Volume 6, Number 3—June 2000
Costs and Benefits of a Subtype-Specific Surveillance System for Identifying Escherichia coli O157:H7 Outbreaks
|Labor and equipment costs||Total costs||Escherichia coli-related costsa|
|Laboratory scientist (per year)b||$10,000||$4,000|
|Analyzing the isolates (per year)c||$12,000||$12,000|
|Investigating an outbreakd,e||$9,600||$9,600|
|Present value of outbreak costs (in 5 years)f||$90,568||$90,568|
|Annual operating costsg||$41,200||$35,520|
aFrom the proportion of E. coli isolates among the total number of isolates expected to be subtyped each year, we extrapolated that 40% of the equipment and labor costs were E. coli-related.
bThe salary and fringe benefits of a full-time laboratory analyst.
cAnalyzing 300 isolates at a cost of $40 per isolate.
dThis cost included, but was not limited to, the value of time (15 days) spent investigating an outbreak, answering telephone calls, conducting meetings, improving and transferring pulsed-field gel electrophoresis image files to various groups, creating databases, requesting information, responding to media calls, and handling legal issues. We assumed that, as a result of the system, two outbreaks would be investigated each year (6).
eThe costs of additional labor and the epidemiologic investigation of an outbreak were estimated at $5,000 and $4,600, respectively.
fAt a discount rate of 3%.
gLaboratory scientist ($10,000) + analyzing the isolates ($12,000) + investigating two outbreaks (2 x $9,600 = $19,200)