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1.  Evaluation of the nutritional status of infants from mothers tested positive to HIV/AIDS in the health district of Dschang, Cameroon 
Poor infant feeding practices are common in Africa, resulting in physical and intellectual developmental impairments. Good feeding practices are crucial, especially in the first year of growth. HIV/AIDS has worsened the clinical and nutritional status of both mothers and their children, exacerbating high rates of malnutrition. The aim of this study was to assess by participative approach, the nutritional status of infants from mothers tested positive to HIV in the health district of Dschang.
This is a cross sectional study with a period of recruitment of 2 years (2010-2012). Data Collection was done by the aim of a personal slip followed by training to strengthen the nutritional and hygienic capacity of targeted parents. Height and weight of infants were measured and body mass index (BMI) calculated.
Significant difference (p ≤ 0.05) was noticed in height-for-age z-score (HAZ) of girls aged between 1 to 2 years compared to 1-year old girls as well as to boys of all ages, defining them as stunted. Furthermore, the weight-for-age z-score (WAZ) results indicate that both girls and boys of all age are in moderate state of malnutrition. The results of BMI thinness classified according to gender and age groups, indicates that most infants (68/130, 52.3%) showed grade 2 thinness predominantly in 2-years old both boys and girls. However, no participants fall within the normal category for age and sex, as well as overweight and obesity categories.
Undernutrition exists among infants from mothers tested positive to HIV residing in Dschang, as most of the infants are underweight, and malnourished.
PMCID: PMC4231317  PMID: 25400858
Nutritional status; HIV/AIDS; infants; Body Mass Index
3.  Molecular Epidemiology of HIV Type 1 CRF02_AG in Cameroon and African Patients Living in Italy 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(11):1173-1182.
HIV-1 CRF02_AG accounts for >50% of infected individuals in Cameroon. CRF02_AG prevalence has been increasing both in Africa and Europe, particularly in Italy because of migrations from the sub-Saharan region. This study investigated the molecular epidemiology of CRF02_AG in Cameroon by employing Bayesian phylodynamics and analyzed the relationship between HIV-1 CRF02_AG isolates circulating in Italy and those prevalent in Africa to understand the link between the two epidemics. Among 291 Cameroonian reverse transcriptase sequences analyzed, about 70% clustered within three distinct clades, two of which shared a most recent common ancestor, all related to sequences from Western Africa. The major Cameroonian clades emerged during the mid-1970s and slowly spread during the next 30 years. Little or no geographic structure was detected within these clades. One of the major driving forces of the epidemic was likely the high accessibility between locations in Southern Cameroon contributing to the mobility of the population. The remaining Cameroonian sequences and the new strains isolated from Italian patients were interspersed mainly within West and Central African sequences in the tree, indicating a continuous exchange of CRF02_AG viral strains between Cameroon and other African countries, as well as multiple independent introductions in the Italian population. The evaluation of the spread of CRF02_AG may provide significant insight about the future dynamics of the Italian and European epidemic.
PMCID: PMC3206741  PMID: 21453131
4.  Bilateral ultrasound transversus abdominis plane block in a patient affected from Menkes disease 
Pediatric Reports  2012;4(2):e23.
This case report demonstrates the utility and safety of ultrasound transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block in a paediatric patient suffering from Menkes disease. Anaesthetists, and particularly paediatric and neonatal anaesthetists, have to make a careful assessment of these patients, who are subjected to frequent surgeries, despite their tender years. These operations are often necessary in order to improve the patient's quality of life as much as possible. The choice of anaesthetic technique must take the particular nature of the disease and the patient's medical history into consideration, while careful preparation and preoperative evaluations make it possible to administer the general or local anaesthetic safely. Official literature on the subject does not provide sufficient information about the use of local anaesthetic techniques. Moreover, the use of ultrasound TAP block in patients affected by Menkes disease has never been published in literature. In our experience, ultrasound TAP block has provided positive results, although the rarity of this childhood disease makes a detailed study difficult.
PMCID: PMC3395981  PMID: 22803001
Menkes disease; locoregional anaesthesia; paediatrics; ultrasound; transversus abdominis plane block.
5.  Distribution of human CYP2C8*2 allele in three different African populations 
Malaria Journal  2012;11:125.
The aim of this study was to investigate cytochrome P450 2C8*2 (CYP2C8*2) distribution and allele frequency in three populations from West and East Africa exposed to Plasmodium falciparum malaria. CYP2C8 enzyme is involved in the metabolism of the anti-malarials amodiaquine and chloroquine. The presence of the CYP2C8*2 defective allele has been recently associated to higher rate of chloroquine-resistant malaria parasites.
A total of 503 young subjects were genotyped for the single nucleotide polymorphism rs11572103 (A/T). Eighty-eight were from southern Senegal, 262 from eastern Uganda and 153 from southern Madagascar. The PCR-RFLP technique was used to discriminate the wild-type (A) from the defective allele (T).
A CYP2C8*2 (T) allele frequency of 0.222 ± 0.044 was detected in Senegal, 0.105 ± 0.019 in Uganda and 0.150 ± 0.029 in Madagascar.
This study demonstrated that CYP2C8*2 allele is widespread in Africa. This allele occurs at different frequency in West and East Africa, being higher in Senegal than in Uganda and Madagascar. These data indicate that an important fraction of the populations analysed has a decreased enzymatic activity, thus being at higher risk for drug accumulation with two possible consequences: i) an exacerbation of drug-associated adverse side effects; ii) an increase of drug-resistance selection pressure on P. falciparum parasites.
PMCID: PMC3353233  PMID: 22531455
CYP2C8 enzyme; CYP2C8*2 allele; Plasmodium falciparum malaria; Africa; Poor metabolizers; Chloroquine; Amodiaquine; Drug-resistance
6.  Severe and Persistent Depletion of Circulating Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells in Patients with 2009 Pandemic H1N1 Infection 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e19872.
Dysregulation of host immune responses plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of severe 2009 pandemic H1N1 infection. Whether H1N1 virus could escape innate immune defense in vivo remains to be investigated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the pattern of innate immune response during human 2009 H1N1 infection. We performed the enumeration of circulating myeloid dendritic cells (mDC) and plasmacytoid DC (pDC) in blood from patients with H1N1 pneumonia shortly after the onset of symptoms and during follow-up at different intervals of time. The analysis of CD4 and CD8 count, CD38 T-cell activation marker and serum cytokine/chemokine plasma levels was also done.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Blood samples were collected from 13 hospitalized patients with confirmed H1N1-related pneumonia at time of admission and at weeks 1, 4, and 16 of follow-up. 13 healthy donors were enrolled as controls. In the acute phase of the disease, H1N1-infected patients exhibited a significant depletion in both circulating pDC and mDC in conjunction with a decrease of CD4 and CD8 T cell count. In addition, we found plasmatic hyperproduction of IP-10 and RANTES, whereas increase in T-cell immune activation was found at all time points. When we assessed the changes in DC count over time, we observed a progressive normalization of mDC number. On the contrary, H1N1-infected patients did not achieve a complete recovery of pDC count as values remained lower than healthy controls even after 16 weeks of follow-up.
H1N1 disease is associated with a profound depletion of DC subsets. The persistence of pDC deficit for several weeks after disease recovery could be due to H1N1 virus itself or to a preexisting impairment of innate immunity.
PMCID: PMC3098245  PMID: 21625541
7.  Reemergence of Human and Animal Brucellosis, Bulgaria 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2009;15(2):314-316.
Bulgaria had been free from brucellosis since 1958, but during 2005–2007, a reemergence of human and animal disease was recorded. The reemergence of this zoonosis in the country highlights the importance of maintaining an active surveillance system for infectious diseases that will require full cooperation between public health and veterinary authorities.
PMCID: PMC2657635  PMID: 19193282
Brucellosis; Bulgaria; zoonosis; infection reemergence; dispatch

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