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Outbreak of Salmonella Associated with Duck Eggs

22 April 2013

IRELAND & UK - Over a 19-month period between August 2009 and February 2011, 34 confirmed cases and one probable case of Salmonella Typhimurium DT8 were detected in Ireland, all of which had an MLVA pattern 2-10-NA-12-212 or a closely related pattern. Concurrent duck egg-related outbreak of S. Typhimurium DT8 in the United Kingdom are likely related, writes Patricia Garvey, from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre at Dublin, Ireland.

The epidemiological investigations strongly supported a link between illness and exposure to duck eggs. Moreover, S. Typhimurium with an MLVA pattern indistinguishable (or closely related) to the isolates from human cases, was identified in 22 commercial and backyard duck flocks, twelve of which were linked with known human cases.

A range of control measures were taken at farm level, and advice was provided to consumers on the hygienic handling and cooking of duck eggs. Although no definitive link was established with a concurrent duck egg-related outbreak of S. Typhimurium DT8 in the United Kingdom, it seems likely that the two events were related.

It may be appropriate for other countries with a tradition of consuming duck eggs to consider the need for measures to reduce the risk of similar outbreaks.

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