What is the prevalence of hepatitis E virus infection in chronic hepatitis B and/or C patients in Yaoundé Cameroon?

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About This Project

Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) and chronic liver disease (CLD) are yearly responsible for a large number of deaths worldwide and specially in Africa where both are endemic. Co-infections are therefore very likely, resulting in an increase in the number of deaths in CLD patients. Patients will be enrolled in two hospitals in Yaoundé. Markers of HEV infection will be systematically screened (ELISA). The results will highlight interactions that may occur in this co-infection.

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What is the context of this research?

Two recent deaths in my family from viral hepatitis B and C rapidly progressing to cancer inspired this work.

HEV is endemic in Africa , I therefore wondered about the possibility of co-infection with HEV in mine in particular and in other camerounian patients with HBV and / or HCV infection in general. The involvement of HEV in worsening CLD and increasing the rate of death has been shown in several studies.CLD patients represent a population at risk for HEV infection. The extent of HEV infection in CLD patients is poorly documented in Africa and especially in Cameroon. This study aims to provide additional information on the extent of this co-infection in Cameroon.

What is the significance of this project?

With nearly 20 million cases of infection and around 3.3 million symptomatic cases leading to more than 44,000 annual deaths, HEV infection is underdiagnosed in Africa and therefore in Cameroon .

In a situation of co-infection in CLD patients, HEV will be responsible for a considerable increase in mortality and morbidity rates.

Knowing the extent of this infection in CLD patients in Cameroon will allow clinicians to assess any variations linked to this co-infection, to improve their management by readjusting the therapeutic protocol if necessary, and then, reduce mortality and morbidity rate associated with the co-infection. This work will ultimately reduce the gap of information on HEV infection in CLD patients of viral origin.

What are the goals of the project?

This project aims to highlight the extend of HEV infection in CLD patients followed in two hospitals in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Research authorizations for both sites have already been obtained. Once we have the reagents and consumables, we will be able to start the job.

05 ml of venous blood from each participant will be collected and centrifuged. The serum obtained will be divided into two aliquots, one for serological analyzes and the other, kept for subsequent analyzes. Screening of patients' serum for immunoglobulins M and G (IgM and IgG) by the ELISA method will indicate an ongoing HEV infection (IgM) or previous contact (IgG). They will be used in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. Additional information will be collected in the patient follow-up files.

Budget

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This fundraising will allow me to carry out the first part of my thesis work. The obtained results will allow me to carry out the second part relating to the isolation of the HEV genome and its characterization. This characterization will therefore make it possible to demonstrate the circulation of HEV in the region and also to determine possible mutations in the genome.

The budget items presented above will allow us respectively to:

Hept E IgG, ELISA: evidence of contact with the virus (serological scar);

Hept E IgM, ELISA: evidence of an ongoing HEV infection;

Laboratory consumables: enable the collection, processing and storage of samples;

Miscellaneous: allow for additional unbudgeted expenses; Fees: will cover the various fees relating to the transfer of funding.

Endorsed by

Jean-Patrick's work deals with a theme of interest in the world in general and in our country Cameroon .The results of this work will be beneficial for these patients because it will allow a better management with a consequent improvement of their life expectancy, and for science because it will enrich the knowledge on this infection in Cameroon.

Project Timeline

The various authorizations relating to the realization of our study have been obtained and the collection activities have begun. Samples are sent to the laboratory, separated into three aliquots and stored at -80°C while awaiting the analytical phase. For each patient, a single aliquot will be used for the detection of HEV immunoglobulins G and M (ELISA method). The other two aliquots will be kept for convenience.

Sep 12, 2022

Collection of samples in the gastroenterology departments of the selected hospitals, transport to the laboratory and storage pending the analytical phase.

Oct 31, 2022

Project Launched

Dec 10, 2022

Screening for HEV immunoglobulins G and M respective markers of contact and active infection by HEV (ELISA).IgM positives will be kept for further analyzes

Jan 05, 2023

The writing of a manuscript will be carried out on the basis of the results obtained. Once completed, it will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.

Meet the Team

Jean-Patrick Molu
Jean-Patrick Molu

Team Bio

Professor BOYOMO ONANA is a Lecturer in the Department of Microbiology of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Yaoundé I. Specialized in molecular biology, Professor BOYOMO is my Thesis Director. It will allow us access to the Microbiology Laboratory of the faculty of sciences but also it will allow the realization of the molecular aspect of our study.

Jean-Patrick Molu

My name is MOLU Jean-Patrick; I am a PhD student at the Department of Microbiology of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Yaoundé I. My thesis work focuses on the hepatitis E virus in chronic liver disease.

HEV is an underdiagnosed virus in Africa in general and Cameroon in particular where very few studies are available to date on human populations. In order to improve knowledge about this virus in my country, I undertook to search for it in a population at risk composed of chronic liver disease patients. This work is one of the major aspects of my PhD.

As part of my Master's thesis, I was given the opportunity to work on the hepatitis B virus in HIV positive patients. This exercise gave me experience in the management of hepatic viruses in patients at risk thus making the approach to HEV relatively easier.

The University of Ngaoundéré is one of eleven State Universities in Cameroon. It offers training in various fields, in particular the biomedical field. It was also in the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the Faculty of Sciences of this University that I obtained my license and then my Master of Science and Technology with specialization in Health Sciences, Bacteriology and Medical Virology.

The internships I have benefited from during this course have given me the opportunity to familiarize myself quite early on with the usual methods and techniques used in microbiology in general and virology in particular. Thus making me a scientist able to carry out a project like this one. I have a few scientific publications but only one was the subject of an oral presentation on the "Sero-prevalence of HBsAg in naive HIV-infected patients in a rural locality of Cameroon" at the second international conference organized by the Cameroon Academy of Young Scientists (CAYS) on the theme “Young scientists: Science, Technology and Sustainable Development in Africa” . This conference goes from August 18th-20th, 2021- Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Lab Notes

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