EU - The European Food Safety Authority and The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control are investigating a second outbreak of salmonella that has crossed over several countries.
The 38 human cases of monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium detected recently in six Member States are likely to be part of the same cluster, a joint EFSA/ECDC report has found.
A previous rapid outbreak assessment published by EFSA and ECDC at the end of August found that outbreaks and sporadic cases of Salmonella Enteritidis in Austria, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, as well as one case reported in Luxembourg, appear to be connected.
The cases in Austria, France and Germany share an epidemiological link to the same egg packaging centre in southern Germany, the report found.
The report said that the cases of monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium with MLVA profile 3-12-17-NA-211 and 3-12-18-NA-211 occurring in six Member States are likely to be part of the same cluster.
Given the typing delay and the fact that not all countries are performing MLVA typing, the number of cases currently detected is most likely to be underestimated.
The report said that these two profiles emerged simultaneously in several Member States in June and July 2014, indicating a simultaneous exposure to the clonal strain at several locations within the EU.
Based on limited available information from food investigations, meats are the suspected vehicle of human infection at present.
EFSA said: “It is important to interview new cases to identify a common exposure and to report all new cases with matching MLVA typing results through the TESSy molecular surveillance service and EPIS FWD in order to assess the evolution of the cluster.
“There is a need to gather information on the findings of these MLVA profiles in feed, animals, and foods (of animal origin and non-animal origin) in order to narrow the hypothesis for further epidemiological studies.
“This cluster highlights the need to ensure a rapid exchange of information between the public health and food safety health authorities in order to assess the situation and the need for further epidemiological studies as quickly as possible.
Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.
TheMeatSite News Desk