Dataset of the performance of Ov16 RDTs versus skin snip microscopy and Ov16 ELISA, Gabon, 2015

Published: 24 June 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/vtvmrzs9ch.1
Jacob N Stapley


Skin snip biopsies remain the gold standard for the diagnosis of active infection with Onchocerca volvulus. However, in low-prevalence settings, such as after several rounds of mass drug administration of ivermectin, the sensitivity of skin snipping is low, and the procedure is poorly tolerated. Detection of Ov16 IgG4 antibodies from whole blood or dried blood spots (DBS) via rapid diagnostic test (RDT) or enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively, may therefore provide a more sensitive tool for the assessment of elimination (interruption) of transmission (EoT). RDTs require little training and resources to deploy and are therefore favoured by policy makers in Lower-Middle Income Countries (LMICs). This dataset was compiled from individual-based surveys conducted across 67 villages in Gabon in 2015, aiming to compare the performance of skin snipping versus that of Ov16 RDTs and ELISAs. Gabon had not received MDA but features many implementation units (IU) with hypoendemic (<35% microfilarial prevalence) transmission. Local healthcare centres conducted the surveys. The initial participant pool totaled 5,829 individuals, with a median age of 30 years (Interquartile Range (IQR): 11-55 years). Skin snips were obtained from 4,350 individuals (sheet 1), and RDTs were performed on blood samples collected from 4,257 individuals. 337 individuals (8%) gave a positive skin snip, with 383 individuals (9%) recording a positive Ov16 RDT. Of these, 174 individuals tested positive in both tests, giving the RDT an overall sensitivity of 52% and specificity of 95%. Sheet 2 shows the data aggregated at the village level. Sheet 3 shows the Ov16 ELISA data. Horse radish peroxidase (HRP) Ov16 ELISAs were conducted on DBS in 58 (87%) of the 67 villages. A total of 3,012 individuals underwent ELISA testing, producing 348 (12%) Ov16 positive results. These data highlight, that whilst broadly efficacious, there is a need for caution on the reliance of RDTs in determination of EoT and furthers calls for the development of a novel RDT, with a diagnostic profile providing higher sensitivity and specificity values.



Imperial College London


Tropical Disease, Rapid Diagnostics, Onchocerciasis