Emerging Salmonella Enteritidis anaerogenic phage type 14b: Outbreak in Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish travellers returning from Greece
Guérin PJ., Nygård K., Siitonen A., Vold L., Kuusi M., de Jong B., Rottingen JA., Alvseike O., Olsson A., Lassen J., Andersson Y., Aavitsland P.
In July 2001, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (Folkehelseinstituttet, FHI) reported a cluster of Salmonella Enteritidis of phage type 14b infections in Norwegian travellers returning from Greece. An increase in the same uncommon phage type was also registered in Sweden and Finland at the same time. Cases of S. Enteritidis PT 14b in patients returning from Greece were reported in these three Nordic countries in 2001 (303 cases), 2002 (164 cases) and 2003 (199 cases). Case-control studies performed in 2001 in Norway and Sweden indicated that consumption of chicken was associated with illness. In 2002 and 2003, continuing case reports indicated that this uncommon phage type had probably become established in the Greek food chain. Tour operators were informed and contacts were made with Greek public health authorities. Because place of infection is not systematically included in most Salmonella notification systems, the S. Enteritidis phage type 14b outbreak reported here may represent only part of a larger outbreak among travellers visiting Greece. Infections are often reported only in the tourists’ home countries and public health authorities in the tourist destinations may not be aware of the problem. Further collaboration between national institutes of public health in Europe is needed to detect outbreaks occurring among tourists.