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Improved Estimation of Pathogen Transmission Rates by Group Testing. Peter M. Burrows, Experimental Statistics Unit, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0367; Phytopathology 77:363-365. Accepted for publication 19 May 1986. Copyright 1987 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-77-363.

Estimation of infection rates or probabilities of disease transmission is improved by adopting an alternative to maximum likelihood estimation with superior bias and mean square error properties. This improves the efficiency of group testing and extends the range of conditions where group testing is more efficient than individual testing. A simple formulation of optimal group size is presented for situations where the number of test plants is fixed by resource limitations.

Additional keywords: multiple transfer designs, pathogen transmission, vectors.