Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

A Social Cost-Benefit Analysis of two One Health interventions to prevent toxoplasmosis.

Abstract

In the Netherlands, toxoplasmosis ranks second in disease burden among foodborne pathogens with an estimated health loss of 1,900 Disability Adjusted Life Years and a cost-of-illness estimated at Euro 45 million annually. Therefore, effective and preferably cost-effective preventive interventions are warranted. Freezing meat intended for raw or undercooked consumption and improving biosecurity in pig farms are promising interventions to prevent Toxoplasma gondii infections in humans. Putting these interventions into practice would expectedly reduce the number of infections; however, the net benefits for society are unknown. Stakeholders bearing the costs for these interventions will not necessary coincide with the ones having the benefits. We performed a Social Cost-Benefit Analysis to evaluate the net value of two potential interventions for the Dutch society. We assessed the costs and benefits of the two interventions and compared them with the current practice of education, especially during pregnancy. A 'minimum scenario' and a 'maximum scenario' was assumed, using input parameters with least benefits to society and input parameters with most benefits to society, respectively. For both interventions, we performed different scenario analyses. The freezing meat intervention was far more effective than the biosecurity intervention. Despite high freezing costs, freezing two meat products: steak tartare and mutton leg yielded net social benefits in both the minimum and maximum scenario, ranging from Euro 10.6 million to Euro 31 million for steak tartare and Euro 0.6 million to Euro 1.5 million for mutton leg. The biosecurity intervention would result in net costs in all scenarios ranging from Euro 1 million to Euro 2.5 million, due to high intervention costs and limited benefits. From a public health perspective (i.e. reducing the burden of toxoplasmosis) and the societal perspective (i.e. a net benefit for the Dutch society) freezing steak tartare and leg of mutton is to be considered.