Madagascar is an endemic area for schistosomiasis, but recent prevalence data are scarce. We investigated stool samples of 410 children aged 4-18 years from a combined primary and secondary school in a Madagascan highland village near Ambositra in order to assess the prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni using microscopy and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A high prevalence of S. mansoni of 77.1% was detected by PCR, while only 15.2% of microscopic examinations of sedimentation-enriched stools were positive. We estimated the sensitivity and specificity of stool sedimentation microscopy (19.7% and 98.8%) and of PCR (98.9% and 89.3%) using a Bayesian approach for two dependant tests in one population without a reference standard. Our Bayesian posterior estimate of the prevalence is 80.2%. Simple sedimentation technique misses about 4/5 of all PCR-confirmed infections and is insufficient to determine the prevalence of S. mansoni. A survey comparing PCR with a classical standard technique (KatoKatz) is desirable.
Keywords: Madagascar; Microscopy; PCR; Prevalence; Schistosomiasis; Sensitivity and specificity.
Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.