No 12 - 2010

Zoonotic intestinal infections 2009 

Zoonotic intestinal infections 2009

Zoonoses are diseases that are transferred from animals to humans. Zoonotic intestinal infections arise after ingestion of contaminated foodstuffs or water, or after contact with infected animals or humans. Bacterial enteropathogens are monitored via the laboratory notification system. Additionally, food-borne infection is individually notifiable on form 1515, provided a specific meal or food is under suspicion.

General development

The number of salmonella cases decreased to 2,129 (39 per 100,000) from 3,654 cases in 2008, Figure 1. S. Typhimurium was the most frequent serotype, Table 1.  

In 2009 the number of cases of this type decreased by 62 % compared with 2008 when a considerable outbreak occurred, EPI-NEWS 49/08 and 1-2/09. S. Enteritidis decreased by 6 % in comparison with 2008, while the group of other serotypes, comprising a total of 762 cases, decreased by 25 %. This last group comprised 129 different serotypes.

In 2009, a total of 3,352 (61 per 105) Campylobacter jejuni/coli infections were reported, in line with the preceding year, Figure 1. A total of 238 Yersinia enterocolitica cases (4.3 per 105) were recorded, 28 % down from 2008, Figure 1.

In all, 168 cases (3.0 per 105) of verocytotoxin-producing E. coli (VTEC) were observed,  corresponding to a 5 % increase from the previous year. In 2009, a total of 24 (14 %) of the VTEC cases were caused by serogroup O157 and 20 (12 %) by serogroup O103. VTEC infections and cases of haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) are clinically notifiable. A total of 133 VTEC cases were notified, one of whom had HUS. Furthermore, five cases of HUS with no VTEC detection were notified.

Infections acquired abroad

In 2009, as previously, SSI collected travelling information by phone interviews from all salmonella patients and patients with Campylobacter residing in the former counties of North Jutland, Aarhus and Roskilde. The patients were asked about the date of disease onset and whether they had travelled abroad within a seven-day period prior to disease onset. Information was obtained from a total of 75 % of the salmonella and 78 % of the campylobacter cases. Among the responding patients, 26 % of the campylobacter cases were acquired abroad, while the corresponding figures were 46 % for S. Enteritidis, 10 % for S. Typhimurium and 40 % for the remaining serotypes. The latter figure comprises considerable variation in terms of serotypes.


Campylobacter remains the most frequent cause of bacterial intestinal infections. The primary source of infection is poultry, and the majority of cases are infected in Denmark. 2009 saw several S. Enteritidis outbreaks,EPI-NEWS 36/09. These contributed to increasing the share of S. Enteritidis infections acquired in Denmark.

(S. Ethelberg, K. Mølbak, Dept. of Epidemiology, K.E.P. Olsen, F. Scheutz, Dept. of Microbiol. Surv.

& Research)

World TB day 2010

24 March is World Tuberculosis Day The objective of the day is to focus attention on global efforts to fight tuberculosis (TB). This year's slogan is ”On the move against tuberculosis – innovate to accelerate action.”

The ECDC/WHO has recently published their second joint report on Tuberculosis in Europe in 2008. In the entire WHO Europe region, 2008 saw 461,645 reported cases of TB, a 2.6 % decrease with respect to 2007. In 2008 the EU/EEA countries registered 82,611 cases, a decrease of merely 1.2 % relative to 2007, and the most limited decrease seen in the latest four years. Please find further information at (P.H. Andersen, Department of Epidemiology)

Individually notifiable diseases and selected laboratory diagnosed infections  

24 March 2010