giovedì 17 aprile 2014

A highly specific blood test for vCJD

[...] To explore the assay’s specificity and hence suitability for screening exposed and at-risk populations, we tested 5000 blood samples from the American Red Cross in which, because of minimal BSE exposure, no true positives would be expected (US normals). No samples tested positive (100% specificity; 95% CI: 99.93%-100%). The high specificity was reflected in a smaller, healthy UK cohort (UK normals). The assay’s positive likelihood ratio indicates true positives are more than 7000 times as likely as false positives; the negative likelihood ratio indicates true negatives are more than 3 times as likely as false negatives. Finally, we tested a small blind panel of unaffected and vCJD patient samples. Seven of 10 vCJD patient samples tested positive (70% sensitivity), reconfirming but not refining our previous sensitivity estimate [...] (read more)

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