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Djoko C.F.,University of Yaounde I | Wolfe N.D.,Global Viral Forecasting Initiative GVFI | Wolfe N.D.,Stanford University | Vidal N.,Montpellier University | And 11 more authors.
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses | Year: 2010

In this study, HIV strains circulating among military personnel were characterized, in Malabo, the capital city of Equatorial Guinea. One sample was found to be HIV-2 group A while a high degree of genetic diversity was recorded in the pol region of 41 HIV-1-positive samples. CRF02-AG accounted for 53.7% of the strains, and 11 different variants were obtained in the remaining 19 samples: subtype G (n = 3), A3 (n = 2), C (n = 2), CRF26-A5U (n = 2), F2 (n = 1), CRF06 (n = 1), CRF09 (n = 1), CRF11 (n = 1), CRF22 (n = 1), and divergent subtype A (n = 1) and F (n = 1). One strain could not be classified and three were unique recombinants. Analysis of antiretroviral drug resistance mutations revealed two patients each harboring one major mutation, M46I in protease and D67N in reverse transcriptase sequences, respectively. The high genetic diversity and emerging ARV resistance mutations call for frequent surveys and appropriate monitoring of ARV considering the increasing access to ARV in the country. © 2010, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Morgan K.L.,University of Liverpool | Handel I.G.,University of Edinburgh | Tanya V.N.,Institute of Agricultural Research for Development | Tanya V.N.,Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation | And 9 more authors.
Emerging Infectious Diseases | Year: 2014

Herdsman-reported disease prevalence is widely used in veterinary epidemiologic studies, especially for diseases with visible external lesions; however, the accuracy of such reports is rarely validated. Thus, we used latent class analysis in a Bayesian framework to compare sensitivity and specificity of herdsman reporting with virus neutralization testing and use of 3 nonstructural protein ELISAs for estimates of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) prevalence on the Adamawa plateau of Cameroon in 2000. Herdsman-reported estimates in this FMD-endemic area were comparable to those obtained from serologic testing. To harness to this cost-effective resource of monitoring emerging infectious diseases, we suggest that estimates of the sensitivity and specificity of herdsmen reporting should be done in parallel with serologic surveys of other animal diseases. © 2014, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All rights reserved.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: INCO-2007-1.5 | Award Amount: 4.92M | Year: 2008

The CAAST-Net project will establish a platform to promote improved cooperation in science and technology between Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. To achieve this objective, CAAST-Net will analyse the current European and African S&T cooperation landscape, and undertake S&T policy analyses. Informed by the outcomes of analyses, CAAST-Net will initiate and support European-African S&T policy dialogues to advance cooperation and broker partnerships. CAAST-Net outcomes will include identification of specific research topics for European-African cooperation and their recommendation for inclusion in FP7. CAAST-Net will promote African participation in the FP7 as well as greater synergy between S&T partnerships and development cooperation instruments. Implemented by a consortium of leading European and African agencies mandated by their governments to promote international S&T cooperation, CAAST-Net will be a key instrument to support the implementation of the overall S&T cooperation programmes agreed to by the mandated authorities of the EU and the African Union (AU). CAAST-Net has been developed with the support of the AU and NEPAD. CAAST-Net has 7 Work Packages: WP1 will gather and analyse information on current European-African S&T collaboration and on S&T policies and capacities which determine opportunities for future cooperation. WP2 considers the synergy between S&T partnerships and development cooperation instruments. The S&T policy dialogue platform under WP3 will promote European-African S&T policy discussions on themes identified in WP1 to frame an enabling policy environment for S&T cooperation. WP4 will establish S&T cooperation platforms to actively promote European-African S&T partnerships, especially for SICAs under FP7. WP5 will focus on improving FP7 information and advisory capacities available to African researchers via NCPs. The focus of WP6 is knowledge management and outreach, and WP7 is dedicated to ensuring efficient project management.


Campbell M.C.,University of Pennsylvania | Ranciaro A.,University of Pennsylvania | Froment A.,Kenya Medical Research Institute | Hirbo J.,University of Pennsylvania | And 9 more authors.
Molecular Biology and Evolution | Year: 2012

Although human bitter taste perception is hypothesized to be a dietary adaptation, little is known about genetic signatures of selection and patterns of bitter taste perception variability in ethnically diverse populations with different diets, particularly from Africa. To better understand the genetic basis and evolutionary history of bitter taste sensitivity, we sequenced a 2,975 bp region encompassing TAS2R38, a bitter taste receptor gene, in 611 Africans from 57 populations in West Central and East Africa with diverse subsistence patterns, as well as in a comparative sample of 132 non-Africans. We also examined the association between genetic variability at this locus and threshold levels of phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) bitterness in 463 Africans from the above populations to determine how variation influences bitter taste perception. Here, we report striking patterns of variation at TAS2R38, including a significant excess of novel rare nonsynonymous polymorphisms that recently arose only in Africa, high frequencies of haplotypes in Africa associated with intermediate bitter taste sensitivity, a remarkably similar frequency of common haplotypes across genetically and culturally distinct Africans, and an ancient coalescence time of common variation in global populations. Additionally, several of the rare nonsynonymous substitutions significantly modified levels of PTC bitter taste sensitivity in diverse Africans. While ancient balancing selection likely maintained common haplotype variation across global populations, we suggest that recent selection pressures may have also resulted in the unusually high level of rare nonsynonymous variants in Africa, implying a complex model of selection at the TAS2R38 locus in African populations. Furthermore, the distribution of common haplotypes in Africa is not correlated with diet, raising the possibility that common variation may be under selection due to their role in nondietary biological processes. In addition, our data indicate that novel rare mutations contribute to the phenotypic variance of PTC sensitivity, illustrating the influence of rare variation on a common trait, as well as the relatively recent evolution of functionally diverse alleles at this locus. © 2011 The Author.


Campbell M.C.,University of Pennsylvania | Ranciaro A.,University of Pennsylvania | Zinshteyn D.,University of Pennsylvania | Rawlings-Goss R.,University of Pennsylvania | And 14 more authors.
Molecular Biology and Evolution | Year: 2014

Bitter taste perception influences human nutrition and health, and the genetic variation underlying this trait may play a role in disease susceptibility. To better understand the genetic architecture and patterns of phenotypic variability of bitter taste perception, we sequenced a 996 bp region, encompassing the coding exon of TAS2R16, a bitter taste receptor gene, in 595 individuals from 74 African populations and in 94 non-Africans from 11 populations. We also performed genotype-phenotype association analyses of threshold levels of sensitivity to salicin, a bitter anti-inflammatory compound, in 296 individuals from Central and East Africa. In addition, we characterized TAS2R16 mutants in vitro to investigate the effects of polymorphic loci identified at this locus on receptor function. Here, we report striking signatures of positive selection, including significant Fay and Wu's H statistics predominantly in East Africa, indicating strong local adaptation and greater genetic structure among African populations than expected under neutrality. Furthermore, we observed a "star-like" phylogeny for haplotypes with the derived allele at polymorphic site 516 associated with increased bitter taste perception that is consistent with a model of selection for "high-sensitivity" variation. In contrast, haplotypes carrying the "low-sensitivity" ancestral allele at site 516 showed evidence of strong purifying selection. We also demonstrated, for the first time, the functional effect of nonsynonymous variation at site 516 on salicin phenotypic variance in vivo in diverse Africans and showed that most other nonsynonymous substitutions have weak or no effect on cell surface expression in vitro, suggesting that one main polymorphism at TAS2R16 influences salicin recognition. Additionally, we detected geographic differences in levels of bitter taste perception in Africa not previously reported and infer an East African origin for high salicin sensitivity in human populations. © 2013 The Author.


Yakeu Sandjo A.F.,University of Dschang | Njanko T.,University of Dschang | Njanko T.,Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation | Njonfang E.,University of Yaounde I | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Earth System Science | Year: 2016

The Pan-African NE-SW elongated Bandja granitic pluton, located at the western part of the Pan-African belt in Cameroon, is a K-feldspar megacryst granite. It is emplaced in banded gneiss and its NW border underwent mylonitization. The magmatic foliation shows NE-SW and NNE-SSW strike directions with moderate to strong dip respectively in its northern and central parts. This mostly, ferromagnetic granite displays magnetic fabrics carried by magnetite and characterized by (i) magnetic foliation with best poles at 295/34, 283/33 and 35/59 respectively in its northern, central and southern parts and (ii) a subhorizontal magnetic lineation with best line at 37/8, 191/9 and 267/22 respectively in the northern, central and southern parts. Magnetic lineation shows an ‘S’ shape trend that allows to (1) consider the complete emplacement and deformation of the pluton during the Pan-African D2 and D3 events which occurred in the Pan-African belt in Cameroon and (2) reorganize Pan-African ages from Nguiessi Tchakam et al. (1997) compared with those of the other granitic plutons in the belt as: 686 ±17 Ma (Rb/Sr) for D1 age of metamorphism recorded in gneiss; and the period between 604-557 Ma for D2-D3 emplacement and deformation age of the granitic pluton in a dextral ENE-WSW shear movement. © Indian Academy of Sciences.


Mazeri S.,Roslin Institute | Scolamacchia F.,University Utrecht | Handel I.G.,Roslin Institute | Morgan K.L.,University of Liverpool | And 2 more authors.
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2012

Brucellosis, leptospirosis and Q fever are important livestock diseases, commonly responsible for significant production losses, yet their epidemiology in sub-Saharan Africa is largely unknown. Animal reservoirs pose the main risk of transmission to humans, where serious disease can occur. In the developing world setting, the flu-like symptoms of the acute stages of these diseases can be misdiagnosed as malaria, which can result in the administration of the wrong treatment, prolonged disease and increase in antibiotic resistance. Multivariable mixed-effects logistic regression models in this study revealed potential risk factors associated with the aforementioned pathogens in cattle in the Adamawa Region of Cameroon, with wildlife, namely, buffaloes, playing a major role in both Brucella and Coxiella burnetii seropositivity. Cattle mixing with other herds at night and cattle grazing in an area on a route taken by herds on transhumance appear to be positively associated with Leptospira seropositivity, while female cows and whether buffaloes are seen during grazing or transhumance are positively associated with C. burnetii seropositivity. On the other hand, animals that have been on transhumance in the past year and animals belonging to herdsmen of the Fulbe ethnic group appear to be protected against Leptospira and C. burnetii, respectively. Cattle of more than 2 years old appear to have increased odds of being seropositive to either pathogen. Further research is needed to confirm these findings and improve the knowledge of the epidemiology of these three pathogens in Africa, taking particular consideration of the wildlife involvement in the disease transmission. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Handel I.G.,Roslin Institute | Willoughby K.,Moredun Research Institute | Land F.,Roslin Institute | Koterwas B.,Roslin Institute | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Bovine viral diarrhoea, caused by the bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) in the Pestivirus genus of the Flaviviridae, is one of the most important diseases of cattle world wide causing poor reproductive performance in adult cattle and mucosal disease in calves. In addition it causes immunosuppression and increased susceptibility to other infections, the impact of which is uncertain, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where animals are exposed to a much wider range and higher intensity of infections compared to Europe. There are no previous estimates of the seroprevalence of BVDV in cattle in Cameroon. This paper describes the serological screening for antibodies to BVDV and antigen of BVDV in a cattle population in the Adamawa Region of Cameroon in 2000. The estimates of herd-level and within herd seroprevalences adjusted for test imperfections were 92% and 30% respectively and 16.5% of herds were classed as having a persistently infected calf (PI) in the herd within the last year based on the "spot" test approach. There was evidence of clustering of herds with PI calves across the north and west of the Region which corresponds with the higher cattle density areas and of self-clearance of infection from herds. A multivariable model was developed for the risk of having a PI calf in the herd; proximity to antelope, owning a goat, mixing with >10 other herds at grazing and the catchment area of the veterinary centre the herd was registered at were all significant risk factors. Very little is known about BVDV in sub-Saharan Africa and these high seroprevalences suggest that there is a large problem which may be having both direct impacts on fertility and neonate mortality and morbidity and also indirect effects through immunosuppression and susceptibility to other infections. Understanding and accounting for BVDV should be an important component of epidemiological studies of other diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. © 2011 Handel et al.


Fozing E.M.,University of Dschang | Njanko T.,University of Dschang | Njanko T.,Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation | Naba S.,University of Ouagadougou | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Earth Sciences | Year: 2015

The Misajé granitic pluton, emplaced between 569 and 560 Ma in an amphibolitic and gneissic host rock, comprises four petrographic units namely biotite-hornblende granite (BHG), granodiorite (Gd), biotite granite (BG), and leucocratic granite (LG). Four major tectonic events have been described in the studied area: a D1-early tectonic event, responsible of the E–W flat foliation which has been progressively transposed by a D2 tectonic event. A D2 event has developed heterogeneous simple shear in a dextral transpressive context with moderate to strong dipping NE–SW striking foliation; a D3 tectonic event has lead to a sinistral N–S ductile shear characterized by N- to ENE-striking foliation and E–W strike-slip shear corridors and a D4 tectonic event that developed N–S dextral ductile strike-slip deformation. The magnetic study of the pluton, based on the AMS parameters, reveals the coexistence of both paramagnetic (dominated by iron-bearing silicates; 54 % of sites) and ferromagnetic (due to the occurrence of PSD and MD grains of magnetite or other ferromagnetic minerals; 46 % of sites) behaviors. Magnetic foliation shows best poles at 55/82 for the whole pluton, 95/32 in BHG, and 273/83 in BG, and the magnetic lineation trends are mostly NNE–SSW with best lines at 210/8, 198/19, and 36/3, respectively. The trend of the magnetic lineation in BG indicates an S-shape trajectory, suggesting a sinistral sense of shear motion along discrete E–W corridors situated at the northern and southern ends. Kinematic indicators in BG point to a sinistral sense of shear, suggesting its emplacement during the D3 event. The close relationship between K1 and K3 points to a syn-kinematic emplacement and crystallization of the Misajé granitic pluton during the Pan-African event, and the tectonic evolution of the study area is considered to be coeval with the tectonic evolution of the trans-Saharan Pan-African belt of eastern Nigeria. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


Scolamacchia F.,Roslin Institute | Handel I.G.,Roslin Institute | Fevre E.M.,University of Edinburgh | Morgan K.L.,University of Liverpool | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Brucellosis, leptospirosis and Q fever are important infections of livestock causing a range of clinical conditions including abortions and reduced fertility. In addition, they are all important zoonotic infections infecting those who work with livestock and those who consume livestock related products such as milk, producing non-specific symptoms including fever, that are often misdiagnosed and that can lead to severe chronic disease. This study used banked sera from the Adamawa Region of Cameroon to investigate the seroprevalences and distributions of seropositive animals and herds. A classical statistical and a multi-level prevalence modelling approach were compared. The unbiased estimates were*20% of herds were seropositive for Brucella spp. compared to *95% for Leptospira spp. and *68% for Q fever. The within-herd seroprevalences were *16%, *35% and *39% respectively. There was statistical evidence of clustering of seropositive brucellosis and Q fever herds. The modelling approach has the major advantage that estimates of seroprevalence can be adjusted for the sensitivity and specificity of the diagnostic test used and the multi-level structure of the sampling. The study found a low seroprevalence of brucellosis in the Adamawa Region compared to a high proportion of leptospirosis and Q fever seropositive herds. This represents a high risk to the human population as well as potentially having a major impact on animal health and productivity in the region. © 2010 Scolamacchia et al.

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