Volume 100, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Brucellosis is an important but neglected zoonosis that causes serious economic losses both in livestock and human populations. The aim of the present study was to estimate the true prevalence of brucellosis together with diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of three serological tests in humans of the northwestern part of Ecuador using a Bayesian approach adjusted for the dependencies among the multiple tests to avoid any misinterpretation. In addition, the causal agent responsible for human brucellosis was also identified. Using a total of 3,733 samples collected from humans in this area between 2006 and 2008, the prevalence of human brucellosis and the diagnostic test characteristics of the Rose Bengal fast agglutination test (RBT), Wright’s slow agglutination test with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid disodium salt dehydrate (EDTA) (SAT-EDTA), and indirect ELISA (iELISA) were estimated using a Bayesian approach. The estimated true prevalence of human brucellosis was 1% (credibility interval: 0.4–1.6). The sensitivities of iELISA and RBT were higher than and similar (95.1% and 95.0%, respectively) to those of SAT-EDTA (60.8%). Even though all tests indicated a high specificity (> 99.0%), the specificity of SAT-EDTA was highest (99.9%). The circulating strain in this study area was identified to be biotype 4 based on culture and microbiological characterization. The RBT and the iELISA are recommended for estimating the true prevalence of human brucellosis and/or for surveillance programs following their high sensitivities and specificities. The proposed strategy supports evidence-based medicine for clinicians and policy-makers to ensure appropriate preventive and control program of brucellosis worldwide.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Supplemental appendices

  • Received : 29 Jul 2018
  • Accepted : 10 Jan 2019
  • Published online : 29 Apr 2019

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error