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1.  Human Betacoronavirus 2c EMC/2012–related Viruses in Bats, Ghana and Europe 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2013;19(3):456-459.
We screened fecal specimens of 4,758 bats from Ghana and 272 bats from 4 European countries for betacoronaviruses. Viruses related to the novel human betacoronavirus EMC/2012 were detected in 46 (24.9%) of 185 Nycteris bats and 40 (14.7%) of 272 Pipistrellus bats. Their genetic relatedness indicated EMC/2012 originated from bats.
doi:10.3201/eid1903.121503
PMCID: PMC3647674  PMID: 23622767
Africa; Europe; Ghana; coronavirus; bats; human betacoronavirus; CoV-EMC; viruses
2.  Aetiological agents of cerebrospinal meningitis: a retrospective study from a teaching hospital in Ghana 
Abstracts
Background
Meningitis is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in low-resource settings. In sub-Saharan Africa, the meningitis belt has been characterized by particularly high and seasonal incidences of bacterial meningitis extending throughout life. Despite the progress being made in treating the condition, the mortality rates continue to be high, ranging between 2% and 30% globally. In Ghana, the mortality rate of meningitis has been estimated to range from 36% to 50%. However little information is available on the pathogens contributing to meningitis and their antimicrobial susceptibilities. Updated information is essential to adjust the recommendations for empirical treatment or prevention of meningitis which could have immense implications for local and global health.
Methods
We retrospectively reviewed laboratory records of all patients suspected of bacterial meningitis who underwent a lumbar puncture from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2010. Data were retrieved from laboratory record books and double entered into a Microsoft® excel spreadsheet.
Results
Records of 4,955 cerebrospinal fluid samples were analysed. Of these, 163 (3.3%, 95%CI: 2.8% to 3.8%) were confirmed meningitis and 106 (2.1%, 95%CI: 1.7% to 2.6%) were probable meningitis cases. Confirmed meningitis cases were made up of 117 (71.8%) culture positive bacteria, 19 (11.7%) culture positive Cryptococcus neoformans and 27(16.6%) Gram positive bacteria with negative culture. The most prevalent bacteria was Streptococcus pneumoniae 91 (77.7%), followed by E.coli 4 (3.4%), Salmonella species 4 (3.4%), Neisseria meningitidis 3 (2.5%), Pseudomonas species 3(2.5%) and others. Pneumococcal isolates susceptibility to penicillin, chloramphenicol and ceftriaxone were 98.9% (95%CI: 94.0% to 100.0%), 83.0% (95%CI: 73.4% to 90.1%) and 100.0% (95%CI: 95.8% to 100.0%) respectively.
Conclusion
Streptococcus pneumoniae is an important cause of meningitis among all age groups and its susceptibility to penicillin and ceftriaxone still remains very high. Ghanaians of all ages and possibly other developing countries in the meningitis belt could benefit from the use of the pneumococcal vaccine. Other bacterial and fungal pathogens should also be considered in the management of patients presenting with meningitis.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-11-28
PMCID: PMC3473245  PMID: 23035960
Meningitis; Streptococcus pneumoniae; Cryptococcus neoformans; Ghana
3.  Respiratory viruses in children hospitalized for acute lower respiratory tract infection in Ghana 
Virology Journal  2012;9:78.
Background
Acute respiratory tract infections are one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality among young children in developing countries. Information on the viral aetiology of acute respiratory infections in developing countries is very limited. The study was done to identify viruses associated with acute lower respiratory tract infection among children less than 5 years.
Method
Nasopharyngeal samples and blood cultures were collected from children less than 5 years who have been hospitalized for acute lower respiratory tract infection. Viruses and bacteria were identified using Reverse Transcriptase Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction and conventional biochemical techniques.
Results
Out of 128 patients recruited, 33(25.88%%, 95%CI: 18.5% to 34.2%) were positive for one or more viruses. Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) was detected in 18(14.1%, 95%CI: 8.5% to 21.3%) patients followed by Adenoviruses (AdV) in 13(10.2%, 95%CI: 5.5% to 16.7%), Parainfluenza (PIV type: 1, 2, 3) in 4(3.1%, 95%CI: 0.9% to 7.8%) and influenza B viruses in 1(0.8%, 95%CI: 0.0 to 4.3). Concomitant viral and bacterial co-infection occurred in two patients. There were no detectable significant differences in the clinical signs, symptoms and severity for the various pathogens isolated. A total of 61.1% (22/36) of positive viruses were detected during the rainy season and Respiratory Syncytial Virus was the most predominant.
Conclusion
The study has demonstrated an important burden of respiratory viruses as major causes of childhood acute respiratory infection in a tertiary health institution in Ghana. The data addresses a need for more studies on viral associated respiratory tract infection.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-78
PMCID: PMC3364910  PMID: 22490115
Respiratory Viruses; Hospitalized children; Real-Time PCR
4.  Hepatitis B and C viral infections among blood donors. A retrospective study from a rural community of Ghana 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:529.
Background
Infection by Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) cause serious mortality, morbidity and financial burden and are thus a major global health problem. The study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of Hepatitis B and C infections and co-infections among blood donors in a rural community of Ghana.
This was a retrospective study conducted at the Agogo Presbyterian Hospital in the Asanti Akim North District of Ghana to investigate the prevalence of these infections over a three year period among 2773 blood donors. Males constituted a larger proportion of the study population (92.2%). Majority of the study population (43.9%) were within 26-35 age group. The disease prevalence was calculated at a 95% confidence interval.
Findings
The prevalence of Hepatitis B viral (HBV) infection was highest in females- 21.4% (95% CI: 11.6-34.4) in 2006 than males in the same year- 13.2% (95% CI: 10.8-15.9). Hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection was highest among males- 11.6% (95% CI: 9.5-13.8) in 2007. HBV and HCV co-infection was higher in males- 2.6% (95% CI: 1.6-3.8) than females- 1.3% (95% CI: 0-7.0) in 2007. The overall prevalence of HBV and HCV was 13.8% (95% CI: 11.4- 16.4) and 9.4% (95% CI: 7.4-11.6) respectively in 2006. The rate of co-infection of HBV and HCV however increased from 1.6% (95% CI: 0.8-2.7) in 2006 to 2.2% (95% CI: 1.3-3.2) in 2008 in males and from 0% (95% CI: 0-6.4) in 2006 to 1.2% (95% CI: 0-6.5) in 2008 in females.
Conclusion
The single infections of HBV and HCV reduced but co-infection of these transfusion transmitted infections increased. Measures such as more sensitive techniques for effective diagnosis and sanitary education to enlighten the population must be implemented.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-529
PMCID: PMC3259119  PMID: 22152159

Results 1-4 (4)