Research – Major pathogens rise in Ireland in 2022

Food Safety News

Campylobacter, Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria infections all increased in Ireland in 2022, according to the latest figures.

Data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), which is part of the Health Service Executive (HSE), shows the number of reports for the four pathogens rose compared to 2021.

Notifications of Salmonellosis doubled and the number of E. coli infections passed 1,000.

Full reports on these four pathogens and for outbreaks have not been published since 2018 because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic response and limited capacity at HPSC.

Campylobacter infections went up from 3,147 in 2021 to 3,619 in 2022.

Salmonella cases doubled from 173 in 2021 to 342 in 2022 but this is similar to 2018 and 2019 levels.

More than 1,000 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) notifications were noted. Up from 962 in 2021.

A total of 18 listeriosis cases were recorded, up from 15 in 2021. Fourteen were men and four were women. Fifteen cases were in the over-65 age group while two were less than 1 to 4 years old.

Figures also show three cases of Bacillus cereus foodborne infection or intoxication compared to none in 2021.

The published data, which covers 2018 to 2022, reveals two cases of botulism, although it is unclear if food was the cause. There was also one report of brucellosis in 2022. All other years reported no notifications of these diseases.

There were 17 yersiniosis cases in 2022 compared to 18 in 2021. Cryptosporidiosis declined from 845 in 2021 to 566 in 2022.

Shigellosis went up from 70 in 2021 to 157 in 2022. Norovirus also increased from 439 in 2021 to 990 in 2022.

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