Statistics, Department of


Date of this Version



Biometrics. 2019 March ; 75(1): 278–288. doi:10.1111/biom.12988




Infectious disease testing frequently takes advantage of two tools–group testing and multiplex assays–to make testing timely and cost effective. Until the work of Tebbs et al. (2013) and Hou et al. (2017), there was no research available to understand how best to apply these tools simultaneously. This recent work focused on applications where each individual is considered to be identical in terms of the probability of disease. However, risk-factor information, such as past behavior and presence of symptoms, is very often available on each individual to allow one to estimate individual-specific probabilities. The purpose of our paper is to propose the first group testing algorithms for multiplex assays that take advantage of individual risk-factor information as expressed by these probabilities. We show that our methods significantly reduce the number of tests required while preserving accuracy. Throughout this paper, we focus on applying our methods with the Aptima Combo 2 Assay that is used worldwide for chlamydia and gonorrhea screening.