Estimating Foodborne Gastroenteritis, Australia

National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.
Emerging infectious diseases (Impact Factor: 6.75). 09/2005; 11(8):1257-64. DOI: 10.3201/eid1108.041367
Source: PubMed


We estimated for Australia the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to foodborne gastroenteritis in a typical year, circa 2000. The total amount of infectious gastroenteritis was measured by using a national telephone survey. The foodborne proportion was estimated from Australian data on each of 16 pathogens. To account for uncertainty, we used simulation techniques to calculate 95% credibility intervals (CrI). The estimate of incidence of gastroenteritis in Australia is 17.2 million (95% confidence interval 14.5-19.9 million) cases per year. We estimate that 32% (95% CrI 24%-40%) are foodborne, which equals 0.3 (95% CrI 0.2-0.4) episodes per person, or 5.4 million (95% CrI 4.0-6.9 million) cases annually in Australia. Norovirus, enteropathogenic Escherichia coli, Campylobacter spp., and Salmonella spp. cause the most illnesses. In addition, foodborne gastroenteritis causes approximately 15,000 (95% CrI 11,000-18,000) hospitalizations and 80 (95% CrI 40-120) deaths annually. This study highlights global public health concerns about foodborne diseases and the need for standardized methods, including assessment of uncertainty, for international comparison.

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    • "According to recent estimates foodborne illness affects a quarter of the population in the developed world (Food Safety Information Council, 2014; McKercher, 2012; Scallan et al., 2011), which corresponds to nearly 6 million people in Australia. The consequences of food poisoning can be severe, with an average of 120 deaths annually in Australia, at a cost of $1.25 billion (Hall et al., 2005; NSW Food Authority, 2015). Similar statistics have been reported in the United Kingdom (Adak, Meakins, Yip, Lopman, & O'Brien, 2005; Food Standards Agency, 2002; Redmond & Griffith, 2006) and the United States of America (Mead et al., 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: To apply the protection motivation theory to safe food handling in order to determine the efficacy of this model for four food handling behaviours: cooking food properly, reducing cross-contamination, keeping food at the correct temperature and avoiding unsafe foods. Design: A cross-sectional approach was taken where all protection motivation variables: perceived severity, perceived vulnerability, self-efficacy, response efficacy, and protection motivation, were measured at a single time point. Findings: Data from 206 participants revealed that the model accounted for between 40 and 48% of the variance in motivation to perform each of the four safe food handling behaviours. The relationship between self-efficacy and protection motivation was revealed to be the most consistent across the four behaviours. Implications: While a good predictor of motivation, it is suggested that protection motivation theory is not superior to other previously applied models, and perhaps a model that focuses on self-efficacy would offer the most parsimonious explanation of safe food handling behaviour, and indicate the most effective targets for behaviour change interventions. Originality: This is the first study to apply and determine the efficacy of protection motivation theory in the context of food safety.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2016 · Food Control
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    • "and non-typhoidal Salmonella spp. are determined to be the leading causes for acute gastroenteritis (AGE)[20,21,23,24,42]. While hospitalisation due to campylobacteriosis is generally less common than that due to salmonellosis in the U.S. and the U.K., campylobacteriosis is more frequently encountered than salmonellosis among AGE hospitalised cases in Germany[21,24,42]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Singapore’s diarrhoeal notification system is based on specific pathogens. Official data may thus be skewed towards notifiable diseases. Limited information is available on the profiles of aetiological agents responsible for acute gastroenteritis (AGE) cases, especially among the adult population. To understand the frequency and distribution of potential causative agents of diarrheal disease in Singapore, we screened adults’ stool samples collected from a large public hospital. Methods The stool samples were screened for 18 diarrheagenic pathogens using a combination of commercial multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR), in-house singleplex PCR and immunochromatographic assays. One hundred adult faecal samples that were collected from October 2013 to January 2014 for routine diagnostic purposes and submitted for culture at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore were used. Results Pathogens were detected in 32 % of the samples. The predominant organisms encountered were norovirus genogroup II (11 %), Aeromonas spp. (9 %) and Campylobacter spp. (5 %). One sample was positive for both verocytotoxigenic E. coli (VTEC) and E. coli O157:H7. Two other samples were positive for VTEC only, and one other sample was positive for E. coli O157:H7 only. Astrovirus, C. perfringens, Shigella spp. and toxigenic C. difficile were each detected in 2 % of the samples. Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia lamblia, group A rotavirus, Salmonella spp. and Vibrio spp. were each detected in 1 % of the samples. No L. monocytogenes, Y. enterocolitica, enteric adenovirus, or norovirus genogroup I were detected. Conclusion Our preliminary findings suggest that pathogens causing non-notifiable diseases might have contributed considerably to the adult hospitalised AGE cases. However, as the samples were from an adult hospital, the data obtained may not be representative of the whole community. Thus, a larger study to collect clinical samples and risk exposure data from primary healthcare clinics and children hospital is planned for, to gain a more holistic perspective on the epidemiology of AGE in Singapore. A larger study may also offer valuable insights for improving the approach of microbiological surveillance of food, as well as strategizing inspection efforts along the food supply chain by public health authorities.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · BMC Infectious Diseases
    • "Moreover, noroviruses infect people of all ages (Widdowson et al., 2005). Worldwide, noroviruses cause over 90% of all viral gastroenteritis cases (Patel et al., 2009), and in Australia they are the most common cause of gastroenteritis, causing an estimated 1.8 million cases per annum (Hall et al., 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA), the current method of choice for evaluating human health risks associated with disease-causing microorganisms, is often constrained by issues such as availability of required data, and inability to incorporate the multitude of factors influencing risk. Bayesian networks (BNs), with their ability to handle data paucity, combine quantitative and qualitative information including expert opinions, and ability to offer a systems approach to characterisation of complexity, are increasingly recognised as a powerful, flexible tool that overcomes these limitations. Objectives: We present a QMRA expressed as a Bayesian network (BN) in a wastewater reuse context, with the objective of demonstrating the utility of the BN method in health risk assessments, particularly for evaluating a range of exposure and risk mitigation scenarios. As a case study, we examine the risk of norovirus infection associated with wastewater-irrigated lettuce. Methods: A Bayesian network was developed following a QMRA approach, using published data, and reviewed by domain experts using a participatory process. Discussion: Employment of a BN facilitated rapid scenario evaluations, risk minimisation, and predictive comparisons. The BN supported exploration of conditions required for optimal outcomes, as well as investigation of the effect on the reporting nodes of changes in 'upstream' conditions. A significant finding was the indication that if maximum post-treatment risk mitigation measures were implemented, there was a high probability (0.84) of a low risk of infection regardless of fluctuations in other variables, including norovirus concentration in treated wastewater. Conclusion: BNs are useful in situations where insufficient empirical data exist to satisfy QMRA requirements and they are exceptionally suited to the integration of risk assessment and risk management in the QMRA context. They allow a comprehensive visual appraisal of major influences in exposure pathways, and rapid interactive risk assessment in multifaceted water reuse scenarios.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Science of The Total Environment
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