Salmonellosis is a very common foodborne infection. By following certain hygiene rules, in particular during the preparation, cooking and storage of foodstuffs, salmonellosis can be prevented.
What does Sciensano do?
Sciensano helps to confirm the diagnosis in cases of salmonellosis, collaborates on identifying the sources of contamination, checks the products, establishes the epidemiological tendencies of salmonellosis and studies Salmonella bacteria's susceptibility to antibiotics.
Sciensano's “Foodborne pathogens” unit analyses food samples sent by the Federal agency for the safety of the food chain(FASFC) and isolates the strain contained in foods. All foodborne strains of Salmonella are sent to the “Bacterial diseases” unit so that the type of Salmonella can be characterised (over 2,500 types).
The Bacterial diseases unit compares the foodborne strains that come from the Federal agency for the safety of the food chain(FASFC) with the human strains from people suffering from salmonellosis. In fact, 160 clinical biology laboratories send Sciensano the human strains of Salmonella that have been diagnosed.
Sciensano thus helps to identify the source of any potential epidemic of a foodborne disease outbreak (FBDO). The competent authorities are then informed and can take the necessary measures to stem the epidemic (by taking products off the market, cleaning, or even closing cutting plants or abattoirs, etc.).
Foodborne disease outbreaks are included in the notifiable infectious diseases (NOIDs) after 2 grouped cases of salmonellosis, a doctor must submit notification of the disease.
Sciensano also studies the susceptibility of bacteria to antibiotics and helps to formulate advice concerning their use.