Attributing the human disease burden of foodborne infections to specific sources

Sara M. Pires, Eric G. Evers, Wilfrid Van Pelt, Tracy Ayers, Elaine Scallan, Frederick J. Angulo, Arie Havelaar, Tine Hald, Andreas Schroeter, Anne Brisabois, Anne Thebault, Annemarie Käsbohrer, Carl Schroeder, Christina Frank, Chuanfa Guo, Danilo Lo Fo Wong, Dörte Döpfer, Emma Snary, Gordon Nichols, Heidi SpitznagelHelene Wahlström, Julie David, Katarzyna Pancer, Klaus Stark, Lars Plym Forshell, Padraig Nally, Pascal Sanders, Petra Hiller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

180 Citations (Scopus)


Foodborne diseases are an important cause of human illness worldwide. Humans acquire these infections from a variety of sources and routes of transmission. Many efforts have been made in the last decades to prevent and control foodborne diseases, particularly foodborne zoonoses. However, information on the impact of these interventions is limited. To identify and prioritize successful food safety interventions, it is important to attribute the burden of human illness to the specific sources. Defining scientific concepts and harmonizing terminology for "source attribution" is essential for understanding and improving attribution methodologies and for sharing knowledge within the scientific community. We propose harmonized nomenclature, and describe the various approaches for human illness source attribution and their usefulness to address specific public health questions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-424
Number of pages8
JournalFoodborne pathogens and disease
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2009


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