Characteristics of foodborne outbreaks in which use of analytical epidemiological studies contributed to identification of suspected vehicles, European Union, 2007 to 2011

Schlinkmann KM, Razum O, Werber D (2017)
EPIDEMIOLOGY AND INFECTION 145(6): 1231-1238.

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Foodborne disease outbreaks (FBDOs) occur frequently in Europe. Employing analytical epidemiological study designs increases the likelihood of identifying the suspected vehicle(s), but these studies are rarely applied in FBDO investigations. We used multivariable binary logistic regression analysis to identify characteristics of investigated FBDOs reported to the European Food Safety Authority (2007-2011) that were associated with analytical epidemiological evidence (compared to evidence from microbiological investigations/descriptive epidemiology only). The analysis was restricted to FBDO investigations, where the evidence for the suspected vehicle was considered 'strong', i.e. convincing. The presence of analytical epidemiological evidence was reported in 2012 (50%) of these 4038 outbreaks. In multivariable analysis, increasing outbreak size, number of hospitalizations, causative (i.e. aetiological) agent (whether identified and, if so, which one), and the setting in which these outbreaks occurred (e.g. geographically dispersed outbreaks) were independently associated with presence of analytical evidence. The number of investigations with reported analytical epidemiological evidence was unexpectedly high, likely indicating the need for quality assurance within the European Union foodborne outbreak reporting system, and warranting cautious interpretation of our findings. This first analysis of evidence implicating a food vehicle in FBDOs may help to inform public health authorities on when to use analytical epidemiological study designs.
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Schlinkmann KM, Razum O, Werber D. Characteristics of foodborne outbreaks in which use of analytical epidemiological studies contributed to identification of suspected vehicles, European Union, 2007 to 2011. EPIDEMIOLOGY AND INFECTION. 2017;145(6):1231-1238.
Schlinkmann, K. M., Razum, O., & Werber, D. (2017). Characteristics of foodborne outbreaks in which use of analytical epidemiological studies contributed to identification of suspected vehicles, European Union, 2007 to 2011. EPIDEMIOLOGY AND INFECTION, 145(6), 1231-1238. doi:10.1017/S0950268816003344
Schlinkmann, K. M., Razum, O., and Werber, D. (2017). Characteristics of foodborne outbreaks in which use of analytical epidemiological studies contributed to identification of suspected vehicles, European Union, 2007 to 2011. EPIDEMIOLOGY AND INFECTION 145, 1231-1238.
Schlinkmann, K.M., Razum, O., & Werber, D., 2017. Characteristics of foodborne outbreaks in which use of analytical epidemiological studies contributed to identification of suspected vehicles, European Union, 2007 to 2011. EPIDEMIOLOGY AND INFECTION, 145(6), p 1231-1238.
K.M. Schlinkmann, O. Razum, and D. Werber, “Characteristics of foodborne outbreaks in which use of analytical epidemiological studies contributed to identification of suspected vehicles, European Union, 2007 to 2011”, EPIDEMIOLOGY AND INFECTION, vol. 145, 2017, pp. 1231-1238.
Schlinkmann, K.M., Razum, O., Werber, D.: Characteristics of foodborne outbreaks in which use of analytical epidemiological studies contributed to identification of suspected vehicles, European Union, 2007 to 2011. EPIDEMIOLOGY AND INFECTION. 145, 1231-1238 (2017).
Schlinkmann, K. M., Razum, Oliver, and Werber, D. “Characteristics of foodborne outbreaks in which use of analytical epidemiological studies contributed to identification of suspected vehicles, European Union, 2007 to 2011”. EPIDEMIOLOGY AND INFECTION 145.6 (2017): 1231-1238.
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