COST ACTION CA18208

Novel tools for test evaluation and disease prevalence estimation

HARMONY

DESCRIPTION OF THE ACTION

Epidemiological studies assessing disease prevalence are critically important to both the identification and control of pathogens in humans and animals (including zoonosis and food borne outbreaks).

However, countries typically collect data in a way that is best suited for their specific needs, and non-standardized sampling strategies and diagnostic methods produce prevalence estimates that cannot be directly compared. Hence, the need for harmonization, which has been often highlighted in reports of relevant EU institutions, like the ECDC and EFSA. Despite the availability of appropriate statistical methods – Bayesian Latent Class Models (BLCMs) – that adjust for the imperfect accuracy of the diagnostic process and produce comparable prevalence estimates, the number of research studies and scientific reports that use them is small compared to the number of instances that use of such methods would have been optimal.

The objective of this proposal is to coordinate and promote the implementation of BLCMs through networking and knowledge transfer between BLCM experts and researchers working in statistics, epidemiology, diagnostics and population health. Specifically, we will (a) increase the visibility and collaboration of BLCM researchers, (b) promote stakeholder engagement, (c) provide training and networking opportunities for ECIs and ITC researchers, (d) create separate training opportunities for policy makers and stakeholders, (e) establish a free online BLCMs repository, (f) set up an International society for BLCMs and (g) organize the first international conference of this society. The strongest asset of this proposal is its strong interdisciplinary nature and broad network of proposers.

Bayesian Latent Class Models to evaluate diagnostic tests  in the absence of a gold standard
14 July, 2021 
- 16 July, 2021
Venue: Winterthurerstr. 190 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
The Action members from Switzerland are organizing a three-day training school, hosted in Zurich, Switzerland [14 – 16 July 2021].
24 Steps to Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
6 September, 2021 
- 10 September, 2021
Venue: Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland
The Action members from Switzerland are organizing a five-day training school, hosted by the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland [6 - 10 September 2021].
Introduction to Bayesian Latent Class analysis for estimation of diagnostic test sensitivity and specificity of animal diseases
14 September, 2021 
- 15 September, 2021
Venue: Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI), Ås, Norway
The Action members from Norway are organizing a two-day training school, hosted by the Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI), Ås, Norway [14 - 15 September 2021].
Bayesian Latent Class Models to evaluate diagnostic tests  in the absence of a gold standard
14 July, 2021 
- 16 July, 2021
Venue: Winterthurerstr. 190 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
The Action members from Switzerland are organizing a three-day training school, hosted in Zurich, Switzerland [14 – 16 July 2021].
24 Steps to Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
6 September, 2021 
- 10 September, 2021
Venue: Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland
The Action members from Switzerland are organizing a five-day training school, hosted by the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland [6 - 10 September 2021].
Introduction to Bayesian Latent Class analysis for estimation of diagnostic test sensitivity and specificity of animal diseases
14 September, 2021 
- 15 September, 2021
Venue: Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI), Ås, Norway
The Action members from Norway are organizing a two-day training school, hosted by the Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI), Ås, Norway [14 - 15 September 2021].
Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs)
1 May, 2020 
- 31 October, 2021
STSMs are institutional visits aimed at supporting individual mobility and fostering collaborations by allowing scientists to visit an institution and contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action. Promotion of the BLCMs methods is the main objective of HARMONY. The STSMs are especially focused to researches and early career investigations, who will learn to...