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J Infect Dis. 1997 Dec;176 Suppl 2:S192-7.

The economic burden of Campylobacter-associated Guillain-Barré syndrome.

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  • 1US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Washington, DC 20036-5831, USA.


Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an autoimmune disease characterized by acute neuromuscular paralysis. Of an estimated annual number of 2628-9575 US cases, 526-3830 are triggered by Campylobacter infection. Research objectives were to identify the lifetime consequences of GBS and, when possible, to quantify their economic burden. The cost-of-illness method was used to calculate annual societal resources spent on medical care and lost productivity due to illness or premature death from Campylobacter-associated GBS. Estimated total costs (in US$) of Campylobacter-associated GBS ($0.2-$1.8 billion) were added to previously estimated costs of campylobacteriosis ($1.3-$6.2 billion) for a total annual cost from Campylobacter of $1.5-$8.0 billion (1995 dollars). It is concluded that up to $8.0 billion in US human illness costs are spent annually because of Campylobacter infection. Economic evaluation of the other costs associated with GBS, such as physical and psychological costs, would increase these estimates.

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