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There is a great need for a rapid diagnostic test to guide vaccine choice during outbreaks of meningococcal meningitis in resource-poor countries. During a randomised clinical trial conducted during an epidemic of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A in Niger in 2003, the sensitivity and specificity of the Pastorex latex agglutination test for this serogroup under optimal field conditions were assessed, using culture and/or PCR as the gold standard. Results from 484 samples showed a sensitivity of 88% (95% CI 85-91%) and a specificity of 93% (95% CI 90-95%). Pastorex could be a good alternative to current methods, as it can be performed in a local laboratory with rapid results and is highly specific. Sensitivity can be improved with prior microscopy where feasible. A study specifically to evaluate the Pastorex test under epidemic conditions, using laboratories with limited resources, is recommended.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.trstmh.2006.03.002

Type

Journal article

Journal

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg

Publication Date

10/2006

Volume

100

Pages

964 - 969

Keywords

False Negative Reactions, False Positive Reactions, Humans, Latex Fixation Tests, Meningitis, Meningococcal, Neisseria meningitidis, Niger, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Sensitivity and Specificity