Herd-level interpretation of test results for epidemiologic studies of animal diseases

Jette Christensen, Ian Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


Correct classification of the true status of herds is an important component of epidemiologic studies and animal disease-control programs. We review theoretical aspects of herd-level testing through consideration of test performance (herd-level sensitivity, specificity and predictive values), the factors affecting these estimates, and available software for calculations. We present new aspects and considerations concerning the effect of precision and bias in estimation of individual-test performance on herd-test performance and suggest methods (pooled testing, targeted sampling of subpopulations with higher prevalence, and use of combinations of tests) to improve herd-level sensitivity when the expected within-herd prevalence is low. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-106
Number of pages24
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 30 2000


  • Bias
  • Herd test
  • Pooled testing
  • Predictive values
  • Sensitivity
  • Specificity
  • Test combination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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