CAPC Parasite Prevalence Maps: Criteria for Data Inclusion

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) requires that the following criteria be met for inclusion of any data in its disease prevalence maps:

Antibody tests for tick-borne disease agents (Borrelia burgdorferi, Ehrlichia spp., and Anaplasma spp.)

A minimum sensitivity of 90% and a minimum specificity of 90% are required for all canine tick-borne disease antibody assays.  To include the data on the map, CAPC also requires that the test employed be externally validated via approval by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Information regarding USDA regulation of diagnostic tests can be found at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/vet_biologics/publications/pel_4_7.pdf

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Antigen tests for heartworm

A minimum sensitivity of 90% and a minimum specificity of 90% are required for all canine heartworm antigen tests.  Because the sensitivity of some heartworm antigen tests declines at lower worm burdens, the 90% sensitivity requirement applies only when three or more adult female worms are present.  To include the data on the map, CAPC requires that the test employed be approved by the USDA, as for the tick-borne disease diagnostics described above.

Intestinal parasites (all tested for via fecal flotation)

The roundworm, hookworm, and whipworm data are acquired for the maps via centrifugal fecal flotation.  Because sensitivity and specificity are variable, all fecal results that follow procedures which include centrifugation and minimum sample size of one gram are accepted.  The resultant data must be interpreted understanding these limitations.

For additional information on interpreting the maps more accurately, please see the related article Understanding the Maps – Key Factors that Influence the Results.