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Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2009;121(3-4):96-102. doi: 10.1007/s00508-008-1128-9.

Salmonellosis in Austria: situation and trends.

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  • 1Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES), National Reference Laboratory/Center for Salmonella, Graz, Austria.


Non-typhoidal Salmonella spp. are a major cause of human gastroenteritis in many parts of the world. Most of these infections are zoonotic and are transmitted from healthy carrier animals to humans through contaminated food. In Austria we are facing an ongoing salmonellosis epidemic that started in 1989. The main cause of the epidemic is a massive increase of infections due to S. enterica subsp. enterica serovar Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis), a serotype prevalent in poultry, particularly in eggs. The introduction of vaccination of laying hens and broilers, together with intensified outbreak investigation efforts, has led to a remarkable decrease of human salmonella isolates. Since 2002 the number of isolates received by the National Reference Center for Salmonella (NRCS) has been reduced by more than 50%. Overall rates of antibiotic resistance in salmonella have remained stable over the past years. In Austria, high levels of resistance to ciprofloxacin and third-generation cephalosporins (cefotaxime) are still extremely rare.

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