Outbreak report Open Access
Like 0
This item has no PDF Download


We report an outbreak of gastroenteritis due to Salmonella Enteritidis PT 21 associated with attending an annual traditional fair in a small Austrian village on 4 May 2005. The outbreak lasted from 4 to 8 May. Descriptive and analytical epidemiological investigations were conducted in order to determine the extent of the outbreak and to identify outbreak risk factors. Of the 115 persons who visited the fair, 85 persons fulfilled the criteria of an outbreak case (attack rate=73.9%). Stool specimens from 52 patients, including two kitchen staff, were tested for salmonella, and 20 specimens were positive for Salmonella Enteritidis PT 21. The cohort study revealed mixed salad (which included potatoes) as the likely cause of the outbreak (RR: 10.4, 95%CI 2.8 – 39.1; P=<0.001). The causative agent of the outbreak was cultured from the stock of eggs used at the fair and from all three drag swabs and one barn dust sample collected from the responsible egg laying flock. Molecular subtyping by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of genomic DNA after XbaI digestion showed that isolates from eggs, from the flock and from humans were indistinguishable. We hypothesise that cross contamination from eggs to boiled potatoes occurred in the kitchen area, where raw eggs were handled by village residents preparing a traditional Viennese egg dressing. Unrefrigerated storage of peeled potatoes may have favoured bacterial growth. Eggs from small rural flocks of laying hens kept in a traditional ‘natural’ way should not be assumed to be salmonella-free.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

Submit comment
Comment moderation successfully completed
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error