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Zika virus infection: global update on epidemiology and potentially associated clinical manifestations.
Releve Epidemiologique Hebdomadaire. 2016 Feb 19; 91(7):73-81.Add to my documents.
[Geneva, Switzerland], WHO, 2016 Feb.  p.This fact sheet on Zika virus contains a list of key facts and information on its signs and symptoms, potential complications, transmission, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and WHO response.
Gonorrhoea surveillance, laboratory diagnosis and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in 11 countries of the eastern part of the WHO European region.
APMIS Acta Pathologica Microbiologica Et Immunologica Scandinavica. 2011 Sep; 119(9):643-649.Quality-assured worldwide surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Neisseria gonorrhoeae is crucial for public health purposes. In the countries of the eastern part of the WHO European region the knowledge regarding gonococcal AMR is limited, and antimicrobials of many different types, sources and quality are used for gonorrhoea treatment. This study surveyed gonorrhoea incidence, laboratory diagnosis and gonococcal AMR testing in 11 independent countries of the former Soviet Union. The national gonorrhoea incidences remain mainly high. In general, gonococcal culture and AMR testing were rarely performed, poorly standardized and rarely quality assured. To establish a gonococcal AMR surveillance programme in Eastern Europe, i.e. the geographical area of the former Soviet Union, several actions have recently been undertaken by the Eastern European Sexual and Reproductive Health (EE SRH) Network and the WHO. The information provided herein will be useful in this respect.
Commentary: Early antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa, a challenging new step.
Journal of Public Health Policy. 2010 Dec; 31(4):401-6.Recent changes in guidelines (World Health Organization (WHO), USA, and likely Europe soon) all move towards earlier initiation of antiretroviral therapy in asymptomatic patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Sonia Menon appropriately questions the feasibility and consequences at both individual and community levels of the early initiation of antiretroviral therapy in sub-Saharan Africa as likely effects will be both positive and negative. Local context should drive the uptake process in every country. Money, national and international, will be essential for the successful implementation of the new WHO recommendation. Leaders at both levels must take their responsibilities and mobilize the necessary resources, for example, doubling those for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria from $10 billion to $20 billion USD for 2011-2013.
Multidrug and extensively drug-resistant TB (M/XDR-TB): 2010 global report on surveillance and response.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2010.  p.This new report on anti-tuberculosis (TB) drug resistance by the World Health Organization (WHO) updates "Anti-tuberculosis drug resistance in the world: Report No. 4" published by WHO in 2008. It summarizes the latest data and provides latest estimates of the global epidemic of multidrug and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (M/XDR-TB). For the first time, this report includes an assessment of the progress countries are making to diagnose and treat MDR-TB cases. (Excerpt)
Two vs. three sputum samples for microscopic detection of tuberculosis in a high HIV prevalence population.
International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. 2009 Jul; 13(7):842-7.SETTING: A busy urban hospital in Cameroon. OBJECTIVES: To compare the yield in bacteriologically proven tuberculosis (TB) cases examining two morning vs. three spot-morning-spot sputum specimens (MM vs. SMS) by direct microscopy for acid-fast bacilli (AFB). DESIGN: Repeated temporal cross-over between MM and SMS sampling for successive TB suspects, using culture as gold standard. RESULTS: A total of 799 suspects were screened using the MM strategy, identifying 223 smear-positives, and 808 suspects with the SMS strategy, yielding 236 smear-positives. Of the MM, 256 were culture-positive, of whom 195 (76%) were smear-positive. For SMS, these figures were respectively 281 and 206 (73%), a non-significant difference. The MM and SMS strategies also detected respectively 28 and 30 smear-positive cases not confirmed by culture. No cases were lost to treatment with either strategy. CONCLUSIONS: In this population with a high prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) with late case presentation, smear microscopy of two morning specimens detected at least as many positive cases as the classical strategy, and no cases were lost before treatment. Two specimens for initial TB suspect screening can thus be recommended, also without excessive workload. Comparative studies in populations presenting with paucibacillary sputum are needed to determine the equivalent quality and yield of an alternative strategy with two spot specimens at consultation.
The WHO/PEPFAR collaboration to prepare an operations manual for HIV prevention, care, and treatment at primary health centers in high-prevalence, resource-constrained settings: defining laboratory services.
American Journal of Clinical Pathology. 2009 Jun; 131(6):887-94.The expansion of HIV/AIDS care and treatment in resource-constrained countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, has generally developed in a top-down manner. Further expansion will involve primary health centers where human and other resources are limited. This article describes the World Health Organization/President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief collaboration formed to help scale up HIV services in primary health centers in high-prevalence, resource-constrained settings. It reviews the contents of the Operations Manual developed, with emphasis on the Laboratory Services chapter, which discusses essential laboratory services, both at the center and the district hospital level, laboratory safety, laboratory testing, specimen transport, how to set up a laboratory, human resources, equipment maintenance, training materials, and references. The chapter provides specific information on essential tests and generic job aids for them. It also includes annexes containing a list of laboratory supplies for the health center and sample forms.
Symptom-based screening of child tuberculosis contacts: improved feasibility in resource-limited settings.
Pediatrics. 2008 Jun; 121(6):e1646-52.OBJECTIVE: National tuberculosis programs in tuberculosis-endemic countries rarely implement active tracing and screening of child tuberculosis contacts, mainly because of resource constraints. We aimed to evaluate the safety and feasibility of applying a simple symptom-based approach to screen child tuberculosis contacts for active disease. METHODS: We conducted a prospective observational study from January through December 2004 at 3 clinics in Cape Town, South Africa. All of the children <5 years old in household contact with an adult tuberculosis source case were assessed by documenting current symptoms and tuberculin skin test and chest radiograph results. RESULTS: During the study period, 357 adult tuberculosis cases were identified; 195 cases (54.6%) had sputum smear and/or culture positive results and were in household contact with children aged <5 years. Complete information was available for 252 of 278 children; 176 (69.8%) were asymptomatic at the time of screening. Tuberculosis treatment was administered to 33 (13.1%) of 252; 27 were categorized as radiologically "certain tuberculosis," the majority (n = 22) of which had uncomplicated hilar adenopathy. The negative predictive value of symptom-based screening varied according to the case definition used, with 95.5% including all of the children treated for tuberculosis and 97.1% including only those with radiologically "certain tuberculosis." CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support current World Health Organization recommendations, demonstrating that symptom-based screening of child tuberculosis contacts should improve feasibility in resource-limited settings and seems to be safe.
Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica. 2008; 87(7):693-6.Malarial infestation in pregnancy is a major public health concern in endemic countries and ranks high amongst the commonest complications of pregnancy, especially in large areas of Africa and Asia. It is an important preventable cause of significant maternal morbidity and mortality with associated fetal as well as perinatal wastage. The burden of malaria is greatest in sub-Saharan Africa where it contributes directly or indirectly to maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. The need for prompt and accurate diagnosis as well as prevention and treatment of malaria during pregnancy cannot, therefore, be overemphasized. This commentary focuses on the challenges of diagnosis and treatment of malaria in pregnancy.
International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. 2008 Jan; 12(1):108-110.The information provided in the guidelines of the World Health Organization and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease for Ziehl-Neelsen staining is not practical on a number of points. The advice given here is meant to supplement the guidelines. It is based on experiments on and field experience of basic fuchsin stain and staining solutions.
MJAFI. Medical Journal Armed Froces India. 2008; 64(1):57-60.World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 1.7-2.5 million deaths and 300-500 million cases of malaria each year globally. As an initiative WHO has announced Roll Back Malaria (RBM) programme aimed at 50% reduction in deaths due to malaria by 2010. The RBM strategy recommends combination approach with prevention, care, creating sustainable demand for insecticide treated nets (ITNs) and efficacious antimalarials in order to achieve sustainable malaria control. Malaria control in India has travelled a long way from National Malaria Control Programme launched in 1953 to National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme in 2003. In India, the malaria eradication concept was based on indoor residual spraying to interrupt transmission and mop up cases by vigilance. This programme was successful in reducing the malaria cases from 75 million in 1953 to 2 million but subsequently resulted in vector and parasite resistance as well as increase in P falciparum from 30-48%. In view of rapidly growing resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to conventional monotherapies and its spread in newer areas, the programme was modified with inclusion of RBM interventions and revision of treatment guidelines for malaria. Early case detection and prompt treatment, selective vector control, promotion of personal protective measures including ITNs and information, education, communication to achieve wider community participation will be the key interventions in the revised programme. (author's)
[Washington, D.C.], United States Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, 2007 Oct 26. 18 p. (CRS Report for Congress Order Code RL34246; USAID Development Experience Clearinghouse Doc. ID / Order No. PC-AAB-678)In 2005, TB prevalence rose only in sub-Saharan Africa and eastern Europe. WHO attributes a number of factors to this increase, including weak health systems, low-quality health care, minimal access to health facilities, insufficient staffing and little human resource development, ill-equipped and substandard laboratories, and limited coordination of TB and human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) programs. In FY2008, Congress voted to fund U.S. global TB operations at unprecedented levels. The House FY2008 Foreign Operations Appropriations (H.R. 2764) provided $313.5 million for international TB programs and $300 million for a U.S. contribution to the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria (Global Fund). The Senate version of H.R. 2764 included $200 million for U.S. global TB efforts and $340 million for a U.S. contribution to the Global Fund. Both houses included $300 million in FY2008 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations (H.R. 3043 and S. 1710) for a U.S. contribution to the Global Fund. S. Rept.110-107 of S. 1710 also suggested that $10 million more than CDC's FY2007 operating plan for TB be provided to improve CDC's efforts to prevent TB and its progression into XDR-TB. No appropriations bills that include funds for TB efforts have been enacted. (excerpt)
Safety of switching to nevirapine-based highly active antiretroviral therapy at elevated CD4 cell counts in a resource-constrained setting [letter]
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. 2007 Aug 15; 45(5):598-600.The World Health Organization recommends the use of generic nevirapine (NVP)/efavirenz (EFV)-based highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) regimens as first-line therapy in the management of HIV in resource-limited settings. Initiating NVP-based HAART at elevated CD4 cell counts can lead to liver toxicity. Short-term risk of liver toxicity has been reported in men with CD4 counts greater than 400 cells/mL and in women with CD4 counts greater than 250 cells/mL. Hence, clinicians are advised to monitor the results of liver chemistry tests closely in the first 18 weeks of therapy because of the potential to develop life-threatening hepatic events. Mocroft et al showed that initiating NVP therapy at elevated CD4 levels may be safe for use in antiretroviral-experienced patients. Little is known about short-term adverse consequences and clinical outcome at elevated CD4 cell counts in a resource-limited setting. (author's)
Evidence behind the WHO guidelines: Hospital Care for Children: What are appropriate methods of urine collection in UTI?
Journal of Tropical Pediatrics. 2007 Aug; 53(4):221-224.Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common cause of fever in children < 2 years of age. The prevalence of UTI is ~5% among febrile children in this age group, and may be as high as 9% in tropical regions. Invasive methods of urine collection are occasionally required to obtain urine samples from infants unable to void on command. Improper urine specimen collection can lead to contamination, and a clinical dilemma regarding which infants and children to treat, and how extensively to investigate them for suspected UTI. Under-resourced hospitals and clinics face the additional challenges related to limited means and expertise to adequately collect and process urine samples. (excerpt)
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2007 Aug; 85(8):586-592.WHO's new Global Plan to Stop TB 2006-2015 advises countries with a high burden of tuberculosis (TB) to expand case-finding in the private sector as well as services for patients with HIV and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). The objective of this study was to evaluate these strategies in Thailand using data from the Thailand TB Active Surveillance Network, a demonstration project begun in 2004. In October 2004, we began contacting public and private health-care facilities monthly to record data about people diagnosed with TB, assist with patient care, provide HIV counselling and testing, and obtain sputum samples for culture and susceptibility testing. The catchment area included 3.6 million people in four provinces. We compared results from October 2004-September 2005 (referred to as 2005) to baseline data from October 2002-September 2003 (referred to as 2003). In 2005, we ascertained 5841 TB cases (164/100 000), including 2320 new smear-positive cases (65/100 000). Compared with routine passive surveillance in 2003, active surveillance increased reporting of all TB cases by 19% and of new smear-positive cases by 13%. Private facilities diagnosed 634 (11%) of all TB cases. In 2005, 1392 (24%) cases were known to be HIV positive. The proportion of cases with an unknown HIV status decreased from 66% (3226/4904) in 2003 to 23% (1329/5841) in 2005 (P< 0.01). Of 4656 pulmonary cases, mycobacterial culture was performed in 3024 (65%) and MDR-TB diagnosed in 60 (1%). In Thailand, piloting the new WHO strategy increased case-finding and collaboration with the private sector, and improved HIV services for TB patients and the diagnosis of MDR-TB. Further analysis of treatment outcomes and costs is needed to assess this programme's impact and cost effectiveness. (author's)
Flash-heat inactivation of HIV-1 in human milk: A potential method to reduce postnatal transmission in developing countries.
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. 2007 Jul; 45(3):318-323.Up to 40% of all mother-to-child transmission of HIV occurs by means of breast-feeding; yet, in developing countries, infant formula may not be a safe option. The World Health Organization recommends heat-treated breast milk as an infant-feeding alternative. We investigated the ability of a simple method, flash-heat, to inactivate HIV in breast milk from HIV-positive mothers. Ninety-eight breast milk samples, collected from 84 HIV-positive mothers in a periurban settlement in South Africa, were aliquoted to unheated control and flash-heating. Reverse transcriptase (RT) assays (lower detection limit of 400 HIV copies/mL) were performed to differentiate active versus inactivated cell-free HIV in unheated and flash-heated samples. We found detectable HIV in breast milk samples from 31% (26 of 84) of mothers. After adjusting for covariates, multivariate logistic regression showed a statistically significant negative association between detectable virus in breast milk and maternal CD4+ T-lymphocyte count (P = 0.045) and volume of breast milk expressed (P = 0.01) and a positive association with use of multivitamins (P = 0.03). All flash-heated samples showed undetectable levels of cell-free HIV-1 as detected by the RT assay (P less than 0.00001). Flash-heat can inactivate HIV in naturally infected breast milk from HIV-positive women. Field studies are urgently needed to determine the feasibility of in-home flash-heating breast milk to improve infant health while reducing postnatal transmission of HIV in developing countries. (author's)
[Diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis in children -- an updated review of an old problem] Diagnostico e terapeutica da tuberculose infantil -- uma visao atualizada de um antigo problema.
Jornal de Pediatria. 2002 Nov-Dec; 78 Suppl 2:S205-S214.Tuberculosis is still one of the most severe chronic diseases, especially in the world's poorest regions. Developing countries still have to face serious problems related to this endemic disease, in spite of the control programs they have implemented. The present study aims at updating the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis in three South American countries: Brazil, Chile and Argentina. Sources: Medline and Lilacs databases, official guidelines and consensuses of the three countries involved. Brazil, Chile and Argentina have guidelines based on the World Health Organization documents and on international consensuses. The standardization is similar between these countries, allowing the unification of language and favoring control measures. Within the Brazilian context, the new guidelines on the treatment of tuberculosis set out by the Ministry of Health are presented. Since each country had to make adaptations in an attempt to solve the epidemiological differences between them, the treatments against tuberculosis still present some discrepancies, such as the use of three or four drugs in some cases. (author's)
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2007 May; 85(5):325-420.In 1991, the 44th World Health Assembly set two key targets for global tuberculosis (TB) control to be reached by 2000: 70% case detection of acid-fast bacilli smear-positive TB patients under the DOTS strategy recommended by WHO and 85% treatment success of those detected. This paper describes how TB control was scaled up to achieve these targets; it also considers the barriers encountered in reaching the targets, with a particular focus on how HIV infection affects TB control. Strong TB control will be facilitated by scaling-up WHO-recommended TB/HIV collaborative activities and by improving coordination between HIV and TB control programmes; in particular, to ensure control of drug-resistant TB. Required activities include more HIV counselling and testing of TB patients, greater use and acceptance of isoniazid as a preventive treatment in HIV-infected individuals, screening for active TB in HIV-care settings, and provision of universal access to antiretroviral treatment for all HIV-infected individuals eligible for such treatment. Integration of TB and HIV services in all facilities (i.e. in HIV-care settings and in TB clinics), especially at the periphery, is needed to effectively treat those infected with both diseases, to prolong their survival and to maximize limited human resources. Global TB targets can be met, particularly if there is renewed attention to TB/HIV collaborative activities combined with tremendous political commitment and will. (author's)
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2007 May; 85(5):325-420.The development and expansion of WHO's DOTS strategy was successful, with 83% of the world's population living in countries or parts of countries covered by this strategy by the end of 2004. Treatment success in the 2003 DOTS cohort of 1.7 million patients was 82% on average, close to the 85% target. Treatment success was below average in the African Region (72%), which can be partly attributed to occurrence of HIV co-infection, and in the European Region (75%), partly due to drug resistance. Drug resistance, specifically multidrug resistance and extensive drug resistance, is a serious threat to public health in all countries, especially in the Russian Federation, where the highest rates of multidrug resistance are presently accompanied by a rapid increase in HIV infection. Based on the experience of the first projects approved by the Green Light Committee, the treatment success of patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is lower than that of drug-susceptible cases, but nevertheless reaches 70%. The collaborative effort of different organizations, professionals and communities is needed to address the development and spread of multidrug resistance and extensive drug resistance, which combined with the epidemic of HIV infection is one of the barriers to dealing effectively with TB. This effort should be directed towards facilitating the diagnosis and treatment of TB patients, in particular by improving access to drug susceptibility testing and strengthening treatment delivery by rigorous adherence to DOTS as outlined by the Stop TB Partnership. (author's)
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2007 May; 85(5):325-420.Laboratories and laboratory networks are a fundamental component of tuberculosis (TB) control, providing testing for diagnosis, surveillance and treatment monitoring at every level of the health-care system. New initiatives and resources to strengthen laboratory capacity and implement rapid and new diagnostic tests for TB will require recognition that laboratories are systems that require quality standards, appropriate human resources, and attention to safety in addition to supplies and equipment. To prepare the laboratory networks for new diagnostics and expanded capacity, we need to focus efforts on strengthening quality management systems (QMS) through additional resources for external quality assessment programmes for microscopy, culture, drug susceptibility testing (DST) and molecular diagnostics. QMS should also promote development of accreditation programmes to ensure adherence to standards to improve both the quality and credibility of the laboratory system within TB programmes. Corresponding attention must be given to addressing human resources at every level of the laboratory, with special consideration being given to new programmes for laboratory management and leadership skills. Strengthening laboratory networks will also involve setting up partnerships between TB programmes and those seeking to control other diseases in order to pool resources and to promote advocacy for quality standards, to develop strategies to integrate laboratories' functions and to extend control programme activities to the private sector. Improving the laboratory system will assure that increased resources, in the form of supplies, equipment and facilities, will be invested in networks that are capable of providing effective testing to meet the goals of the Global Plan to Stop TB. (author's)
Diagnostic accuracy comparison between clinical signs and hemoglobin color scale as screening methods in the diagnosis of anemia in children.
Revista Brasileira de Saude Materno Infantil. 2006 Apr-Jun; 6(2):183-189.The objectives were to compare the validity and reproducibility of clinical signs with the World Health Organization hemoglobin color scale. Two hundred six children in the age range of 6-23 months, at the Instituto Materno Infantil Prof. Fernando Figueira, IMIP, were assessed. Two examiners evaluated the clinical signs and the hemoglobin color scale of each child at the different times. The hemoglobin value was used as a standard for validation. In more than 90% of cases the agreement between the values of the color scale and the laboratorial hemoglobin was <2 g/dL. Between the clinical signs the highest sensitivity level for diagnosing Hb<11 g/dL was presented by the hemoglobin color scale (75.7%). For moderate/severe anemia Hb<9g/dL the highest sensitivity was shown by combined palmar or conjunctival pallor (74.3%) and by the color scale (52.5%), according to the first and second observer, respectively. The highest specificity level for Hb<11 g/dL was presented by palmar pallor in comparison with the mother's palm and conjunctival pallor (100%). For Hb<9 g/dL the highest specificity was presented by the hemoglobin color scale (91.9%). This study suggests that moderate/ severe anemia can be diagnosed either by clinical signs or by the color scale, while, in cases of mild anemia, the better diagnosis tool appears to be the color scale. (author's)
Strategic approach for the strengthening of laboratory services for tuberculosis control, 2006-2009.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2006.  p. (WHO/HTM/TB/2006.364)Bacteriology is one of the fundamental aspects of national tuberculosis (TB) control programmes (NTPs) and a key component of the DOTS strategy. However, TB laboratory services are often neglected components of these programmes. Given existing constraints, it will be difficult for many countries to achieve the global targets of 70% detection of infectious cases and 85% cure of these incidents by the year 2005. Although the global success rate under DOTS has reached 82%, the detection rate of the estimated prevalence has increased at a far slower rate (53% in 2004). In order to improve the case-detection rate, a global strategy for the development and strengthening of TB laboratory networks needs to be implemented urgently. In addition to improving sputum smear microscopy, the strategy recognizes the need to upgrade existing laboratory services and to strengthen/build capacity to perform culture and drug susceptibility testing (DST) in areas experiencing a high burden of acid-fast bacilli (AFB) smear-negative TB associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and to support DOTS-Plus projects. (excerpt)
Instructions for applying to the Green Light Committee for access to second-line anti-tuberculosis drugs.
[Geneva, Switzerland], World Health Organization [WHO], 2006. 15 p. (WHO/HTM/TB/2006.369)Controlling multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is one of the six components of the WHO Stop TB strategy. Although prevention must be the highest priority for TB control programmes, many countries have patients with drug-resistant TB who must be treated too. Such countries should take specific measures to gradually incorporate appropriate strategies for treatment of this form of tuberculosis into their programmes and prevent propagation of drug-resistant TB. Misuse of second-line anti-TB drugs results in further resistance to these same second-line drugs, creating incurable forms of tuberculosis. It is imperative that second-line anti-TB drugs are used wisely. The WHO Guidelines For The Programmatic Management of Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (herein after referred to as the Guidelines) provide recommendations for appropriate management of drug-resistant TB so as not to generate further drug resistance. To help programmes develop and implement develop and implement strategies for the management of drug resistant TB, the Green Light Committee for Access to Second-line Anti-tuberculosis Drugs (GLC) was created by WHO and its partners in January 2000. (excerpt)
Human Reproduction. 2007 Jan; 22(1):311-312.We thank Professor Evers for his interest in our preliminary work. We agree that a positive likelihood ratio (LR+) of 1.67 will change the likelihood of disease in a clinically not very relevant way. Indeed, we have moderated our purpose saying that an LR+ of 1.67 indicated a small impact on the post-test probability of successful IVF. However, this change was statistically significant as our study showed. Thus, we believe that in the lack of other predictive tests that could be performed routinely, this new combined test is helpful to decrease the risk of fertilization failure during IVF therapy in the case of unexplained infertility. Concerning male factor, we have found an LR+ of 6.0, which indicated a better, though moderate, post-test impact, as we have said in our study and accordingly to Professor Evers' letter. However, we effectively did not include the 95% confidence interval (CI) of this LR in our study, and we agree that this could lead to misinterpretation. We thought that this CI is calculated using an approximate formula, which could not be considered as valid on such a small sample. (excerpt)
Human Reproduction. 2007 Jan; 22(1):311.I have read with great interest the article by Sifer et al. (2005) on the combination of a newly developed sperm-zona pellucida-binding assay and WHO grade 'a' sperm motility to predict sperm fertilizing ability in IVF. The authors have to be commended for developing a--theoretically very appealing--new sperm function test, and it is easy to understand how they could get carried away by their enthusiasm about the clinical applicability of this new test. In fact, the authors are so positive about the results of their combination test that they consider it 'an excellent predictor of sperm fertilizing potential in cases of mild male-factor infertility', and they recommend that it 'should be incorporated as a functional test to direct patients to IVF or ICSI at their first attempt'. They continue by stating that 'the positive LR of 1.67 (95% CI 1.07-2.59) allowed us to use this test in these cases' (i.e. in patients with unexplained infertility). (excerpt)