Publications by authors named "Mary Y Afihene"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Gastroenterology practice in the COVID-19 era: Ghana Association for the Study of Liver and Digestive Diseases (GASLIDD) position statement.

Ghana Med J 2020 Dec;54(4 Suppl):104-106

Department of Medicine, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted healthcare negatively across the globe. The practice of gastroenterology has been affected especially gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy which is considered high risk for transmission of the virus. As a community of practitioners there is the need to share information and make evidence-based statements to guide GI practice in Ghana. This GASLIDD position statement based on the growing and rapidly evolving body of knowledge is to provide up to date information on the COVID-19 disease and guidance for the practice of gastroenterology in Ghana and beyond. It is to help the GI community of practice to maintain the highest level of health delivery and safety for our patients, staff, community and GI practitioners.

Funding: Self-funded.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/gmj.v54i4s.16DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8087355PMC
December 2020

Elevated rates of horizontal gene transfer in the industrialized human microbiome.

Cell 2021 04 31;184(8):2053-2067.e18. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

The Global Microbiome Conservancy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA; Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, School of Medical Sciences University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana.

Industrialization has impacted the human gut ecosystem, resulting in altered microbiome composition and diversity. Whether bacterial genomes may also adapt to the industrialization of their host populations remains largely unexplored. Here, we investigate the extent to which the rates and targets of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) vary across thousands of bacterial strains from 15 human populations spanning a range of industrialization. We show that HGTs have accumulated in the microbiome over recent host generations and that HGT occurs at high frequency within individuals. Comparison across human populations reveals that industrialized lifestyles are associated with higher HGT rates and that the functions of HGTs are related to the level of host industrialization. Our results suggest that gut bacteria continuously acquire new functionality based on host lifestyle and that high rates of HGT may be a recent development in human history linked to industrialization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2021.02.052DOI Listing
April 2021

Characteristics, management, and outcomes of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma in Africa: a multicountry observational study from the Africa Liver Cancer Consortium.

Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol 2017 02 3;2(2):103-111. Epub 2016 Dec 3.

Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Cape Coast, Ghana.

Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma is a leading cause of cancer-related death in Africa, but there is still no comprehensive description of the current status of its epidemiology in Africa. We therefore initiated an African hepatocellular carcinoma consortium aiming to describe the clinical presentation, management, and outcomes of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma in Africa.

Methods: We did a multicentre, multicountry, retrospective observational cohort study, inviting investigators from the African Network for Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases to participate in the consortium to develop hepatocellular carcinoma research databases and biospecimen repositories. Participating institutions were from Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. Clinical information-demographic characteristics, cause of disease, liver-related blood tests, tumour characteristics, treatments, last follow-up date, and survival status-for patients diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma between Aug 1, 2006, and April 1, 2016, were extracted from medical records by participating investigators. Because patients from Egypt showed differences in characteristics compared with patients from the other countries, we divided patients into two groups for analysis; Egypt versus other African countries. We undertook a multifactorial analysis using the Cox proportional hazards model to identify factors affecting survival (assessed from the time of diagnosis to last known follow-up or death).

Findings: We obtained information for 2566 patients at 21 tertiary referral centres (two in Egypt, nine in Nigeria, four in Ghana, and one each in the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda). 1251 patients were from Egypt and 1315 were from the other African countries (491 from Ghana, 363 from Nigeria, 277 from Ivory Coast, 59 from Cameroon, 51 from Sudan, 33 from Ethiopia, 21 from Tanzania, and 20 from Uganda). The median age at which hepatocellular carcinoma was diagnosed significantly later in Egypt than the other African countries (58 years [IQR 53-63] vs 46 years [36-58]; p<0·0001). Hepatitis C virus was the leading cause of hepatocellular carcinoma in Egypt (1054 [84%] of 1251 patients), and hepatitis B virus was the leading cause in the other African countries (597 [55%] of 1082 patients). Substantially fewer patients received treatment specifically for hepatocellular carcinoma in the other African countries than in Egypt (43 [3%] of 1315 vs 956 [76%] of 1251; p<0·0001). Among patients with survival information (605 [48%] of 1251 in Egypt and 583 [44%] of 1315 in other African countries), median survival was shorter in the other African countries than in Egypt (2·5 months [95% CI 2·0-3·1] vs 10·9 months [9·6-12·0]; p<0·0001). Factors independently associated with poor survival were: being from an African countries other than Egypt (hazard ratio [HR] 1·59 [95% CI 1·13-2·20]; p=0·01), hepatic encephalopathy (2·81 [1·72-4·42]; p=0·0004), diameter of the largest tumour (1·07 per cm increase [1·04-1·11]; p<0·0001), log α-fetoprotein (1·10 per unit increase [1·02-1·20]; p=0·0188), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 3-4 (2·92 [2·13-3·93]; p<0·0001) and no treatment (1·79 [1·44-2·22]; p<0·0001).

Interpretation: Characteristics of hepatocellular carcinoma differ between Egypt and other African countries. The proportion of patients receiving specific treatment in other African countries was low and their outcomes were extremely poor. Urgent efforts are needed to develop health policy strategies to decrease the burden of hepatocellular carcinoma in Africa.

Funding: None.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2468-1253(16)30161-3DOI Listing
February 2017
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