Epidemiology and Infection

Special Article

International increase in Salmonella enteritidis: A new pandemic?

D. C. Rodriguea1 c1, R. V. Tauxea1 and B. Rowea2

a1 Enteric Diseases Branch, Division of Bacterial Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control Atlanta, GA

a2 Central Public Health Laboratory, Division of Enteric Pathogens, London, UK


Over the past 5 years Salmonella enteritidis infections in humans have increased on both sides of the Atlantic ocean. The WHO salmonella surveillance data for 1979–87 were reviewed and show that S. enteritidis appears to be increasing on at least the continents of North America, South America, and Europe, and may include Africa. S. enteritidis isolates increased in 24 (69%) of 35 countries between 1979 and 1987. In 1979, only 2 (10%) of 21 countries with reported data reported S. enteritidis as their most common salmonella serotype; in 1987, 9 (43%) of 21 countries reported S. enteritidis as their most common serotype; 8 (89 %) of 9 were European countries. Although the reason for the global increase is not yet clear, investigations in individual countries suggest it is related to consumption of eggs and poultry which harbour the organism.

(Accepted March 26 1990)


c1 Daniel Rodrigue, CID:DBD:EDB 1-5428 M/S CO9, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA. 30333