alexa Optimizing screening for acute human immunodeficiency virus infection with pooled nucleic acid amplification tests.
Microbiology

Microbiology

Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals

Author(s): Westreich DJ

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Recent studies have shown the public health importance of identifying individuals with acute human immunodeficiency virus infection (AHI); however, the cost of nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) makes individual testing of at-risk individuals prohibitively expensive in many settings. Pooled NAAT (or group testing) can improve efficiency and test performance of testing for AHI, but optimizing the pooling algorithm can be difficult. We developed simple, flexible biostatistical models of specimen pooling with NAAT for the identification of AHI cases; these models incorporate group testing theory, operating characteristics of biological assays, and a model of viral dynamics during AHI. Pooling algorithm sensitivity, efficiency (test kits used per individual specimen evaluated), and positive predictive value (PPV) were modeled and compared for three simple pooling algorithms: two-stage minipools (D2), three-stage hierarchical pools (D3), and square arrays with master pools (A2m). We confirmed the results by stochastic simulation and produced reference tables and a Web calculator to facilitate pooling by investigators without specific biostatistical expertise. All three pooling strategies demonstrated improved efficiency and PPV for AHI case detection compared to individual NAAT. D3 and A2m algorithms generally provided better efficiency and PPV than D2; additionally, A2m generally exhibited better PPV than D3. Used selectively and carefully, the simple models developed here can guide the selection of a pooling algorithm for the detection of AHI cases in a wide variety of settings.

This article was published in J Clin Microbiol. and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals

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