Cost of illness and disease burden in The Netherlands due to infections with Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157

J Food Prot. 2011 Apr;74(4):545-52. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-10-252.


Infections with Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157 (STEC O157) are associated with hemorrhagic colitis, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). In the present study, we extend previous estimates of the burden of disease associated with STEC O157 with estimates of the associated cost of illness in The Netherlands. A second-order stochastic simulation model was used to calculate disease burden as disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and cost of illness (including direct health care costs and indirect non-health care costs). Future burden and costs are presented undiscounted and discounted at annual percentages of 1.5 and 4%, respectively. Annually, approximately 2.100 persons per year experience symptoms of gastroenteritis, leading to 22 cases of HUS and 3 cases of ESRD. The disease burden at the population level was estimated at 133 DALYs (87 DALYs discounted) per year. Total annual undiscounted and discounted costs of illness due to STEC O157 infection for the Dutch society were estimated at €9.1 million and €4.5 million, respectively. Average lifetime undiscounted and discounted costs per case were both €126 for diarrheal illness, both €25,713 for HUS, and €2.76 million and €1.22 million, respectively, for ESRD. The undiscounted and discounted costs per case of diarrheal disease including sequelae were €4,132 and €2,131, respectively. Compared with other foodborne pathogens, STEC O157 infections result in relatively low burden and low annual costs at the societal level, but the burden and costs per case are high.

MeSH terms

  • Cost of Illness*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / economics*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / epidemiology*
  • Escherichia coli O157*
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / economics
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Netherlands
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Stochastic Processes