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EU international locations examine Salmonella diseases linked to imported tahini, halva

5 European international locations have reported Salmonella infections with a minimum of a few of them linked to tahini and halva from Syria.

As much as 80 individuals might have been affected since 2019 in Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands with a number of varieties of Salmonella being linked to the outbreak.

Primarily based on epidemiological data and entire genome sequencing (WGS) analyses, consultants from the Robert Koch Institut (RKI) in Germany advised Meals Security Information that they take into account circumstances with the Salmonella serovars Mbandaka, Havana, Amsterdam, and Orion to be a part of the outbreak.

Germany has 51 sufferers, with 49 confirmed by WGS plus two with an epidemiological hyperlink to a WGS-confirmed case. This contains 21 in 2019, 12 in 2020 and 18 in 2021.

RKI officers mentioned they initially famous a rise in Salmonella Havana case numbers in 2019 however had been unable to establish the supply of an infection. These sufferers have been retrospectively linked to the present outbreak based mostly on WGS outcomes. Complete genome sequencing supplies so-called fingerprints of micro organism, figuring out matches between sufferers and particular pathogens.

Reported sickness onset dates vary from January 2019 to Might 2021. There are just a few doable individuals sick with onset dates in June 2021, which aren’t but WGS-confirmed. The age of circumstances ranges from 6 months to 69 years and 53 % are feminine. They dwell throughout Germany in 15 of 16 federal states.

Recall in Norway

Norway has two sufferers with Salmonella Mbandaka who reported consuming sesame seed merchandise. They’re 5 and 45 years outdated, each feminine and from completely different areas of the nation. Sampling dates of the isolates had been March 2020 and June 2021.

Recalled merchandise in Norway

Sesame seed merchandise Al Burj Tahina and Al Burj Halwa from Syria and imported into Norway had been recalled earlier this month. Greatest earlier than dates vary from June 2021 to January 2022.

The recall relies on detection of Salmonella in testing by Sweden and preliminary outcomes from samples by Mattilsynet. Examinations are ongoing to see if the recalled merchandise in Norway are contaminated with Salmonella Mbandaka.

Sweden is investigating two clusters of Salmonella Mbandaka and Salmonella Havana with 11 circumstances every.

In complete, the 22 sufferers are unfold throughout 10 completely different areas with the primary reported in Might 2019 and the most recent in June 2021. The gender distribution is even and the age vary is 0 to 77 years outdated, however 12 circumstances are youngsters beneath the age of 5.

Investigating potential hyperlinks

Sharing of sequence knowledge from Salmonella isolates on an EU system for public well being consultants present a connection to earlier outbreaks with a hyperlink to sesame based mostly merchandise.

Rikard Dryselius, a microbiologist at Folkhälsomyndigheten (the Public Well being Company of Sweden), mentioned: “Sampling and evaluation carried out by Livsmedelsverket (the Swedish Meals Company) has led to findings of Salmonella in a number of merchandise of tahini and halva. The isolates of Salmonella are presently being sequenced to disclose the serotypes and if there’s a connection to human circumstances. There are probably additionally different serotypes than Salmonella Havana and Salmonella Mbandaka concerned.”

Denmark has two circumstances of Salmonella Mbandaka which might be associated to the outbreak. They’re from February 2021 and embrace one youngster and one grownup.

The Netherlands has recognized one matching Salmonella Mbandaka case based mostly on entire genome sequencing. The affected particular person is a 1.5 yr outdated youngster with the pattern being taken on March 21 this yr.

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