The cost-effectiveness of using rapid diagnostic tests for the diagnosis of typhoid fever in patients with suspected typhoid fever: a systematic review


Samuel N Frempong, Natalie King, Gurdeep S Sagoo


Introduction: Despite the availability of several commercial rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) developed to detect typhoid fever, the cost-effectiveness in resource-limited settings is unclear. This review aimed to explore the literature on typhoid economic evaluations in order to assess the cost-effectiveness of using typhoid RDTs in resource-limited settings.

Areas covered: A systematic review was conducted focusing on the identification of economic evaluations of typhoid RDTs to diagnose patients with suspected typhoid fever. Two studies were identified and included for narrative synthesis. Whilst highlighting a gap in the published literature, this review shows the use of typhoid RDTs to potentially be cost-effective in resource limited settings. Factors that appeared as significant in determining cost-effectiveness related to test characteristics (such as sensitivity, specificity and cost) and the prevalence of typhoid fever and should factor into any future evaluations.

Expert opinion: Concerted effort is needed in resource-limited settings with regards to medical device regulation to ensure that clinically effective and cost-effective typhoid RDTs are widely available and introduced into clinical practice. Typhoid modelling (with respect to typhoid testing and treatment strategies) represents an understudied area and further work is needed.

Keywords: Systematic review; cost-effectiveness analysis; cost–benefit analysis; cost–utility analysis; economic evaluation; enteric fever; rapid diagnostic tests; typhoid fever.

Click here to read the article, published in Taylor & Francis.