Centro de Protección Vegetal y Biotecnología, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias (IVIA), Carretera Moncada a Náquera km 5, 46113 Moncada, Valencia, Spain.
An evidence-based approach, such as those developed in clinical and veterinary medicine, was applied to the detection of Plum pox virus (PPV) during the dormant period. A standardized methodology was used for the calculation of parameters of the operational capacity of DASI-ELISA and RT-PCR in wintertime. These methods are routinely handled to test the sanitary status of plants in national or international trading and in those cases concerning export-import of plant materials. Diagnosis often has to be performed during the dormant period, when plant material is commercialized. Some guidelines to interpret diagnostic results of wintertime are provided in an attempt to minimize risks associated with the methods and over-reliance on the binary outcome of a single assay. In order to evaluate if a complementary test increased the confidence of PPV diagnosis when discordant results between DASI-ELISA and RT-PCR are obtained, NASBA-FH also was included. Likelihood ratios of each method were estimated based on the sensitivity and specificity obtained in wintertime. Subsequently, a Bayesian approach was performed to calculate post-test probability of PPV infection in spring. Results of evidence-based approach show that different PPV prevalences require different screening tests. Thus, at very low PPV prevalence levels DASI-ELISA should be used as the election method, whilst at the highest PPV prevalence levels RT-PCR should be performed. NASBA-FH could be used at medium prevalences to clarify discordances between DASIELISA and RT-PCR.
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