Institution Registered at: University Clinical Research Center (UCRC) – University of Sciences, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako (USTTB), Bamako, Mali

PhD Title: Impact of comorbidities in SARS-CoV-2 infection in Bamako, Mali.

Study Description: The WHO underlines that people with pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure, as well as other cardiovascular diseases, will increase the risk of severe forms of COVID-19 and mortality. In Mali and other developing countries, the burden of the association of COVID-19 with our endemic diseases has not been sufficiently determined. Thus, the objective of my study is to assess the impact of comorbidities in SARS-CoV-2 infection in Bamako/Mali. The hypothesis is that SARS-CoV-2 infection associated with chronic diseases like diabetes (DB), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV/AIDS) infection, high blood pressure, and endemic infections like tuberculosis (TB) will have variable effects on SARS-CoV-2 viral replication and the treatment outcome.

A cohort study enrolling SARS-CoV-2 positive patients with or without comorbidity in the treatment centers of Bamako will be conducted. Only consenting patients will be enrolled, and thereafter naso-oral pharyngeal swabs, blood, and sputum will be collected following good clinical and laboratory practices for SARS-CoV-2 confirmation, and diagnosis of comorbidities. High viral load samples will be sequenced using MinION™ to determine the genetic diversity of circulating variants. In addition, after discharge, patients will be checked regularly on a quarterly basis for one year for possible reinfections.

In addition to characterising the different SARS-CoV-2 variants encountered during the study period, we anticipated that this project would provide a comprehensive analysis of many important aspects of SARS-CoV-2 infections associated with endemic diseases in Mali. It will also improve understanding of the transmission and susceptibility to COVID-19, which are key for its elimination.


  • Dr Bassirou Diarra, UCRC-USTTB, Mentor
  • Professor Mahamadou Diakite, Head of Immunogenetics, UCRC-USTTB
  • Professor Yacouba Toloba, Head of Clinical department, FMOS-CHU Pt G
  • Professor Amadou Kone, U Head of Molecular & Genomics, UCRC-USTTB
  • Dr Yéya dit Sadio Sarro, Biostatistician, UCRC-USTTB

Profile: I hold a Master’s degree in science and Biotechnology from the Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, Senegal, where I carried out my master’s practical’s work within the UCRC. I was then selected as a biologist in their BSL-3 laboratory which is the reference laboratory in COVID-19 diagnosis in Mali, along with TB and other comorbidities.

I am currently registered at the USTTB doctoral school in Mali (EDSTM). I am motivated and determined to fully invest myself in strengthening current knowledge through new research tools on COVID-19 and comorbidities such as HIV, TB, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory diseases. Hence the TALENT Fellowship through my research, will help me to contribute towards addressing challenges in achieving the elimination of COVID-19 as desired by WHO and its partners not only in Mali, but the world.

ORCHID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3442-064X