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Chapter 8 : Epidemiology of Foodborne Illnesses

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Epidemiology of Foodborne Illnesses, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

Humans are the ultimate bioassay for low-level or sporadic contamination of our food supply. Epidemiologic methods of foodborne disease surveillance are powerful tools because they take advantage of events that are occurring throughout the population. This population-based lens, focused by advances in molecular subtyping and information technology available to public health laboratories, is particularly well suited to dealing with foodborne diseases associated with mass-produced and widely distributed food products. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) is becoming the standard for public health surveillance. It offers greater sensitivity for outbreak detection and greater specificity for outbreak investigation than previous methods of analysis. WGS links between cases and foods or environmental samples will require exposure assessment. Public health officials will be challenged to provide the epidemiologic resources to investigate and solve the anticipated growth in small outbreaks. Better outbreak investigation methods, including environmental assessments, will provide more useful data to evaluate the effectiveness of food safety policies and improve food attribution models. Improving the science base for policy development should lead to more effective food control activities. Since national food supplies are rapidly becoming global in origin, the need for an international system for foodborne disease surveillance exists as well. Because foodborne disease problems imported into one country may represent disease problems endemic to the food-producing country, growing awareness of these problems could stimulate investment in interventions that improve public health in both countries.

Citation: Hedberg C. 2019. Epidemiology of Foodborne Illnesses, p 209-224. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch8
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Figures

Image of Figure 8.1
Figure 8.1

Illustration of the epidemiological triad, depicting the dynamic interaction of agents (i.e., bacteria, viruses, parasites), hosts (humans and animal reservoirs), and the environments leading to the occurrence of foodborne illnesses.

Citation: Hedberg C. 2019. Epidemiology of Foodborne Illnesses, p 209-224. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch8
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References

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1. Scallan E, Hoekstra RM, Angulo FJ, Tauxe RV, Widdowson MA, Roy SL, Jones JL, Griffin PM . 2011. Foodborne illness acquired in the United States—major pathogens. Emerg Infect Dis 17 : 7 15[CrossRef].[PubMed]
2. Scharff RL, Besser J, Sharp DJ, Jones TF, Peter GS, Hedberg CW . 2016. An economic evaluation of PulseNet: a network for foodborne disease surveillance. Am J Prev Med 50( Suppl 1) : S66 S73[CrossRef].[PubMed]
3. Hennessy TW, Hedberg CW, Slutsker L, White KE, Besser-Wiek JM, Moen ME, Feldman J, Coleman WW, Edmonson LM, MacDonald KL, Osterholm MT The Investigation Team . 1996. A national outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis infections from ice cream. N Engl J Med 334 : 1281 1286[CrossRef].[PubMed]
4. Painter JA, Hoekstra RM, Ayers T, Tauxe RV, Braden CR, Angulo FJ, Griffin PM . 2013. Attribution of foodborne illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths to food commodities by using outbreak data, United States, 1998-2008. Emerg Infect Dis 19 : 407 415[CrossRef].[PubMed]
5. Besser J, Carleton HA, Gerner-Smidt P, Lindsey RL, Trees E . 2018. Next-generation sequencing technologies and their application to the study and control of bacterial infections. Clin Microbiol Infect 24 : 335 341[CrossRef].[PubMed]
6. Marder Mph EP, Griffin PM, Cieslak PR, Dunn J, Hurd S, Jervis R, Lathrop S, Muse A, Ryan P, Smith K, Tobin-D'Angelo M, Vugia DJ, Holt KG, Wolpert BJ, Tauxe R, Geissler AL . 2018. Preliminary incidence and trends of infections with pathogens transmitted commonly through food—Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, 10 U.S. sites, 2006–2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 67 : 324 328[CrossRef].[PubMed]
7. Havelaar AH, Kirk MD, Torgerson PR, Gibb HJ, Hald T, Lake RJ, Praet N, Bellinger DC, de Silva NR, Gargouri N, Speybroeck N, Cawthorne A, Mathers C, Stein C, Angulo FJ, Devleesschauwer B World Health Organization Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group . 2015. World Health Organization global estimates and regional comparisons of the burden of foodborne disease in 2010. PLoS Med 12 : e1001923[CrossRef].[PubMed]
8. FDA National Retail Food Team . 2010. FDA trend analysis report on the occurrence of foodborne illness risk factors in selected institutional foodservice, restaurant, and retail food store facility types (1998–2008). U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Washington, DC. https://wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20170113095247/http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/RetailFoodProtection/FoodborneIllnessRiskFactorReduction/UCM369245.pdf

Tables

Generic image for table
Table 8.1

Evaluating the strength of association between illness and exposure in epidemiologic studies

Citation: Hedberg C. 2019. Epidemiology of Foodborne Illnesses, p 209-224. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch8
Generic image for table
Table 8.2

Primary components of foodborne disease surveillance and surveillance systems and impact of recent developments in laboratory and epidemiologic methods

Citation: Hedberg C. 2019. Epidemiology of Foodborne Illnesses, p 209-224. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch8

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