Bayesian evaluation of three serological tests for the diagnosis of bovine brucellosis in Bangladesh

A. K. M. A. Rahman, S. Smit, B. Devleesschauwer, P. Kostoulas, E. Abatih, C. Saegerman, M. Shamsuddin, D. Berkvens, N. K. Dhand, M. P. Ward

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We evaluated the performance of three serological tests -an immunoglobulin G indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA), a Rose Bengal test and a slow agglutination test (SAT) -for the diagnosis of bovine brucellosis in Bangladesh. Cattle sera (n = 1360) sourced from Mymensingh district (MD) and a Government owned dairy farm (GF) were tested in parallel. We used a Bayesian latent class model that adjusted for the conditional dependence among the three tests and assumed constant diagnostic accuracy of the three tests in both populations. The sensitivity and specificity of the three tests varied from 84.6% to 93.7%, respectively. The true prevalences of bovine brucellosis in MD and the GF were 0.6% and 20.4%, respectively. Parallel interpretation of iELISA and SAT yielded the highest negative predictive values: 99.9% in MD and 99.6% in the GF; whereas serial interpretation of both iELISA and SAT produced the highest positive predictive value (PPV): 99.9% in the GF and also high PPV (98.9%) in MD. We recommend the use of both iELISA and SAT together and serial interpretation for culling and parallel interpretation for import decisions. Removal of brucellosis positive cattle will contribute to the control of brucellosis as a public health risk in Bangladesh.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere73
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Animal pathogens
  • Bayesian analysis
  • brucellosis
  • infectious disease epidemiology
  • veterinary epidemiology

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