Research – Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on human Salmonellosis in the Netherlands

Cambridge Org

The public health measures implemented to control coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may influence also other infectious diseases. Using national laboratory surveillance data, we assessed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on human salmonellosis in the Netherlands until March 2021. Salmonellosis incidence decreased significantly after March 2020: in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2020, and in the first quarter of 2021, the incidence decreased by 55%, 57%, 47% and 37%, respectively, compared to the same quarters of 2016–2019. The decrease was strongest among travel-related cases (94%, 84%, 79% and 93% in the aforementioned quarters, respectively). Other significant changes were: increased proportion of cases among older adults and increased proportion of invasive infections, decreased proportion of trimethoprim resistance and increased proportion of serovar Typhimurium monophasic variant vs. Enteritidis. This led to decreased contributions of laying hens and increased contributions of pigs and cattle as sources of human infections. The observed changes probably reflect a combination of reduced exposure to Salmonella due to restrictions on international travels and gatherings, closure of dine-in restaurants, catering and hospitality sectors at large and changes in healthcare-seeking and diagnostic behaviours.

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