In France, listeriosis surveillance is based on mandatory notification of all culture-confirmed cases, with systematic typing of isolates and routine collection of the patient's food history. From October 1999 to March 2000, two outbreaks of listeriosis were detected through this enhanced surveillance system. In outbreak 1, analysis of the food histories of cases suggested brand X "rillettes", a pâté-like meat product, as the vehicle of infection, and the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes was subsequently isolated from the incriminated rillettes. In outbreak 2, a case-control study showed that consumption of jellied pork tongue was strongly associated with infection with the outbreak strain (odds ratio = 75.5, 95% confidence interval: 4.7, 1,216.0). However, trace-back results did not permit incrimination of any particular manufacturer of jellied pork tongue, and the outbreak strain was not isolated from the incriminated food or from any production sites. Consumption of jellied pork tongue was discouraged on epidemiologic evidence alone. The consecutive occurrence of these two outbreaks confirms the epidemic potential of listeriosis, even in a context of decreasing incidence, and underlines the importance of timely case-reporting and systematic typing of human L. monocytogenes strains to allow early detection and separate investigation of different clusters.
Auteur : de Valk H, Goulet V, Desenclos JC, Pierre V, Jacquet C, Rocourt J, Quelquejeu N, Pierre O, Vaillant V, Le Querrec F, Stainer F
American Journal of Epidemiology, 2001, vol. 154, n°. 10, p. 944-50