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Euro Surveill. 2013 Mar 14;18(11):20424.

A multistate epidemic outbreak of Salmonella Goldcoast infection in humans, June 2009 to March 2010: the investigation in Italy.

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Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, Italy.


After an urgent inquiry into a suspected international outbreak of Salmonella Goldcoast infection was launched by Hungary in October 2009 a nationwide multidisciplinary investigation was carried out in Italy. The aims were to verify whether the higher than expected number of cases of S. Goldcoast infection that had occurred in Italy in the previous months were linked to the outbreak in Hungary and to determine their origin. Between June 2009 and March 2010, 79 confirmed cases of S. Goldcoast infection were identified. Of these, 17 were part of three different point-source outbreaks probably associated with the consumption of salami. Eating salami was also reported by 20 of the 39 sporadic cases that could be interviewed. Fifteen strains of S. Goldcoast isolated from the cases were typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. They shared more than 90% homology with the Hungarian epidemic strain and were also highly similar to S. Goldcoast strains that had been isolated in Italy from pigs and pork-containing food items in 2009 and 2010. Although the origin of the outbreak and the common source linking the Hungarian and the Italian cases could not be definitively identified, our results suggest a possible zoonotic connection of the outbreak cases with the pork production chain.

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