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J Food Prot. 2010 Mar;73(3):488-94.

Zoonoses action plan Salmonella monitoring programme: an investigation of the sampling protocol.

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  • 1Centre for Epidemiology & Risk Analysis, Veterinary Laboratories Agency-Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK. e.l.snary@vla.defra.gsi.gov.uk


The Zoonoses Action Plan (ZAP) Salmonella Programme was established by the British Pig Executive to monitor Salmonella prevalence in quality-assured British pigs at slaughter by testing a sample of pigs with a meat juice enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for antibodies against group B and C(1) Salmonella. Farms were assigned a ZAP level (1 to 3) depending on the monitored prevalence, and ZAP 2 or 3 farms were required to act to reduce the prevalence. The ultimate goal was to reduce the risk of human salmonellosis attributable to British pork. A mathematical model has been developed to describe the ZAP sampling protocol. Results show that the probability of assigning a farm the correct ZAP level was high, except for farms that had a seroprevalence close to the cutoff points between different ZAP levels. Sensitivity analyses identified that the probability of assigning a farm to the correct ZAP level was dependent on the sensitivity and specificity of the test, the number of batches taken to slaughter each quarter, and the number of samples taken per batch. The variability of the predicted seroprevalence was reduced as the number of batches or samples increased and, away from the cutoff points, the probability of being assigned the correct ZAP level increased as the number of batches or samples increased. In summary, the model described here provided invaluable insight into the ZAP sampling protocol. Further work is required to understand the impact of the program for Salmonella infection in British pig farms and therefore on human health.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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