Evaluation of diagnostic tests

Epidemiology and Public Health

This one-week course is designed to evaluate diagnostic tests, from validation of tests in the laboratory to their use in the field.

Practical information

Institut Pasteur
April 6-10, 2020
February 21, 2020
In French


Institut Pasteur Diploma
Doctoral School Module
Credits for Public health Pasteur-CNAM Master

The objective of this course is to provide science, medicine and public health students with training in diagnostic test evaluation. The knowledge must be supplemented by statistical bases (CESAM type or introduction to biostatistics) and notions in the biomedical field.

The themes that are developed concern:

  • The different stages of validation of a diagnostic test: from the laboratory validation to the use in the field.
  • Protocol development with identification and discussion of biases.
  • The main measures for evaluating the accuracy and reproducibility of the tests (sensitivity, specificity, ROC curves, kappa, Bland-Altman methods, etc.).
  • Models used for imperfect or non-existent “gold standard” tests.
  • The quality criteria of a diagnostic study.
  • Cost-effectiveness comparisons.
  • All these theoretical notions will be accompanied by practical examples using software.


  1. Introduction to the evaluation of diagnostic tests.
  2. The different protocols: phase 1 (proof of concept), phase 2 (case-control), phase 3 (prospective study).
  3. The different biases.
  4. The quality of diagnostic studies; the STARD and QUADAS tools.
  5. The main evaluation measures: qualitative tests (sensitivity, specificity, VPP, VPN, Kappa coefficient) and quantitative tests (ROC curves, Bland and Altman diagram, intra-class correlation coefficient, coefficient of variation).
  6. The question of "gold standard" and its modeling (latent class analysis).
  7. Evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of different diagnostic algorithms.

Applications are evaluated by the Course Committee.


More informations


Marleen Boelaert

Institut de médecine tropicale

Anvers, Belgique

Muriel Vray

Unit of epidemiology of infectious diseases 

Institut Pasteur of Dakar

Head(s) of laboratory practicals

Joris Menten


Institut de médecine tropicale


Anvers, Belgique

Laura Schaeffer

Unité Epidémiologie des maladies emergentes

Institut Pasteur

1 semaine
Members of the Course committee

M. Boelaert (Institut Médecine Tropicale, Anvers),

E. Coeffier-Vicart (Institut Pasteur),

L. Le Fouler (Institut Pasteur)

S. Malot (Institut Pasteur),

J. Menten (Institut de Médecine Tropicale, Anvers, Belgique)

V. Ponticelli (Institut Pasteur),

M. Sala (Institut Pasteur),

M. Vray (Institut Pasteur),

H. Waxin (Institut Pasteur).

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