Study to Examine Daycare-Related Infectious Diseases

Daycare-associated infectious diseases are widely recognized as a public health problem but rarely studied. Insights into their dynamics and their association with the daycare setting are important for effective decision making in management of infectious disease control. Enserink, et al. describe the purpose, design and potential of their national multi-center, daycare-based sentinel surveillance network for infectious diseases (the KIzSS network). The aim of the KIzSS network is to acquire a long-term insight into the syndromic and microbiological aspects of daycare-related infectious diseases and associated disease burden and to model these aspects with daycare-setting characteristics.
The KIzSS network applies a prospective cohort design, following daycare centers rather than individual children or staff members over time. Data on infectious disease symptoms and related morbidity (children and staff), medical consumption, absenteeism and circulating enteric pathogens (children) are collected on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Every two years, a survey is performed to assess the characteristics of participating daycare centers.

The researchers say that the KIzSS network offers a unique potential to study infectious disease dynamics in the daycare setting over a sustained period of time. The created (bio)databases will help the researchers to assess daycare-related disease burden of infectious diseases among attending children and staff and their relation with the day care setting. They say this will support the much needed development of evidence-based and pragmatic guidelines for infectious disease control in daycare centers.

Reference: Enserink R, et al. The KIzSS network, a sentinel surveillance system for infectious diseases in day care centers: study protocol. BMC Infectious Diseases 2012, 12:259 doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-259