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Infection with versus Exposure to Taenia solium: What Do Serological Test Results Tell Us?

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  • Institute of Tropical Medicine, Animal Health Department, Antwerp, Belgium; Centro Internacional de Zoonosis, Central University of Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador; Institute of Health and Society, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium; Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium; Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Research Unit of Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Applied to Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liege, Liege, Belgium; Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnic, Central University of Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador

Taenia solium cysticercosis is an endemic zoonosis in many developing countries. Serological tests are the most appropriate diagnostic tools to understand the transmission dynamics of the parasite, but the performances of these methods in such a setting are not known. A south Ecuadorian human population living in an endemic area was tested using three common serological tests. Because none of them is a gold standard, a Bayesian Latent Class analysis was used to estimate the test characteristics. Two definitions of a case were considered to differentiate between prevalence of current infection and prior exposure to the parasite. Differences between the performances of the same test in function of the definition of a case were observed. This study shows that test results and prior information should be interpreted carefully in a Bayesian analysis framework, particularly when the latter is based on clinical studies.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Nicolas Praet, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Animal Health Department, Nationalestraat 155, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium. E-mail: npraet@itg.be

Financial support: This work was supported by the Belgian Cooperation in the framework of the Institutional Collaboration between the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, and the Centro Internacional de Zoonosis in Quito, Ecuador.

Authors' addresses: Nicolas Praet, Niko Speybroeck, Serge Ahounou, Anke Van Hul, and Pierre Dorny, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Animal Health Department, Antwerp, Belgium, E-mails: npraet@itg.be, nspeybroeck@itg.be, agserge@yahoo.fr, avanhul@itg.be, and pdorny@itg.be. Richar Rodriguez-Hidalgo, Washington Benitez-Ortiz, and Margoth Barrionuevo-Samaniego, Centro Internacional de Zoonosis, Central University of Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador, E-mails: rrodriguez-ciz@ac.uce.edu.ec, wbenitez-ciz@ac.uce.edu.ec, and mbarrionuevo-ciz@ac.uce.edu.ec. Dirk Berkvens, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Animal Health Department, Antwerp, Belgium and Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, E-mail: dberkens@itg.be. Claude Saegerman, Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Research Unit of Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Applied to Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liege, Liège, Belgium, E-mail: claude.saegerman@ulg.ac.be.

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