Hospital discharges-based search of acute flaccid paralysis cases 2007-2016 in Italy and comparison with the National Surveillance System for monitoring the risk of polio reintroduction

Simona De Grazia, Giovanni Giammanco, Licia Veronesi, Francesca Pennino, Stefania Bellino, Francesca Russo, Francesco Vairo, Laura Pellegrinelli, Cristiana Mancini, Stefano Fiore, Marcello Mario D’Errico, Stefano Fontana, Carlo De Stefano, Antonella Arghittu, Silvia Spertini, Benita Capannolo, Cristiana Mancini, Daniela Lombardi, Valter Carraro, Chiara LoriniPaola Affanni, Giuseppina Napoletano, Gabriele Buttinelli, Filippo Ansaldi, Paola Stefanelli, Angela Larocca, Sandro Binda, Silvio Brusaferro, Cinzia Germinario, Guglielmo Bonaccorsi, Maria Triassi, Paolo Castiglia, Alfredo Focà, Francesca Zanella, Concetta Amato, Guido Maria Grasso, Barbara Camilloni

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Abstract

Background: Acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance has been adopted globally as a key strategy for monitoring the progress of the polio eradication initiative. Hereby, to evaluate the completeness of the ascertainment of AFP cases in Italy, a hospital-discharges based search was carried out. Methods: AFP cases occurring between 2007 and 2016 among children under 15 years of age were searched in the Italian Hospital Discharge Records (HDR) database using specific ICD-9-CM diagnostic codes. AFP cases identified between 2015 and 2016 were then compared with those notified to the National Surveillance System (NSS). Results: Over a 10-year period, 4163 hospital discharges with diagnosis of AFP were reported in Italy. Among these, 956 (23.0%) were acute infective polyneuritis, 1803 (43.3%) myopathy, and 1408 (33.8%) encephalitis, myelitis and encephalomyelitis. During the study period, a decreasing trend was observed for all diagnoses and overall the annual incidence rate (IR) declined from 5.5 to 4.5 per 100,000 children. Comparing NSS with HDR data in 2015-2016, we found a remarkable underreporting, being AFP cases from NSS only 14% of those recorded in HDR. In particular, the acute infective polyneuritis cases reported to NSS accounted for 42.6% of those detected in HDR, while only 0.9% of myopathy cases and 13.1% of encephalitis/myelitis/encephalomyelitis cases have been notified to NSS. The highest AFP IRs per 100,000 children calculated on HDR data were identified in Liguria (17.4), Sicily (5.7), and Veneto (5.1) Regions; regarding the AFP notified to the NSS, 11 out of 21 Regions failed to reach the number of expected cases (based on 1/100,000 rate), and the highest discrepancies were observed in the Northern Regions. Overall, the national AFP rate was equal to 0.6, therefore did not reach the target value. Conclusions: AFP surveillance data are the final measure of a country's progress towards polio eradication. The historical data obtained by the HDR have been useful to assess the completeness of the notification data and to identify the Regions with a low AFP ascertainment rate in order to improve the national surveillance system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1532-1540
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume19
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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De Grazia, S., Giammanco, G., Veronesi, L., Pennino, F., Bellino, S., Russo, F., Vairo, F., Pellegrinelli, L., Mancini, C., Fiore, S., D’Errico, M. M., Fontana, S., De Stefano, C., Arghittu, A., Spertini, S., Capannolo, B., Mancini, C., Lombardi, D., Carraro, V., ... Camilloni, B. (2019). Hospital discharges-based search of acute flaccid paralysis cases 2007-2016 in Italy and comparison with the National Surveillance System for monitoring the risk of polio reintroduction. BMC Public Health, 19, 1532-1540.