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Trypanosomiasis, african
Diagnostic Strategies
  1. For screening a population in an endemic area
    Rapid antigen detection tests are most convenient to assess endemicity.
  2. For diagnosing an individual case
    As a first attempt, one tries to demonstrate trypanosomes in the blood directly or by using concentration methods. As additional methods, antigen – and antibody – detection could be used if blood examinations are negative.
  3. For evaluating control measures
    Be aware that in view of the potentially low prevalence after an intervention, you have to select a diagnostic strategy assuring a high predictive value for positive results. This means you should choose a single method (or eventually a combination of methods) with a high specificity!
    To get an exact value for the relative risk in a placebo-controlled intervention study (e.g. a vaccine trial), the specificity should ideally be 100%.