Break-even analysis of costs for controlling Toxoplasma gondii infections in slaughter pigs via a serological surveillance program in the Netherlands

M. van Asseldonk*, C.P.A. van Wagenberg, H.J. Wisselink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is a food safety hazard which causes a substantial human disease burden and cost-of-illness. Infected pig meat is a common source of toxoplasmosis. A break-even analysis was conducted to estimate the point for which the intervention cost at fattening pig farms equaled the cost of averted human disease burden and cost-of-illness minus the costs of a T. gondii surveillance program. The surveillance program comprised serological testing of blood samples taken at slaughter. Break-even points were determined given alternative levels of the effectiveness of the intervention program (10% up to 90% in steps of 10%), the value of an averted DALY (20,000, 50,000 and 80,000 Euro), and threshold of sample prevalence for a farm to be under intervention (5% up to 50% out of 20 samples in steps of 5%). Since test characteristics are a determining factor in the break-even analysis, and literature is inconclusive concerning sensitivity (se) and specificity (sp) of the serological test kit used, two alternative sets of assumptions were analysed. The estimated maximum costs of an intervention if only benefits for domestic consumers were accounted amounted approximately 2981 Euro (se = 98.9% and sp = 92.7%) versus 4389 Euro (se = 65.2% and sp = 97.4%) per year per fattening pig farm under intervention assuming an effectiveness of 50%, 50,000 Euro per averted DALY and threshold T. gondii sample prevalence of 5% for a farm to be under intervention. Since almost 80% of the gross domestic production is exported corresponding break-even values increased up to 12,034 Euro and 18,366 Euro if benefits for consumers abroad were included as well. Empirical research to strengthen the knowledge about the efficacy of a farm intervention measures is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-146
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Volume138
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Daly
  • Netherlands
  • Pigs
  • Serological surveillance
  • Toxoplasma gondii

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