Salmonella enterica serovar enteritidis, England and Wales, 1945-2011
In England and Wales, the emergence of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis resulted in the largest and most persistent epidemic of foodborne infection attributable to a single subtype of any pathogen since systematic national microbiological surveillance was established. We reviewed 67 years of surveillance data to examine the features, underlying causes, and overall effects of S. enterica ser. Enteritidis. The epidemic was associated with the consumption of contaminated chicken meat and eggs, and a decline in the number of infections began after the adoption of vaccination and other measures in production and distribution of chicken meat and eggs. We estimate that >525,000 persons became ill during the course of the epidemic, which caused a total of 6,750,000 days of illness, 27,000 hospitalizations, and 2,000 deaths. Measures undertaken to control the epidemic have resulted in a major reduction in foodborne disease in England and Wales.