Burden of infectious disease studies in Europe and the United Kingdom: a review of methodological design choices

Periklis Charalampous, Juanita A. Haagsma, Lea S. Jakobsen, Vanessa Gorasso, Isabel Noguer, Alicia Padron-Monedero, Rodrigo Sarmiento, João Vasco Santos, Scott A. Mcdonald, Dietrich Plass, Grant M.A. Wyper, Ricardo Assunção, Elena Von Der Lippe, Balázs Ádám, Ala'a Alkerwi, Jalal Arabloo, Ana Lúcia Baltazar, Boris Bikbov, Maria Borrell-Pages, Iris BrusGenc Burazeri, Serafeim C. Chaintoutis, José Chen-Xu, Nino Chkhaberidze, Seila Cilovic-Lagarija, Barbara Corso, Sarah Cuschieri, Carlotta Di Bari, Keren Dopelt, Mary Economou, Theophilus I. Emeto, Peter Fantke, Florian Fischer, Alberto Freitas, Juan Manuel García-González, Federica Gazzelloni, Mika Gissler, Artemis Gkitakou, Hakan Gulmez, Sezgin Gunes, Sebastian Haller, Romana Haneef, Cesar A. Hincapié, Paul Hynds, Jane Idavain, Milena Ilic, Irena Ilic, Gaetano Isola, Zubair Kabir, Maria Kamusheva, Pavel Kolkhir, Naime Meriç Konar, Polychronis Kostoulas, Mukhtar Kulimbet, Carlo La Vecchia, Paolo Lauriola, Miriam Levi, Marjeta Majer, Enkeleint A. Mechili, Lorenzo Monasta, Stefania Mondello, Javier Muñoz Laguna, Evangelia Nena, Edmond S.W. Ng, Paul Nguewa, Vikram Niranjan, Iskra Alexandra Nola, Rónán O'caoimh, Marija Obradović, Elena Pallari, Mariana Peyroteo, Vera Pinheiro, Nurka Pranjic, Miguel Reina Ortiz, Silvia Riva, Cornelia Melinda Adi Santoso, Milena Santric Milicevic, Tugce Schmitt, Niko Speybroeck, Maximilian Sprügel, Paschalis Steiropoulos, Aleksandar Stevanovic, Lau Caspar Thygesen, Fimka Tozija, Brigid Unim, Hilal Bektaş Uysal, Orsolya Varga, Milena Vasic, Rafael José Vieira, Vahit Yigit, Brecht Devleesschauwer, Sara M. Pires

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This systematic literature review aimed to provide an overview of the characteristics and methods used in studies applying the Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALY) concept for infectious diseases within European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA)/European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries and the United Kingdom. Electronic databases and grey literature were searched for articles reporting the assessment of DALY and its components. We considered studies in which researchers performed DALY calculations using primary epidemiological data input sources. We screened 3,053 studies of which 2,948 were excluded and 105 studies met our inclusion criteria. Of these studies, 22 were multi-country and 83 were single-country studies, of which 46 were from the Netherlands. Food- and water-borne diseases were the most frequently studied infectious diseases. Between 2015 and 2022, the number of burden of infectious disease studies was 1.6 times higher compared to that published between 2000 and 2014. Almost all studies (97%) estimated DALYs based on the incidence- and pathogen-based approach and without social weighting functions; however, there was less methodological consensus with regards to the disability weights and life tables that were applied. The number of burden of infectious disease studies undertaken across Europe has increased over time. Development and use of guidelines will promote performing burden of infectious disease studies and facilitate comparability of the results.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Burden of disease
  • disability-adjusted life years
  • infectious diseases
  • methodology
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Infectious Diseases


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