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A community-wide outbreak of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium infection associated with eating a raw milk soft cheese in France

  • H. DE VALK (a1) (a2), E. DELAROCQUE-ASTAGNEAU (a1), G. COLOMB (a3), S. PLE (a4), E. GODARD (a3), V. VAILLANT (a1), S. HAEGHEBAERT (a1), PH. BOUVET (a5), F. GRIMONT (a6), P. GRIMONT (a5) (a6) and J.-C. DESENCLOS (a1)
  • Published online: 01 February 2000

In 1997, a community-wide outbreak of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium (S. typhimurium) infection occurred in France. The investigation included case searching and a case-control study. A case was defined as a resident of the Jura district with fever or diarrhoea between 12 May and 8 July 1997, from whom S. typhimurium was isolated in stool or blood. One hundred and thirteen cases were identified. Thirty-three (83%) of 40 cases but only 23 (55%) of 42 community controls, matched for age and area of residence, reported eating Morbier cheese (Odds ratio: 6·5; 95% Confidence Interval: 1·4–28·8). Morbier cheese samples taken from the refrigerators of two case-patients and one symptom-free neighbour cultured positive for S. typhimurium of the same phage type as the human isolates. The analysis of distribution channels incriminated one batch from a single processing plant. These findings show that an unpasteurized soft cheese is an effective vehicle of S. typhimurium transmission.

Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: Institut de Veille Sanitaire, 12 rue du Val d'Osne, 94415 St Maurice cedex, France.
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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