Kameni Mary Ngongang
H3Africa PI: Palmer Masumbe Netongo
Institution: University of Yaoundé I
HIV/AIDS and coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) have been outlined to be amongst the top leading pandemics nowadays. Given that people living with HIV (PLWH) endure immune dysfunction, it is our concern to investigate whether this plays a role in disease severity and outcome. Many similarities exist between SARS-CoV 2 and HIV pathogenesis, both pathogens induce pro-inflammatory cytokines. The uncontrolled production of pro-inflammatory cytokines results in a severely compromised immune response that generates opportunities for co-infection and correlates with disease severity. Interestingly, literature has reported higher co-expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2 in the lung of HIV-infected as compared with uninfected controls. Consequently, the present study seeks to assess the impact of HIV coinfection on COVID-19 immunity amongst patients in Cameroon.
• We aim at detecting cases of HIV, COVID-19 and HIV/COVID-19 coinfections within the Cameroonian population using novel molecular techniques.
• Determining the effects and severity of HIV/ Covid- 19 co-infections by measuring and comparing the levels of some immunological markers (cytokines) such as INF s, TNF α, IL 6 and IL 1 between HIV, COVID-19, HIV/COVID-19 co-infected patients.
• We will measure ACE 2 expression and identify ACE 2 gene polymorphisms within the Cameroonian population risk of HIV/COVID-19 using primer design.
• Real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) which is an enzymatic method widely used in molecular biology to make millions to billions of copies of a specific RNA samples will be used to test extracted RNA from patients nasopharyngeal swab Covid-19.
• Measurement of some immunological markers (cytokines) such as INF γ, TNF α, IL 6, IL 10 and IL2 using will be done using ELISA technique.
• Four genetic variants in immune related genes will be investigated (Insertion, Deletion or both). Four SNPs will be genotyped using a single multiplex reaction with Master Mix QIAGEN Multiplex PCR kit according to manufacturer’s information.
The results obtained from the above study will enable bring out novel scientific proofs on Covid-19 disease severity amongst PLWH in Cameroon.