World health organization global estimates and regional comparisons of the burden of foodborne disease in 2010

02/08/2017
  

Abstract

Illness and death from diseases caused by contaminated food are a constant threat to public health and a significant impediment to socio-economic development worldwide. To measure the global and regional burden of foodborne disease (FBD), the World Health Organization (WHO) established the Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG), which here reports their first estimates of the incidence, mortality, and disease burden due to 31 foodborne hazards. We find that the global burden of FBD is comparable to those of the major infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The most frequent causes of foodborne illness were diarrheal disease agents, particularly norovirus and Campylobacter spp. Diarrheal disease agents, especially non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica, were also responsible for the majority of deaths due to FBD. Other major causes of FBD deaths were Salmonella Typhi, Taenia solium and hepatitis A virus. The global burden of FBD caused by the 31 hazards in 2010 was 33 million Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs); children under five years old bore 40% of this burden. The 14 subregions, defined on the basis of child and adult mortality, had considerably different burdens of FBD, with the greatest falling on the subregions in Africa, followed by the subregions in South-East Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean D subregion. Some hazards, such as non-typhoidal Senterica, were important causes of FBD in all regions of the world, whereas others, such as certain parasitic helminths, were highly localised. Thus, the burden of FBD is borne particularly by children under five years old–although they represent only 9% of the global population–and people living in low-income regions of the world. These estimates are conservative, i.e., underestimates rather than overestimates; further studies are needed to address the data gaps and limitations of the study. Nevertheless, all stakeholders can contribute to improvements in food safety throughout the food chain by incorporating these estimates into policy development at national and international levels.

Summary Points

  • Thirty-one foodborne hazards caused 600 (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 420–960) million foodborne illnesses and 420,000 (95% UI 310,000–600,000) deaths in 2010.

  • The global burden of FBD caused by the 31 hazards studied was 33 (95% UI 25–46) million DALYs in 2010.

  • The most frequent causes of foodborne illness were diarrheal disease agents; particularly norovirus and Campylobacter spp.

  • Foodborne diarrheal disease agents, particularly non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica, caused 230,000 (95% UI 160,000–320,000) deaths

  • Other major causes of FBD deaths were Salmonella Typhi, Taenia solium, hepatitis A virus and aflatoxin.

  • 40% of the FBD burden was among children under 5 years old.

  • The African (AFR), South-East Asian (SEAR) and Eastern Mediterranean (EMR) D subregions had the highest FBD burden.

  • Diarrheal disease agents were the leading cause of FBD burden in most subregions, and non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica caused an important burden in all subregions, particularly in the subregions in Africa.

  • Other main causes of diarrheal FBD burden were enteropathogenic Escherichia coli, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholerae in low-income subregions, and Campylobacter spp. in high-income subregions.

  • The burden of aflatoxin was high in the AFR D, Western Pacific (WPR) B and SEAR B subregions, whereas dioxins caused the highest burden in SEAR D, EMR D and European (EUR) A and C subregions.

  • In the South-East Asian subregions, there was a considerable burden of Salmonella Typhi; the burden of Opisthorchis spp. was concentrated in the SEAR B region, where the seafoodborne trematodes Paragonimus spp. and Clonorchis sinensis were also important.

  • In Central and South American (AMR B and AMR D) subregions, Tsolium and Toxoplasma gondii contributed significantly to the FBD burden.

  • These estimates should inform policy development at national and international levels to improve food safety throughout the food chain.

Năm: 2017
Tác giả: ARIE H. HAVELAAR, MARTYN D. KIRK, PAUL R. TORGERSON
Tổ chức: PLOS MEDICINE

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