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Surveillance of intestinal schistosomiasis during control: a comparison of four diagnostic tests across five Ugandan primary schools in the Lake Albert region

  • Hajri Al-Shehri (a1) (a2), Artemis Koukounari (a3), Michelle C. Stanton (a1) (a4), Moses Adriko (a5), Moses Arinaitwe (a5), Aaron Atuhaire (a5), Narcis B. Kabatereine (a5) and J. Russell Stothard (a1)...

Abstract

Programmatic surveillance of intestinal schistosomiasis during control can typically use four diagnostic tests, either singularly or in combination, but these have yet to be cross-compared directly. Our study assembled a complete diagnostic dataset, inclusive of infection intensities, from 258 children from five Ugandan primary schools. The schools were purposely selected as typical of the endemic landscape near Lake Albert and reflective of high- and low-transmission settings. Overall prevalence was: 44.1% (95% CI 38.0–50.2) by microscopy of duplicate Kato-Katz smears from two consecutive stools, 56.9% (95% CI 50.8–63.0) by urine-circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) dipstick, 67.4% (95% CI 61.6–73.1) by DNA-TaqMan® and 75.1% (95% CI 69.8–80.4) by soluble egg antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (SEA-ELISA). A cross-comparison of diagnostic sensitivities, specificities, positive and negative predictive values was undertaken, inclusive of a latent class analysis (LCA) with a LCA-model estimate of prevalence by each school. The latter ranged from 9.6% to 100.0%, and prevalence by school for each diagnostic test followed a static ascending order or monotonic series of Kato-Katz, urine-CCA dipstick, DNA-TaqMan® and SEA-ELISA. We confirm that Kato-Katz remains a satisfactory diagnostic standalone in high-transmission settings but in low-transmission settings should be augmented or replaced by urine-CCA dipsticks. DNA-TaqMan® appears suitable in both endemic settings though is only implementable if resources permit. In low-transmission settings, SEA-ELISA remains the method of choice to evidence an absence infection. We discuss the pros and cons of each method concluding that future surveillance of intestinal schistosomiasis would benefit from a flexible, context-specific approach both in choice and application of each diagnostic method, rather than a single one-size fits all approach.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: J. R. Stothard, E-mail: russell.stothard@lstmed.ac.uk

References

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Keywords

Surveillance of intestinal schistosomiasis during control: a comparison of four diagnostic tests across five Ugandan primary schools in the Lake Albert region

  • Hajri Al-Shehri (a1) (a2), Artemis Koukounari (a3), Michelle C. Stanton (a1) (a4), Moses Adriko (a5), Moses Arinaitwe (a5), Aaron Atuhaire (a5), Narcis B. Kabatereine (a5) and J. Russell Stothard (a1)...

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