Disease burden of neonatal invasive Group B Streptococcus infection in the Netherlands

Brechje de Gier, Merel N. van Kassel, Elisabeth A. M. Sanders, Diederik van de Beek, Susan J. M. Hahné, Arie van der Ende, Merijn W. Bijlsma

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Background Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the leading cause of neonatal sepsis and meningitis worldwide. We aimed to estimate the current burden of neonatal invasive GBS disease in the Netherlands, as a first step in providing an evidence base for policy makers on the potential benefits of a future maternal GBS vaccine. Methods Surveillance of neonatal invasive GBS occurs at the National Reference Laboratory for Bacterial Meningitis, where culture isolates from cerebrospinal fluid and blood are sent by diagnostic laboratories. From the number of cultures we estimated the incidence of neonatal (age 0–90 days) GBS meningitis and sepsis. We constructed a disease progression model informed by literature and expert consultation to estimate the disease burden of neonatal invasive GBS infection. As many neonates with a probable GBS sepsis are never confirmed by blood culture, we further estimated the disease burden of unconfirmed cases of probable GBS sepsis in sensitivity analyses. Results An estimated 97 cases and 6.5 deaths occurred in the Netherlands in 2017 due to culture positive neonatal invasive GBS infection. This incidence comprised 15 cases of meningitis and 42 cases of sepsis per 100.000 births, with an estimated mortality of 3.8 per 100.000 live births. A disease burden of 780 disability-adjusted life years (DALY) (95% CI 650–910) or 460 DALY per 100.000 live births was attributed to neonatal invasive GBS infection. In the sensitivity analysis including probable neonatal GBS sepsis the disease burden increased to 71 cases and 550 DALY (95% CI 460–650) per 100.000 live births. Conclusion In conclusion, neonatal invasive GBS infection currently causes a substantial disease burden in the Netherlands. However, important evidence gaps are yet to be filled. Furthermore,
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0216749
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019
Externally publishedYes

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