Rapid Syphilis Testing Is Cost-Effective Even in Low-Prevalence Settings: The CISNE-PERU Experience.
ABSTRACT: 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:In March 2012, The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation trained maternal and child health workers in Southern Province of Zambia to use a new rapid syphilis test (RST) during routine antenatal care. A recent study by Bonawitz et al. (2014) evaluated the impact of this roll out in Kalomo District. This paper estimates the costs and cost-effectiveness from the provider's perspective under the actual conditions observed during the first year of the RST roll out.Information on materials used and costs were extracted from program records. A decision-analytic model was used to evaluate the costs (2012 USD) and cost-effectiveness. Basic parameters needed for the model were based on the results from the evaluation study.During the evaluation study, 62% of patients received a RST, and 2.8% of patients tested were positive (and 10.4% of these were treated). Even with very high RST sensitivity and specificity (98%), true prevalence of active syphilis would be substantially less (estimated at <0.7%). For 1,000 new ANC patients, costs of screening and treatment were estimated at $2,136, and the cost per avoided disability-adjusted-life year lost (DALY) was estimated at $628. Costs change little if all positives are treated (because prevalence is low and treatment costs are small), but the cost-per-DALY avoided falls to just $66. With full adherence to guidelines, costs increase to $3,174 per 1,000 patients and the cost-per-DALY avoided falls to $60.Screening for syphilis is only useful for reducing adverse birth outcomes if patients testing positive are actually treated. Even with very low prevalence of syphilis (a needle in the haystack), cost effectiveness improves dramatically if those found positive are treated; additional treatment costs little but DALYs avoided are substantial. Without treatment, the needle is essentially found and thrown back into the haystack.
Project description: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:Maternal syphilis results in an estimated 500,000 stillbirths and neonatal deaths annually in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the existence of national guidelines for antenatal syphilis screening, syphilis testing is often limited by inadequate laboratory and staff services. Recent availability of inexpensive rapid point-of-care syphilis tests (RST) can improve access to antenatal syphilis screening. A 2010 pilot in Zambia explored the feasibility of integrating RST within prevention of mother-to-child-transmission of HIV services. Following successful demonstration, the Zambian Ministry of Health adopted RSTs into national policy in 2011. Cost data from the pilot and 2012 preliminary national rollout were extracted from project records, antenatal registers, clinic staff interviews, and facility observations, with the aim of assessing the cost and quality implications of scaling up a successful pilot into a national rollout. Start-up, capital, and recurrent cost inputs were collected, including costs of extensive supervision and quality monitoring during the pilot. Costs were analysed from a provider's perspective, incremental to existing antenatal services. Total and unit costs were calculated and a multivariate sensitivity analysis was performed. Our accompanying qualitative study by Ansbro et al. (2015) elucidated quality assurance and supervisory system challenges experienced during rollout, which helped explain key cost drivers. The average unit cost per woman screened during rollout ($11.16) was more than triple the pilot unit cost ($3.19). While quality assurance costs were much lower during rollout, the increased unit costs can be attributed to several factors, including higher RST prices and lower RST coverage during rollout, which reduced economies of scale. Pilot and rollout cost drivers differed due to implementation decisions related to training, supervision, and quality assurance. This study explored the cost of integrating RST into antenatal care in pilot and national rollout settings, and highlighted important differences in costs that may be observed when moving from pilot to scale-up.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Syphilis in pregnancy imposes a significant global health and economic burden. More than half of cases result in serious adverse events, including infant mortality and infection. The annual global burden from mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of syphilis is estimated at 3.6 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and $309 million in medical costs. Syphilis screening and treatment is simple, effective, and affordable, yet, worldwide, most pregnant women do not receive these services. We assessed cost-effectiveness of scaling-up syphilis screening and treatment in existing antenatal care (ANC) programs in various programmatic, epidemiologic, and economic contexts.<h4>Methods and findings</h4>We modeled the cost, health impact, and cost-effectiveness of expanded syphilis screening and treatment in ANC, compared to current services, for 1,000,000 pregnancies per year over four years. We defined eight generic country scenarios by systematically varying three factors: current maternal syphilis testing and treatment coverage, syphilis prevalence in pregnant women, and the cost of healthcare. We calculated program and net costs, DALYs averted, and net costs per DALY averted over four years in each scenario. Program costs are estimated at $4,142,287 - $8,235,796 per million pregnant women (2010 USD). Net costs, adjusted for averted medical care and current services, range from net savings of $12,261,250 to net costs of $1,736,807. The program averts an estimated 5,754 - 93,484 DALYs, yielding net savings in four scenarios, and a cost per DALY averted of $24 - $111 in the four scenarios with net costs. Results were robust in sensitivity analyses.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Eliminating MTCT of syphilis through expanded screening and treatment in ANC is likely to be highly cost-effective by WHO-defined thresholds in a wide range of settings. Countries with high prevalence, low current service coverage, and high healthcare cost would benefit most. Future analyses can be tailored to countries using local epidemiologic and programmatic data.
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: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:Untreated syphilis in pregnancy is associated with adverse clinical outcomes to the infant. In low- and middle-income countries in Asia and Latin America, 20%-30% of women are not tested for syphilis during pregnancy. We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of increasing the coverage for antenatal syphilis screening in 11 Asian and 20 Latin American countries, using a point-of-care immunochromatographic strip (ICS) test.The decision analytical cost-effectiveness models reported incremental costs per disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) averted from the perspectives of the national health care payer. Clinical outcomes were stillbirths, neonatal deaths, and congenital syphilis. DALYs were computed using WHO disability weights. Costs included the ICS test, three injections of benzathine penicillin, and nurse wages. Country-specific inputs included the antenatal prevalence of syphilis and the proportion of women in the antenatal care setting that are screened for syphilis infection as reported in the 2014 WHO baseline report on global sexually transmitted infection surveillance. Country-specific data on the annual number of live births, proportion of women with at least one antenatal care visit, and per capita gross national income were also included in the model.The incremental cost/DALY averted of syphilis screening is US$53 (range: US$10-US$332; Prob<1*per capita GDP=99.71%) in Asia and US$60 (range: US$5-US$225; Prob<1*per capita GDP=99.77%) in Latin America. Universal screening may reduce the annual number of stillbirths by 20,344 and 4,270, neonatal deaths by 8,201 and 1,721, cases of congenital syphilis by 10,952 and 2,298, and avert 925,039 and 197,454 DALYs in the aggregate Asian and Latin American panel, respectively.Antenatal syphilis screening is highly cost-effective in all the 11 Asian and 20 Latin American countries assessed. Our findings support the decision to expand syphilis screening in countries with currently low screening rates or continue national syphilis screening programs in countries with high rates.
Project description:Background. In all cases of suspected sexually transmitted infections (STIs), it has been routine practice to screen for syphilis with a blood sample. The incidence of syphilis seems to be lower than that of commonly screened STIs. Objective. The objective of our study was to determine whether it is cost-effective to screen for syphilis with serological testing in cases of suspected gonorrhea and chlamydia infections. Hypothesis. Our hypothesis is that it is not cost-effective to screen for syphilis in cases of presumed gonorrhea and chlamydia infections. Methods. Our study is a New York Medical College institutional review board-approved retrospective study. During the period January 2004 to August 12, 2006, the laboratory work of all patients tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia in our emergency department was reviewed. The charts were reviewed for the following tests: gonorrhea DNA probe, chlamydia DNA probe, and syphilis IgG (immunoglobulin G)/RPR (rapid plasma reagin). The results of these tests were obtained and analyzed. Results. The total number of patients screened for gonorrhea and chlamydia during this period was 196. Seventy-eight patients tested positive for gonorrhea and chlamydia. All these 78 patients, tested negative for syphilis. The overall prevalence of positivity for STIs was 39.8% (78/196). The prevalence of chlamydia alone was 85.9% (67/78) and gonorrhea alone was 7.69% (6/78). The prevalence of combined both chlamydia and gonorrhea was 6.4% (5/78). Statistics. We used online SILICO 2 × 4 Fisher exact test. By comparing positive and negative results of serology RPR, GC, and chlamydia trap, the resultant 2-tailed P value is <.0001, which is statistically significant. Conclusions. Per our study, the yield of syphilis testing was negligible. It may not be cost-effective to screen for syphilis in cases of STIs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia.
Project description:BACKGROUND:New WHO guidelines recommend ART initiation for HIV-positive persons with CD4 cell counts ?500 cells/µL, a higher threshold than was previously recommended. Country decision makers must consider whether to further expand ART eligibility accordingly. METHODS:We used multiple independent mathematical models in four settings-South Africa, Zambia, India, and Vietnam-to evaluate the potential health impact, costs, and cost-effectiveness of different adult ART eligibility criteria under scenarios of current and expanded treatment coverage, with results projected over 20 years. Analyses considered extending eligibility to include individuals with CD4 ?500 cells/µL or all HIV-positive adults, compared to the previous recommendation of initiation with CD4 ?350 cells/µL. We assessed costs from a health system perspective, and calculated the incremental cost per DALY averted ($/DALY) to compare competing strategies. Strategies were considered 'very cost-effective' if the $/DALY was less than the country's per capita gross domestic product (GDP; South Africa: $8040, Zambia: $1425, India: $1489, Vietnam: $1407) and 'cost-effective' if $/DALY was less than three times per capita GDP. FINDINGS:In South Africa, the cost per DALY averted of extending ART eligibility to CD4 ?500 cells/µL ranged from $237 to $1691/DALY compared to 2010 guidelines; in Zambia, expanded eligibility ranged from improving health outcomes while reducing costs (i.e. dominating current guidelines) to $749/DALY. Results were similar in scenarios with substantially expanded treatment access and for expanding eligibility to all HIV-positive adults. Expanding treatment coverage in the general population was therefore found to be cost-effective. In India, eligibility for all HIV-positive persons ranged from $131 to $241/DALY and in Vietnam eligibility for CD4 ?500 cells/µL cost $290/DALY. In concentrated epidemics, expanded access among key populations was also cost-effective. INTERPRETATION:Earlier ART eligibility is estimated to be very cost-effective in low- and middle-income settings, although these questions should be revisited as further information becomes available. Scaling-up ART should be considered among other high-priority health interventions competing for health budgets. FUNDING:The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and World Health Organization.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To assess the cost-effectiveness of a non-pneumatic anti-shock garment (NASG) for obstetric hemorrhage in tertiary hospitals in Egypt and Nigeria. METHODS:We combined published data from pre-intervention/NASG-intervention clinical trials with costs from study sites. For each country, we used observed proportions of initial shock level (mild: mean arterial pressure [MAP] >60 mmHg; severe: MAP ?60 mmHg) to define a standard population of 1,000 women presenting in shock. We examined three intervention scenarios: no women in shock receive the NASG, only women in severe shock receive the NASG, and all women in shock receive the NASG. Clinical data included frequencies of adverse health outcomes (mortality, severe morbidity, severe anemia), and interventions to manage bleeding (uterotonics, blood transfusions, hysterectomies). Costs (in 2010 international dollars) included the NASG, training, and clinical interventions. We compared costs and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) across the intervention scenarios. RESULTS:For 1000 women presenting in shock, providing the NASG to those in severe shock results in decreased mortality and morbidity, which averts 357 DALYs in Egypt and 2,063 DALYs in Nigeria. Differences in use of interventions result in net savings of $9,489 in Egypt (primarily due to reduced transfusions) and net costs of $6,460 in Nigeria, with a cost per DALY averted of $3.13. Results of providing the NASG for women in mild shock has smaller and uncertain effects due to few clinical events in this data set. CONCLUSION:Using the NASG for women in severe shock resulted in markedly improved health outcomes (2-2.9 DALYs averted per woman, primarily due to reduced mortality), with net savings or extremely low cost per DALY averted. This suggests that in resource-limited settings, the NASG is a very cost-effective intervention for women in severe hypovolemic shock. The effects of the NASG for mild shock are less certain.