Background: While whole genome sequencing (WGS) may be more expensive than traditional testing and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), simple cost comparisons ignore the potential for WGS to reduce the societal costs of non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica through public health action to prevent illness.
Methods: We determined how many cases the use of WGS data would need to prevent to be cost-equal to serotyping and MLVA, or culture independent testing based on PCR in Australia. We then examined the costs and cost-savings of current typing methods compared with WGS in outbreak scenarios.
Results: A median of 275 (90% CrI -55-775) or 1.9% (90% CrI -0.4%-5.4%) of notified serotyped Salmonella cases would need to be prevented for WGS to be cost-equal to current typing methods and 1,550 (90% CrI 820-2,725) or 9.6% of all notified Salmonella cases would need to be prevented to be cost-equal to PCR. WGS is likely to result in cost savings in prolonged outbreaks, where data can support earlier public health action.
Conclusions: Despite currently having a higher cost per isolate, routine WGS of Salmonella was no more expensive than existing typing methods or PCR where >2% of illness was averted.
Click here to read the article, published in PLoS ONE.