Infection intensity-dependent accuracy of reagent strip for the diagnosis of Schistosoma haematobium and estimation of treatment prevalence thresholds

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  • Carla M. Grolimund
  • Oliver Bärenbold
  • Christoph F. Hatz
  • Vennervald, Birgitte J
  • Charles Mayombana
  • Hassan Mshinda
  • Jürg Utzinger
  • Penelope Vounatsou
Reagent strip to detect microhematuria as a proxy for Schistosoma haematobium infections has been considered an alternative to urine filtration for individual diagnosis and community-based estimates of treatment needs for preventive chemotherapy. However, the diagnostic accuracy of reagent strip needs further investigation, particularly at low infection intensity levels.

We used existing data from a study conducted in Tanzania that employed urine filtration and reagent strip testing for S. haematobium in two villages, including a baseline and six follow-up surveys after praziquantel treatment representing a wide range of infection prevalence. We developed a Bayesian model linking individual S. haematobium egg count data based on urine filtration to reagent strip binary test results available on multiple days and estimated the relation between infection intensity and sensitivity of reagent strip. Furthermore, we simulated data from 3,000 hypothetical populations with varying mean infection intensity to infer on the relation between prevalence observed by urine filtration and the interpretation of reagent strip readings.

Principal findings
Reagent strip showed excellent sensitivity even for single measurement reaching 100% at around 15 eggs of S. haematobium per 10 ml of urine when traces on reagent strip were considered positive. The corresponding specificity was 97%. When traces were considered negative, the diagnostic accuracy of the reagent strip was equivalent to urine filtration data obtained on a single day. A 10% and 50% urine filtration prevalence based on a single day sampling corresponds to 11.2% and 48.6% prevalence by reagent strip, respectively, when traces were considered negative, and 17.6% and 57.7%, respectively, when traces were considered positive.

Trace results should be included in reagent strip readings when high sensitivity is required, but excluded when high specificity is needed. The observed prevalence of reagent strip results, when traces are considered negative, is a good proxy for prevalence estimates of S. haematobium infection by urine filtration on a single day.
TidsskriftPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Udgave nummer4
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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© 2022 Grolimund et al.

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