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 brucellosiswas 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-EDTAwas highest (99.9%). The circulating strain in this study area was identified to be Brucella abortus 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.
- CONDITIONAL DEPENDENCE
- DISEASE PREVALENCE