Scientific Days 2022 at ANRS’s partner site in Burkina Faso

22 November 2022
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Centre Muraz
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The 11th edition of the Scientific Days of ANRS’s partner site in Burkina Faso took place on 21 and 22 November 2022, in Ouagadougou and online. An opportunity to present several research projects conducted there:  ORHEB, TRI-MOM and AFROSCREEN

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Organisées pour la première fois depuis 2018, ces deux journées seront l'occasion de présenter les projets (en cours ou finalisés) portés par le site partenaire et son réseau et d'échanger autour de thèmes de recherche porteurs : VIH/sida, prévention du cancer du col de l'utérus, hépatites virales, One Health et maladies émergentes.

Cet événement s'adresse à toutes et à tous. Une conférence destinée au grand public est prévue le lundi 21 novembre à 16 h 30 (heure de Ouagadougou) / 17 h 30 (heure de Paris) sur le thème de la riposte scientifique à la crise sanitaire Covid-19 au Burkina Faso.

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ORHEB:
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Using a One Health approach to characterise a hepatitis E epidemic in a humanitarian emergency context in Burkina Faso
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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 20 million infections and 3.3 million symptomatic cases of hepatitis E are identified each year worldwide, with an estimated 56,600 deaths. This disease is transmitted to humans through the consumption of contaminated food or water. It can also affect animals. In recent years, epidemics have broken out in zones of conflict and humanitarian emergency. More or less spared until that point, Burkina Faso experienced an outbreak of jaundice in its Centre-North region in 2020 – in the health district of Barsalogho where displaced populations are found. Biological samples from a sample of people showed that there had been cases of hepatitis E virus infection.

 

The purpose of ORHEB is to study and better characterise this first epidemic of hepatitis E in Burkina Faso using a One Health approach. This involved the research team taking biological samples from patients who presented with jaundice between January 2018 and December 2022 in order to confirm the diagnosis of hepatitis E. This study also involves describing cases and identifying populations at risk of a severe form of hepatitis E; assessing the performance of the rapid diagnostic test used in the field; comparing the genomic characteristics of the hepatitis E virus variants in animals (pigs and ruminants) and in the environment (drinking water and surface and evacuation water) with those detected in humans and evaluating the virus surveillance system in Burkina Faso. The interim results are expected for the end of 2023.

 

The project is conducted by a team from the Muraz Centre of the Burkina Faso National Institute of Public Health led by Dramane Kania, in collaboration with a team from JRU 1058 Pathogenesis and Control of Chronic and Emerging Infections (Montpellier University/Inserm/French Blood Establishment (EFS)/Antilles University) led by Edouard Tuaillon, in conjunction with the National Malaria Research and Training Centre (CNRFP) within the National Institute of Public Health (INSP), the Department of Health Promotion and Preventions (DPSP)/General Directorate of Public Health (DGSP) of the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene, the National Livestock Laboratory, the Institute of Research in Health Sciences (IRSS), the Infectious Diseases Department of Souro Sanou University Hospital, the Hepato-Gastroenterology Department of Bogodogo University Hospital in Burkina Faso and the Hepatitis E Virus/Hepatitis A Virus National Reference Centre (CNR) in France. ORHEB is sponsored and funded by ANRS | Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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TRI-MOM:
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stratégie intégrée de prévention de le transmission mère-enfant du VIH, de la syphilis et du VHB au Burkina Faso et en Gambie
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Integrated strategy for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B in Burkina Faso and Gambia.

 

West Africa is heavily hit by hepatitis B, HIV and syphilis, the co-infection of which increases the risk of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) and neonatal consequences. The morbidity and mortality associated with such MTCT are a subject of concern in this region. However, the MTCT of HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B can be avoided by simple and effective interventions, including integration into a ‘triple elimination’ model, as proposed recently by the WHO, which could accelerate the control and elimination of these infections.

 

The objective of TRI-MOM is to implement and evaluate an integrated, horizontal and coordinated strategy for the triple elimination of the MTCT of these three infections in eight mother-and-child health services in Burkina Faso and Gambia. This strategy includes:

  • training medical staff in the screening and prevention of MTCT of the three infections,

  • providing screening for these three infections free of charge using rapid diagnostic tests that are offered to all women coming for an initial prenatal consultation,

  • providing access to MTCT prevention measures for all women screened positive,

  • capacity-building for women in the field of health.

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The strategy will be rolled out in 2023 with the intention being to screen some 17,000 women, 5,400 of whom in Burkina Faso.

 

TRI-MOM, which is in its initiation phase, is funded by Expertise France for a three-year duration and is led by Sylvie Boyer (JRU1252 Economic and Social Sciences of Health and Medical Information Processing (SESSTIM) – Aix-Marseille University/National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD)/Inserm, France), Alice Guingané (Muraz Centre/National Institute of Public Health (INSP), Burkina Faso) and Maud Lemoine (MRC Unit The Gambia). In Burkina Faso, the project is also being conducted in partnership with the community association REVS PLUS.

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AFROSCREEN in Burkina Faso
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Integrating SARS-CoV-2 genome surveillance into an existing national system
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In Burkina Faso, the existing national respiratory infection surveillance system was analysed within the framework of AFROSCREEN (SARS-CoV-2 genome surveillance project in Africa – see below), in order to identify how to best incorporate SARS-CoV-2 genome surveillance into this existing system.

 

Based on this analysis, in addition to similar case definitions between COVID-19 and influenza, it was decided to incorporate SARS-CoV-2 genome surveillance within the national influenza surveillance system.

 

Influenza surveillance in Burkina Faso is based on a network of sentinel sites in its two largest cities, where it is possible to collect samples and diagnose suspected cases, and thereby monitor epidemic spread and progression in the best possible way. For the optimal integration of SARS-CoV-2 genome surveillance, a new sampling circuit has been defined, with the same sample taken from a suspected case used for both the influenza and COVID-19 diagnostic tests as well as the genotyping. The results are then added to a single national database.

 

This system in which multiple pathogens are integrated within one surveillance network constitutes a real step forward when it comes to improving response to respiratory virus epidemics. The establishment of a surveillance and sequencing network represents an essential public health tool for detecting and containing pathogens with epidemic potential. Genome sequencing makes it possible to identify pathogens, monitor the emergence and impact of variants, and adapt public health policies accordingly.

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For more information:

 

AFROSCREEN aims to create and develop a genome surveillance network in 13 African countries. Its main objective is to build the sequencing and bioinformatics capacities of the laboratories, and monitor the progression of SARS-CoV-2 and other emerging pathogens through the integration into each country's national system.

 

It hosts a network of 25 laboratories, reference centres and partners, in 13 African countries. In Burkina Faso, its partners are the MURAZ Centre (Bobo-Dioulasso), the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) (Ouagadougou), the Virology Laboratory of Souro Sanou University Hospital (Bobo-Dioulasso) and the Virology Laboratory of Yalgado Ouédraogo University Hospital (Bobo-Dioulasso).

 

Coordinated by ANRS | Emerging Infectious Diseases in partnership with the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) and Institut Pasteur, AFROSCREEN is funded by the French Development Agency as part of the Health in Common initiative.

 

For more information: