Journal article

Bayesian Estimation for Diagnostic Testing of Biosecurity Risk Material in the Absence of a Gold Standard when Test Data are Incomplete

Sandra Jane Clarke, Stuart Andrew Jones



Diagnostic testing is used by biosecurity officers for the detection and identification of plant and animal pathogens, often informing high-consequence decisions such as restricting the entry of trade goods. It is rare that such tests can be considered gold standards; however, uncertainty can be reduced by using the results of other tests, measuring performance on samples of known status and incorporating prior knowledge from expert judgement. This article presents an extension to the methods of Joseph et al. (Am J Epidemiol 141:263–272, 1995), and Dendukuri and Joseph (Biometrics 57:158–167, 2001) for Bayesian estimation in the absence of a gold standard test, which allows for the use of in..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Australian Centre of Excellence for Risk Analysis (now named the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis). We sincerely thank the experts who participated in the elicitation of priors, the biosecurity officers and volunteers who facilitated the collection of samples, and the scientists who performed the laboratory testing. We are also very grateful to Andrew Robinson, Bonnie Wintle, Marissa McBride and Mark Burgman for their advice. Finally, we appreciate the time taken by two anonymous reviewers for providing detailed comments which have greatly improved the manuscript.