Salmonella the most common cause of foodborne outbreaks in the European Union

December 13, 2019

Nearly one in three foodborne outbreaks in the EU in 2018 were caused by Salmonella. This is one of the main findings of the annual report on trends and sources of zoonoses published today by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

In 2018, EU Member States reported 5 146 foodborne outbreaks affecting 48 365 people. A foodborne disease outbreak is an incident during which at least two people contract the same illness from the same contaminated food or drink.

Slovakia, Spain and Poland accounted for 67% of the 1581 Salmonella outbreaks. These outbreaks were mainly linked to eggs.

"Findings from our latest Eurobarometer show that less than one third of European citizens rank food poisoning from bacteria among their top five concerns when it comes to food safety. The number of reported outbreaks suggests that there's room for raising awareness among consumers as many foodborne illnesses are preventable by improving hygiene measures when handling and preparing food" said EFSA's chief scientist Marta Hugas.

Salmonellosis was the second most commonly reported gastrointestinal infection in humans in the EU (91 857 cases reported), after campylobacteriosis (246,571).

West Nile virus and STEC infections at unusually high levels

By far the highest increase in the zoonoses covered by this report was in the number of West Nile virus infections. Cases of this zoonotic mosquito-borne disease were seven times higher than in 2017 (1605 versus 212) and exceeded all cases reported between 2011 and 2017.

"The reasons for the peak in 2018 are not fully understood yet. Factors like temperature, humidity or rainfall have been shown to influence seasonal activity of mosquitoes and may have played a role. While we cannot predict how intense the next transmission seasons will be, we know that the West Nile virus is actively circulating in many countries in the EU, affecting humans, horses and birds. ECDC is stepping up its support to countries in the areas of surveillance, preparedness, communication and vector control", said ECDC's chief scientist Mike Catchpole.

Most locally acquired West Nile virus infections were reported by Italy (610), Greece (315) and Romania (277). Czechia and Slovenia reported their first cases since 2013. Italy and Hungary have also registered an increasing number of West Nile virus outbreaks in horses and other equine species in recent years.

Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) has become the third most common cause of foodborne zoonotic disease with 8 161 reported cases - replacing yersiniosis with a 37% increase compared to 2017. This may be partly explained by the growing use of new laboratory technologies, making the detection of sporadic cases easier.

The number of people affected by listeriosis in 2018 is similar to 2017 (2 549 in 2018 against 2 480 the previous year). However, the trend has been upward over the past ten years. Of the zoonotic diseases covered by the report, listeriosis accounts for the highest proportion of hospitalised cases (97%) and highest number of deaths (229), making it one of the most serious foodborne diseases.

The report also includes data on Mycobacterium bovis, Brucella, Yersinia, Trichinella, Echinococcus, Toxoplasma, rabies, Coxiella burnetii (Q fever), and tularaemia.
-end-


European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

Related Salmonella Articles from Brightsurf:

Sneaky salmonella finds a backdoor into plants
Researchers have discovered that bacteria such as salmonella, E.coli and listeria have a backdoor to take advantage of humans' reliance on leafy greens for a healthy diet.

Re-trafficking proteins to fight Salmonella infections
New study demonstrates how monitoring all cellular proteins over time and space can improve our understanding of host-pathogen interactions.

Researchers find one-two punch may help fight against Salmonella
Researchers found that dephostatin does not kill Salmonella or stop it from growing.

Food scientists slice time off salmonella identification process
Researchers from Cornell University, the Mars Global Food Safety Center in Beijing, and the University of Georgia have developed a method for completing whole-genome sequencing to determine salmonella serotypes in just two hours and the whole identification process within eight hours.

The discovery of ancient Salmonella
Oldest reconstructed bacterial genomes link agriculture and herding with emergence of new disease.

The function of new microRNAs are identified in Salmonella and Shigella infections
The research, published in Nature Microbiology, could help the search for more effective medicine and delves deeper into understanding the role of microRNAs in gene expression.

Salmonella the most common cause of foodborne outbreaks in the European Union
Nearly one in three foodborne outbreaks in the EU in 2018 were caused by Salmonella.

The nature of salmonella is changing -- and it's meaner
Salmonella is acting up in Michigan, and it could be a model for what's happening in other states, according to a new Michigan State University study.

Salmonella -- how the body fights back
New research shows how our immune system fights back against Salmonella infection.

For salmonella detection, genomic tool emerges as a key
The world's food supply will become safer as the food industry shifts to high-resolution, whole-genome sequencing -- which examines the full DNA of a given organism all at once.

Read More: Salmonella News and Salmonella Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.