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News

Trends in indigenous foodborne disease and deaths in England and Wales

Reducing incidents of indigenous foodborne disease in England and Wales means tackling Campylobacter spp., find a research team in the December issue of Gut.

News image

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In this study, researchers from the PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, London, England, sought to describe the burden and trends of indigenous foodborne disease (IFD) in England and Wales, between 1992 and 2000.

The team assessed mortality, morbidity, new presentations to general practice, hospital admissions, and hospital occupancy caused by IFD.

They analyzed routinely available surveillance data, special survey data, and hospital episode statistics.

The researchers made adjustments were made for underascertainment of disease through national surveillance and for foreign travel.

Ratio of food related illness in the USA compared to England and Wales was 57:1, in 2000.
Gut
They then compared the final estimates to those from the USA.

The research team found that in 1995, there were an estimated 2,365,909 cases, 21,138 hospital admissions, and 718 deaths in England and Wales due to IFD.

However, by 2000 this had fallen to 1,338,772 cases, 20,759 hospital admissions, and 480 deaths.

The team identified the most important pathogens in terms of disease burden. These were Campylobacter spp., Salmonella spp., Clostridium perfringens, verocytotoxin producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) O157, and Listeria monocytogenes.

They determined the ratio of food related illness in the USA to IFD in England and Wales in 2000 to be 57:1.

However, taking into account population rates, this ratio fell to 11:1 and converged when etiology and disease severity were considered.

Dr Adak's team concluded, "Reducing IFD in England and Wales means tackling campylobacter".

However, "Lowering mortality rates however also requires better control and prevention of salmonellas, C. perfringens, L. monocytogenes, and VTEC O157".

Gut 2002; 51: 832-41
14 November 2002

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