Affordable Access

Cost-effectiveness of Low-complexity Screening Tests in Community-based Case-finding for Tuberculosis

  • Brümmer, Lukas E
  • Thompson, Ryan R
  • Malhotra, Akash
  • Shrestha, Sourya
  • Kendall, Emily A
  • Andrews, Jason R
  • Phillips, Patrick
  • Nahid, Payam
  • Cattamanchi, Adithya
  • Marx, Florian M
  • Denkinger, Claudia M
  • Dowdy, David W
Publication Date
Jan 25, 2024
eScholarship - University of California
External links


IntroductionIn high-burden settings, low-complexity screening tests for tuberculosis (TB) could expand the reach of community-based case-finding efforts. The potential costs and cost-effectiveness of approaches incorporating these tests are poorly understood.MethodsWe developed a microsimulation model assessing 3 approaches to community-based case-finding in hypothetical populations (India-, South Africa-, The Philippines-, Uganda-, and Vietnam-like settings) with TB prevalence 4 times that of national estimates: (1) screening with a point-of-care C-reactive protein (CRP) test, (2) screening with a more sensitive "Hypothetical Screening test" (95% sensitive for Xpert Ultra-positive TB, 70% specificity; equipment/labor costs similar to Xpert Ultra, but using a $2 cartridge) followed by sputum Xpert Ultra if positive, or (3) testing all individuals with sputum Xpert Ultra. Costs are expressed in 2023 US dollars and include treatment costs.ResultsUniversal Xpert Ultra was estimated to cost a mean $4.0 million (95% uncertainty range: $3.5 to $4.6 million) and avert 3200 (2600 to 3900) TB-related disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) per 100 000 people screened ($670 [The Philippines] to $2000 [Vietnam] per DALY averted). CRP was projected to cost $550 (The Philippines) to $1500 (Vietnam) per DALY averted but with 44% fewer DALYs averted. The Hypothetical Screening test showed minimal benefit compared to universal Xpert Ultra, but if specificity were improved to 95% and per-test cost to $4.5 (all-inclusive), this strategy could cost $390 (The Philippines) to $940 (Vietnam) per DALY averted.ConclusionsScreening tests can meaningfully improve the cost-effectiveness of community-based case-finding for TB but only if they are sensitive, specific, and inexpensive.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times