Target product profiles for the diagnosis of Taenia solium published

09 October 2017| Geneva −− Diagnosing the different manifestations of Taenia solium (taeniasis and neurocysticercosis in humans, and porcine cysticercosis) presents numerous challenges.

Currently, the available tests do not fulfil many of the needs. In order to guide researchers, diagnostic developers and manufacturers in their efforts to develop effective and useful diagnostic tests, new target product profiles (TPPs) for the diagnosis of T. solium have been produced.

The TPPs describe the optimal and minimal attributes of diagnostic tests that would be fit for a variety of diagnostic purposes related to T. solium.

The four TPPs published are for the diagnosis of:

  • Taeniasis in humans caused by T. solium. A point-of-care test to be used mainly for surveillance.
  • Taeniasis in humans caused by T. solium. A test with high specificity and sensitivity (various platforms) to be used to monitor control programmes.
  • Human neurocysticercosis. A point-of-care test to identify symptomatic patients with viable cysts who need to be referred for confirmation by brain imaging.
  • Porcine cysticercosis. A test (various platforms) to be used to monitor control programmes.

The process started with a WHO stakeholders meeting on T. solium taeniasis/cysticercosis diagnostic tools (Geneva, 15‒16 December 2015), after which four TPPs were drafted and a consultation process was conducted.

The draft TPPs were sent to over 100 people/organizations and the consultation period was held from March until mid-April 2017. Feedback from the 53 respondents was consolidated and discussions held with the different experts according to their area of expertise, to reach consensus or a compromise. The final versions were then finally produced and published.

The TPPs are considered to be live documents that are likely to undergo review and updating in the future when new knowledge and technologies become available.

WHO thanks all the experts who participated in the stakeholders meeting and during the consultation process for their valuable input.


Ashok Moloo

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