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US Salmonella Outbreaks Linked to Live Poultry

03 July 2015

US - US government agencies are collaborating to investigate four outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry, across 40 different states.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of these outbreaks. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC.

DNA "fingerprinting" is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using a technique called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.

PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks. A total of nine DNA fingerprints (outbreak strains) are included in these four outbreak investigations.

In the four outbreaks, a total of 181 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 40 states. The four outbreaks were of Salmonella enteriditis (40 people), Salmonella hadar (69 people), Salmonella indiana (56 people) and Salmonella Muenchen (16 people). No deaths have been reported from any of these strains.

Illnesses that occurred after 1 June might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about contact with animals and foods consumed during the week before becoming ill.

82 (86 per cent) of the 95 ill people interviewed reported contact with live poultry (e.g., chicks, chickens, ducks, ducklings) before becoming ill.

Sixty-four ill people who had purchase records available reported purchasing live baby poultry from 17 different feed supply stores and hatcheries in multiple states. Ill people reported purchasing live poultry for backyard flocks to produce eggs or meat, or to keep as pets.

Many ill people in these outbreaks reported bringing the live poultry into their homes, and others reported kissing or cuddling with the live poultry. These behaviours increase a person’s risk of a Salmonella infection.

Preliminary findings of multiple trace-back investigations of live baby poultry from homes of ill people have identified multiple hatcheries as the source of chicks and ducklings. These investigations are ongoing.

The US' Centre for Disease Control monitored the strains of Salmonella found in the ill people for signs of antibiotic resistance. Clinical isolates were collected from seven ill people infected with one of the outbreak strains, and all seven isolates were susceptible to all antibiotics used.

The number of ill people identified in each state is as follows:

Alabama (17), Arizona (3), Arkansas (4), California (3), Colorado (2), Delaware (2), Georgia (4), Indiana (3), Iowa (1), Kentucky (4), Louisiana (2), Maine (2), Maryland (4), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (3), Minnesota (6), Mississippi (13), Missouri (1), Montana (3), Nevada (2), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (3), New Mexico (2), New York (6), North Carolina (3), Ohio (15), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (5), Pennsylvania (12), South Carolina (10), South Dakota (2), Tennessee (6), Texas (5), Utah (4), Vermont (2), Virginia (11), Washington (6), West Virginia (2), Wisconsin (1), and Wyoming (4).

ThePoultrySite News Desk



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