Infection with thermophilic Campylobacter spp. usually leads to an episode of acute
gastroenteritis. Occasionally, more severe diseases may be induced, notably Guillain–Barré
syndrome and reactive arthritis. For some, the disease may be fatal. We have integrated
available data in one public health measure, the Disability Adjusted Life Year (DALY).
DALYs are the sum of Years of Life Lost by premature mortality and Years Lived with
Disability, weighted with a factor between 0 and 1 for the severity of illness. The mean health
burden of campylobacter-associated illness in the Dutch population in the period 1990–5 is
estimated as 1400 (90% CI 900–2000) DALY per year. The main determinants of health
burden are acute gastroenteritis (440 DALY), gastroenteritis related mortality (310 DALY) and
residual symptoms of Guillain–Barré syndrome (340 DALY). Sensitivity analysis demonstrated
that alternative model assumptions produced results in the above-mentioned range.