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Community incidence of pathogen-specific gastroenteritis: reconstructing the surveillance pyramid for seven pathogens in seven European Union member states


Juanita Haagsma, Petra Geenen, Steen Ethelberg, Alexandra Fetsch, Frida Hansdotter, Andreas Jansen, Helle Korsgaard, Sarah O'Brien, Gaia Scavia, Heidi Spitznagel, Paweł Stefanoff, Clarence Tam, Arie Havelaar.


Epidemiol Infect 2013; 141(8): 1625-39.

The main output from a long-term project to measure burden of infections in a standardized way across EU Member States. It was part of the international network of institutions MED-VET-NET. We used the approach of reconstructing the "surveillance pyramid" starting from cases reported to surveillance. As the next step, we calculated the probability that physicians report a positive result, the probability of taking a sample from a patient with symptoms, and so forth. Not surprisingly we found that countries registering the lowest incidence of infections, have in reality the highest burden of infections. For thjis purpose we calculated the so-called "surveillance multipliers", indicating how many cases in the community are actually reported to surveillance :)

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