A multicentre evaluation of the Brugia Rapid dipstick test was performed using 1263 serum samples in four international laboratories, i.e. T.D. Medical College (TDMC, India), National Institutes of Health (NIH, USA), Swiss Tropical Institute (STI, Switzerland) and Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC, Netherlands). In comparison with microscopy, the dipstick demonstrated sensitivities of 97.2% (70 of 72) at TDMC, 91.6% (175 of 191) at LUMC and 100% (six of six) at STI. Sera of chronic patients showed a positivity rate of 11.3% (19 of 168) and 61.2% (71of 116) at TDMC and LUMC, respectively. All 266 sera of non-endemic normals from STI, NIH and LUMC tested negative with the dipstick. At LUMC, sera of 'endemic normals' (amicrofilaraemics with no clinical disease) from an area with approximately 35% microfilaria positivity showed 60.8% positive results (31 of 51), thus demonstrating the likelihood of many cryptic infections occurring in this population. Specificities of the test with Onchocerca volvulus sera were 98.8% (80 of 81) and 100% (10 of 10) at the NIH and STI, respectively; while specificity with Loa loa sera at the NIH was 84.6% (44 of 52). At the STI, the dipstick test also demonstrated 100% specificity when tested with 75 sera from various protozoan and helminthic infections.
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