Salmonella cases increase in Denmark as nearly half infected abroad

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Salmonella enterica, Salmonella, Zoonosis

Salmonella cases increase with almost half from travel-related cases
Salmonella cases increase with almost half from travel-related cases
Almost 1,200 cases of salmonella were reported in Denmark last year with 45% contracted while travelling abroad.

1,198 Danes were registered with a salmonella infection, an increase from the record-low incidence in 2011, according to the Annual Report on Zoonoses in Denmark 2012​.

Nearly half of the infections were contracted while travelling abroad, with travels to Egypt, Thailand and Turkey forming half of the travel-related cases.

More than 75% of the S​. Enteritidis cases were acquired abroad, which is an increase compared to previous years but the majority of the S​. Typhimurium cases were acquired in Denmark.

Common types found

Salmonella typhimurium was the most common type with 415 cases in 2012, while Salmonella enteritidis caused 242 cases, which was the lowest number since the action plans for combating the pathogen were introduced in the 1990s.

Historically, this salmonella type has been related to eggs, but the majority of S. enteritidis​ cases (77%) are contracted while travelling outside of Denmark, said the report.

A total of 11 salmonella outbreaks were reported. Seven were caused by S​. Typhimurium and the monophasic strains.

Food sources

Two outbreaks were caused by Danish beef and one by Danish pork and there was an outbreak due to S​. Saintpaul in imported duck meat.

Domestically produced pork was estimated to be the most important food source of salmonellosis last year with 8% of cases, compared to 7.4% of cases in 2011.

In 2012, there was one foodborne outbreak due to pork which could explain some of the increase.

The second source was domestic beef (7%) which increased compared to last year where only 0.5% of cases were attributed to this source.

The increase was partly due to two outbreaks with monophasic S​. Typhimurium, but there were also an increased number of sporadic cases especially due to S​. Dublin.

The estimated number of egg-related cases was slightly higher in 2012 compared to 2011, however it was still lower than in previous years.

25% of salmonella cases in Denmark could not be attributed to a specific food source because they were caused by foods not included in the salmonella source account, e.g. fruit and vegetables, or other sources of infection such as contact with livestock and pets.

Campylobacter prevelance

Campylobacteriosis remained the most frequent reported cause of bacterial foodborne infections with 3,728 cases.

The number of human Campylobacter cases decreased by 8% compared to the previous two years, and the prevalence in flocks decreased by 19%.

Campylobacter continues to be the most common zoonotic pathogen reported in Denmark contributing more than 50% of all reported cases.

An action plan on the pathogen aims for a 20% reduction in its prevalence in broiler flocks by 2016 compared to 2012 levels.

Danish Zoonosis Centre at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark worked on the report with Statens Serum Institut and the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.

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