Danes contract Salmonella infections abroad

July 29, 2013

In 2012 the number of Salmonella cases increased slightly after the record low incidence in 2011. Nearly half of the Danes who contracted Salmonella were infected abroad. Among people infected in Denmark, Danish pork and beef were estimated to be the major sources of Salmonella cases, while no cases could be attributed to Danish broiler meat.

These are some of the findings presented in the annual report on the occurrence of diseases that can be transmitted to humans from animal and food. The report is prepared by the Danish Zoonosis Centre at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark in collaboration with Statens Serum Institut and the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.

In 2012, 1,198 Danes were registered with a Salmonella infection, which corresponds to 21 cases per 100,000 citizens. It is a little more than the record-low incidence in 2011. Nearly half (45 percent) of all Salmonella infections were contracted while travelling abroad. It is particularly in connection with travels to Egypt, Thailand and Turkey that Danes become infected. Approximately half of the travel-related cases originated from these three countries.

The most common type of Salmonella in Danes was Salmonella typhimurium which caused 415 cases in 2012. Salmonella enteritidis caused 242 cases, which was the lowest number since the action plans for combating Salmonella were introduced in the 1990s. Historically, this Salmonella type has been related to eggs, but today the majority of S. enteritidis cases, 77 percent, are contracted while travelling outside of Denmark.

Danish pork and beef are the main sources

In 2012, 11 due to Salmonella were recorded. Two outbreaks originated from Danish beef, one from Danish pork and one from imported duck. In the remaining seven outbreaks, the food source was unknown. An is defined by two or more persons falling ill from the same food source.

The annual Salmonella source account estimated Danish pork as the most important source of human salmonellosis cases (8 percent) in 2012, which was similar to 2011. Imported pork accounted for 0.2 percent of the cases in 2012. This was a large reduction compared with the two previous years where just over 5 percent of the cases were due to imported pork. Danish beef was estimated as the second-largest food source of Salmonella cases (7 percent) in 2012. This is a very large increase compared to the last 10 years where 0.5 to 1.5 percent of the cases were due to Danish beef.

"It is very unusual that so many cases are caused by Danish beef. The increase is due to two outbreaks caused by Danish beef and an increase in the number of sporadic cases," says Anne Wingstrand, Senior Researcher at the National Food Institute.

No Salmonella cases from Danish chicken

No cases were attributed to Danish broiler meat in the Salmonella source account in 2012. This is only the second time in the 18 years the Danish Zoonosis Centre at the National Food Institute has prepared the Salmonella source account. The most likely reasons for the low incidence are that Danish law, since 2008, has required fresh broiler meat to be -free when put on the marked.

"During the past 20 years, Denmark has focused intensely on reducing Salmonella on the farms as well as at the slaughterhouses. We are pleased to see that the efforts have ensured that Danes no longer contract Salmonella from eating Danish broiler meat. The EU also has focus on Salmonella and has set targets for the level of Salmonella in flocks and egg-laying flocks", says Anne Wingstrand, Senior Researcher at the National Food Institute.

Approximately 25 percent of all Salmonella cases in Denmark could not be attributed to a specific . The reason may be that the cases were caused by foods which were not included in the Salmonella source account, e.g. fruit and vegetables, or other sources of infection such as contact with livestock and pets.

Explore further: Vaccination responsible for dramatic fall in salmonella infections

Related Stories

Vaccination responsible for dramatic fall in salmonella infections

January 16, 2013
Mass poultry vaccination programmes introduced to combat Salmonella infections have led to a dramatic fall in the number of cases since the late 1990s, according to a researcher at the University of Liverpool.

Probiotic bacterium lessens severity of Salmonella infections by hoarding iron

July 17, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—UC Irvine microbiologists have learned how a probiotic bacterium used to treat irritable bowel syndrome can soothe gut bacterial infections caused by Salmonella, paving the way for potential relief from ...

Salmonella typhimurium outbreak traced to frogs

March 12, 2013
(HealthDay)—An outbreak of primarily pediatric Salmonella Typhimurium infections in the United States has been traced to aquatic African dwarf frogs kept as pets, according to a study published online March 11 in Pediatrics.

CDC: Salmonella cause of most foodborne-illness outbreaks

January 24, 2013
(HealthDay)—Food poisoning sickens millions of Americans each year, and most outbreaks are caused by salmonella-tainted foods or norovirus, federal health officials report.

CDC: 103 ill with salmonella tied to mangoes

August 29, 2012
(AP)—Federal health officials are investigating a foodborne illness outbreak that has sickened more than 100 people in 16 states and has been linked to salmonella-tainted mangoes.

Recommended for you

Co-infection with two common gut pathogens worsens malnutrition in mice

July 27, 2017
Two gut pathogens commonly found in malnourished children combine to worsen malnutrition and impair growth in laboratory mice, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.

Finish your antibiotics course? Maybe not, experts say

July 27, 2017
British disease experts on Thursday suggested doing away with the "incorrect" advice to always finish a course of antibiotics, saying the approach was fuelling the spread of drug resistance.

Phase 3 trial confirms superiority of tocilizumab to steroids for giant cell arteritis

July 26, 2017
A phase 3 clinical trial has confirmed that regular treatment with tocilizumab, an inhibitor of interleukin-6, successfully reduced both symptoms of and the need for high-dose steroid treatment for giant cell arteritis, the ...

A large-scale 'germ trap' solution for hospitals

July 26, 2017
When an infectious airborne illness strikes, some hospitals use negative pressure rooms to isolate and treat patients. These rooms use ventilation controls to keep germ-filled air contained rather than letting it circulate ...

Researchers report new system to study chronic hepatitis B

July 25, 2017
Scientists from Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology have successfully tested a cell-culture system that will allow researchers to perform laboratory-based studies of long-term hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections. ...

Male hepatitis B patients suffer worse liver ailments, regardless of lifestyle

July 25, 2017
Why men with hepatitis B remain more than twice as likely to develop severe liver disease than women remains a mystery, even after a study led by a recent Drexel University graduate took lifestyle choices and environments ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.