Design standards for experimental and field studies to evaluate diagnostic accuracy of tests for infectious diseases in aquatic animals

E. Laurin, K. K. Thakur, Ian Gardner, P. Hick, N. J.G. Moody, M. S.J. Crane, I. Ernst

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Design and reporting quality of diagnostic accuracy studies (DAS) are important metrics for assessing utility of tests used in animal and human health. Following standards for designing DAS will assist in appropriate test selection for specific testing purposes and minimize the risk of reporting biased sensitivity and specificity estimates. To examine the benefits of recommending standards, design information from published DAS literature was assessed for 10 finfish, seven mollusc, nine crustacean and two amphibian diseases listed in the 2017 OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals. Of the 56 DAS identified, 41 were based on field testing, eight on experimental challenge studies and seven on both. Also, we adapted human and terrestrial-animal standards and guidelines for DAS structure for use in aquatic animal diagnostic research. Through this process, we identified and addressed important metrics for consideration at the design phase: study purpose, targeted disease state, selection of appropriate samples and specimens, laboratory analytical methods, statistical methods and data interpretation. These recommended design standards for DAS are presented as a checklist including risk-of-failure points and actions to mitigate bias at each critical step. Adherence to standards when designing DAS will also facilitate future systematic review and meta-analyses of DAS research literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)729-749
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Fish Diseases
Volume41
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • aquatic animals
  • design standards
  • diagnostic accuracy
  • fish
  • sensitivity and specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)

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