According to a recent report, Campylobacter and Listeria infections have increased, but Salmonella and E. coli cases dropped in Ireland in the first three months of 2024.

Campylobacter infections increased from 700 in Q1 2023 to 733 in Q1 2024. Listeria infections rose from one to five. Salmonella cases decreased from 84 to 67, and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infections declined from 131 to 116.

Data comes from a report published by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) that includes foodborne illnesses from January to March 2024. It is the first one since such reports were halted after the Q4 2019 edition due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One Campylobacter outbreak was notified, with two people sick in a family setting. Of 62 sequenced isolates, 57 were Campylobacter jejuni, and the others were Campylobacter coli. In the same period in 2023, there were four outbreaks.

For the 60 Salmonella infections for which travel history was known, 50 percent of cases were travel-associated, and 50 percent were domestically acquired.

Among domestic cases, infection with Salmonella Typhimurium was more common, while Salmonella Enteritidis was more often found among travel-associated cases.  Other serotypes caused 32 cases. Three family outbreaks were reported with six patients.

E. coli and Listeria data
Most of the 116 E. coli cases were hospital inpatients or General Practitioner (GP) patients.

One case of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) was reported, although this data was either unknown or not specified for almost half of all cases. There were seven HUS cases in Q1 2023. The most common serogroups among culture-confirmed cases in 2024 were O157, O26, O91, O78, and O145.

Three outbreaks affected 14 people, including one epidemic in a residential institution.

Five listeriosis cases were reported compared to one in Q1 2023. Three patients were adult and juvenile cases, and two were pregnancy-related cases. There were no outbreaks.

152 cases of cryptosporidiosis were notified in Q1 2024, up from 117 in Q1 2023. When travel status was known, the majority of infections were domestically acquired, but six were travel-related.

A dozen outbreaks were recorded, which is double that of Q1 2023. In total, 29 people were sick, ranging from two to four people in each incident.

In total, 18 cases of Hepatitis A and two outbreaks were notified versus seven cases and no outbreaks in Q1 2023. The two outbreaks affected five people. For Hepatitis E, 13 cases were recorded compared to four in the same period last year.

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