About This Project
Some patients with apparent pulmonary tuberculosis (TB), don’t have TB but chronic pulmonary aspergillosis or CPA. A key test is the Aspergillus antibody. Clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and management of CPA are published. A local need in Cameroon is to assess how many patients have CPA and therefore what volume of tests is required and what training on CPA for the health personnel is required for a better management of CPA.
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What is the context of this research?
Aspergillosis is a fungal infection caused by Aspergillus affecting both humans and animals. Infection is commonly due to inhalation of conidia present in the environment, but hospital contamination is possible.
Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA) may mimic tuberculosis (TB), may occur during the 6 months of TB treatment or may follow TB, mostly in those left with cavities in the lungs. CPA is usually misdiagnosed for TB negative smear, rending the diagnosis difficult. There is no formal estimate of the number of mistaken diagnoses of TB in Cameroon when the diagnosis was actually CPA.
What is the significance of this project?
Currently, the diagnosis of aspergillosis in Cameroon is performed based on X-ray and culture, which is time-consuming and insensitive. Diagnosis based on a rapid test (mostly the antigen test) is rarely or never asked. There is only one Laboratory in the country where these rapid tests can be found, and this is in the capital. The antibodies rapid tests are very crucial in a country like Cameroon where TB is endemic but still unavailable. Evaluating and implementing these rapid assays will be a boost in the diagnosis of CPA in Cameroon.
What are the goals of the project?
The goals of this study are to determine the prevalence of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis amongst patients attending TB units in Cameroon and to evaluate the Aspergillus antibodies K-set by comparing it to an Aspergillus multiplex PCR kit.
This budget will be critical in my ongoing small grant. The goal of this small grant is to diagnoses aspergillosis through the culture of respiratory fluid. Although culture is still the goal standard, it is not sensitive to respiratory fluid and cannot differentiate between colonisation of the respiratory tract and active infection.
Using Aspergillus antibodies K-set, the diagnosis will give a better picture of the prevalence of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis, which is still neglected and treated as multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Cameroon.
We expect in less than one year to have enough data to confirm and advocate the Aspergillus antibodies K-set as a rapid and reliable diagnostic tool for CPA.
Sep 29, 2021
Nov 01, 2021
Ethical clearance and sites administrative authorisations
Nov 15, 2021
Diagnostic kits and consumables purchased
Jun 01, 2022
Sample collection and analysis
Jul 01, 2022
Data analysis and reporting
Meet the Team
KUATE NGOUANOM Marius Paulin
I am an early career scientist currently enrolled on a PhD programme in Microbiology at the University of Buea, Cameroon.
I have good knowledge and experience of medical laboratory sciences, as I am initially a Medical Laboratory scientist with previous jobs in hospital settings. I also have experience in fungal diagnosis and in particular in assay evaluation. For my Masters, I received a small grant from the MRC UK, to work on the diagnosis of histoplasmosis and the work has been published recently under the title “Screening for acute disseminated histoplasmosis in HIV disease using urinary antigen detection enzyme immunoassay: A pilot study in Cameroon” in the Journal of Microbiological Methods.
I am also the first author of a review article entitled “Histoplasmosis overlapping with HIV and tuberculosis in sub-Saharan Africa: challenges and research priorities” in Therapeutic Advances in Infectious Diseases. Last year, I received another small grant from the Fungal Infection Trust to work on a rapid diagnostic assay for histoplasmosis.
MEZAJOU FODIEU Cybelle
MEZAJOU FODIEU Cybelle is a motivated researcher at the Military Health Research Centre (CRESAR) and NAMRU-3 Study Field Coordinator for the Yaounde Military Hospital Site.
Passionate about Molecular Biology, she has experience in molecular laboratory techniques: Nucleic Acids Extraction, cDNA Synthesis, PCR and some of its variants, Agarose Gel Electrophoresis, PCR Products Purification just to name a few. These techniques were acquired through academic training, internships and participation in several projects such as Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT-2 and Sexual Network Study. In addition, She acted as a trainer to Master and PhD students from diverse universities of Cameroon on Molecular diagnosis of Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers in 2019 and has assisted in the supervision of numerous master and PhD research projects. Futhermore, the concerned has laboratory management skills shown via the stock, financial, human ressources, time and data management of the COVID-19 testing at CRESAR and presently in Malaria NAMRU-3 Project.
Holder of a Master's degree in Health Sciences, Option Bacteriology and Virology in 2019 from the Catholic University of Central Africa, she is currently offering a Master's degree in Siences, Option Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Douala.
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