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עמוד בית
Mon, 22.07.24

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February 2009
C. Stein-Zamir, E. Tallen-Gozani, N. Abramson, H. Shoob, R. Yishai, V. Agmon, A. Reisfeld, L. Valinsky and E. Marva

Background: Foodborne Salmonella enterica outbreaks constitute both a threat to public health and an economic burden worldwide.

Objectives: To characterize the pathogen(s) involved and possible source of infection of an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis in a banqueting hall in Jerusalem.

Methods: We conducted interviews of guests and employees of the banqueting hall, and analyzed food items, samples from work surfaces and stool cultures.

Results: Of 770 persons participating in three events on 3 consecutive days at a single banqueting hall, 124 were interviewed and 75 reported symptoms. Salmonella enterica, serovar Enteritidis, phage type C-8, was isolated from: 10 stool cultures (eight guests, one symptomatic employee and one asymptomatic employee) and a sample of a mayonnaise-based egg salad. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis[c1]  of the isolates revealed an identical pattern in the outbreak isolates, different from SE C-8 controls. A culture-positive, asymptomatic employee was linked to all three events. After a closure order, allowing for cleaning of the banqueting hall, revision of food preparation procedures and staff instruction on hygiene, the banqueting hall was reopened with no subsequent outbreaks.

Conclusions: It is often difficult to pinpoint the source of infection in S. enterica outbreaks. Using molecular subtyping methods, a link was confirmed between patients, a food handler, (presumably a carrier) and a food item – all showing an identical specific Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis. Testing asymptomatic as well as symptomatic food handlers in outbreak investigations is imperative. Pre- and post-hiring screening might be considered as preventive measures; hygiene and sanitation education are essential.





 [c1]OK




 
September 2006
D. Nitzan Kaluski, E. Barak, Z. Kaufman, L. Valinsky, E. Marva, Z. Korenman, Z. Gorodnitzki, R. Yishai, D. Koltai, A. Leventhal, S. Levine, O. Havkin and M.S. Green

Contamination of food with streptococci could present with unusual outbreaks that may be difficult to recognize in the early stages. This is demonstrated in a large food-borne outbreak of streptococcal pharyngitis that occurred in 2003 in a factory in Israel. The outbreak was reported to the public health services on July 2 and an epidemiologic investigation was initiated. Cases and controls were interviewed and throat swabs taken. An estimated 212 cases occurred within the first 4 days, the peak occurring on the second day. There was a wave of secondary cases during an additional 11 days. The early signs were of a respiratory illness including sore throat, weakness and fever, with high absenteeism rates suggesting a respiratory illness. As part of a case-control study, cases and controls were interviewed and throat swabs taken. Illness was significantly associated with consumption of egg-mayonnaise salad (odds ratio 4.2, 95% confidence interval 1.4–12.6), suggesting an incubation period of 12–96 hours. The initial respiratory signs of food-borne streptococcal pharyngitis outbreaks could delay the identification of the vehicle of transmission. This could be particularly problematic in the event of deliberate contamination.

May 2006
L. Moerman, A. Leventhal, P.E. Slater, E. Anis, R. Yishai and E. Marva

Background: Pertussis is the only vaccine-preventable disease that has re-emerged in Israel. The reported crude incidence of the disease increased 16-fold since 1998.

Objectives: To describe the epidemiology of pertussis and to explain the substantial increase in reported pertussis incidence in Israel in recent years.

Methods: Crude and specific pertussis incidence by age, patient immunization status, hospitalization rate and national immunization coverage rate were calculated from information provided by the public health offices of the Ministry of Health.

Results: The reported crude incidence of pertussis increased from 1–2/100,000 in 1994–98 to 23/100,000 in 2004. The trend was observed in all age groups, being most prominent in infants under age 1 year and in children aged 5–14. The incidence of pertussis was substantially higher in unvaccinated and partly vaccinated compared to fully vaccinated persons. Fifteen percent of notified cases were hospitalized, but in infants under age 1 year the hospitalization rate was 50%. National pertussis immunization coverage by age 2 years was stable during the last 10 years.

Conclusions: There are several possible explanations for the re-emergence of pertussis in Israel. The most plausible reason seems to be the waning of vaccine-induced immunity in face of infrequent natural exposure to the infectious agent and lack of a pertussis vaccine booster dose after age 1.
 

July 2003
D.D. Enk, I. Anteby, N. Abramson, R. Amer, Y. Amit, T. Bergshtein-Kronhaus, C. Cohen, Z. Greenberg, F. Jonas, S. Maayan, E. Marva, U. Strauss and D. BenEzra

Background: Onchocerciasis results from infestation by the nematode Onchocerca volvulus, and is characterized clinically by troublesome itching, skin lesions and eye manifestations. Since 1992, approximately 9,000 immigrants have arrived in Israel from the Kuwara province of northwest Ethiopia where the prevalence of onchocerciasis is particularly high.

Objectives: To determine whether onchocerciasis is the cause of cutaneous and ocular symptoms among recent immigrants from the Kuwara province in Ethiopia

Methods: We examined 1,200 recent immigrants from the Kuwara province residing at the Mevasseret Zion immigration center outside Jerusalem. Among them, patients with cutaneous signs suggestive of onchocerciasis underwent a skin-snip biopsy and a thorough eye examination.

Results: In the detailed skin examination performed in 83 patients, the most common skin finding was chronic papular onchodermatitis, found in more than 46 patients (55%);depigmentation and atrophy was found in 13 (15%) and 12 (14%), respectively. In 40 patients (48%), living microfilaria were detected in their skin snips. Of the 65 patients who underwent a thorough eye examination, 45 patients (66%) had ocular complaints. Corneal abnormalities were found in 55 of the 130 eyes (42%), active anterior segment intraocular inflammation and live microfilariae were found in 4 eyes (3%) and lens changes in 16 eyes (1 %). Eleven eyes (9%) showed retinal or choroidal changes.

Conclusions: Skin and eye manifestations associated with onchocerciasis are prevalent among symptomatic Ethiopian immigrants to Israel from the Kuwara province.

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