Measuring a biomarker in pooled samples from multiple cases or controls can lead to cost-effective estimation of a covariate-adjusted odds ratio, particularly for expensive assays. But pooled measurements may be affected by assay-related measurement error (ME) and/or pooling-related processing error (PE), which can induce bias if ignored. Building on recently developed methods for a normal biomarker subject to additive errors, we present two related estimators for a right-skewed biomarker subject to multiplicative errors: one based on logistic regression and the other based on a Gamma discriminant function model. Applied to a reproductive health dataset with a right-skewed cytokine measured in pools of size 1 and 2, both methods suggest no association with spontaneous abortion. The fitted models indicate little ME but fairly severe PE, the latter of which is much too large to ignore. Simulations mimicking these data with a non-unity odds ratio confirm validity of the estimators and illustrate how PE can detract from pooling-related gains in statistical efficiency. These methods address a key issue associated with the homogeneous pools study design and should facilitate valid odds ratio estimation at a lower cost in a wide range of scenarios.

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