A cost-effectiveness analysis of identifying Fusobacterium necrophorum in throat swabs followed by antibiotic treatment to reduce the incidence of Lemierre's syndrome and peritonsillar abscesses

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The main purpose of this paper was to estimate the cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) saved by identifying Fusobacterium necrophorum in throat swabs followed by proper antibiotic treatment, to reduce the incidence of Lemierre's syndrome and peritonsillar abscesses (PTA) originating from a pharyngitis. The second purpose was to estimate the population size required to indicate that antibiotic treatment has an effect. Data from publications and our laboratory were collected. Monte Carlo simulation and one-way sensitivity analysis were used to analyse cost-effectiveness. The cost-effectiveness analysis shows that examining throat swabs from 15- to 24-year-olds for F. necrophorum followed by antibiotic treatment will probably be less costly than most other life-saving medical interventions, with a median cost of US$8,795 per QALY saved. To indicate a reduced incidence of Lemierre's syndrome and PTA in Denmark, the intervention probably has to be followed for up to 5 years. Identifying F. necrophorum in throat swabs from 15- to 24-year-olds followed by proper antibiotic treatment only requires a reduction of 20-25 % in the incidence of Lemierre's syndrome and PTA to be cost-effective. This study warrants further examination of the effect of antibiotic treatment on the outcome of F. necrophorum acute and recurrent pharyngitis, as well as the effect on Lemierre's syndrome and PTA.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean journal of clinical microbiology & infectious diseases : official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology
Volume32
Issue1
Pages (from-to)71-8
Number of pages8
ISSN0934-9723
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Bacteriological Techniques, Cost of Illness, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Denmark, Female, Fusobacterium Infections, Fusobacterium necrophorum, Humans, Incidence, Lemierre Syndrome, Male, Peritonsillar Abscess, Pharynx, Young Adult

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