A recent study conducted has revealed why the severity of the coronavirus disease has less effect in sub-Saharan Africa compared to that of Europe, the US, and Asia. The finding of the study published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases indicated that there is a higher prevalence of cross-reactive antibodies against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) in blood samples taken from the Sub-Saharan population.
According to a report from the news-medical.net, the result may be unconnected to the fact that Africans were previously exposed to some kind of human coronavirus infection.
Research proved that an anti-body is a kind of protein being secreted by the immune system in reaction to foreign substances sensed in the human body called the antigen (such as the coronavirus). Antibodies then recognized it and fight them with the antigens until they leave the body.
Contrary to what has happened in Africans since the invasion of the coronavirus pandemic, the United States, Europe, and Asia despite having the best health facilities and expertise has suffered more blow from the virus.
As against several predictions that the virus would wreak havoc in African soil has proved wrong with this study as lower COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality rate has been documented in sub-Saharan Africa.
Shortly after the outbreak in Nigeria, the World Health Organisation (WHO) predicted that nearly a quarter of a billion people were on the highway to the grave, saying the African continent would record between 150,000 to 190,000 deaths.
However, as of yesterday, 28th November 2020, the total number of infections on the African continent stood at 2,163,810 which stood at two percent of the African population and so far has claimed 51,000 lives.
Meanwhile, this is far less when compared to the over 16million cases of coronavirus recorded so far in Europe where 386,816 could not make it. With over 13 million cases, the US has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, data from
The Study Design
The scientists analyzed 289 plasma samples collected in the pre-COVID-19 era from people living in sub-Saharan Africa (Tanzania and Zambia) and the U.S.
The aim was to determine possible serological cross-reactivity between different human coronaviruses. They used an immunofluorescence assay to detect the presence of cross-reactive antibodies against the spike protein and nucleocapsid protein of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV, HCoV-OC43, HCoV-HKU-1, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-229E.
The study also analyzed the prevalence of HIV-1 infection in the study cohort to determine whether HIV-1 infection can influence the serological cross-reactivity against SARS-CoV-2.