CDC: Campylobacter and Salmonella primary cause of foodborne illness in 2016

Bacterial pathogens Campylobacter and Salmonella were two of the largest contributors to foodborne illnesses in 2016, according to the CDC's most recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

For the report, researchers examined data compiled in the CDC's Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), which tracks trends in foodborne illnesses among 15 percent of the U.S. population across 10 locations. For 2016, there were 24,029 foodborne illnesses contributing to 5,512 hospitalizations and 98 deaths recorded by FoodNet.

Individually, Campylobacter accounted for 8,547 infections, followed closely by Salmonella (8,172), Shigella (2,914), Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (1,845), Cryptosporidium (1,816), Yersinia (302), Vibrio (252), Listeria (127) and Cyclospora (55).

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The report includes the total number of foodborne infections identified at FoodNet sites with culture-independent diagnostic tests, which provide rapid results and expedite treatment. However, the tests do not identify antibiotic resistance or whether the pathogen is linked to an outbreak. While following the rapid diagnostic test with a culture-based assessment can provide detailed data, researchers often do not conduct these follow-ups, according to the report.

"We need foodborne-illness trend data to monitor progress toward making our food supply safer," said Robert Tauxe, MD, director of CDC's Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases. "It's important that laboratories continue to do follow-up cultures on CIDT-positive patients so public health officials can get the information needed to protect people from foodborne illness."

To learn more about FoodNet, click here.

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