Skip to main content

Parametric Distributions of Underdiagnosis Parameters Used To Estimate Annual Burden of Illness for Five Foodborne Pathogens

Buy Article:

$37.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Estimates of the burden of bacterial foodborne illness are used in applications ranging from determining economic losses due to a particular pathogenic organism to improving our understanding of the effects of antimicrobial resistance or changes in pathogen serotype. Estimates of the total number of illnesses can be derived by multiplying the number of observed illnesses, as reported by a specific active surveillance system, by an underdiagnosis factor that describes the relationship between observed and unobserved cases. The underdiagnosis factor can be a fixed value, but recent research efforts have focused on characterizing the inherent uncertainty in the surveillance system with a computer simulation. Although the inclusion of uncertainty is beneficial, re-creating the simulation results for every application can be burdensome. An alternative approach is to describe the underdiagnosis factor and its uncertainty with a parametric distribution. The use of such a distribution simplifies analyses by providing a closed-form definition of the underdiagnosis factor and allows this factor to be easily incorporated into Bayesian models. In this article, we propose and estimate parametric distributions for the underdiagnosis multipliers developed for the FoodNet surveillance systems in the United States. Distributions are provided for the five foodborne pathogens deemed most relevant to meat and poultry.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Inspection Service, Risk Assessment Division, Office of Public Health Science, 2150 Centre Avenue, Building D, Fort Collins, Colorado 80526, USA., Email: 2: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Inspection Service, Risk Assessment Division, Office of Public Health Science, 2150 Centre Avenue, Building D, Fort Collins, Colorado 80526, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • IAFP Members with personal subscriptions to JFP Online: To access full-text JFP or JMFT articles, you must sign-in in the upper-right corner using your Ingenta sign-in details (your IAFP Member Login does not apply to this website).

    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

    Print and online subscriptions are available to IAFP Members and institutional subscribers. IAFP Members with a subscription to JFP Online will have access to all available JFP and JMFT content. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Membership and subscription information is available at
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more