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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Completeness of hepatitis, brucellosis, syphilis, measles and HIV/AIDS surveillance in Izmir, Turkey

Raika Durusoy* and Ali O Karababa

Author Affiliations

Department of Public Health, Ege University Medical School, Izmir, Turkey

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:71  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-71

Published: 17 February 2010



According to the surveillance system in Turkey, most diseases are notified only by clinicians, without involving laboratory notification. It is assumed that a considerable inadequacy in notifications exists; however, this has not been quantified by any researcher. Our aim was to evaluate the completeness of communicable disease surveillance in the province of Izmir, Turkey for the year of 2003 by means of estimating the incidences of diseases.


Data on positive laboratory results for the notifiable and serologically detectable diseases hepatitis A, B, C, brucellosis, syphilis, measles and HIV detected in 2003 in Izmir (population 3.5 million) were collected from serology laboratories according to WHO surveillance standards and compared to the notifications received by the Provincial Health Directorate. Data were checked for duplicates and matched. Incidences were estimated with the capture-recapture method. Sensitivities of both notifications and laboratory data were calculated according to these estimates.


Among laboratories performing serologic tests (n = 158) in Izmir, 84.2% accepted to participate, from which 23,515 positive results were collected. Following the elimination of duplicate results as well as of cases residing outside of Izmir, the total number was 11,402. The total number of notifications was 1802. Notification rates of cases found in laboratories were 31.6% for hepatitis A, 12.1% for acute hepatitis B, 31.8% for brucellosis, 25.9% for syphilis and 100% for HIV confirmation.


It was discovered that for hepatitis A, B, C, brucellosis and syphilis, there is a considerable under-notification by clinicians and that laboratory data has the potential of contributing greatly to their surveillance. The inclusion of laboratories in the surveillance system of these diseases could help to achieve completeness of reporting.