A genetically related cluster of Salmonella Typhimurium cases in humans associated with ruminant livestock and related food chains, United Kingdom, August 2021-December 2022

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Abstract

Following an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium in Wales in July 2021 associated with sheep meat and offal, further genetically related cases were detected across the UK. Cases were UK residents with laboratory-confirmed Salmonella Typhimurium in the same 5-single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) single-linkage cluster with specimen date between 01/08/2021-31/12/2022. We described cases using routine (UK) and enhanced (Wales only) surveillance data. Exposures in cases in Wales were compared with non-Typhimurium Salmonella case-controls. Environmental Health Practitioners and the Food Standards Agency investigated supply chains of food premises reported by ≥ 2 cases. Animal, carcass, and environmental samples taken for diagnostic or monitoring purposes for gastrointestinal pathogens were included in microbiological investigations. We identified 142 cases: 75% in England, 23% in Wales and 3% in Scotland. Median age was 32 years and 59% were male. Direct contact with sheep was associated with becoming a case (aOR: 14, 95%CI: 1.4-145) but reported by few (6/32 cases). No single food item, premises or supplier linked all cases. Multi-agency collaboration enabled the identification of isolates in the same 5-SNP single-linkage cluster from a sheep carcass at an English abattoir and in ruminant, wildlife, poultry, and environmental samples, suggesting multiple vehicles and pathways of infection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

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