Spain recorded an increase in E. coli and Listeria infections in 2022, according to recently released figures.

In 2022, 633 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infections were reported, as well as eight imported cases. This includes 620 confirmed and 13 probable cases. The number rose from 426 cases in 2021.

The highest incidences in 2022 were observed in children younger than 5 years of age, being higher in girls than in boys, according to data from the National Epidemiological Surveillance Network (RENAVE).

A total of 134 hospitalizations were reported and six people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS is a severe complication associated with E. coli infections that causes kidney failure. Four of these were younger than the age of 3, one was 10 years old, and the other was an 84-year-old adult.

Three deaths were recorded: one child younger than 3 years old who had HUS, and two adults aged 65 and 93.

For imported cases, two were younger than 10 years of age, and the rest were aged between 22 and 60.

Information on serogroup causing infection was available in 80 cases of which 67 corresponded to O157. One was O107, another was O128 and 11 were recorded as non-O157.

In 2021, two outbreaks occurred with four patients and one case of HUS. In 2022, five STEC outbreaks were reported, resulting in 13 cases and two hospitalizations.

Two were foodborne: one of them, with four cases was associated with consumption of various foods in a bar. In the other outbreak, with two cases younger than 2 years old in a nursery, the suspected food was hamburgers, and E. coli O157 was identified in clinical samples from patients.

Listeria data
In 2022, 460 patients were reported, of which 450 were confirmed, nine were probable and one was imported. In 2021, 375 patients were noted with 38 deaths.

The highest incidence rates in 2022 were found in boys less than 1 year of age, followed by men more than 75 years old and girls less than 1 year of age.

Overall, 67 deaths were reported. The age group with the most fatalities were those over 84 with 20 deaths, followed by those aged 75 to 84 with 19 deaths and 65 to 74 with 16 deaths.

In 2021, two outbreaks had four cases. This past year, nine listeriosis outbreaks were reported with 20 cases and eight hospitalizations.

In three outbreaks, the mode of transmission was food consumption. In one of them, the suspected food was poultry meat, in another it was unspecified meat, and the food implicated in the third incident was unknown. The others were caused by mother to baby transmission.

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