Epidemiology and Infection

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Epidemiology and Infection (2010), 138:1650-1656 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

Original Papers


Disease burden of post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome in The Netherlands

J. A. HAAGSMAa1a2 c1, P. D. SIERSEMAa3, N. J. DE WITa4 and A. H. HAVELAARa1a5

a1 Centre for Infectious Disease Control, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands
a2 Department of Public Health, Erasmus Medical Center, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
a3 Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
a4 Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
a5 Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Article author query
haagsma ja [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
siersema pd [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
de wit nj [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
havelaar ah [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


Post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS) has been established as a sequel of infectious intestinal disease (IID). The aim of this study was to estimate the burden of PI-IBS caused by the pathogens Campylobacter, Salmonella and Shigella, and to compare this with other outcomes associated with these pathogens. The attributable risk of PI-IBS due to bacterial pathogens was calculated and linked to national data on gastroenteritis incidence and measures for severity and duration of illness in order to estimate the burden of PI-IBS. One year post-infection, IBS developed in 9% of patients with bacterial IID. The burden of PI-IBS adds over 2300 disability adjusted life years to the total annual disease burden for the selected pathogens. PI-IBS is a frequent sequel of IID, resulting in a considerable disease burden compared to other outcomes. If this relationship is not considered, this will result in an underestimation of the disease burden of IID.

(Accepted February 11 2010)

(Online publication March 12 2010)

Key Words:Campylobacter; foodborne infections; public health; salmonellosis; Shigella


c1 Author for correspondence: J. A. Haagsma, M.Sc., National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Centre for Infectious Disease Control, Laboratory for Zoonoses and Environmental Microbiology, P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands. (Email: j.haagsma@erasmusmc.nl)