Salmonellosis (excluding typhoid and paratyphoid fevers)

  Published: 09.02.05 Updated: 09.02.2005 18:11:03


Salmonellosis is a notifiable disease in the entire region. All the countries expect Northwest Russia report only laboratory confirmed cases. In Northwest Russia, cases epidemiologically linked to a laboratory confirmed case are also reported.


Figure 18. Number of cases of salmonellosis notified in 2003 per 100 000 population (1).


In the late 1980s and early 1990s many countries in Europe experienced an epidemic of infections with S. Enteritidis transmitted by infected eggs and poultry products. However, in Norway, Sweden and Finland, this increase was mainly related to infections acquired abroad, and the domestic incidence has remained low. Incidence rates have continued to rise in most of the region during the late 1990s and early 2000s, but since 2002, a slight decrease has been observed in the Nordic countries.  In Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland the majority of cases has been acquired abroad, and the increase seen during the last few years is mainly caused by travellers infected in areas of the world where salmonella are more common. In Denmark, more than 70% of cases are domestically acquired and contaminated egg products have been a major problem in the country. The number of egg-associated cases has decreased considerable in the last few years in Denmark, which is believed to be the result of special control programmes.

Figure 19. Number of cases of salmonellosis notified per 100 000 population 1999- 2003 by groups of countries or regions (1). Komi, Pskov, Novgorod and Vologda regions not included.

S. Typhimurium is the most common serotype isolated from patients domestically infected in the Nordic countries. Distinct clones of S. Typhimurium have established themselves in the Nordic countries in wild birds and animals. Control programmes has documented that live cattle, swine and poultry as well as domestically produced food products of animal origin so far are virtually free from salmonella  in all the Nordic countries, except Denmark.

S. Enteritidis dominates among Nordic patients infected abroad. This serotype is the most commonly occurring in most European countries outside the Nordic region.
In Russia and the Baltic countries, the overwhelming majority of cases are domestically acquired and the majority of cases are probably caused by contaminated domestically produced food products or imported poultry products.


Prevention of food-borne salmonellosis includes implementing public health measures on poultry farms and in commercial food processing units, and improved food and personal hygiene measures at home. An effective Food and Water Control Authority is important to prevent transmission of salmonella. Travellers to countries with higher incidence of salmonellosis should be advised on how to reduce the risk of contracting salmonellosis. Food handlers should be educated in food hygiene. All countries in the region have adopted these preventive measures.