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Four years ago, Henriette de Valk and colleagues determined both the need for and feasibility of a European network on Listeria infections in humans. The network was envisioned as a way to strengthen surveillance in individual countries by harmonising microbiological methods and providing epidemiologic tools for investigations. The results of their survey were clear: respondents felt that such a network would aid in the detection and investigation of outbreaks, and that it could be based on existing national surveillance systems. There has been considerable institutional support for developing a European Listeria network, and in response to planning efforts, Listeria surveillance has improved in several countries. However, the network has yet to be realised.


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