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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 118:91-111 (2016)  -  DOI:

Recommended reporting standards for test accuracy studies of infectious diseases of finfish, amphibians, molluscs and crustaceans: the STRADAS-aquatic checklist

Ian A. Gardner1,*, Richard J. Whittington2, Charles G. B. Caraguel3, Paul Hick2, Nicholas J. G. Moody4, Serge Corbeil4, Kyle A. Garver5, Janet V. Warg6, Isabelle Arzul7, Maureen K. Purcell8, Mark St. J. Crane4, Thomas B. Waltzek9, Niels J. Olesen10, Alicia Gallardo Lagno11

1Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Avenue, Charlottetown, PEI C1A 4P3, Canada
2Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, 425 Werombi Rd, Camden, NSW 2570, Australia
3School of Animal & Veterinary Sciences, Roseworthy Campus, University of Adelaide, Roseworthy, SA 5371, Australia
4CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia
5Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, BC V9T 6N7, Canada
6Diagnostic Virology Laboratory, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, VS, APHIS, USDA, Ames, IA 50010, USA
7IFREMER SG2M-LGPMM, Laboratory of Genetics and Pathology of Marine Molluscs, 17390 La Tremblade, France
8US Geological Survey, Western Fisheries Research Center, 6505 Northeast 65th Street, Seattle, WA 98115, USA
9Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
10National Veterinary Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Frederiksberg C, Denmark
11Jefa Unidad de Salud Animal Servicio Nacional de Pesca y Acuicultura Calle, Victoria 2832, Chile
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Complete and transparent reporting of key elements of diagnostic accuracy studies for infectious diseases in cultured and wild aquatic animals benefits end-users of these tests, enabling the rational design of surveillance programs, the assessment of test results from clinical cases and comparisons of diagnostic test performance. Based on deficiencies in the Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy (STARD) guidelines identified in a prior finfish study (Gardner et al. 2014), we adapted the Standards for Reporting of Animal Diagnostic Accuracy Studies—paratuberculosis (STRADAS-paraTB) checklist of 25 reporting items to increase their relevance to finfish, amphibians, molluscs, and crustaceans and provided examples and explanations for each item. The checklist, known as STRADAS-aquatic, was developed and refined by an expert group of 14 transdisciplinary scientists with experience in test evaluation studies using field and experimental samples, in operation of reference laboratories for aquatic animal pathogens, and in development of international aquatic animal health policy. The main changes to the STRADAS-paraTB checklist were to nomenclature related to the species, the addition of guidelines for experimental challenge studies, and the designation of some items as relevant only to experimental studies and ante-mortem tests. We believe that adoption of these guidelines will improve reporting of primary studies of test accuracy for aquatic animal diseases and facilitate assessment of their fitness-for-purpose. Given the importance of diagnostic tests to underpin the Sanitary and Phytosanitary agreement of the World Trade Organization, the principles outlined in this paper should be applied to other World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)-relevant species.

KEY WORDS: Reporting standards · Sensitivity · Specificity · Finfish · Amphibians · Molluscs · Crustaceans · STRADAS-paraTB · Diagnostic validation

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Cite this article as: Gardner IA, Whittington RJ, Caraguel CGB, Hick P and others (2016) Recommended reporting standards for test accuracy studies of infectious diseases of finfish, amphibians, molluscs and crustaceans: the STRADAS-aquatic checklist. Dis Aquat Org 118:91-111.

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