Dr. Osbourne Quaye
Head of the Virology Laboratory and Lead of Monitoring and Evaluation
West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), University of Ghana
Associate Professor and Head of Department
Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Ghana
What are you and your institution currently working on regarding COVID-19?
My institution is involved in COVID-19 activities, including epidemiology studies among various targeted groups and in different locations throughout Ghana. As part of routine surveillance and monitoring, we are involved in whole genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 strains that are circulating in Ghana. In estimating community-level exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in Ghana, lateral-flow rapid diagnostic tests were used in a multi-phased seroprevalence study that targeted locations including markets, transport terminals, shopping malls, hospitals, and research institutions that are involved in COVID-19 testing and/or studies. A higher COVID-19 seroprevalence was observed in the study than what was officially reported as a country, due to a high number of asymptomatic cases, suggesting a relatively lower case-fatality in Ghana. Exposure was observed to be significantly higher in markets and transport terminals compared to other locations, and higher in participants with no formal education and/or work in informal sectors compared to people with formal education and/or work in formal sectors, respectively.
The Virology Laboratory is also working on a project aimed to determine the kinetics of the SARS-COV-2 specific humoral responses among symptomatic and asymptomatic infected individuals in Ghana, develop and characterize monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, generate monoclonal antibodies from immortalized human B cells isolated from seroconverted SARS-COV-2 infected individuals, and characterize cytokine profile that are associated with severe disease among Ghanaian COVID-19 patients.