Performance characteristics and costs of serological tests for brucellosis in a pastoralist community of northern Tanzania.
The control of brucellosis across sub-Saharan Africa is hampered by the lack of standardized testing and the use of tests with poor performance. This study evaluated the performance and costs of serological assays for human brucellosis in a pastoralist community in northern Tanzania. Serum collected from 218 febrile hospital patients was used to evaluate the performance of seven index tests, selected based on international recommendation or current use. We evaluated the Rose Bengal test (RBT) using two protocols, four commercial agglutination tests and a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, Youden's index, diagnostic accuracy, and per-sample cost of each index test were estimated. The diagnostic accuracy estimates ranged from 95.9 to 97.7% for the RBT, 55.0 to 72.0% for the commercial plate tests, and 89.4% for the cELISA. The per-sample cost range was $0.69-$0.79 for the RBT, $1.03-$1.14 for the commercial plate tests, and $2.51 for the cELISA. The widely used commercial plate tests performed poorly and cost more than the RBT. These findings provide evidence for the public health value of discontinuing the use of commercial agglutination tests for human brucellosis in Tanzania.
Lukambagire, AS; Mendes, ÂJ; Bodenham, RF; McGiven, JA; Mkenda, NA; Mathew, C; Rubach, MP; Sakasaka, P; Shayo, DD; Maro, VP; Shirima, GM; Thomas, KM; Kasanga, CJ; Kazwala, RR; Halliday, JEB; Mmbaga, BT
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