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Combination of five diagnostic tests to estimate the prevalence of hookworm infection among school-aged children from a rural area of colombia.

Barreto, Rafael E., Narváez, Javier, Sepúlveda, Natalia A., Velásquez, Fabián C., Díaz, Sandra C., López, Myriam Consuelo, Reyes, Patricia, Moncada, Ligia I.
Acta tropica 2017
Bayesian theory, agar, diagnostic techniques, helminthiasis, hookworms, microscopy, monitoring, public health, rural areas, school children, statistical models, Colombia
Public health programs for the control of soil-transmitted helminthiases require valid diagnostic tests for surveillance and parasitic control evaluation. However, there is currently no agreement about what test should be used as a gold standard for the diagnosis of hookworm infection. Still, in presence of concurrent data for multiple tests it is possible to use statistical models to estimate measures of test performance and prevalence. The aim of this study was to estimate the diagnostic accuracy of five parallel tests (direct microscopic examination, Kato-Katz, Harada-Mori, modified Ritchie-Frick, and culture in agar plate) to detect hookworm infections in a sample of school-aged children from a rural area in Colombia.We used both, a frequentist approach, and Bayesian latent class models to estimate the sensitivity and specificity of five tests for hookworm detection, and to estimate the prevalence of hookworm infection in absence of a Gold Standard. The Kato-Katz and agar plate methods had an overall agreement of 95% and kappa coefficient of 0.76. Different models estimated a sensitivity between 76% and 92% for the agar plate technique, and 52% to 87% for the Kato-Katz technique. The other tests had lower sensitivity. All tests had specificity between 95% and 98%. The prevalence estimated by the Kato-Katz and Agar plate methods for different subpopulations varied between 10% and 14%, and was consistent with the prevalence estimated from the combination of all tests. The Harada-Mori, Ritchie-Frick and direct examination techniques resulted in lower and disparate prevalence estimates. Bayesian approaches assuming imperfect specificity resulted in lower prevalence estimates than the frequentist approach.