Infectious Diseases 2021

Infectious Diseases 2021

EFSA: Foodborne outbreaks in Europe

27 February, 2021 During 2019, 27 Member States reported 5,175 food-borne outbreaks involving 49,463 cases of illness, 3,859 hospitalisations and 60 deaths. In addition, 117 outbreaks, 3,760 cases of illness and 158 hospitalisations were communicated by six non-MS.
The health impact of food-borne outbreaks in the EU was important in 2019 since 60 outbreak related deaths were reported; 20 more fatal cases than in 2018 (+50%). A high number of deaths (N = 10) were registered in community settings such as ‘residential institution (nursing home or prison or boarding school)’. In addition, nearly 19% of cases involved in strong-evidence outbreaks (2,407 cases) were exposed to contaminated foods in schools or kindergartens. These findings highlighted the need for attention to the high risk of vulnerable populations to food-borne hazards. Read More

EFSA: Salmonellosis in The EU - 2019

27 February, 2021 Salmonellosis is the second most commonly reported gastrointestinal infection in humans after campylobacteriosis, and an important cause of food-borne outbreaks in the EU/EEA.
In 2019, 87,923 confirmed cases of salmonellosis in humans were reported with an EU notification rate of 20.0 cases per 100,000 population, which was at the same level as in 2018.
In total, 15 MS provided information on hospitalisation. The proportion of confirmed cases with known hospitalisation information was 44.5% at the EU level. Among these, the proportion of hospitalised cases was 42.5%, which was about at the same level as in 2018. Overall, 17 MS provided data on the outcome of salmonellosis and, among these, 11 MS reported 140 fatal cases resulting in an EU case fatality of 0.22%. Here, 46 fatal cases (32.9%) were reported by the United Kingdom. Read More

Avian influenza in Europe - overview

ECDC 27 February, 2021 From 26 November 2020 to 11 February 2021, a total of 566 HPAI outbreaks in poultry were notified in 18 countries in the Animal Disease Notification System (ADNS): 439 in France, 45 in Germany, 39 in Poland, 12 in the United Kingdom , 12 in Ukraine, six in Hungary, four in the Netherlands, four in Czechia, four in Bulgaria, three in Sweden, two in Northern Ireland , and one in Italy, Belgium, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovakia. During this time, a total of 8,059,478 birds were affected. Two of the outbreaks (one in the Netherlands and one in the United Kingdom) were reported to be A(H5N1) subtype, and two were A(H5N5) (one in Sweden and one in Slovakia) subtype. All the other outbreaks were reported to be A(H5N8) subtype. Read More

EFSA: Campylobacteriosis in The EU - 2019

26 February, 2021 The first and second most reported zoonoses in humans were campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis, respectively. The EU trend for confirmed human cases of these two diseases was stable (flat) during 2015–2019.
Campylobacteriosis is the most commonly reported gastrointestinal infection in humans in the
EU and has been so since 2005.
• In 2019, the number of confirmed cases of human campylobacteriosis was 220,682
corresponding to an EU notification rate of 59.7 per 100,000 population, which is a decrease
by 6.9% compared with the rate in 2018 (64.1 per 100,000 population).
• The trend for campylobacteriosis in humans remained stable (flat) during 2015–2019.
• Most cases (94.4%) with known origin of infection had acquired the infection in the EU.
• In 2019, Campylobacter was the third most frequently reported causative agent of food-borne
outbreaks at EU level, by 18 MS, with 319 outbreaks reported to EFSA, involving 1,254 cases
of illness, 125 hospitalisations and no deaths. Eig Read More

Multi-country outbreak of S. Enteritidis infections linked to poultry products in the EU/EEA and the UK

Source: ECDC 26 February, 2021 Between May 2018 and December 2020, 193 human cases of Salmonella Enteritidis sequence type (ST)11 were reported in Denmark (2), Finland (4), France (33), Germany (6), Ireland (12), the Netherlands (3),Poland (5), Sweden (6), and the United Kingdom (UK) (122). One in five cases (19.7%) has been hospitalised and France has reported one death (an 86-year-old female). Fifty percent of the cases were children ≤ 18 years. The most recent case was reported by the UK in December 2020.
Epidemiological studies in the UK have identified an increased risk of S. Enteritidis infection associated with the consumption of frozen breaded chicken products. Five batches of non-ready-to-eat poultry products (e.g. breaded products) tested positive for S. Enteritidis matching the outbreak strain. Three of these were manufactured by the Polish Processing Company B where S. Enteritidis was not detected. The five positive batches were traced back to different meat suppliers, slaughterhouses, and/or farms in P Read More

Outbreaks of foodborne Salmonella Enteritidis in The United States 1990-2015

International Journal of Infectious Diseases - 2021 25 February, 2021 A new study analyzed the data of all Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) outbreaks reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 1990 to 2015.
In the USA, from 1990-2015, there were 1144 single-state SE outbreaks reported to CDC. Of 1144 SE outbreaks, 657 (57%) were reported with known food items, and 487 (43%) were unknown source-based outbreaks. Of 657 known food source outbreaks, 273 (24%) were associated with egg-based products and ranked as the leading cause of SE outbreaks cumulatively from 1990 to 2015. Meat products were the next most common cause of SE outbreaks (130, 11%) followed by vegetables (96, 8%), chicken (95, 8%), dairy products (55, 5%), and bakery items (8, 1%). the highest number of outbreaks were reported in 1990 (88, 8%) followed by 1991 (74, 7%) and 1993 (69, 6%). Read More

ECDC: Threat Assessment on first identification of human cases of H5N8

Source: ECDC 24 February, 2021 On 20 February 2021, Russian authorities reported the detection of influenza A(H5N8) virus infection in seven poultry workers in an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N8) virus on a poultry farm in the south of Russia. All seven human cases were reported to be mild or asymptomatic. HPAI A(H5N8) viruses have been circulating in European bird populations since 2014, causing large outbreaks and affected several million of birds and poultry. More than 10,000 exposure events of people have been estimated between 2016 and 2018. Since October 2020, around 1,700 outbreaks in poultry holdings and wild bird findings due to A(H5N8) and other reassorted A(H5Nx) viruses have been reported to the animal disease notification system (ADNS) from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and neighbouring countries. Read More

Recall of fried chicken due to salmonella risk

22 February, 2021 The Food Standards Agency (FSA) along with Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and Public Health England (PHE), Public Health Scotland and Public Health Wales issued two product recalls of products linked to two ongoing outbreaks of Salmonella Enteritidis. An investigation is ongoing into two particular strains of Salmonella linked to frozen raw breaded chicken products.
It has confirmed that the salmonella originated in Poland and it is trying to identify the Polish farm or farms involved.
From January 2020, there have been 480 patients confirmed with salmonellosis caused by two strains of Salmonella Enteritidis and linked to consumption of frozen, raw, breaded chicken products. The Food Standards Agency have issued a warning over both SFC’s Chicken Poppets and Take Home Boneless Bucket sold at B&M, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. Read More

Russia: first report on H5N8 in humans

20 February, 2021 H5N8 has never been known to infect humans. Now, Russian officials are reporting human infections with the A(H5N8) avian influenza virus. Seven people at a poultry farm in southern Russia have been infected with H5N8 avian influenza, making it the first time that the highly pathogenic virus has been found in humans. Read More

Canada: Egg consumption is the likely culprit of salmonella outbreak

19 February, 2021 The Public Health Agency of Canada is investigating an outbreak of salmonella infections in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. Fifty-seven sick people infected with Salmonella enteritidis. Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to eggs has been identified as a likely source of the outbreak. Individuals became sick between late October 2020 and late January 2021. Nineteen people have been hospitalized. Individuals who became ill are between 2 and 98 years of age. The majority of cases (68%) are female. No deaths have been reported. Read More

Campylobacter bacteria can exchange genetic material

Plos One, Feb. 11, 2021 19 February, 2021 Campylobacter is the worldwide leading cause for foodborne illness and it persists throughout poultry production, from farm to grocery shelves. According to new research, two of the most common strains are exchanging genetic material.
Campylobacter bacteria spread primarily through consumption of contaminated food products. There are two strains of Campylobacter that we’re concerned with:
C. coli and C. jejuni.
C. jejuni causes up to 90% of human Campylobacter infections, but this strain is less likely to carry multidrug-resistant genes. C. coli is twice as likely to contain multidrug-resistant genes, but it’s a less effective human pathogen. Read More

S. Korea to temporarily ease AI-related culling rules

18 February, 2021 South Korea plans to temporarily ease precautionary measures against avian influenza as the spread of HPAI has slowed. The country has so far culled 26 million poultry under its policy of destroying all birds within a 3-km radius of infected farms. South Korea plans to destroy the same kind of poultry within a 1-kilometer radius of infected farms for the next two weeks, when avian influenza cases are reported. Local farmers have complained about authorities' policy of culling all birds, claiming that the excessive measures led to a hike in prices of poultry goods, which only ended up benefiting importers. Read More

Annual report concerning Foodborne Diseases in New Zealand 2019

3 February, 2021 The annual report concerning Foodborne Diseases provides annual data on foodborne trends in New Zealand.
Campylobacteriosis: During 2019, 6202 cases (126.1 per 100,000 population) of campylobacteriosis and no resulting deaths were reported. Approximately 9% of cases were recorded as hospitalised in 2019. Of the 702 hospital admissions (14.3 admissions per 100,000 population) recorded in 2019, 582 cases were reported with campylobacteriosis as the primary diagnosis and 120 were reported with campylobacteriosis as another relevant diagnosis.
It has been estimated by expert consultation that 63.8% of campylobacteriosis incidence is due to foodborne transmission. It was further estimated that 75.4% of foodborne transmission would be due to transmission via poultry. Read More

UK: Salmonella fears cause recall on chicken products

2 February, 2021 Lidl is recalling Red Hen Breaded Chicken Nuggets and Red Hen Southern Fried Chicken Pops because of salmonella contamination.
Aldi is recalling frozen packs of both Roosters Southern Fried Poppin' Chicken and Roosters Breaded Poppin' Chicken because the products may contain salmonella. Read More

USDA urged to better protect consumers from Salmonella, Campylobacter in poultry

27 January, 2021 A petition filed by several consumer groups and affected individuals has called on the US Department of Agriculture to better regulate US slaughterhouses to help reduce cases of Salmonella and Campylobacter in the US.
Food safety advocates are calling on the United States Department of Agriculture to better protect consumers with new enforceable standards that will reduce, with an aim to ultimately eliminate, Salmonella types of greatest public health concern while continuing to target reductions in Salmonella and Campylobacter overall. Read More

Sweden to cull 1.3M chicken after avian influenza hits farm

26 January, 2021 An outbreak of avian influenza has hit the southern municipality of Monsteras in Sweden's Kalmar County, and 1.3 million laying hens will now have to be culled and destroyed.
An extensive spread of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N8 and H5N5 has been found on a farm in the municipality. A large flock of laying hens has been affected and the infection has spread further in the facility, which now leads to 1.3 million poultry having to be killed and destroyed. Read More

S. Korea culled nearly 19M birds over avian influenza

19 January, 2021 A total of 18.8 million birds have been culled at farms across South Korea as part of measures to curb the spread of the highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza. South Korea reported the first case of the highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza at a duck farm in the North Jeolla province in late November. Read More

Japan: 5.8M birds have been culled due to avian influenza

18 January, 2021 Since last November, a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N8 has been detected on 36 poultry farms in 15 prefectures, moving from western Japan, including Kagawa and Miyazaki prefectures, to central and eastern Japan, including Gifu and Chiba prefectures. Read More

Finland: egg recall due to Salmonella

17 January, 2021 Three Finnish firms have recalled eggs because they might be contaminated with Salmonella enteritidis, according to the Finnish Food Authority. Eggs branded as Kieku, Kesko's Pirkka brand and Kotimaista by S-Grouphave been pulled from shelves.
Packs of ten free range Kotimaista eggs are part of the recall, as are ten-egg and six-egg packs of free range Pirkka eggs.
Kieku has also added its Kieku-branded four-egg packs to the recall. Read More

Presence of Salmonella in chicken meat from conventional and without antibiotic-related claims

International Journal of Food Microbiology 2021 16 January, 2021 Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in non-typhoidal Salmonella from poultry is a public health concern. Injudicious use of antibiotics in humans and agriculture fuels the emergence of resistance. The objective of a new study was to characterize the prevalence, antibiotic susceptibility profiles and genetic resistance mechanisms of Salmonella isolated from US retail poultry meat samples with and without antibiotic-related claims. The study reviewed data from 46,937 poultry meat samples collected from 2008 to 2017 through the FDA NARMS retail meat program. Antibiotic usage claims on the poultry packaging were used to categorize the sample as 'conventionally raised' or 'reduced or no antibiotic use'. The results show that the prevalence of Salmonella in conventional poultry samples (8.6%) was higher than reduced or no antibiotic use poultry samples (5.1%). The odds of MDR≥3 were 2.61 times higher for Salmonella isolates from conventional samples, compared to isolates from redu Read More

Germany: avian influenza outbreaks

14 January, 2021 An overview of avian influenza HPAI-H5N8 outbreaks on commercial poultry farms in Germany. Read More

Hungary: avian influenza

14 January, 2021 Hungary’s food safety authority NEBIH ordered the slaughter of 101,000 chicken layers due to avian influenza.
In the affected holding, at Kerekegyháza, Bacs-Kiskun, 101,185 laying hens have been kept in four pens. In one of these pens, where 28,800 laying hens were kept, a drop in egg production and soft-shell eggs have been observed. No other symptoms and no increased mortality have been registered. Read More

UK: Avian influenza list of outbreaks

9 January, 2021 An overview of avian influenza outbreaks on commercial poultry farms in UK. Read More

TVP caused by CPNV displaying serological cross-reactivity with IBDV

Animals 2021, 11(1), 8. 3 January, 2021 Polish researchers were able to evaluate the etiological agent behind transmissible viral proventriculitis in broiler chickens - the disease that causes severe losses to the poultry industry. The results of their study confirm the hypothesis that the disease is caused by chicken proventricular necrosis virus (CPNV), a member of the Birnaviridae family. Additionally, they have discovered that after CPNV infection, birds produce antibodies that can be detected with the use of a commercial ELISA test, which is specific against other, well-characterized Birnaviridae family member. Read More

Lithuania to destroy Salmonella-contaminated eggs

2 January, 2021 German-owned retailer Lidl Lietuva will have to destroy 38,400 cartons of chicken eggs delivered from Ukraine, which have been found to be contaminated with Salmonella.
The eggs had been imported from Ukraine by Latvia-based company Ovostar Europe. Read More