Using the prevalence of individual species of intestinal nematode worms to estimate the combined prevalence of any species

de Silva, Nilanthi and Hall, Andrew (2010) Using the prevalence of individual species of intestinal nematode worms to estimate the combined prevalence of any species. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 4 (4). e655. ISSN 1935-2727


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Objectives - To assess if a probabilistic model could be used to estimate the combined prevalence of infection with any species of intestinal nematode worm when only the separate prevalence of each species is reported, and to estimate the extent to which simply taking the highest individual species prevalence underestimates the combined prevalence. Methods - Data were extracted from community surveys that reported both the proportion infected with individual species and the combined proportion infected, for a minimum sample of 100 individuals. The predicted combined proportion infected was calculated based on the assumption that the probability of infection with one species was independent of infection with another species, so the probability of combined infections was multiplicative. Findings - Thirty-three reports describing 63 data sets from surveys conducted in 20 countries were identified. A strong correlation was found between the observed and predicted combined proportion infected (r = 0.996, P<0.001). When the observed and predicted values were plotted against each other, a small correction of the predicted combined prevalence by dividing by a factor of 1.06 achieved a near perfect correlation between the two sets of values. The difference between the single highest species prevalence and the observed combined prevalence was on average 7% or smaller at a prevalence of ?40%, but at prevalences of 40–80%, the difference was about 12%. Conclusions - A simple probabilistic model of combined infection with a small correction factor is proposed as a novel method to estimate the number of individuals that would benefit from mass deworming when data are reported only for separate species.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: University of Westminster > Science and Technology > Life Sciences, School of (No longer in use)
Depositing User: Miss Nina Watts
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2010 08:38
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2010 09:10

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