Published: 29/07/21 15:40 Categories: Microbiology
EFSA is a European entity that provides independent scientific advice on emerging and existing food-related risks. It issues annual reports on incidents during the calendar year and publishes them after a year of study and analysis.
In 2019, the most common zoonosis cases in Europe were caused by Campylobacter (leader since 2005), Salmonella, STEC, Yersinia and Listeria. The latter shows the most alarming data: 20% of reported listeriosis cases resulted in the patient’s death.
By far, this is the most reported foodborne intoxications, with 50% of all reported cases in Europe. The trend over the last five years is stable, although dropping by 6.9% from 2018 to 2019. However, this small drop can be attributed more to a decrease in incident reporting than to an evolution in Campylobacter infections.
When analyzing the incidents throughout the year, it is easy to appreciate a peak in Campylobacteriosis reports in the summer months, so it would be correct to conclude its seasonality at this time of the year.
Therefore, it is necessary to control the presence of Campylobacter rigorously and accurately in poultry, cattle, pigs, sheep and ostriches, as well as in pets such as dogs and cats. These animals rarely show symptoms when carrying the microorganism, making an early diagnosis almost impossible. That is why Condalab offers the Blood-Free Campylobacter Agar Base in accordance with ISO 10272 and its CCDA supplement.
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It remains the second leading cause of zoonoses. Like Campylobacter, the number of cases has stabilized over the past five years.
In past years, the peak of incidents was observed in late spring and early fall. However, in 2019, these waves did not occur and a peak of infections was observed in September. As transmission occurs mostly due to its high prevalence in poultry, people generally contract salmonellosis when consuming contaminated poultry food and products.
In Spain, the implementation of National Programs to Control Salmonella has succeeded in reducing the prevalence of Salmonella in all poultry populations over the last three years, in line with EU targets. To prevent it, authorities carry out quality controls on food. Condalaboffers its CondaChrome® medium for Salmonella or the XLD Agar in accordance with the ISO 6579 reference method.
This microorganism has been the third leading cause of food poisoning reports in Europe, with 10 deaths in 2019 and 11 in 2018. Just like the trend in the 9 previous years, it had a higher incidence in summer months. The most common sources of outbreaks in the last nine years were beef, with 19 outbreaks, and bottled water and wells, with 16 outbreaks. This shows that STEC controls should not only be conducted on food, but also on this type of waters.
In order to help laboratories and manufacturers prevent incidents related to these bacteria, Condalab offers numerous culture media to detect STEC, like CondaChrome® E. coli O157, since it is mandatory to report the presence/absence of this microorganism.
For more information about this microorganism and its detection, watch again our CondalabTalk.
It has shown a very stable trend over the last 5 years, maintaining its fourth position in the list of most common zoonoses in Europe. The most common sources of Yersinia infections during the last 10 years have been pork or beef and derived products and, to a lesser extent, fresh foods such as vegetables and juices. Of the latter, outbreaks were reported in 2019 all over Europe, making it evident that this microorganism is not only transmitted through meat products. This opens the debate on the need for stricter controls on this type of products.
To detect Yersinia, Condalab offers its Yersinia Selective Agar Base (CIN) and its Selective Supplement in accordance with the ISO 10273 standardized method. Check out our CondalabTalk on the analysis of Yersinia for further information on this method.
Maintains the fifth position in the list of the most frequent foodborne intoxications in Europe, with levels very similar to those of 2018. The population groups that suffered most from listeriosis were those over 64 years of age, with special incidence in adults aged 84 years, with 19.5% and 23% lethality respectively. This rate has increased compared to 2018 when it was 13.6% and 15.6% correspondingly. With such figures, Listeria is positioned as one of the most lethal zoonoses and, therefore, as one that must be monitored and reported. For this reason, Condalab provides several methods for listeria detection, such as the ALOA Agar, which complies with the ISO 11290 standard, among others.
Technological developments, the optimization of surveillance methodologies and the awareness of the medical community are on the rise in Europe, facilitating increasingly accurate data collection. This shows that there is still a long way to go to reduce incidents due to these circumstances by trying to reinforce preventive controls, among other things. Condalab is strongly committed to ensure better product control in the industry through innovation and research.
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