Further comparison of faecal egg count reduction test procedures: Sensitivity and specificity

Further comparison of faecal egg count reduction test procedures: Sensitivity and specificity
Peer reviewed

Abstract

In a recent communication (McKenna 2006), a comparison was made between four different methods for calculating results from faecal egg count reduction (FECR) tests (FECRTs). The first and most complex of these, referred to as FECRT1, involved the use of the formula: FECR = 100 x (1–[T2/T1][C1/C2]), where T1 and T2 represented the mean pre- and post-treatment faecal nematode egg counts (FECs) of a treated group, and C1 and C2 represented the mean pre- and post-treatment FECs of an untreated control group, respectively. The other three formulae consisted of more simplified versions of this procedure. In one of them (FECRT2), only post-treatment samples were considered, whereas the other two were based on comparisons between the FECs of groups of animals sampled at the time of anthelmintic treatment (pre-treatment) with those sampled several days later (post-treatment). Thus, FECRT2 was determined according to the formula: FECR = 100 x (1–[T2/C2]), while FECRT3 was calculated from FECR = 100 x (1–[T2/T1]). The fourth procedure (FECRT4) was based on a further simplification of FECRT3, where pre-treatment FECs from only one treatment group were used for comparison with all post-treatment results. This base-line pre-treatment group thus effectively functioned as an untreated control group and hence the formula for FECRT4 was FECR = 100 x (1–[T2/C1]). The study was based on an analysis of 210 previously published FECRTs performed in sheep or goats. In each case, FECRs were calculated using all four of these FECRT formulae, and their results compared. The results of these comparisons indicated that the use of any one of them was likely to result in similar estimates of anthelmintic efficacy and the detection of comparable numbers of cases of anthelmintic resistance …continued

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