Jyotshna Sapkota, Rumina Hasan, Robert Onsare, Sonia Arafah, Sam Kariuki, Sadia Shakoor, Farah Qamar, Sheillah Mundalo, Frida Njeru, Rael Too, Elizabeth Ndegwa, Jason R. Andrews, Sabine Dittrich
Blood and bone marrow cultures are considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of typhoid, but these methods require infrastructure and skilled staff that are not always available in low- and middle-income countries where typhoid is endemic. The objective of the study is to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of nine commercially available Salmonella Typhi rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) using blood culture as a reference standard in a multicenter study. This was a prospective and retrospective multicenter diagnostic accuracy study conducted in two geographically distant areas where typhoid is endemic (Pakistan and Kenya; NCT04801602). Nine RDTs were evaluated, including the Widal test. Point estimates for sensitivity and specificity were calculated using the Wilson method. Latent class analyses were performed using R to address the imperfect gold standard. A total of 531 serum samples were evaluated (264 blood culture positive; 267 blood culture negative). The sensitivity of RDTs varied widely (range, 0 to 78.8%), with the best overall performance shown by Enterocheck WB (72.7% sensitivity, 86.5% specificity). In latent class modeling, CTK IgG was found to have the highest sensitivity (79.1%), while the highest overall accuracy was observed with Enterocheck (73.8% sensitivity, 94.5% specificity). All commercially available Salmonella Typhi RDTs evaluated in the study had sensitivity and specificity values that fell below the required levels to be recommended for an accurate diagnosis. There were minimal differences in RDT performances between regions of endemicity. These findings highlight the clear need for new and more-accurate Salmonella Typhi tests.
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