NEWS SCAN: Salmonella from pet food, E coli immunity in farmers

Aug 9, 2010

Study examines Salmonella outbreak tied to pet food
A study released online today by Pediatrics details the risk factors for infection in the first reported Salmonella outbreak associated with dry pet food, one that involved 79 cases in 21 states from 2006 to 2008. Nearly half of the patients were children 2 years old or younger. Previous reports said the outbreak was linked to dry dog and cat food made at a Mars Petcare US plant in Everson, Pa., which was closed in the wake of the outbreak. Using case-control studies, investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several state health departments found that risk factors included contact with dogs and, for infants, feeding pets in the kitchen. The authors advise that pet food bowls and pet feeding areas should routinely be cleaned and disinfected, infants should not have access to pet feeding areas, children younger than 5 should not be allowed to touch or eat pet food or treats and should be kept away from pet feeding areas, and animal housing and food and water dishes should not be washed in kitchen sinks or bathtubs.
Aug 9 Pediatrics abstract
Nov 6, 2008, CIDRAP News story on outbreak

Scottish farmers found to have some immunity to E coli
A serologic study of farmers in the Grampian region of northern Scotland indicates that about 20% of them have some immunity to Escherichia coli O157:H7, according to an Aug 8 report from Scotsman.com. The story says that about 200 famers in Grampian and North Wales have been tested by scientists from Bangor University in Wales. "We are finding about a fifth of farmers do have some degree of immunity," researcher Dr. Prysor Williams said. In contrast, a previous study of farmers in England and Wales showed that only about 3% had antibodies to the pathogen. The findings suggest that repeated exposure to E coli has given farmers some protection and may help in the search for a vaccine, according to the story. It says the Grampian region is thought to have one of the highest rates of E coli infection in the world: 11.1 cases per 100,000 people in 2009, versus 4.6 per 100,000 in Scotland as a whole and fewer than 2 per 100,000 in England.
Aug 8 Scotsman.com report

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