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West Jerusalem, Israel

Bassal R.,Israel Center for Disease Control | Bassal R.,Tel Aviv University | Reisfeld A.,Central Salmonella Laboratory | Nissan I.,Central Salmonella Laboratory | And 7 more authors.
Epidemiology and Infection | Year: 2014

This matched case-control study investigated the risk factors for sporadic Salmonella Infantis infection in 263 affected children and 263 age-, gender- and neighbourhood-matched controls. Information about exposure to potential risk factors was obtained via telephone interview and evaluated by conditional logistic regression analysis. Age groups ≤1 year (n = 77) and >1 year (n = 186) were analysed separately. Of those aged ≤1 year, breastfeeding was a significant protective factor against infection [matched odds ratio (mOR) 0·24, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·10-0·59, P < 0·01]. In the older group, consumption of eggs (mOR 1·87, 95% CI 1·00-3·49, P = 0·05) was a significant risk factor and thawing chicken in water (mOR 2·55, 95% CI 0·94-6·91, P = 0·07) was borderline risk factor, while consumption of carrots (mOR 0·46, 95% CI 0·26-0·83, P < 0·01), drinking tap water (mOR 0·44, 95% CI 0·22-0·85, P = 0·02), religious lifestyle (mOR 0·40, 95% CI 0·21-0·74, P < 0·01) and having a high number of children in the household (mOR 0·72, 95% CI 0·58-0·88, P < 0·01) were significant protective factors. Consumers should avoid eating undercooked eggs and food handlers should be educated regarding proper handling and cooking of eggs. Breastfeeding should be strongly encouraged by public health authorities. The public must be educated on stringent hygiene practices, especially proper cooking of eggs to reduce infection rates. © 2013 Cambridge University Press.

Bassal R.,Israel Center for Disease Control | Bassal R.,Tel Aviv University | Reisfeld A.,Central Salmonella Laboratory | Andorn N.,Central Salmonella Laboratory | And 16 more authors.
Epidemiology and Infection | Year: 2012

The aim of the present study was to assess the recent trends in the epidemiology of non-typhoid Salmonella in Israel using a sentinel laboratory-based surveillance network. Between 1999 and 2009, 8758 Salmonella stool isolates were reported by five sentinel laboratories. There was a significant decrease in the incidence rate of Salmonella isolates from 70.5/100 000 in 1999 to 21.6/100 000 in 2005 followed by a slight increase to 30.3/100 000 in 2009. Of all Salmonella, 64.3% were isolated from children in the 0-4 years age group. Up to 2008, S. Enteritidis was the most prevalent serotype and in 2009 S. Infantis emerged as the most common Salmonella serotype. The decrease in the incidence of S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium and increase in S. Infantis among humans were associated with a similar trend among breeding flocks, which followed significant preventive interventions conducted against S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium infections in poultry. Tight surveillance and education of food handlers and consumers should be enhanced to reduce the foodborne transmission of Salmonella in Israel. © 2011 Cambridge University Press.

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