The cost-effectiveness of 10 antenatal syphilis screening and treatment approaches in Peru, Tanzania, and Zambia.
ABSTRACT: Rapid plasma reagin (RPR) is frequently used to test women for maternal syphilis. Rapid syphilis immunochromatographic strip tests detecting only Treponema pallidum antibodies (single RSTs) or both treponemal and non-treponemal antibodies (dual RSTs) are now available. This study assessed the cost-effectiveness of algorithms using these tests to screen pregnant women.Observed costs of maternal syphilis screening and treatment using clinic-based RPR and single RSTs in 20 clinics across Peru, Tanzania, and Zambia were used to model the cost-effectiveness of algorithms using combinations of RPR, single, and dual RSTs, and no and mass treatment. Sensitivity analyses determined drivers of key results.Although this analysis found screening using RPR to be relatively cheap, most (>70%) true cases went untreated. Algorithms using single RSTs were the most cost-effective in all observed settings, followed by dual RSTs, which became the most cost-effective if dual RST costs were halved. Single test algorithms dominated most sequential testing algorithms, although sequential algorithms reduced overtreatment. Mass treatment was relatively cheap and effective in the absence of screening supplies, though treated many uninfected women.This analysis highlights the advantages of introducing RSTs in three diverse settings. The results should be applicable to other similar settings.
Project description:New rapid point-of-care (POC) tests are being developed that would offer the opportunity to increase screening and treatment of several infections, including syphilis. This study evaluated three of these new rapid POC tests at a site in Southern California.Participants were recruited from a testing center in Long Beach, California. A whole blood specimen was used to evaluate the performance of the Dual Path Platform (DPP) Syphilis Screen & Confirm, DPP HIV-Syphilis, and DPP HIV-HCV-Syphilis rapid tests. The gold-standard comparisons were Treponema pallidum passive particle agglutination (TPPA), rapid plasma reagin (RPR), HCV enzyme immunoassay (EIA), and HIV-1/2 EIA.A total of 948 whole blood specimens were analyzed in this study. The sensitivity of the HIV tests ranged from 95.7-100% and the specificity was 99.7-100%. The sensitivity and specificity of the HCV test were 91.8% and 99.3%, respectively. The treponemal-test sensitivity when compared to TPPA ranged from 44.0-52.7% and specificity was 98.7-99.6%. The non-treponemal test sensitivity and specificity when compared to RPR was 47.8% and 98.9%, respectively. The sensitivity of the Screen & Confirm test improved to 90.0% when cases who were both treponemal and nontreponemal positive were compared to TPPA+/RPR ≥ 1 ∶ 8.The HIV and HCV on the multi-infection tests showed good performance, but the treponemal and nontreponemal tests had low sensitivity. These results could be due to a low prevalence of active syphilis in the sample population because the sensitivity improved when the gold standard was limited to those more likely to be active cases. Further evaluation of the new syphilis POC tests is required before implementation into testing programs.
Project description:Manual treponemal and nontreponemal serologic testing has historically been used for the diagnosis of syphilis. This approach is simple and reproducible but labor intensive. Recently, the FDA cleared the fully automated BioPlex 2200 Syphilis Total & RPR assay for the detection of treponemal and nontreponemal antibodies. We evaluated the clinical performance of this assay at a tertiary medical center with a high syphilis prevalence. Prospective consecutively collected (n = 400) and known RPR-positive (n = 100) specimens were compared using predicate manual rapid plasma reagin (RPR) and fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption (FTA) methods and the BioPlex 2200 Syphilis Total & RPR assay. Positive and negative percent agreements (PPA and NPA, respectively) between the assays were calculated. The PPA and NPA between the manual and BioPlex 2200 RPR results for the prospective population were 85% (17/20; 95% confidence interval [CI], 69% to 100%) and 98% (373/380; 95% CI, 97% to 99%), respectively. The PPA for the manual RPR-positive population was 88% (88/100; 95% CI, 82% to 94%). Overall, the manual and BioPlex 2200 RPR titers demonstrated 78% (99/127) concordance within ±1 dilution and 94% (120/127) within ±2 dilutions. An interpretation of the syphilis serologic profile using the traditional algorithm showed a concordance of 99.5% in the prospective population and 85% in the manual RPR-positive cohort. The performance of the BioPlex 2200 Syphilis Total & RPR assay is comparable to those of manual methods. The high NPA of this assay combined with the ability to automate a historically labor-intensive assay is an appealing attribute for syphilis screening in a high-volume laboratory.
Project description:Studies have addressed cost-effectiveness of syphilis testing of pregnant women in high-prevalence settings. This study compares costs of rapid syphilis testing (RST) with laboratory-based rapid plasma reagin (RPR) tests in low-prevalence settings in Peru. The RST was introduced in a tertiary-level maternity hospital and in the Ventanilla Network of primary health centers, where syphilis prevalence is approximately 1%. The costs per woman tested and treated with RST at the hospital were $2.70 and $369 respectively compared with $3.60 and $740 for RPR. For the Ventanilla Network the costs per woman tested and treated with RST were $3.19 and $295 respectively compared with $5.55 and $1454 for RPR. The cost per DALY averted using RST was $46 vs. $109 for RPR. RST showed lower costs compared to the WHO standard costs per DALY ($64). Findings suggest syphilis screening with RST is cost-effective in low-prevalence settings.
Project description:Syphilis, caused by Treponema pallidum ssp. pallidum (TPA), is a persisting global health problem. Although syphilis diagnostics relies mainly on serology, serological tests have some limitations, and it is recommended that the final diagnosis be supported by additional tests. The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship between serology and PCR in syphilis diagnostics. From the year 2004 to May 2019, a total of 941 samples were taken from 833 patients suspected of having syphilis, in Czech Republic. In all these samples, both nested PCR detection of TPA and serology testing were performed. Of the 941 samples, 126 were seronegative, 651 were seropositive, and 164 were serodiscrepant. Among seronegative samples (n = 126), 11 were PCR-positive (8.7%). Among seropositive samples (n = 651; i.e., samples positive for both non-treponemal and treponemal serology tests), 368 samples were PCR-positive (56.5%). The remaining 164 serodiscrepant samples included RPR negative and treponemal serological test-positive samples (n = 154) and a set of 10 RPR-positive samples negative in treponemal serological tests. While the first group revealed 73 PCR-positive samples (47.4%), the second revealed 5 PCR positive samples (50.0%). PCR detection rates were highest in primary syphilis, with lower rates in the secondary and undetermined syphilis stages. As shown here, the nested PCR can improve diagnostics of syphilis, especially in seronegative patients and in patients with discrepant serology.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:We compared the automated non-treponemal reagin (rapid plasma reagin (RPR)) test with the conventional RPR card test for usefulness in clinical applications. SETTING:A comparative study of laboratory methods using clinical specimens in a single institute. PARTICIPANTS:A total of 112 serum samples including 59 Treponema pallidum particle agglutination (TPPA)-positive and 53 TPPA-negative specimens were evaluated. OUTCOME MEASURES:HiSens Auto RPR LTIA (HBI, Anyang, Korea) was compared with Macro-Vue RPR Card Tests (Becton Dickinson BD Microbiology Systems, Sparks, Maryland, USA). Treponemal-specific tests were performed by Serodia TPPA assay (Fujirebio, Tokyo, Japan). The percentage agreement, ? value and overall sensitivity and specificity of the two RPR tests were compared. Seroconversion rates after treatment were also compared for each RPR test. RESULTS:The percentage agreement between the two RPR tests was 78.6% (? 0.565; 95% CI 0.422 to 0.709). Sensitivity and specificity of the automated RPR test relative to the TPPA test was 52.5% (95% CI 39.1% to 65.7%) and 94.3% (95% CI 84.3% to 98.8%), respectively, while the same values for the conventional RPR card test were 86.4% (95% CI 75% to 93.9%) and 94.3% (95% CI 84.3% to 98.8%), respectively. The conventional RPR card test showed overall higher positivity than the automated RPR test, whereas the automated RPR test showed higher seroconversion (43.5%, 10/23) than the conventional RPR card test (4.3%, 1/23) in treated patients. CONCLUSIONS:The automated RPR test showed overall lower sensitivity than the conventional RPR test based on the treponemal test, but higher seroconversion after treatment. The automated RPR test could be used to monitor treatment response, especially in the reverse screening algorithm in syphilis testing.
Project description:A study found screening (with rapid plasma reagin (RPR)) pregnant women for maternal syphilis was cost-effective in Mwanza, Tanzania. Recently, four rapid point-of-care (POC) syphilis tests were evaluated in Mwanza, and found to have reasonable sensitivity/specificity. This analysis estimates the relative cost-effectiveness of using these POC tests in the Mwanza syphilis screening intervention.Empirical cost and epidemiological data were used to model the potential benefit of using POC tests instead of RPR. Reductions in costs relating to training, supplies, and equipment were estimated, and any changes in impact due to test sensitivity were included. Additional modelling explored how the results vary with prevalence of past infection, misclassified RPR results, and if not all women return for treatment.The cost-effectiveness of using POC tests is mainly dependent on their cost and sensitivity for high titre active syphilis (HTAS). Savings due to reductions in training and equipment are small. Current POC tests may save more disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) than the RPR test in Mwanza, but the test cost needs to be <0.63 US dollars to be as cost-effective as RPR. However, the cost-effectiveness of the RPR test worsens by 15% if its HTAS sensitivity had been 75% instead of 86%, and by 25-65% if 20-40% of women had not returned for treatment. In such settings, POC tests could improve cost-effectiveness. Lastly, the cost-effectiveness of POC tests is affected little by the prevalence of syphilis, false RPR-positives, and past infections.Although the price of most POC tests needs to be reduced to make them as cost-effective as RPR, their simplicity and limited requirements for electricity/equipment suggest their use could improve the coverage of antenatal syphilis screening in developing countries.
Project description:HIV and congenital syphilis are major public health burdens contributing to substantial perinatal morbidity and mortality globally. Although studies have reported on the costs and cost-effectiveness of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for syphilis screening within antenatal care in a number of resource-constrained settings, empirical evidence on country-specific cost and estimates of single RDTs compared with dual RDTs for HIV and syphilis are limited.A cluster randomised controlled study design was used to compare the incremental costs of two testing algorithms: (1) single RDTs for HIV and syphilis and (2) dual RDTs for HIV and syphilis, in 12 health facilities in Bogota and Cali, Colombia. The costs of single HIV and syphilis RDTs and dual HIV and syphilis RDTs were collected from each of the health facilities. The economic costs per woman tested for HIV and syphilis and costs per woman treated for syphilis defined as the total costs required to test and treat one woman for syphilis were estimated.A total of 2214 women were tested in the study facilities. Cost per pregnant woman tested and cost per woman treated for syphilis were US$10.26 and US$607.99, respectively in the single RDT arm. For the dual RDTs, the cost per pregnant woman tested for HIV and syphilis and cost per woman treated for syphilis were US$15.89 and US$1859.26, respectively. Overall costs per woman tested for HIV and syphilis and cost per woman treated for syphilis were lower in Cali compared with Bogota across both intervention arms. Staff costs accounted for the largest proportion of costs while treatment costs comprised <1% of the preventive programme.Findings show lower average costs for single RDTs compared with dual RDTs with costs sensitive to personnel costs and the scale of output at the health facilities.NCT02454816; results.
Project description:BackgroundCurrent point-of-care tests (POCT) for syphilis, based on the detection of Treponema pallidum (TP) total antibodies, have limited capacity in distinguishing between active and past/treated syphilis. We report the development and early evaluation of a new prototype POCT based on the detection of TP-IgA antibodies, a novel biomarker for active syphilis.MethodsThe TP-IgA POCT (index test) was developed in response to the World Health Organisation (WHO) target product profile (TPP) for a POCT for confirmatory syphilis testing. Two sub-studies were conducted consecutively using 458 pre-characterised stored plasma samples in China (sub-study one, addressing the criteria for the WHO TPP), and 503 venous blood samples collected from pregnant/postpartum women in South Africa (sub-study two, addressing potential clinical utility). Performance of the index test was assessed against standard laboratory-based serology using a combination of treponemal (TPHA) and non-treponemal (rapid plasma reagin [RPR]) tests.FindingsIn sub-study one, the index test demonstrated 96·1% (95%CI=91·7%-98·5%) sensitivity and 84·7% (95%CI=80·15–88·6%) specificity for identification of active syphilis (TPHA positive, RPR positive). It correctly identified 71% (107/150) samples of past-treated syphilis (TPHA positive, RPR negative). In sub-study two, the index test achieved 100% (95%CI=59%-100%) sensitivity for active syphilis and correctly identified all nine women with past syphilis.InterpretationThe TP-IgA POCT has met the WHO TPP for a POCT for diagnosis of active syphilis and demonstrated its potential utility in a clinical setting. Future studies are warranted to evaluate field performance of the final manufactured test.FundingSaving Lives at Birth: Grand Challenge for Development, Thrasher Research Fund, and the Victorian Government Operational Infrastructure Scheme.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Syphilis is a sexually and vertically transmitted infection caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum for which there are few proven alternatives to penicillin for treatment. For pregnant women infected with syphilis, penicillin is the only WHO-recommended treatment that will treat the mother and cross the placenta to treat the unborn infant and prevent congenital syphilis. Recent shortages, national level stockouts as well as other barriers to penicillin use call for the urgent identification of alternative therapies to treat pregnant women infected with syphilis. METHODS:This prospective, randomized, non-comparative trial will enroll non-pregnant women aged 18?years and older with active syphilis, defined as a positive rapid treponemal and a positive non-treponemal RPR test with titer ?1:16. Women will be a, domized in a 2:1 ratio to receive the oral third generation cephalosporin cefixime at a dose of 400?mg two times per day for 10?days (n?=?140) or benzathine penicillin G 2.4 million units intramuscularly based on the stage of syphilis infection (n?=?70). RPR titers will be collected at enrolment, and at three, six, and nine?months following treatment. Participants experiencing a 4-fold (2 titer) decline by 6?months will be considered as having an adequate or curative treatment response. DISCUSSION:Demonstration of efficacy of cefixime in the treatment of active syphilis in this Phase 2 trial among non-pregnant women will inform a proposed randomized controlled trial to evaluate cefixime as an alternative treatment for pregnant women with active syphilis to evaluate prevention of congenital syphilis. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Trial identifier: www.Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT03752112. Registration Date: November 22, 2018.
Project description:Yaws is a non-venereal treponemal infection caused by Treponema pallidum ssp. pertenue. The WHO has launched a worldwide control programme, which aims to eradicate yaws by 2020. The development of a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for serological diagnosis in the isolated communities affected by yaws is a key requirement for the successful implementation of the WHO strategy. We conducted a study to evaluate the utility of the DPP test in screening for yaws, utilizing samples collected as part of a community prevalence survey conducted in the Solomon Islands. 415 serum samples were tested using both traditional syphilis serology (TPPA and quantitative RPR) and the Chembio DPP Syphilis Screen and Confirm RDT. We calculated the sensitivity and specificity of the RDT as compared to gold standard serology. The sensitivity of the RDT against TPPA was 58.5% and the specificity was 97.6%. The sensitivity of the RDT against RPR was 41.7% and the specificity was 95.2%. The sensitivity of the DPP was strongly related to the RPR titre with a sensitivity of 92.0% for an RPR titre of >1/16. Wider access to DPP testing would improve our understanding of worldwide yaws case reporting and the test may play a key role in assessing patients presenting with yaws like lesions in a post-mass drug administration (MDA) setting.