Understanding the relationship between egg- and antigen-based diagnostics of Schistosoma mansoni infection pre- and post-treatment in Uganda

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Abstract

Background: Schistosomiasis is a major socio-economic and public health problem in many sub-Saharan African countries. After large mass drug administration (MDA) campaigns, prevalence of infection rapidly returns to pre-treatment levels. The traditional egg-based diagnostic for schistosome infections, Kato-Katz, is being substituted in many settings by circulating antigen recognition-based diagnostics, usually the point-of-care circulating cathodic antigen test (CCA). The relationship between these diagnostics is poorly understood, particularly after treatment in both drug-efficacy studies and routine monitoring. Results: We created a model of schistosome infections to better understand and quantify the relationship between these two egg- and adult worm antigen-based diagnostics. We focused particularly on the interpretation of "trace" results after CCA testing. Our analyses suggest that CCA is generally a better predictor of prevalence, particularly after treatment, and that trace CCA results are typically associated with truly infected individuals. Conclusions: Even though prevalence rises to pre-treatment levels only six months after MDAs, our model suggests that the average intensity of infection is much lower, and is probably in part due to a small burden of surviving juveniles from when the treatment occurred. This work helps to better understand CCA diagnostics and the interpretation of post-treatment prevalence estimations.

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Prada, J. M., Touloupou, P., Adriko, M., Tukahebwa, E. M., Lamberton, P. H. L., & Hollingsworth, T. D. (2018). Understanding the relationship between egg- and antigen-based diagnostics of Schistosoma mansoni infection pre- and post-treatment in Uganda. Parasites and Vectors, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-017-2580-z

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