Diagnostic accuracy of urinary latex agglutination test (KAtex) for the diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis: A meta-analysis
Latex agglutination test (KAtex) has been used in the last two decades for the diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in different VL-endemic areas. Here, we present a meta-analysis of studies which evaluated the KAtex for the diagnosis of VL to find out its overall diagnostic performance. A database search was performed on PubMed, Scopus, ISI Web of Science, Iranmedex and Google Scholar. The search of databases found 57 papers, of which 17 articles fulfilled our eligibility criteria. Meta-analysis of diagnostic accuracy (MADA) and Hierarchical Summary Receiver Operating Curve (HSROC) packages were used to do the meta-analysis and to obtain pooled estimates of sensitivity and specificity. Fixed effect bivariate analysis was conducted, using Mantel-Haenszel estimator, to measure the performance and diagnosis odds ratio (DOR) of the test. Heterogeneity of the test results was assessed by Chi-squared test.
The sensitivity of individual studies ranged from 39.8 to 100%, and the specificity ranged from 64 to100%. The combined sensitivity and specificity estimates of KAtex were 77% (95% CI, 70-83%), and 97% (95% CI, 93-97%), respectively. Comparing the performance of the test by region suggests a significant difference where the lowest and highest sensitivities are reported from Nepal/Tunisia and Europe/Middle East respectively (p < 0.05). On the other hand, the lowest and highest rates of specificity were reported from Sudan and America/Middle East respectively.
The overall specificity of KAtex is satisfactory. However, KAtex suffers from low sensitivity and this shortcoming should be improved. The test provides a rapid and simple diagnosis of VL and improvement of its sensitivity deserve further studies.
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