon Society of Epidemiology CaSE | Nkwescheu A.S.,University of Yaounde I | Fokam J.,University of Yaounde I | Fokam J.,Chantal International Reference Center for research on HIV AIDS prevention and management | And 19 more authors.
Pan African Medical Journal | Year: 2015

As the study of disease occurrence and health indicators in human populations, Epidemiology is a dynamic field that evolves with time and geographical context. In order to update African health workers on current epidemiological practices and to draw awareness of early career epidemiologists on concepts and opportunities in the field, the 3rd African Epidemiology Association and the 1st Cameroon Society of Epidemiology Conference was organized in June 2-6, 2014 at the Yaounde Mont Febe Hotel, in Cameroon. Under the theme«Practice of Epidemiology in Africa: Stakes, Challenges and Perspectives», the conference attracted close to five hundred guest and participants from all continents. The two main programs were the pre-conference course for capacity building of African Early Career epidemiologists, and the conference itself, providing a forum for scientific exchanges on recent epidemiological concepts, encouraging the use of epidemiological methods in studying large disease burden and neglected tropical diseases; and highlighting existing opportunities. © Armand Seraphin Nkwescheu et al.

Temgoua E.M.S.,Chantal International Reference Center for research on HIV AIDS prevention and management | Temgoua E.M.S.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Nkenfou C.N.,Chantal International Reference Center for research on HIV AIDS prevention and management | Nkenfou C.N.,University of Yaounde I | And 12 more authors.
Current HIV Research | Year: 2015

Background: Despite improvement in HIV prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), there are still over 1,500 African infants newly infected daily. PMTCT elimination requires antiretroviral therapy (ART) throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding periods, while early infant diagnosis (EID) of HIV implies early treatment for those infected. Our study aimed at assessing the utility of EID program data in evaluating the implementation of PMTCT program in Cameroon, and in identifying the efficacy of existing PMTCT interventions and breastfeeding options on the events of HIV vertical transmission. Methods: A study was conducted from 2010-2011 using PMTCT data from EID sites of six regions of Cameroon. PMTCT ARV regimens, breastfeeding options, and the child’s HIV DNA-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results were recorded. Statistical analyses were performed using Mann Whitney U and Fisher exact tests, with p<0.05 considered significant. Results: A total of 2,505 mother-child pairs received ART, resulting is 4.3% (93) vertical transmission, against 31.3% (284/906) among mother-child pairs without exposure to any PMTCT intervention; p<0.00001. A statistically significant difference (p<0.00001) was also found between formula feeding (FF) (5.9%) versus exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) (12.5%), as well as between EBF versus mixed feeding (MF) (30%). With FF, when both mother-child pairs received PMTCT, only 2.9% (47/1603) vertical transmission was recorded versus 19.9% (48/241) for mother-child pairs without intervention; p<0.00001. Transmission rates were similar across infant age range [2.7% (10/376) for age ≤6 weeks, versus 2.5% (43/1807) for age >6 weeks-6 months]. Interestingly, babies aged 6 weeks receiving FF showed a significantly lower transmission rate (3.2%, 9/277) as compared to their counterparts with EBF (7.7%, 12/156); p<0.00001. Conclusion: Using EID dataset, it appears that considerable reduction in HIV MTCT may be achievable through access to ARV (option B+) and adequate infant feeding option (especially FF) in Cameroon. EID programme is therefore an effective routine approach for PMTCT programme evaluation in resource-limited settings. © 2015 Bentham Science Publishers.

Salpini R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Fokam J.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Fokam J.,Chantal International Reference Center for research on HIV AIDS prevention and management | Fokam J.,University of Yaounde I | And 19 more authors.
Current HIV Research | Year: 2016

Aim: To investigate the prevalence and genotypic profile of overt and occult hepatitis-B infection (OBI) among HIV-infected individuals in Cameroon. Methods: 212 HIV-infected Cameroonians, aged 37.6 [IQR: 32.6-46.6] followed-up at the University Health Centre in Yaoundé, were tested for HBsAg, anti-HBs, anti-HBc IgG/IgM, HBV-DNA and anti-HCV IgG. HBV positive cases were tested for Hepatitis Delta virus (HDV) using anti-HDV IgG and HDV-RNA. Liver function was assessed by alanine and aspartate aminotransaminases. OBI was defined as negative-HBsAg and detectable HBV-DNA. In occult or overt HBVinfected participants, HBV reverse transcriptase (RT)/surface (S) sequences were analyzed for drug resistance, immuneescape mutants, and phylogeny. Results: Overall, 78.3% (166/212) participants had past/ongoing HBV-exposure, with 39.1% (83/212) carrying “HBcAbpositive alone”. Prevalence of overt HBV (positive-HBsAg) was 11.8% (25/212), prevalence of HBV and HDV was respectively 6.9% (12/175) and 12% (3/25). Phylogeny of HBV-RT/S revealed the co-circulation of genotypes A and E. All HBV-coinfected participants harbored HBV strains with at least one immune-escape mutation. Of note, one HBV variant carried the vaccine-escape mutation G145R that hinders HBsAg neutralization by antibodies. For the first time, a novel 9 aa-deletion (s115-s123), located in the HBsAg “a” determinant, was found concomitantly with OBI. A stop codon in the S region (associated with increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma) was found in six cases. Conclusion: High prevalence of overt/occult HBV-infection and circulating atypical strains highlight the importance of HBV-surveillance among HIV-infected Cameroonians and strategies to detect OBI in highly endemic countries. © 2016 Bentham Science Publishers.

Ceccarelli L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Salpini R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Moudourou S.,Chantal International Reference Center for research on HIV AIDS prevention and management | Cento V.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | And 12 more authors.
Journal of Medical Virology | Year: 2012

Currently the prevalence of HIV-1 infection in Cameroon is 5.1%, CRF02-AG subtype is responsible for about 50% of infections. Since an HIV-1 drug resistance test is not yet available widely, accurate data on the prevalence of resistant viral strains are missing. The objective of this study was to determine HIV-1 genetic diversity and to characterize HIV-1 mutations conferring drug resistance among antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naïve and ART-treated patients. A cohort of 239 patients infected with HIV were followed-up between January 2007 and July 2010 in Cameroon. Two hundred and sixteen plasma samples were sequenced for phylogenetic analysis and identification of drug resistance mutations in the HIV-1 pol region. A significant genetic diversity was found: Seven pure subtypes (A1, A3, D, F1, F2, G, H), nine circulating recombinant forms (CRFs: 01-AE, 02-AG, 06cpx, 09cpx, 11cpx, 13cpx, 16cpx, 18cpx, 37cpx) and one new unique recombinant form (URF) (G/F2). The rate of transmitted drug resistance (TDR) in naïve patients was 8.2% (4/49). Around 80% of patients failing a first-line ART harbored a virus with at least one resistance mutation to two antiretroviral (ARV) classes, and 36% of those failing a second-line regimen carried a virus with at least one resistant mutation to three ARV classes. The high level of drug resistance observed in the cohort is alarming because this occurred as a result of only few years of treatment. Adherence to therapy, adequate education of physicians, and the appropriate use of genotypic resistance assay are critical points of intervention for the improvement of patient care. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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