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Table 1 Overview and content of different questionnaires used and other data collection for the burden of gastroenteritis in Switzerland (BUGS) study

From: The burden of gastroenteritis in Switzerland (BUGS) study: a research proposal for a 1-year, prospective cohort study

Data collection tool Means of application Frequency Content
Contact information questionnaire Paper-based 1× before enrolment Address, e-mail, phone number, language, preferred means of communication (electronic questionnaire with link sent by e-mail [default] or paper-based questionnaire sent by postal mail)
Screening questionnaire Paper-based 1× before enrolment General demographic characteristics (age, sex), characteristics to assess eligibility; for those not willing to participate: reason for non-participation
Baseline questionnaire Electronic and paper-based 1× at the beginning of the observation period Baseline characteristics: detailed demographic characteristics, dietary habits, regular medication intake, chronic diseases, permanent and long-term exposure risks (e.g. occupational), general health seeking
Weekly questionnaire Electronic and paper-based Weekly (52×) Occurrence of gastrointestinal signs and symptoms and short-term/transient risk exposures (e.g. food consumption, travel)
Illness questionnaire Electronic and paper-based After experiencing gastrointestinal signs and symptoms Additional risk exposures (antibiotic use, hospital stay), disease determinants, health and help seeking, health care utilisation, (self-)medication (incl. antibiotic use), consultations, absence from work, ability to perform usual daily activities
Stool sample (symptomatic) Sampling kit sent to participant at baseline; upon instruction by study personnel participant sends to study laboratory Selected episodes of acute gastroenteritis Stool sample investigated for:
 Bacteria: Campylobacter spp., Salmonella spp., Shigella spp., Yersinia spp. (all culture and PCR); Clostridium difficile (RDT and PCR); Plesiomonas shigelloides, Vibrio spp., EAEC, EPEC, ETEC, EHEC (all PCR)
 Viruses: adenovirus, astrovirus, norovirus, rotavirus, sapovirus (all PCR)
 Protozoa and parasites: Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora cyetanensis, Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia
 Selected samples (depending on risk profile): additionally for cestodes, trematodes, nematodes and protozoa
Stool sample (asymptomatic) Sampling kit sent to participant; Participant sends to study laboratory Max. 1× during observation period; random selection Stool sample investigated for:
 Antibiotic resistance: ESBL, carbapenemase, fluoroquinolones; if carbapenemase-positive: MCR-1
 Bacteria: Campylobacter spp., Salmonella spp., Shigella/EIEC, EHEC (all PCR)
Stool sample questionnaire (asymptomatic) Electronic and paper-based Max. 1× during observation period; random selection Risk factors for carrying antibiotic-resistant bacteria, recent antibiotic consumption, visits to or stay in medical institutions, contact to animals and/or raw food
  1. PCR, polymerase chain reaction; RDT, rapid diagnostic test; EAEC, enteroaggregative Escherichia coli; EPEC, enteropathogenic E. coli; ETEC, enterotoxigenic E. coli; EHEC, enterohaemorrhagic E. coli; ESBL, extended-spectrum beta-lactamase; MCR-1, mobilised colistin resistance-1; EIEC, enteroinvasive E. coli