Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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Given the regular occurrence of salmonellosis outbreaks in France, evaluating the timeliness of laboratory reporting is critical for maintaining an effective surveillance system. Laboratory-confirmed human cases of Salmonella infection from whom strains were isolated from 2007 to 2011 in France (n=38,413) were extracted from the surveillance database. Three delay intervals were defined: transport delay (strain isolation, transport from primary laboratory to national reference laboratory), analysis delay (serotyping, reporting) and total reporting delay. We calculated the median delay in days and generated the cumulative delay distribution for each interval. Variables were tested for an association with reporting delay using a multivariable generalised linear model. The median transport and analysis delays were 7 and 6 days respectively (interquartile range (IQR: 6-10 and 4-9 respectively), with a median total reporting delay of 14 days (IQR: 11-19). Timeliness was influenced by various external factors: decreasing serotype frequency, geographical zone of primary laboratory and strain isolation on Sundays were the variables most strongly associated with increased length of delay. The effect of season and day of the week of isolation was highly variable over the study period. Several areas for interventions to shorten delays are identified and discussed for both transport and analysis delays. .


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