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Vaccination responsible for dramatic fall in Salmonella infections

Mass poultry vaccination programmes introduced to combat Salmonella infections have led to a dramatic fall in the number of cases since the late 1990s, according to a researcher at the University of Liverpool.

There are currently around 6 million cases of illness from Salmonella across the EU each year, the majority of which are linked to food items such as eggs, chicken, beef, pork, salad vegetables and dairy products.

Between 1981 and 1991, the number of salmonella infections rose by 170% in the UK, driven primarily by an epidemic of Salmonella Enteritidis which peaked in 1993. A raft of control measures were introduced into the poultry industry including movement restrictions, compulsory slaughter and disinfection procedures, as well as a voluntary industry-led vaccination scheme that began in breeding flocks in 1994 and in laying flocks in 1998.

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