Evaluation of Serological Diagnostic Tests for Typhoid Fever in Papua New Guinea Using a Composite Reference Standard

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Evaluation of Serological Diagnostic Tests for Typhoid Fever in Papua New Guinea Using a Composite Reference Standard

by admin November 24, 2012

Authors

Valentine Siba, Paul F. Horwood, Kilagi Vanuga, Johanna Wapling, Rebecca Sehuko, Peter M. Siba, and Andrew R. Greenhill

Abstract

Typhoid fever remains a major global health problem. A major impediment to improving outcomes is the lack of appropriate diagnostic tools, which have not significantly improved in low-income settings for 100 years. We evaluated two commercially available rapid diagnostic tests (Tubex and TyphiDot), a prototype (TyphiRapid TR-02), and the commonly used single-serum Widal test in a previously reported high-burden area of Papua New Guinea. Samples were collected from 530 outpatients with axillary temperatures of ≥37.5°C, and analysis was conducted on all malaria-negative samples (n = 500). A composite reference standard of blood culture and PCR was used, by which 47 participants (9.4%) were considered typhoid fever positive. The sensitivity and specificity of the Tubex (51.1% and 88.3%, respectively) and TyphiDot (70.0% and 80.1%, respectively) tests were not high enough to warrant their ongoing use in this setting; however, the sensitivity and specificity for the TR-02 prototype were promising (89.4% and 85.0%, respectively). An axillary temperature of ≥38.5°C correlated with typhoid fever (P = 0.014). With an appropriate diagnostic test, conducting typhoid fever diagnosis only on patients with high-grade fever could dramatically decrease the costs associated with diagnosis while having no detrimental impact on the ability to accurately diagnose the illness.

 

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