Between July and October 2010, a national outbreak comprising 136 cases of Salmonella Java phage type 3b variant 9 was identified by the Health Protection Agency. Most cases were female. Cases had a median age of 39.5 years and lived in London, the South East and East of England. Parallel case-control and case- case study designs were undertaken to test the generated hypotheses. The case-case study aimed to examine if the infection was associated with eating food items purchased from commercial catering settings, and the reference group comprised non-travel related cases of S. Enteritidis infected during the same time period as the cases. The case-control study was designed to examine if the infection was associated with specific food items purchased from commercial catering settings, and recruited case-nominated controls. However, in response to poor recruitment we adapted our methods to investigate food exposures in the same way. Results of epidemiological investigations are compatible with salad vegetables as the potential source, but no common suppliers of salad were identified and no organisms were isolated from environmental and food samples. Limitations in the case-control study highlight the potential value of using a combination of epidemiological methods to investigate outbreaks.
|Publication status||Published - 2011|