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Home Publications Infectious diseases Gastrointestinal illness reports and guidance ›  Gastrointestinal infections annual report, 2010

Gastrointestinal infections annual report, 2010

cover: Gastrointestinal infections  annual report, 2010

Authors:

HPA

Publication date: December 2011

 

Synopsis

This is the first annual report from the Gastrointestinal Infections section of the Gastrointestinal, Emerging and Zoonotic Infections (GEZI) department. The GEZI department covers a wide range of gastrointestinal organisms, including bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens. A number of surveillance systems are in place; most of which rely on laboratory reporting.

During 2010 there were several large national outbreaks of Salmonella and frequent smaller outbreaks of other gastrointestinal infections. While Salmonella outbreaks and norovirus outbreaks in hospitals decreased in 2010 compared with previous years, Campylobacter outbreaks continued to increase. December 2010 also marked the beginning of a national outbreak of VTEC O157 that stretched well into 2011.

The year 2010 was the second year of operation for the enhanced national surveillance of vero cytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) and the norovirus hospital outbreak reporting scheme. Both provide valuable data for use by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and our stakeholders. 

In early 2010, the enhanced national surveillance of VTEC was launched online. The system is accessible to local and regional health protection colleagues and new functionality continues to be added. This was followed by work on the foodborne and non-foodborne gastrointestinal outbreak surveillance system (eFOSS), which is also now online and accessible to health protection colleagues.

The surveillance activities of the department ensure the prompt identification of outbreaks. Members of the GEZI department investigated national outbreaks of Salmonella and VTEC. They also provided support and expertise during the investigation of outbreaks at a regional and local level. These activities were complemented by eFOSS, which collects data on outbreaks and allows trends in causative agents and source attribution to be analysed.

Recent publications by the GEZI department regarding Listeria surveillance illustrate some of the gains from enhanced surveillance. For example, risk factor analysis of cases of listeriosis has helped to redefine the population at risk.

As the newly-implemented surveillance systems mature, it is expected that more epidemiological trends will be elucidated. Work to improve existing surveillance is ongoing and plans for new surveillance systems, such as the surveillance of haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), are underway.


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Last reviewed: 16 December 2011