Salmonellosis – a public health concern

Salmonella infection is one of the main causes of foodborne disease in humans. There is also concern about increased antibiotic resistance when treating salmonellosis in humans.

Foodborne diseases

Changes in food production in recent decades have led to an increase in the incidence of foodborne infections in humans:

  • Increases in farm size – infections from a single farm may be transmitted to many people.
  • Intensive farming methods may increase the susceptibility of poultry to Salmonella infections. See Molting practices in laying hens.
  • Frequent movement of livestock between farms.
  • There is more processing of food. This increases the chance of cross-contamination from a single source of infection to a wide range of final products.
  • Lack of kitchen hygiene. Less time is taken in the preparation of food.

Foodborne salmonellosis in humans can be decreased by preventing Salmonella infection during poultry production.

Antibiotic resistance

Another public health concern is the emergence of antibiotic resistant strains of Salmonella. This is especially true for Salmonella Typhimurium. It has been suggested that this is partly due to the use of antibiotics in intensive animal production.

For more information see:

The incidence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Salmonella Typhimurium (particularly phage type 104) infections in humans has increased substantially in many countries in the last 2 decades. Infections are often associated with increased illness. A survey was conducted to determine the magnitude of the problem. For results and details of the survey see the CDC website for the full article.

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