Based on the data from the integrated Danish Salmonella surveillance in 1999, we developed a mathematical model for quantifying the contribution of each of the major animal-food sources to human salmonellosis. The model was set up to calculate the number of domestic and sporadic cases caused by different Salmonella sero and phage types as a function of the prevalence of these Salmonella types in the animal-food sources and the amount of food source consumed. A multiparameter prior accounting for the presumed but unknown differences between serotypes and food sources with respect to causing human salmonellosis was also included. The joint posterior distribution was estimated by fitting the model to the reported number of domestic and sporadic cases per Salmonella type in a Bayesian framework using Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulation. The number of domestic and sporadic cases was obtained by subtracting the estimated number of travel- and outbreak-associated cases from the total number of reported cases, i.e., the observed data. The most important food sources were found to be table eggs and domestically produced pork comprising 47.1% (95 % credibility interval, CI: 43.3-50.8%) and 9% (95% CI: 7.8-10.4%) of the cases, respectively. Taken together, imported foods were estimated to account for 11.8% (95% CI: 5.0-19.0%) of the cases. Other food sources considered had only a minor impact, whereas 25% of the cases could not be associated with any source. This approach of quantifying the contribution of the various sources to human salmonellosis has proved to be a valuable tool in risk management in Denmark and provides an example of how to integrate quantitative risk assessment and zoonotic disease surveillance.
|Published - 2004