A user-friendly, open-source tool to project impact and cost of diagnostic tests for tuberculosis

David W. Dowdy, Jason R. Andrews, Peter J. Dodd, Robert H. Gilman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Most models of infectious diseases, including tuberculosis (TB), do not provide results customized to local conditions. We created a dynamic transmission model to project TB incidence, TB mortality, multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB prevalence, and incremental costs over 5 years after scale-up of nine alternative diagnostic strategies. A corresponding web-based interface allows users to specify local costs and epidemiology. In settings with little capacity for up-front investment, same-day microscopy had the greatest impact on TB incidence and became cost-saving within 5 years if delivered at $10/test. With greater initial investment, population-level scale-up of Xpert MTB/RIF or microcolony-based culture often averted 10 times more TB cases than narrowly-targeted strategies, at minimal incremental long-term cost. Xpert for smear-positive TB had reasonable impact on MDR-TB incidence, but at substantial price and little impact on overall TB incidence and mortality. This user-friendly modeling framework improves decision-makers' ability to evaluate the local impact of TB diagnostic strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere02565
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 4 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'A user-friendly, open-source tool to project impact and cost of diagnostic tests for tuberculosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this