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PLoS One. 2015 Dec 3;10(12):e0142498. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142498. eCollection 2015.

Methodological Framework for World Health Organization Estimates of the Global Burden of Foodborne Disease.

Author information

1
Department of Virology, Parasitology and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium.
2
Insitute of Health and Society (IRSS), Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.
3
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.
4
Department of Animal Sciences and Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States of America.
5
Department of Public Health, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
6
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, United States of America.
7
Department of Neurology, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States of America.
8
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, United States of America.
9
Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America.
10
Public Health Agency of Canada, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
11
Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool, Leahurst Campus, Neston, United Kingdom.
12
International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya.
13
Gibb Epidemiology Consulting, Arlington, VA, United States of America.
14
National Food Institute, Danish Technical University, Lyngby, Denmark.
15
National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Research School of Population Health, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
16
Institute of Environmental Science and Research, Christchurch, New Zealand.
17
Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
18
Centre for Infectious Disease Control, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, The Netherlands.
19
Section of Epidemiology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
20
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, United States of America.
21
National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, the Netherlands.
22
Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG) was established in 2007 by the World Health Organization to estimate the global burden of foodborne diseases (FBDs). This paper describes the methodological framework developed by FERG's Computational Task Force to transform epidemiological information into FBD burden estimates.

METHODS AND FINDINGS:

The global and regional burden of 31 FBDs was quantified, along with limited estimates for 5 other FBDs, using Disability-Adjusted Life Years in a hazard- and incidence-based approach. To accomplish this task, the following workflow was defined: outline of disease models and collection of epidemiological data; design and completion of a database template; development of an imputation model; identification of disability weights; probabilistic burden assessment; and estimating the proportion of the disease burden by each hazard that is attributable to exposure by food (i.e., source attribution). All computations were performed in R and the different functions were compiled in the R package 'FERG'. Traceability and transparency were ensured by sharing results and methods in an interactive way with all FERG members throughout the process.

CONCLUSIONS:

We developed a comprehensive framework for estimating the global burden of FBDs, in which methodological simplicity and transparency were key elements. All the tools developed have been made available and can be translated into a user-friendly national toolkit for studying and monitoring food safety at the local level.

PMID:
26633883
PMCID:
PMC4668830
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0142498
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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