The Ministry of VWS has requested RIVM to present an annual update on the number of illnesses, disease burden and cost-of-illness caused by 14 enteric pathogens. These pathogens can be transmitted by food, the environment, animals and humans. The disease burden is expressed in DALYs (Disability Adjusted Life Years), a metric integrating morbidity and mortality into one unit. Furthermore, the cost-of-illness (COI) related to the 14 food-related pathogens was estimated and expressed in euros. The COI estimate includes healthcare costs, the costs for the patient and / or his family, such as travel expenses, as well as costs in other sectors, for example due to productivity losses. The total disease burden caused by the 14 pathogens decreased slightly from around 12,190 DALYs in 2015 to 12,020 DALYs in 2016. The share of foodborne transmission in this estimated burden was comparable to earlier years, mounting to 4,708 DALYs in 2016. The total COI caused by the 14 pathogens decreased slightly from 435 M in 2015 to 430 M in 2016. The food-related COI was with 171 M in 2016, which is slightly lower than in 2015 (i.e. 172 M). The differences in DALYs and COI between 2015 and 2016 are largely due to fluctuations in the type of infections that occur, the burden of disease they cause and the varying costs per infection.
The research presented in this report results in more insight in the true incidence of foodborne diseases and the associated disease burden and costs-of-illness and enables researchers and policy-makers to monitor trends in time for these 14 pathogens.