“Ban Widal Test for Typhoid Due to Inaccuracies” -Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Chris Nyan urges MOH
By Our Correspondent
MONROVIA – A prominent global infectious disease expert, Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan has proposed the banning of the Widal Test in Liberia, a serological testing method commonly used for diagnosis of typhoid infection in the endemic West African country and its neighbours.
During a free seminar-workshop conducted by Dr. Nyan at the Harbel Firestone Duside Hospital last week, the biomedical scientist “characterized the Widal Test as outdated and inaccurate, and produces a lot of false positive results in its diagnostic process for typhoid fever.”
The Widal test was developed over a century ago in 1896 by Georges-Fernand Widal and used for detecting Salmonella typhi infection. It remains one of the world’s most widely used diagnostic tests, but has significant limitations with its sensitivity, specificity, and reliability.
“The Widal Test creates more diagnostic confusion, because of its inability to specifically detect Typhoid alone,” said Dr. Nyan, an award-winning infectious disease doctor and inventor in the field of infectious diseases diagnostics.
According to scientific reports Widal Test results can be falsely positive in typhus, nephrotic syndrome, acute falciparum malaria, previous typhoid immunization, chronic liver disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr. Nyan first proposed banning of the Widal Test in Liberia when he served as speaker at the WHO sponsored annual “CelebrateLAB” conference of laboratory scientist and medical personnel held in Monrovia in 2017.
The Widal Test has been banned in several countries including Pakistan where the Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority and other institutions also banned Widal and Typhidot tests.
The infectious disease expert, Dr. Nyan, proposed molecular gene diagnostic methods such as the isothermal amplification and polymerase chain can serve as reliable technology for detecting typhoid infection.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. James Appel, M.D., an American physician of the Seven Days Adventist Cooper Hospital in Monrovia, has backed Dr. Nyan in the call to ban the Widal test due to “its inaccuracies and unreliability.”
Dr. Nyan, is Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of Shufflex Biomed, his start-up company developing rapid multiplex diagnostic tests for infectious diseases.
He is the inventor of the Rapid Multiplex Isothermal Real-Time Amplification Test (the NYAN-TEST) that detects and differentiates 3 to 7 infections simultaneously in less than an hour. This groundbreaking technology has been granted three US Patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The German-trained medical doctor is presently in Liberia, West Africa where he is providing free medical and science education to academic and medical institutions as a visiting professor.