Gastroenteritis caused from infections with Salmonella enterica (salmonellosis) causes significant morbidity in Australia. In addition to acute gastroenteritis, approximately 8.8% of people develop irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and 8.5% of people develop reactive arthritis (ReA). We estimated the economic cost of salmonellosis and associated sequel illnesses in Australia in a typical year circa 2015.
We estimated incidence, hospitalizations, other health care usage, absenteeism, and premature mortality for four age groups using a variety of complementary data sets. We calculated direct costs (health care) and indirect costs (lost productivity and premature mortality) by using Monte Carlo simulation to estimate 90% credible intervals (CrI) around our point estimates.
We estimated that 90,833 cases, 4,312 hospitalizations, and 19 deaths occurred from salmonellosis in Australia circa 2015 at a direct cost of AUD 23.8 million (90% CrI, 19.3 to 28.9 million) and a total cost of AUD 124.4 million (90% CrI, 107.4 to 143.1 million). When IBS and ReA were included, the estimated direct cost was 35.7 million (90% CrI, 29.9 to 42.7 million) and the total cost was AUD 146.8 million (90% CrI, 127.8 to 167.9 million).
Foodborne infections were responsible for AUD 88.9 million (90% CrI, 63.9 to 112.4 million) from acute salmonellosis and AUD 104.8 million (90% CrI, 75.5 to 132.3 million) when IBS and ReA were included. Targeted interventions to prevent illness could considerably reduce costs and societal impact from Salmonella infections and sequel illnesses in Australia.
Cost of salmonella infections in Australia, 2015
Journal of Food Protection vol. 82 no. 9