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Campylobacter control measures in indoor broiler chicken: critical re-assessment of cost-utility and putative barriers to implementation

  • J. G. Pitter (a1), Z. Vokó (a1) (a2), Á Józwiak (a3) and A. Berkics (a3)

As campylobacteriosis is one of the most important foodborne infections, a European Union (EU)-27 level cost-effectiveness model has been developed on the socio-economic costs and benefits of applying certain control measures for the reduction of Campylobacter in broiler meat. This is expected to be a gold standard for food safety policymakers in the EU; hence, the validity of its modelling assumptions is essential. The authors of the present paper conducted an independent review of model input parameters on health and economic burden and found that the model most probably overestimated the burden of human campylobacteriosis. A discounted, quality-adjusted life year (QALY)-based European estimate has been developed for human campylobacteriosis and resulted in 15.23 QALY loss per 1000 human gastroenteritis cases. Country-specific cost of illness estimates have been developed for various countries in the EU-27. Based on these model adaptations, a selected Campylobacter control strategy was re-assessed and its high cost-effectiveness was confirmed at the EU level, and also in all but three Member States. Bacteriocin treatment or vaccination of the animals, two alternative control measures were also re-evaluated, and these strategies seemed to be far less cost-effective than the investigated strategy. Putative barriers to the rapid implementation of the investigated Campylobacter control strategy are discussed, and potential solutions are proposed. Further research is required on stakeholder perspectives pertaining to the realistic barriers and implementation opportunities.

Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: János G. Pitter, E-mail:
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Epidemiology & Infection
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