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Repeat capture–recapture studies as part of the evaluation of the surveillance of Legionnaires' disease in France

  • A. NARDONE (a1) (a2), B. DECLUDT (a1), S. JARRAUD (a3), J. ETIENNE (a3), B. HUBERT (a1), A. INFUSO (a1), A. GALLAY (a1) and J.-C. DESENCLOS (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 September 2003

We evaluated improvements made to the mandatory notification surveillance system for Legionnaires' disease in France by estimating its sensitivity in 1995 and 1998 using a repeat capture–recapture method. A case of Legionnaires' disease was defined as a person treated for pneumonia in whom legionella had been detected. Patient details were collected from (1) mandatory notifications; (2) the National Reference Centre for Legionella; (3) a postal survey of all hospital laboratories. The three sources were cross-matched and 715 individual cases were identified. A log-linear model, which included an interaction term between mandatory notifications and both the National Reference Centre and Laboratory sources, provided an estimated total of 1124 cases (95% CI 973–1275) in 1998, a twofold increase compared with 1995. The sensitivity of the surveillance system improved from 10% in 1995 to 33% (95% CI 29–38%) in 1998. Capture-recapture methods are important tools in the evaluation of surveillance systems.

Corresponding author
Département de Maladies Infectieuses, Institut de Veille Sanitaire, 12 rue du Val d'Osne, 94415 Saint Maurice, France.
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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