Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of the Implementation of Cryptococcal Antigen Lateral Flow Assay for the Diagnosis of Cryptococcal Meningitis in Symptomatic People Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Brazil



Cryptococcal meningitis constitutes a significant source of mortality in the developing world. Annually, approximately 625 000 deaths occur worldwide among patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. This study aims to assess the cost-effectiveness of implementing cryptococcal antigen lateral flow assay (CRAG-LFA) screening in Brazil compared with the current practice.


An economic evaluation using a Monte Carlo microsimulation was conducted, considering the perspective of the Brazilian Public Health System, to calculate the cost-effectiveness of 4 diagnosis tests: (1) CRAG-LFA, (2) the cryptococcal antigen latex agglutination (CRAG-LA) test, (3) India ink, and (4) nontracking as a baseline. The time horizon comprised 1 year for the intervention and 5 years for the budgetary impact analysis. Two primary effectiveness outcomes were considered: years of life and quality-adjusted life-years.


CRAG-LFA has extended dominance vis à vis CRAG-LA and India ink. CRAG-LFA would cost $418.46 more than CRAG-LA for the treatment of each symptomatic patient living with HIV, with an incremental cost effectiveness ratio of $2478.75/quality-adjusted life year. The budgetary impact analysis estimated that the incorporation of CRAG-LFA would have an additional cost of $1 959 236.50 in 5 years.


These findings suggest that, for patients living with HIV in the Brazilian Public Health System, the adoption of CRAG-LFA screening is cost-effective compared with the use of CRAG-LA and India ink. It represents an opportunity to prevent cryptococcal meningitis and its mortality in Brazil.


Cid Manso de Mello Vianna Gabriela Bittencourt Gonzalez Mosegui

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